Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tonight's Episode: "Bon Voyage!" or "Stranded on a Lake and Left to Die"


As you may or may not know, Amanda and I left for a relaxing vacay approximately two weeks ago. Amanda discussed this vacation briefly on her blog, so if you're already tired of hearing about it this is my warning to you to stop reading: STOP READING. Or, if you would prefer to hear Amanda's take on this event and haven't done so yet, this is me letting you do that: AMANDA IS AN AUTHOR. SHE PROBABLY TELLS STORIES BETTER THAN ME. READ HER TAKE ON THE TRIP FROM HELL HERE. Alright, now that all of that is out of the way, here I go:

Our trip began the night of June 20th. It was a Monday. (That's not really important. I'm just giving you some perspective.) Anyway, we just finished packing at about 12:08 A.M. and we were discussing when we should leave in the morning. Amanda, who is not a fan of rush hour traffic, originally had the plan of us getting up at 5:00 and hopefully being on the road at 6:00. But, seeing how late it was, Amanda was thinking we should leave later that afternoon. I didn't like that idea, because for some reason I was really excited about leaving at that point, so I came up with the idea that we just leave then...because there probably wouldn't be much rush hour traffic by 3:00 AM when we reached Minneapolis/St. Paul. So, we mulled it over, decided it was either the greatest or worst idea I've ever had, and we left. (In retrospect, the idea was neither that great, or that was basically just an idea.)

So, we drove for 6.5 hours, and we arrived at our destination. Breetroobrotz Houseboats. (That's not their actual name. I censored it. Because I wanted to.) Breetroobrotz Houseboats told us that we would have to wait a couple hours for our boat to be cleaned up, and ready for us to set foot on. We weren't pleased by this, seeing as SOME of us had been awake for 23 hours at that point. The other one of us had been awake for a mere 17 hours. So, we made the best of our time, and got breakfast at a restaurant at the resort, and walked on a path that a waitress at the restaurant told us was delightful and very scenic...either that waitress doesn't get out much, or we turned the wrong way and took an old dirt road. I'm guessing the fault was our own, though.

Finally, two hours later, as promised, we are permitted to board our houseboat. Some helpful young lads helped us unload our belongings onto the boat, and we were told to wait for instructions on how to operate said boat. I took this time to stand their awkwardly and wonder if I'm supposed to tip these people. I'm sure I was supposed to...but their were three of them. I never know what to do in that situation. Am I supposed to be give all of the money to one of the lads, and hope that he is an honest fellow who will share the tip with his coworkers, or do I have to find equal amounts of money and divide it between them? By the time I decided I would just give it to one of them, because I only had twenties, and didn't want to give a $60 tip, it was too late, and they had abandoned me. Oh well. (Heh heh heh....)

Next, our boat instructor came on board. He walked around, told us how things worked, told us places we could go, and showed us how to drive the boat. It was all very informative. However, he forgot to tell us that the lights on the boat are run on the boat's battery, and not the generator. This information would turn out to be quite useful.

So, we parked the boat. I tied it up to some trees, and hoped we wouldn't drift over to Canada. Then, we both went to our chambers, and took a well-deserved nap. I woke up before Mandy, so I popped in a Darkwing Duck DVD and ate a s'more. Then, Mandy got up. We were discussing how nice the boat was, and how the only bad thing about being up there was that we had no cell phone service...but we decided that the next day, we could just drive to a store and pick up a pay as you go phone, and use that while we were up there. Things were looking grand. Then, the lights in the boat began to dim. We were confused. We were piecing things together, and we finally figured out that the boat must be dying. I attempted to call for help on the CB radio...but nope, that didn't work, because the radio and the lights were both run off of the boat's battery, and everything else was run off of the generator. (Good things to tell people renting a boat, right?)

It was already dark at this point, so we just decided to figure things out in the morning.

The next morning, we went out, and tried to get the emergency boat that was attached to the houseboat to work. (It didn't.) We tried waving our lifejackets above our heads so that people driving near us would stop and help. (They didn't.) Besides watching more Darkwing Duck, and playing a half-assed game of Risk, this is how we spent our Wednesday. Trying to leave or get help, and not succeeding. The situation was starting to sink in for Amanda, as she spent most of the day telling me that J.K. Rowling or Oprah would have never gotten in this situation. I eased her pain by telling her that J.K. Rowling or Oprah probably wouldn't have rented a houseboat, if anything they would have rented a yacht with a captain. Amanda felt much better after that.

The next day, our situation started sinking in with me. I realized I can't last two days without knowing what's going on in the world. I kept thinking that my parents could be dead, or their could be a zombie outbreak, and I would have no clue. I woke up, determined to get the hell out of our little shitty hidden cove. I walked through the water, over to the emergency boat, and fiddled with the motor for about an hour (as if I had any clue what I was doing.) Finally, I got the motor in the water. I went and got Amanda, and told her that this was our chance for escape. We got in the boat, I got the motor started, and the boat...just sat there. It was loud. I could see the propeller moving. But we weren't. So, that was unfortunate. Next up, I tried the lifejacket thing again...this time for about 4 hours. With no success. People would drive by and stare. Or they would politely wave. But they wouldn't stop. Finally, we started making signs that said "HELP" and trying to flag down boats from our roof. This took a couple of hours, but a nice couple finally came over, and called our resort and told them we needed help. They came out about 30 minutes later, fixed our boat, and brought someone out to drive us back. Our driver was even more obsessed with Ninja Turtles than me, which was fun, but we were sooooooo ready to leave. The driver was being really nice, and trying to convince us to stay somewhere closer to the resort, so we could just walk over if something like that happened again...but we weren't really in the mood for it, and we kind of mostly tuned him out. When we finally got back, I felt bad for this, and gave him my beer as a peace-offering.

So, to make a long story less long, we're home now. And we're very happy about it. The morals of this tale are:
-Lights and radios use up your boat's battery. Keep your boat running if you're going to use them.
-If you're on a lake, and people are waving life jackets, don't wave back. Help.
-Big Brother starts tonight. You should totally watch it. 
-You probably just should have read Amanda's less ramble-y version of these events.


  1. I read both. Yours was just as interesting as Amanda's. It sounds like you guys made the best of a potentially disastrous trip.

    I have to say I'm a little shocked that people stared or waved back while you were waving life jackets at them. I mean really, you don't wave with life jackets if you're trying to say hi.

    Ah well, at least you guys made it back just fine. Hopefully your next vacation will go better. :)

  2. I very much liked your telling of this experience-felt like I was there-oh and don't know if you care or not but sometimes you used "their" when it should have been"there"-forgive me for being a spelling nazi

  3. This is hilarious :) Though I am sorry for the emotional trauma. Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. I read, and enjoyed, this post and Amanda's. So sorry your vacay sucked, but glad you are both home safe and sound.

    p.s., I think you should watch 'Top Gun' because: Watching Val Kilmer's nostrils flair is very fun; Tom Cruise is very young and pre-"I'm such a know-it-all about life, and depression, and well, everything."

  5. Hey there, Eric.

    I just stopped by to say, "Listen to Amanda and watch TOP GUN."

    Because it's good. And because we all know Amanda loves you and would never misdirect you.

    I don't think... she didn't seem that way when I interviewed her about a year ago, anyway... :)

    Anyway, watch it! Watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it, watch it!

    As for Moon, that's your call, dude... I've never seen it. :)

  6. Just popped by to convince you to watch "topgun" (NOT)

    DON'T DO IT!!!!


    Watch "signs" (mel gibson) instead - just picking a random good film here - and be smug in the knowledge that you have avoided throwing away a couple of hours.

  7. Here's my thinking: Sometimes we put off things we don't want to do, and that just makes everything worse. Like ripping off a bandaid or eating grandma's gluten-free cookies...just take a deep breath, and get it over with.

    Until then, everyone is going to continue to bother you about watching Top Gun. Trust me, I have a bio degree.

  8. Eric:

    Other than ‘being Amanda Hocking's personal assistant,,‘ who are you really ? Where did you go to school, what was your major, where did you study law, etc..? Why won’t you watch “Top Gun?”

    The outside world seems to know so little about your "splendiferous life". . . open up and tell all . . . it could be therapeutic -- not just for you but for all of us -- so we can know whether you are real . . . because . . . rumors are still circulating that you may actually be a robot in fuzzy human camouflage ;-)

  9. OMG! I read both of your accounts on what happened on your trip and yours was hilarious :). I am sorry that you got stuck in that situation, though.

    As for the Top Gun movie, well, I haven't it watched as well so I can't really comment (Im not a huge Tom Cruise fan, so I don't really watch a lot of his movies).

  10. Aren't you supposed to yell "AHOY" or something like that when you are stuck on a boat?

    Or else put up a sign that says "FREE COOKIES." That might work. Maybe not. I am tired and am going to bed.

  11. Hey Eric! K so Amanda said you won't watch Moon or top gun, you should watch Moon! I was reluctant to watch it at first after months of my older brother telling me how great it was, but to be honest his taste in movies has always been a little out there so I wasn't quick to jump on it. Long story short I couldn't sleep one night it was on tv and I watched it in awe and sorta freaked out woke my husband up at 4am just to tell him how freaking crazy Moon was! And as for Top Gun, didn't watch it till I was 21 (this said im only 22 now) thought it was good but Tom wasn't really my generation of a hottie but if you asked my mom she would tell you it was one of her fav's ha ha you should still watch it