The Perfect Escape
Brian owns a financial advisory firm. Charlotte works in that business and is a location consultant. Erika is a freshman at the University of Dallas, where she studies and plays lacrosse. Andrew, a junior in high school, is active in jujitsu, and loves guitars and computers. Brendan is in first grade and loves all sports. He currently plays baseball and is also into jujitsu.
“We all spend time on the water as much as we can. Charlotte and I love to ski, Andrew loves to wakeboard, and the girls love to lie out in the sun. Brendan loves to "drive" the boat (in my lap of course) when I let him. Everyone loves to get behind the boat and enjoy the tubes,” Brian says. The family loves to trailer the boat out to new adventures. Brian will bring a grill on the boat for cooking, the kids play on the wakeboards and tubes, and they all relax in the sun floating along. Brian says they have pretty much hit all the major lakes close to them.
Possum Kingdom Lake and State Park is just an hour west of the DFW Metroplex, offering striking scenery and the clearest of blue water. Swimming, boating, fishing,skiing, scuba diving and snorkeling are the staples of days spent on Possum Kingdom. There are air-conditioned cabins for overnight stays, as well as a variety of camping sites. The fishing is great with bass, catfish and crappie in abundance. The park has a boat launch, fishing pier and fish cleaning station. Possum Kingdom Lake has over 300 miles of shoreline and many scenic coves, and is located between Graham, Mineral Wells, and Breckenridge, three small towns with history and art museums, entertainment, restaurants and more. “We love Possum Kingdom Lake. AquaPalooza was held out there a few times and we always made it a point to tie up with the other Sea Rays. That is a major reason we love Sea Ray and MarineMax... the community that they create with their events."
“We have also frequented Clear Lake in Houston. It opens to Galveston Bay and we have boated from Clear Lake to Texas City Beach and beached our boat there. It was an amazing experience that day. The kids were on a tube in the bay with the Kemah boardwalk in the background. We even had dolphins swim near our boat. We also have been to Port Aransas, Lake Travis, Lake Buchanan, Cedar Creek Lake, Grapevine Lake, Lake Lewisville, and Lake Texoma with our boats,” Brian says.
Brian grew up going to lakes in East Texas and Southwest Arkansas. “Any water within an hour of Texarkana,” he says. Brian was raised with three brothers and a dad who always had a boat the boys could run around with. “He always went with a more inexpensive boat because, unfortunately, we were probably not the easiest on it and it would end up in the shop a lot. When it was working, though, we were on the water whenever we could get out,” he says.
Charlotte didn't get exposed to the boating life until she was in high school, though she went to lakes many times as a child. Her family also took trips to the coast her whole life, so she has always loved the water.
The couple bought their first boat in 2004, an older boat purchased from Charlotte's dad. One year later, they traded it in for their first new purchase.... a 2005 Sea Ray 200 Sundeck, purchased from MarineMax. “Honestly I'm not really sure why we visited MarineMax first, but once we visited the showroom we were blown away. The customer service of the staff at MarineMax and the Sea Ray look was what we wanted as soon as we saw it,” Brian says. The family traveled with the boat in tow to lakes all over North Texas. “We took it down to the coast in Houston, to lakes in Arkansas, as well as out to Lake Powell in Utah. We really enjoy traveling with a boat to new lakes to see what we can experience,” Brian says.
The trip to Lake Powell was one of the family’s biggest adventures. Lake Powell is a reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is a major vacation spot that approximately 2 million people visit every year. Lake Powell is 186 miles long and has 1,960 miles of shoreline, which is longer than the entire west coast of the continental United States. There are 96 major canyons to explore, and an otherworldly naturescape of rock formations and blue water. With its sandstone canyons, Lake Powell is considered by many to be among the most beautiful lakes in the world. “We loaded up with all the supplies necessary for four days of camping on the shores of the lake back in 2007. It was hot since it was in the summer, but we loved that experience. This summer we are going back (but enjoying the convenience of a house boat), and you bet we will be pulling our Sea Ray out there with us.”
The Keever’s home lake is Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie, Texas. “It is about 20 minutes away and a great little lake that is easy to get to and easy to find a spot to play on the water,” Brian says.
As their children have grown and their friends became a big part of their lives, one thing became clear. The Keevers needed a bigger boat. They upgraded to the 260 Sundeck back in 2014. “Scott Dolan at MarineMax Dallas in Lewisville was great in helping us find the perfect boat. We have a little quirk in our family regarding our vehicles....we love the color red. All of our vehicles are red. We pulled our 200 Sundeck with a fire red F-150 so we had to have a matching boat. We now have a fire red F-250 so the Sundeck had to match. It took quite a bit of looking but we found a boat in New Jersey and Scott started the process to get it to us without any hesitation,” Brian says.
The family loves the 260, which offers lots of room but is still "trailerable." Last year was not the best for boating in North Texas with a great deal of rain and flooding, but the family is looking forward to full lakes and plenty of sunshine in 2016.