A Houseboating We Will Go


We’re a mountain family at heart and spend most of our vacations on some mountain range or the other, hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. But this summer we branched out a bit to experience a houseboating vacation on Lake Shuswap (in the interior of BC) with my husband’s entire family, and it was definitely a wonderful vacation experience.
You might be, as I was, a little nervous about the prospect of spending a week on a boat with seven other adults and five kids (can you say claustrophobia?). But our boat was huge and had plenty of room to spare. It was 60 feet long and had six separate sleeping quarters so, with my three kids snuggled up in one, everyone had their own (albeit little) space. And since the kitchen, dining and family room areas were almost as big as the ones in my own house, there was lots of space to hang out inside.

The best part was that we didn’t have to hang out inside because the weather was great and all three deck levels had their own delights to offer. The lowest one sported the swim platform; the middle one had an eight-person hot tub (yes, hot tub, which was surprisingly essential as you can’t swim while the houseboat is under power), a wet bar for making margaritas (my sister-in-law is an expert, I quickly learned) and plenty of space for deck chairs; and the top deck housed the entrance for the three-storey curly (or is that twirly, or swirly?) slide! This was, of course, the highlight of the whole trip and the kids spent hours and hours sliding down it, shooting out into the lake, and then back up to do it again.

With two BBQs on the back deck, dinners were easy and everyone had lots of time to read, relax, play games and enjoy the warm water. Late afternoon, once our cruising was done, we would beach the boat for the night and explore the beautiful shores and cedar forests that line the lake. Wet…wild…smiles all around.

What do you think is the best family vacation? I would love to know your thoughts.


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