After almost 5 months of living aboard and traveling, we took a break from boating in October.
The Great Lakes reputation, along with the Army Corp of Engineers forced the break; However, it was needed and appreciated by our whole family.
We made it to Chicago the last weekend of September. Although we typically try not to have a schedule, it was our goal to get off of the Great Lakes before October 1st. (Read all about our time in Chicago: HERE.)
Once in Chicago, we could boat no further. Years ago the Army Corp of Engineers announced lock closures on the Illinois Waterway from July 1 through October 29th, 2020.
We anticipated these closures by scheduling some maintenance work on the boat during our wait. This involved hauling Light & Salty out of the water. Thus, we needed to find a different place to live for a few weeks.
The break gave us the perfect excuse to travel south for a few weeks!
Quite honestly, we tried to lay low and enjoy some of the simple aspects of landlife that we used to take for granted.
For example- we took every bit of linen and laundry south and I enjoyed the luxury of having a washer and dryer at my disposal. Additionally, we fit in all of our dentist/orthodontist appointments.
I also found myself running daily errands just because I had access to a car during our break from boating! It might seem silly, but on a boat when you realize you need or want something- you don’t always have a way to get there!
Beyond these somewhat mundane activities, here are a few highlights from our weeks away from boating:
- WE GOT A DOG
Yes, it happened. His name is Captain and we’re in love. He’s a Mini Newfypoo which actually has a great boating story to go along with it.
Our family had been looking at dogs for a while. We knew we needed some version of a poodle mix to make it hypoallergenic. When we visited Grand Haven, Michigan we read a cute story about a dog that lived on a barge.
As you might guess, the dog was a Newfoundland. I made a flippant, somewhat joking comment about mixing a Newfoundland and a Poodle. And guess what, though rare…the breed exists!
The first couple weeks with Captain were pretty rough. He did not particularly enjoy sleeping at night or going to the bathroom in the right spot. And his favorite pastime was chewing anything he shouldn’t. Let’s just say it’s a good thing he’s so cute. I’ll do a boating/dog update soon!
- WE VISITED FAMILY AND FRIENDS
In a covid-world this isn’t easy, but we did our best with what everyone was comfortable with!
- WE ATTENDED THE AGLCA FALL RENDEZVOUS
For the first time ever, the Great Loop association held their fall rendezvous virtually. We really enjoyed attending a variety of awesome boating seminars and also meeting a ton of new people.
Brent and I also made a very good showing in the Loop trivia game. We should have placed in the top 3, but one of us got a little click happy on the last question and blew it (not that I’m holding a grudge about it!)
- WE VOTED
- WE PROVISIONED
So this was probably our worst idea ever.
Essentially we shopped for 3 weeks for all the things we needed for the boat. But we didn’t exactly factor in getting it all back to Chicago. It ended up being a disaster! We somehow made it…barely. And it wasn’t comfortable!
*Also, one final notable experience included researching the best hotel properties for dog owners AND families (post coming soon!) Not all pet policies are created equal and I can’t wait to share all of our experiences!
As always, thanks for following along on our crazy journey (even when we’re taking a break from boating!)
Next up- the rivers! In the meantime, you might enjoy reading:
How To Homeschool Your Kids And Actually Enjoy It
The One Where We Decided To Live On A Boat
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[…] I communicated these plans with our group which I quickly dubbed “Team Southbound” because our goal was to get south out of Chicago as quickly as possible! The Team grew from 6 to 10 boats before we even got back to Chicago (we were on a break…read about it HERE.) […]