For years as members of the PDB Forum, we've been getting together each fall to celebrate the boating lifestyle and to put a face to the avatar of those we haven't had a chance to meet in person yet.
On September 8, my husband Carl and I [cwag911 on the forum] left our home in Lake Norman, N.C., and headed to our destination of Lake Anna near the town of Mineral, Va. Once we arrived at Lake Anna, we stopped into the visitor's center where we met Jonathan, who is a lifelong resident of Lake Anna. Jonathan was most gracious and highlighted a map for the proper directions to where we were staying, as well as the driving route around the lake.
Diane and Daril [Big Kahuna] were the hosts for this year's get-together. Diane had beautiful gift bags waiting for each couple. Our bags included literature and the Lake Anna magazine as well as cozies, beer glasses, room fresheners, wine and tourist information for Fredericksburg, which was just a half-hour away.
Everyone prepared and brought so much food to the Blast. The cake and brownies that Geri Williams made were to die for. Anyone passing by would have thought we were staying a month. It took way longer to unload the cars into the house than when we packed to leave. Needless to say, we ate a lot.
The house that Diane and Daril found for this year's group was absolutely stunning. In the beginning, there was some confusion about the number of rooms in the house. We were told there would be five rooms, which was exactly what we needed to accommodate everyone.
Diane is very good at counting to four and it appeared that was all the bedrooms she could find. Denise and Dan [WoodenPontoon] arrived just before us with Geri and Larry, Dan's parents. They, too, are able to count to four and that was the number of rooms they could locate. Someone would have to sleep on the couch.
After exploring the inside of the house, we took a brief stroll down to the dock to see the lake in all of its beauty. Once we walked away from the house and looked back we noticed something different. There seemed to be a secret room under the upper deck. Denise, who was still back at the house, came yelling after us, letting us know she found the fifth bedroom. AKA, The Bad Boy room. This bedroom was accessible only from outside and had its own full bath and a/c unit. As Randy minus Lana [Buckeye Boater] was the last to arrive, he got the bad boy room. The group harassed Randy terribly about being a bad boy and why he couldn't have access to the main house. Luckily he took our ribbing like a pro.
After a wonderful lunch of lobster salad sandwiches, fresh from Connecticut from Dan and Denise, birthday cake was served for Daril and Carl, both of whom were celebrating birthdays in September.
At this point, the group headed out for some `tooning on Lake Anna in the Big Kahuna, which is a beautiful Bennington 2275RL I/O triple toon. Spending time on the water is a highlight of our get-together.
Back at the house, Daril made lasagna for dinner, followed by card games and entertaining stories from Larry.
Friday, we had breakfast of sausage, grits and cheese casserole, which I prepared. Then we were off for another day of boating on the `toon. Carl has not been on water skis since he was 14, but he made a valiant try. Randy, who has never been on skis, was totally amazing. We were all so proud of him. The group spent time floating on the beautiful lake and enjoying some volleyball time at the sandbar. We were also treated to a sighting of an eagle standing on a dock as we passed by and numerous blue herons throughout the day.
Again we went back to eating at the house and had a wonderful grilled selection, again prepared by Daril. In the afternoon, we sunned down by the dock and enjoyed some bird watching. Carl and I left to explore the lake by car while everyone else did their own thing back at the house.
When evening time rolled around, off we went again to eat. Seems like we did a ton of eating this year. For dinner, we took an evening cruise over to Tim's on the Lake. A wonderful meal was had by all. Afterwards, we rolled ourselves out and down to the Big Kahuna to head back to the house. On the way back, Daril and Diane pointed out the cows in the lake that respond to their owner's voice when he calls them to get out and come home. Simply amazing. Back at our house, we played some pool and the ladies watched a movie together.
Saturday morning, Daril made the group breakfast he called "Bubble and Squeak," which included leftovers from the day before mixed with eggs. With much regret, the group cleaned up and packed up their cars. This weekend Blast was coming to an end and, once again, was way too short.
There is a rumor out there that Randy would try to convince Lana that the 2013 Forum Blast should be in Ohio. I, for one, am ready to pack and head out again to be with a truly interesting and amazing group of people.