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. 


Sick of Christmas Vacation


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.



Happy New Year from Nebraska

The Fry Lodge Christmas Vacation continues from frigid Omaha, Nebraska. We have been reminded just how cold it can get in winter – The thermometer read 0 degrees when we woke up this morning. Luckily we have family to keep us warm. Tonight we enjoyed fondue with Paul, Leah, Charlie and Lauren, followed by Rockin New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Ruby stayed up just long enough to watch Taylor Swift perform from Times Square. Henry didn’t last much longer. Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful.


Red Christmas

The Fry Family Quartet spent Christmas in Omaha, Nebraska this year. It’s been so nice to spend the holidays at Jim and Mary Kay’s house. With all their cousins under one roof, Henry and Ruby have been in kid heaven. We’ll have even more family gathered today, as we expect many Cornhuskers to stop by to watch Nebraska take on USC in the Holiday Bowl. Go Big Red.


We got this

As we were on our 5th hour of driving today, Henry said: “You were right, Dad, it was a good idea to drive to New York. ” Apparently, he had been skeptical of our little road trip until today. Henry has good reason to be a convert. He has seen some amazingly beautiful country over the last 5 days – from the lush waterfalls of Washington, to the rocky canyons of Wyoming and the rolling corn fields of Nebraska. We did 400 miles today, and we’ll do more than that tomorrow as we head to Mahoney State Park outside of Omaha.


Sometimes the scenery isn’t enough to pass the time, so I’ve broken out Fry Lodge Quiz Show: Road Trip Edition for the kids to compete from the back seat.

Q. How many states have we driven through so far? A. Five

Q. What state was the rodeo announcer from? A. Idaho

Q. What color wine does Grandma Fry drink? A. White.  Q. Grandma Eiting? A. Red.

3000 miles, we got this.