Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Memorial Weekend in Lake Havasu

The storms on Saturday nearly dampened our spirits and boating trip to Lake Havasu but we took a chance and drove to Arizona on Sunday morning. As the morning hours ticked by, the weather got better and better. There were clouds in the sky but none as dark as a smoker's lunge and so we knew we were in the clear from the rain.

~-Day 1-~
We arrived in Lake Havasu around 10:30 a.m., apparently at just the right time as the lines at the launch ramp started to wind along Lake Havasu Boulevard. I learned that this particular launch ramp, the smallest out of the three on that island, allowed 500 vehicles (with boats) in before closing the launch ramp. We made it in the water at the nick of time.

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Along each side of the channel there were tons of boats parked like perfect rows of teeth along the sea wall and not a single slip available for us to squeeze in. Half naked bodies were everywhere as we followed other boats and jet skis through the channel. Some of the people were sprawled on the sun deck of their boat while others danced to the music blasting from their boat speakers. It felt like we were on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland except that instead of cruising by animated figures of pirates and maidens, we were watching displays of near-voyeuristic at their best.

The moment we cleared the London Bridge and made it out onto the open water, we drove around the island towards the Parker Dam. Despite the lack of wind in the air to stir the river, the boating activities were enough to churn the waters of Lake Havasu like a washing machine. We managed to do okay on our boat but passed a rescue helicopter just outside of Copper Canyon plucking three men from the water who apparently sank their watercraft.

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After we reached Parker Dam, we turned back towards the channel. This time it took us a lot longer to pass through because boat traffic was like rush hour on the 405 in Los Angeles. I had to push off a jet ski that nearly crashed into our boat because the driver panicked after he saw that he was too close to us and couldn't control his jet ski.

Even if there was a slip for us to beach at, there was no way we were going to be able to relax in all the boat exhaust fumes and the greasy water from their oil, the smell of cigarette smoke and sweaty warm alcohol-soaked bodies that filled the channel.

So we decided to hang out at little sand bar (the big sand bar is always closed on holiday weekends). This location proved to be much better. We had a litle more room around us, flowing water from the river, and the breeze was refreshing compared with the stagnant air in the channel.

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There were two large boats with speakers playing music loud enough to drown the music from any boat nearby. We didn't need to pull out our portable iPod boombox for the entire afternoon. I took a video because sometimes that does a better job of explaining our experience.



We cut our afternoon short to get off the water before the remaining hundreds of boats decided to do the same. Besides, we wanted to catch dinner at Cha-Bones (its name alone has kept us from trying out the restaurant in the three years that we've frequented Lake Havasu). But we've received strong recommendations persuading us to give the establishment a try.

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Inside are five copper water structures which run from the ceiling to the floor. It's a very hip restaurant, however small, with a view of the river. We were seated at a small table next to a window and ordered freshly made Mojitos and a Blue Moon to start off dinner with lettuce wraps. When dinner came and went, I was so full from tasting my husband fillet mignon that he ordered and the lobster tail that came with my dinner that I didn't even touch the prime rib on my plate. I must say the fillet was really tender and had the perfect flavor and crust. We will definitely go back to Cha-Bones.

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Afterwards, we went to the Naked Turtle Beach Bar for drinks. There was a live band performance consisting of two guys and they played songs from Jimmy Buffet and other songs that people liked to dance to. We people watched while waiting for our friends to join us but exhaustion got the best of us so we called it a night to rest our weary bodies.

~-Day 2-~
There is something about Lake Havasu that wakes me up early in the morning. I never struggle to rise and even when I felt like I had enough sleep and am ready to get up, it's barely 6 or 7 a.m. Perhaps I'm excited about the day.

The next morning we woke up before 7 a.m. and prepared to spend the day in the channel. Since it's Monday, the lake shouldn't be as crowded as it was yesterday. Those who come out today are either residents of Lake Havasu, live in Las Vegas and have less than two hours drive, or took Tuesday (or the entire week) off. That leaves those who may not have taken extra days off or they have five to six hours to drive home to CA. Or maybe, just maybe they are simply partied out...LOL.
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When we got to the channel, sure enough we had our pick of places to tie up. After picking a spot, we walked along the path to a restaurant close by called Makai Cafe for breakfast.

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I ordered something I have not had recently, a mimosa (orange juice and champagne), but then I spotted their Bloody Mary's and that sounded like the perfect accompaniment for breakfast! It was thick and spicy. Two of my favorite breakfast things to eat are ham and pancakes (hold the butter and syrup; I just love the taste of the cake--especially if it's a good pancake!).

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To our surprise, the channel had more boats and people than we had expected. I think the day was a little breezy for most people to enjoy or hangovers kept folks in the channel rather than running on the lake.
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Parked next to us were two couples from CA. We watched their boat while they left for breakfast and then we spent the afternoon hanging out with them.
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After a while, I left the slip with all the girls so we can cruise the channel. We spent more time in the channel and did not want to leave. I think it was close to six o'clock by the time we pulled the boat off the lake and drove home.

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I'm glad we took a chance against Mother Nature to spend our Memorial Weekend in Havasu; it turned out to be a great trip.

1 comment:

johnny said...

What an awesome weekend. I didn't want to come home. Can't wait till the 21st!!!!!!!!!!! PARRRRRTTTTEEEEE!!!