All Systems Go

We’ve completely changed things up at Fry Lodge this summer – particularly with respect to Fry Lodge on the go. Motorhome: gone. Minivan: gone. In their place: an Airstream trailer and a big red truck for hauling it.

In advance of our first long trip with the new set up, Ruby, Kristine and I did a quick overnight shakedown cruise to Fidalgo Bay RV Resort, while Henry attended a friend’s birthday party sleepover.

Pulling the trailer was no problem, with the help of our Race Red F150 3.6 liter V6 Ecoboost. I’m glad I got lots of practice maneuvering our little boat trailer last summer. I still need practice.

Even though it was a quick trip, Kristine, Ruby and I got in a bike ride this morning. We rode into Anacortes for a delicious breakfast at Dad’s Diner. On the ride along the water, Ruby remarked on the beautiful scenery, saying the only improvement would be the removal of the big refinery that kind of marred the landscape.

All systems go on the Airstream, though. New batteries – check. Tire pressure – check. Propane for hot water – check. Graywater protocol – check check. Can’t wait for our trip to Kelowna with the full Fry Family Quartet.

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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.

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)

Comin’ down the mountain

Henry returned from Mountain School a bit more independent than when he left. As expected, he learned about how to identify different types of trees and facts about Diablo Dam, which held the title of World’s highest dam for one week. Henry also learned he’s fully capable of taking care of himself. While at Mountain School, he was expected to get himself up, make his own breakfast and lunch and bathe as he saw fit – all things that we as parents are in the habit of either doing for him or constantly nagging him to do. One of my favorite stories from Henry was about how he was the only one in his dorm room who knew how to put sheets on his bed. He also got up early one morning to shower before the day started (the only one to do so). I had to ask: “Who are you and what have you done with Henry?”

Very happy to have H-man back at Fry Lodge. Hoping some of these new habits stick.

Comin’ down the mountain

One of many children 

Mountain School 

Henry left for three days of Mountain School this morning. Every year, his elementary school takes the fifth grade class to the North Cascades Institute for a few days to learn about the ecosystems and cultural history of the mountains. On this day in particular, I’m glad he will be screen free. Can’t wait to hear his stories when he returns.

The Fry Side 

We spent the last full week of summer in North Idaho, home to many Fry side relatives and venue for the 2017 Fry Family Reunion. Unlike the Eitings and Watsons, who gather their extended family annually, the Frys only manage to get together every several years. And that’s probably a good thing. 

Brother Mike hosted the extended Fry clan at Priest Lake this past weekend. Four generations of descendents of Margaret and Carl Fry Sr. gathered at Mike’s place, which is only a few hundred yards away from the spot where Carl, Marge and their young family built a rustic cabin on the beach in the 1940s. So many Frys have made so many memories there. And, I’m sure more than a few were conceived in that old cabin. Frys, we’re like salmon returning to Priest Lake to spawn. 

It was a great way to end the summer. I spent quality time with each parent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew. Henry and Ruby got acquainted with their North Idaho cousins. And my mom and I finally had our potato salad face off. 

Fry family reunions are… rare events. Fittingly, as we drove home across Washington state today, the sky dimmed as the moon totally obscured the sun for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Once upon a time there was light in my life. But now there’s only love in the dark. Nothing I can say.  A total eclipse of the heart.

Almost Home 

After 4000 miles, 12 campsites, 7 states, 3 provinces, 2 rodeos, 100s of bison and probably 3 gallons of ice cream, our 2017 summer RV trip is almost complete. Currently in Winthrop, our last stop, only one mountain pass and a 3-hour drive stands between us and our own beds. 

We sped through the Big Sky state so we could have a nice 2-day visit in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Grandma and Grandpa Fry hosted us for a much needed pit stop. We had Grandpa’s famous ribs, Grandma’s delicious scones, and, of course, more ice cream. 

Having spent the past three weeks driving through forests, grasslands and corn fields, it was nice to spend some time on the water. This weekend we took two boat rides on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. Grandpa gave the kids driving lessons, which made the excursions pretty interesting. 

We packed a lot into three weeks. Though we’re happy to get back to Fry Lodge, some of us are already planning the next road trip. And ice cream cone.