Pacific Northwest Show-offs

One of the great things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that it’s easy to show off for visitors. The Fry Family Quartet took Jim and Mary Kay to Victoria, BC to kick off their visit this weekend.

Any place that offers water taxis as a standard mode of transportation is going to be fun. That’s how we got to dinner most nights in Victoria.

On Saturday we checked out the lovely Butchart Gardens, which never disappoints.

Sunday, before having tea at the Empress, we watched the water taxis perform a choreographed ballet in Victoria Harbour.

For lodging, we stayed at the guest houses attached to Spinnakers, the oldest brewpub in Canada.

We’ve set the bar pretty high for the next few weeks.

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Happy New Year from Fry Lodge

The Fry Lodge Year-in-Review video is a good opportunity to reflect on an entire year of adventure, change and growth for the Fry Family. 2017 was quite a year. We made some nice friends in Bellingham, traveled all around North America… again, and [re]learned several skills, including snow skiing at the end of the year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful!

2017 Fry Lodge Year-in-Review | soundtrack by B.E.R. (The Night Begins to Shine)

Nebraska 

On Sunday, we wrapped up another four-day Eiting/Watson reunion at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park outside of Omaha, Nebraska. The last day of the reunion is always the hardest. Not only do you have to say goodbye to loved ones you won’t see for a while, you have to pack up the compound – usually in sweltering heat, working on too little sleep. As the morning goes on and the mercury rises, hugs are given and families peel off to catch planes. 

The reunion, as always, was a big success. This year we celebrated Jim’s 70th birthday and retirement. Meat was prepared.  

The cousins, after a several year hiatus, picked up where they left off. It was great to see the kids together again. Upon arriving in Omaha, I put them to work scraping dead bugs off the RV. 

The 100+ degree heat made daily trips to the swimming pool mandatory. The kids are now big enough to go down the water slides themselves. I still needed somebody to hold my hand in the wave pool, but I managed to few dives off the diving board.

I got some quality time with my good friend and brother-in-law, B.E., as we took a few long bike rides through the corn fields. That, besides trying not to drown in the wave pool, was the extent of my physical activity at Mahoney, unless you count the constant 12-ounce curls of La Croix.  

Jim and Mary Kay with all eight grandkids 

The Eiting and Watson clan’s dedication to family is inspiring.  These days it’s rare to see such large families, spread all over the U.S., commit to an annual reunion, not to mention travel to every cousin’s wedding. In other words, this family loves to party. 

The Fry Family Quartet was sad to say goodbye, yet excited for the week-long journey home that is in front of us. Sunday, after leaving Mahoney, we camped on the shores of the Merritt Reservoir in the sand hills of Nebraska. Tonight: Devils Tower in Wyoming. 

Home for the Holidays

The Fry Family Quartet spent the entire holiday season in the Pacific Northwest – most of it on Lopez Island. This was a welcome, relaxing shift from previous years, when we found ourselves traveling long distances either right before or right after Christmas. We were lucky to have a great visit from Jim and Mary Kay, who themselves traveled long distances right before and after Christmas. The past two weeks have been full of great memories for everybody: cutting down our Lopez-grown tree, making our own ornaments, Jim’s first crabbing adventure, many amazing meals, seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Cinerama, quality time with friends, and our hike to the top of Lopez Hill today. 2016 is off to a good start. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Fry Lodge the rest of the year.

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GBR Christmas, Lopez Style

Last Christmas, we went to Nebraska. This year, Nebraska came to us. Jim and Mary Kay arrived on Lopez from Omaha this week, and Christmas Eve has been a nice tour de Lopez for them so far. Center Church for Christmas Mass, Lopez Coffee Shop for holiday cheer, Jones Family Shellfish Farm for oysters and clams. Horse Drawn Farm for greens. And our Mud Bay back yard for Dungeness crab.

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This was Jim’s first crabbing experience. We’re hopeful for a few keepers on Christmas day.

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We spent the afternoon playing Monopoly while the fire burned, the clams steamed and the crab chilled. Family, fun and food – we could not ask for a better Christmas. Go Big Red, Lopez style.

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Sick of Christmas Vacation

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Our two weeks in Nebraska have truly been wonderful. Jim and Mary Kay have been amazing hosts, and Henry and Ruby have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with their grandparents and all of their cousins. We made many great memories this Christmas Vacation. Though I don’t consider this to be the defining story of our break, we will probably always remember this as the trip that began and ended with vomit. The night before we left for Nebraska, Ruby vomited in bed. Miraculously, we flew across the country without incident.  Then, in the middle of our first night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Henry vomited in his sleep. All over his sister, who screamed bloody murder after such a rude awakening. Both recovered quickly, and we’ve had a nice vacation. We are scheduled to fly home in the morning. And so, like clockwork, Henry vomited multiple times tonight. Ruby has so far been spared. I wish I could say the same for Jim and Mary Kay’s carpets.

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