Sunday, December 11, 2011

Kemah Boat Parade

We headed down to the Kemah/Clearlake area to catch the Boat Parade for the first time.  On the way we made a stop by Tookies.  Or at least to begin with the Tookies overflow parking lot (which was packed by the way!)

As we wandered around the relatively small place looking for the main entrance we realized the only entrance was this one...

We headed up the steps and found the inside door mysteriously locked.  Then as we turned around to head back out we saw the actual restaurant down the block.  And some folks out on the patio having a good laugh at the lost "newbies."  And as it turned out it wouldn't be the last laugh at my expense before the day was over.  :)

Despite the fact that it was late afternoon the place was absolutely packed and still had a 20 minute wait.  The wait however, was well worth it.

Lisa had recommended the Bean Burger (beans, fritos, and picante) which sounded intriguing so we had to give it a try.  We decided we would halve it and a regular cheese burger just to be on the safe side.  I went ahead and made the cheesebuger a double expecting the typical quarter inch burgers served by most places.  When the waitress came out with the burgers she automatically started to hand me the bean burger and Kevin the double cheese burger when we told her it was just the opposite.  By the time our actual waiter came back to see if everything came out okay Kevin had halved the bean burger and put it on my plate while I was checking on the kids' food (the plates and the mac were pretty hot).  So not only did I have my gigantic double cheese burger, I also had half of Kevin's burger and a blob of pilfered mac and cheese from Connor plate as well.   Talk about gluttony.  We did eventually sort out the food and devoured practically everything on our plates.  That bean burger?  To.die.for.  Both burgers in fact were absolutely delicious.  We will definitely be stopping back by Tookies again next time we are in the area for a bean burger.  Next time though we will skip the tour of the storage shed, and make it a single not a double.  :)

After dinner we made a quick stop by the Christmas store on the way into Kemah and then headed on to Mike & Lisa's.  They were super sweet and had some Christmas presents for the boys which the boys thoroughly enjoyed and kept them entertained for the short while before we headed to the marina.

Mike had been busy that afternoon decking the sailboat out in multicolored Christmas lights.  The boat was gorgeous and even more so with the glow of the lights and the reflections off the water. 

Our view of the parade anchored out in Clearlake couldn't have been more spectacular.  Though getting there proved to be a bit more challenging than anticipated.  Clearlake is much more shallow that you would ever suspect.  Even with the tide coming up the depth finder read just under 5 feet and at one point was somewhere in the 2-3 foot range - just a little too shallow for our boat and we dragged along the bottom and got thoroughly stuck.  :)  The kind of stuck where the police boat comes out, lights flashing, to see what is going on and a requires a tow boat to get you out.  It was all just a part of the adventure, a part Mike probably would have preferred to live without.... :) 

But in no time at all we were to our destination and anchored along side the parade route.

The parade boats started coasting by shortly thereafter.

There were probably somewhere around 100 boats from tiny fishing boats, to sailboats, all the way up to multimillion dollar yachts and everything in between.

We enjoyed our hot chocolate and watched them float by, oohing and awwing appropriately.

And by we, I mostly mean Kevin and I - in between trying to corral the kids of course.

The boys on the other hand seemed a little less impressed with the parade and much more interested in the snacks below decks.  Though where they put it all I cannot even begin to imagine.  They should have been stuffed after our early dinner at Tookies.  Though that didn't stop them from eating enough for 4 people on board in between watching spurts of the parade.  :)

After the parade we headed back to the Marina enjoying the smooth ride and beautiful reflections on the smooth as glass lake.  Though of course that wouldn't be the end of our adventures...

Disembarking turned out to be a whole other adventure all its own.  It's a good thing the boys were wearing life jackets, but it is their mother who probably needed one most... :)  The boys were helped off and safely down the narrow walkway as I started off myself.  In a comedy of clutzishness that I can't even begin to explain I ended up with both feet on the walkway, hanging on to a rope strung along the walkway with one hand, bag of stuff in the other, arched backwards out over the water and the boat.  It's a wonder that I didn't fall in.  With a helpful push from the boat side I made it safely back on the dock.  And after I stopped laughing so hard that I could finally put one foot in front of the other again made it to dry land without any further incident. 

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