Sunday, September 11, 2016

Celebrating the end of summer

Over the weekend, a few friends and myself threw an "end of summer" celebration. The main event? renting a pontoon boat! We found a Groupon deal that was surprisingly affordable for the 2 hour rental. When split amongst 5 people, it was less than we would have paid to sit down for dinner and drinks! I'll take cruising down the Chicago river over sitting at a restaurant any day. 

Captain Heather at your service! 

So it's Captain Heather here with my review of the experience and tips for you if you decide to rent a pontoon as well. First and foremost, pontoons are incredibly easy to drive. I didn't spend much time behind the wheel (I prefer snacking and sipping), but the boys were more than happy to take the lead. Our rental company gave everyone a 5 minute safety and instructional briefing. They do, of course, ask that the driver refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages. 

So where do you take the boat? Up and down the Chicago river! We had just enough time to explore both branches and make it back in our 2 hour rental window. Because the lake has larger wakes, you are only allowed to take the boat on the river. Plus - the sights on the river are better anyways.

While Chris and I didn't go out on the boat for a date, this would be an AWESOME date night. It would be an even better double date so the couples could switch off driving. The boats can hold between 8 and 12 people depending on the rental. Ours was an 8 person boat, and we had 5 people on board total with more than enough room. 

Everyone dressed casual and comfortable, but you could really wear just about anything on a pontoon. For my outfit, I wore a Vineyard Vines shep shirt and Lilly Pulitzer "luxletic" shorts. Not pictured on my feet were comfortable flip flops made by Jack Rogers. 

A big shout out to Greg for being our main driver. Also I love this shot because Julia and Greg look like they were caught in a celebrity sighting. Killin' it. 

You'll notice at the bottom right of the picture above is a full size cooler. I painted this for Chris in college and we use it all the time. It came in super handy for the pontoon trip, though admittedly 5 people don't need a cooler this large for casual drinking. 

The pontoon company asks that you don't bring any glass on board so we made sure to bring plastic cups and no glass bottles. Julia LOVES wine (I prefer beers and ciders myself) so she found some wine "cartons" that were actually pretty good quality. 

We accidentally matched! 

Friends let friends wear loud, patterned shorts

Overall, this was an awesome memory and a great way to celebrate the end of an amazing summer. All 3 ladies on board are teachers in Chicago public schools, so we were truly celebrating our "summer" officially ending as the kids were headed back to school the next week. I'd recommend anyone renting a pontoon in Chicago. When split amongst several people, it is incredibly affordable. The boat was easy to drive, and it was an awesome memory. Who doesn't want to hang out with their friends on a floating living room?!

Until next time...     ;)

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