Half-way through Summer ’17, and it’s already going down in my book as one of the best ever. The reason? Because this summer, more than last year and the year before, I’ve found myself spending tons of time on the water. From this unforgettable day at sea with the team to an afternoon on the Mediterranean with family, I’ve been lucky enough to push off for a few meditative hours at sea more than once.

When my friends Beth and Chad invited us to spend the weekend at their lake house in Horseshoe Bay, TX, I thought to myself, What better way to keep honoring the summer’s nautical theme? We packed up our swimsuits, sunscreen and towels, and drove just an hour west of town to enjoy a boating-filled weekend that felt like it was a world away. And lucky for us, Discover Boating partnered with us just in time to inspire and educate us on all things boating right before the weekend. Keep reading for all the fun-filled details…

The Stephenson house sits at the end of a picturesque canal, and most of the homes surrounding it are covered in ivy. Dreamy.

Cause everything looks better covered in climbing vines, right?

My absolute obsession this summer: this woven recycled plastic beach tote. It holds a ton and is virtually indestructible, and these days, I can’t get enough of all things orange.

Shop more of our favorite woven bags of the season by clicking here, and find a similar cover-up here.

To me, nothing says “vacation home” like saltillo tile. The terra cotta squares covered the entire ground floor of the Stephenson house, transporting me to past beach and lake getaways.

Perhaps the best thing about a weekend on the water is the laid back packing list. Bathing suits with cover-ups and flip flops were the norm from morning until bed time, and since this trip was right around July 4th, we made sure to pack tons of red, white and blue.

Shop Julie’s striped cover-upBeth’s floral one-piece and Annie’s chic black swimsuit.

Everything’s better when there’s a puppy around, and this weekend was no exception. Meet Ollie — an 8-week old pointing griffin and the latest addition to the family. This was his first boat outing ever and he took to it instantly.

The guys loaded up the cooler with enough sustenance to get us through a few hours on the water.

And then, with Chad as our fearless captain, we were off! As soon as we pulled out of the canal and onto the calm waters of Lake LBJ, we slipped into long-weekend-mode.

Clear skies and good music. The day was already off to a great start.

Annie kicked up her feet and leaned her head back to enjoy the soothing rock of the water.

We marveled at some of the beautiful homes on the edge of the lake, sparking a heated hypothetical debate over which we’d each choose for ourselves.

This one’s charming facade and manicured lawn caught my eye.

We pulled up to the sandbar to find other fellow boaters, anchored and enjoying the shallow lake water.

This cover-up is my absolute favorite for long weekends in the Hill Country. It reads Greetings from Texas, The Lone Star State and has a retro souvenir-shop vibe that — let’s face it — would be questionable in any other context!

Chad impressed us all with his daredevil diving.

Once we hit the water, it seemed we lost all track of time. Had it been 30 minutes or 2 hours? It’s easy to live completely in the moment when you’re bobbing around with your best friends.

Amidst wedding planning, lovebirds Annie and Andrew relished in a few uninterrupted moments of peace and quiet.

Later that evening, we took the boat out once again for a sunset cruise. We anchored just outside of Horseshoe Bay Resort, close enough to enjoy the concert that was taking place there.

Nothing is as nourishing to the soul as watching the sun set on the lake. It made for the perfect post-dinner activity, and was a fantastic way to close out a memorable weekend.

With a boat, all you need are a few hours to recharge and escape the everyday. Visit Discover Boating to plan your next outing on the water!

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Chanel Dror