Our Socially Distanced Summer Vacation at the Lake

Road trips are not a new thing for us. Packing up the SUV for a long voyage is our forte. But traveling during a pandemic is not. The 12 hour drive from Houston to our family lake house at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri seemed a bit daunting with so much uncertainty surrounding us when we were considering our annual lake vacation this year.

I was a little anxious about having to sleep in a hotel overnight and how we were going to properly socially distance at both the hotel and rest stops along the way. 

But once we made our decision, got on the road, and drove towards our destination my worries began to ease up.

Our Socially Distanced Summer Vacation at the Lake

Our first stop was 5 hours into the trip. The hotel we stayed in was eerily quiet, empty, and oddly reminiscent of a scene from The Shining. Before Coronavirus, I would have been skeptical of the circumstances but now, I was reassured by the fact that nobody was around.

The new normal certainly doesn’t feel too normal.

In the entire 12 hour drive we only had to make 1 stop {other than the hotel} at a public establishment and go inside. The rest of the time we carefully chose vacant exits that led to backroads near some trees to take care of our business. Another reminder of the sign of the times. But hey, it added to the adventure of our trip and is what made us feel most comfortable. 

And now that we are here, I want to hide away for a while. I realize it’s a privilege to say that and admitting it out loud doesn’t make it any less true. My husband can work remotely and I can read and write with a beautiful view of the lake right outside our back door.

Our Socially Distanced Summer Vacation at the Lake

My kids are loving it. From feeding the fish and looking for turtles to partaking in family water balloon fights; the endless smiles and excitement on their faces has made the trip so worth it. Their nightly slumber parties with their grandparents are a special treat for the both of them and their nana and papa seem to be enjoying it too. I think.

While we are missing out on boating to all of our favorite lakefront bars and restaurants this year, we’ve still been able to order our favorite restaurant food to-go, have taken long boat rides and have enjoyed swimming in the lake.  

I’ve taken quiet nature walks and have been able to breathe in the fresh air, which is a huge step up from trying to breathe in a sauna {aka Houston humidity}. Hallelujah!  

The kids have picked up a new hobby with fishing. My daughter has especially loved petting them and then releasing them back into the lake. You know, because the thought of her hurting them and taking them away from their families would be detrimental to fish everywhere.

AND, this vacation activity sometimes lasts more than 10 minutes. Total win.

But of course it all hasn’t been good. The kids have been fighting about who won in Wii bowling, they’ve complained about why we made them a cheese quesadilla instead of a peanut butter and jelly {god forbid} and who’s going to hold the lantern in the secret hideout under the stairs. Don’t let those smiles fool you.

If I’m being honest, it isn’t easy sharing that we are on vacation in a middle of a global pandemic, when the numbers are worse today than they were back in March. Knowing that there are a lot of people who are worse off than we are makes me feel guilty. We take this situation seriously and are doing our best to do our part.  

However, if you are comfortable with it, I think it is worthwhile to go on a vacation where you can properly socially distance. A place where you can relax, spend time with family, and feel safe. During these times it’s still possible to give ourselves self-care and love, while doing it in safe way. I’m glad we’ve been able to do that here in the Ozarks.

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Katie A
Katie is a born and raised Midwesterner. She graduated from college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December of 2008. After college she decided to take a leap of faith and moved to Houston in April of 2009. A month later she met her husband David at her apartment complex swimming pool, and I guess you could say the rest is history. She now resides in Katy, TX with her husband David and their two children Avery {December 2014} and Myles {April 2017}, and will be welcoming another little boy this fall. Before kids, Katie had a career working in Commercial Real Estate, but once her daughter was born she figured out quickly that being a stay-at-home mom was something that she was destined to do. Her passions include in no particular order :: drinking coffee, collecting jewelry, fashion, fitness, cooking, politics, and crime/detective related Netflix series. In her free time you can catch her spending time with family and friends, drinking a glass of red wine, watching sports with her husband, trying out the latest hot spot restaurant, traveling, laughing, and not taking life too seriously.



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