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I hinted last week that I’d come with lots of fun pics from our trip to Alabama, and I stuck to my word. Please forgive me for making this a long post, sometimes it’s hard to restrain myself.

Lake Martin in Alabama is one of our favorite annual trips – there is so much to do, to see, to drink, and to laugh about together as a family. When you marry someone, you marry their family, and I’m so fortunate that I found a group of people who are so incredibly fun-loving and warm-spirited.

It’s trains, planes and automobiles to get to Alabama every year….

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….but to fend of the relentless “are we there yet” questions, I just remind the kids that their favorite long-haired cats are waiting for them.

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For them, Alabama is about cat love. For me, it’s everything else…

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…including getting to nuzzle with my little niece who I only get to see a few times per year.

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(and just to clarify, that yoga move back there? I can’t get within 6 inches of touching my toes, that’s my inspiring sister-in-law who managed to pull off a head stand on the board when I wasn’t looking…)

Aside from the cats, the jet skis are a big draw. They’re a novelty for us, and the kids (naturally) get to drive…

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But the main event is the wakesurfing. It’s a family tradition, even more so than when we’re at home on Greenwood Lake.

Our extended family started their kids early, and we spend a few hours each day doing this kind of thing…

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I’m getting used to the water sports thing, but I’m still not as skilled as the under-10 set.

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Sometimes we don’t make the best decisions. Margs on the dock….

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…can lead to this kind of behavior which is all fun and games until you end up in the lake, fully-clothed, looking for your glass of wine, shamefully admitting defeat.

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At least there were several other volunteers for clothing-on wakesurfing, which I suppose is better than clothing-off, which probably happens somewhere in a parallel universe. We’re not ready to go there yet but with this crew, it’s always a possibility.

Lake Martin is such an immense body of water that you spend a lot of time on the boat driving from one location to the next. One place we visit is the cousins of my in-laws who host us for an annual volleyball game / white wine drink-a-thon.

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There, gauntlets are thrown, games are won and lost, and we vow to take our opponents down the following year. Heading back to our home base is always sweet; there’s time to lick our wounds, nurse sore muscles and and enjoy some of Lake Martin’s stellar sunsets.

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This one particularly enjoys the ride home…

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This year we visited a place called goat island where swung off a rope swing, docked the boat, and had a fun afternoon of quiet beach time…

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….until the volleyball crew showed up with their signature case of white wine.

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One talent show later, and a last supper of surf & turf, it was time to hit the sack, wake up early, and start the long journey home.

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Until next year Alabama, you’ll be missed….

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