Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good Times at Bow Lake

We were invited to the Davis Schueller Company Picnic this past weekend by our friends Ken and Danette Schueller. They are THE most gracious hosts (i.e. ~ They throw an awesome party!) This is an aerial shot of Bow Lake. It is a privately owned ski lake about 45 minutes north of our house. We used to have to drive hours and hours to get to anyplace like this back home. After getting the trailer all set up for the weekend, the kids took off exploring. There was absolutely no shortage of activities to occupy their time this weekend! First stop was the trampoline. There was a ski rope attached to the adjacent building for practicing wicked tricks to try out on the lake. Abby was reunited with strapping hottie Jake. There must have been 15 dogs roaming around the picnic. Just picture about 5 labradors, shi tzu princess Maisie, a dachshund, two unbelievably gorgeous greyhounds, a pug, a malamute, a German shepherd pup, a curly poodle-y pup....and Bob. Bob is a Jack Russell terrier who lives at Bow Lake. Bob has some...uhhh...interesting and funny "behaviors" that kept us all cracking up and shaking our heads. But since Bob lives there, he can do anything he darn well pleases...it's his turf! So, what did we do all weekend: After arriving Friday afternoon, we putzed around getting set up and chatting. We brought fish taco fixin's for dinner and ended up with people lined up for a taste of Dano's famous Mexican grub. Too much fun...we love to feed people! I don't have any good photos to share of Friday because I had a margarita in my hand instead of a camera pretty much the entire time! Sorry 'bout that! The truth hurts...and so did my head on Saturday morning. Oooh...tequila/amaretto hangover. Sigh. First up Saturday: the Golf Shoes tournament. How much fun is this game? It is basically two golf balls connected with a thin rope. You toss them at the pole set-up and get points based on where they stay. Danny and I got a tough first round draw against Ken and Danette. Needless to say, we were way outmatched! Brian and Ryan had a great match against Greg and his wife. They ended up coming back with some clutch throws to tie the match. The tie-breaker did not go their way though. Hayley and Kortney also lost their first round match. It doesn't matter though...this game is fun and addictive! Next up: Helicopter Rides. So, how lucky are we? This little beauty took people on ride after ride all day long. None of our family had ever done this before so it was pretty exciting. Dan and I were together and I must admit, I got a wee bit scared, especially when the pilot banked to the right. People, THERE IS NO DOOR!!! Brian and Ryan went up together and Hayley went up with her friend Kortney (who I hear is afraid of heights, so big....no, enormous props to her because below is a little peek at the experience.) Warning: Josie Grandma ~ LOOK AWAY! SKIP THIS PHOTO! YOU WILL THANK ME! Unnerving, yes. But would I do it again? In a heartbeat! We could see all the way over the Sound and the San Juan Islands and beyond. Breathtaking. Next up: Wakeboarding! Hayley and Brian had never wakeboarded before, so the awesome Bow Lake instructors worked their magic and both kids were whizzing around the lake! They even navigated the island turns at both ends of the lake. That is Brian above.

And this is Hayley. I think she changed her birthday wish list from a car (ha!) to a boat! (haha!) And a pink and white wakeboard! The girl is hooked!

Then there was a BBQ dinner. Smoked chicken, sausage and ribs with all the sides you can imagine (including Danette's incomparable noodle salad!) Again, no pictures...we were too busy eating! After dinner, Ken raffled off an incredible amount of door prizes. Generosity is his middle name. Every kid walked away with a goodie satchel full of fun stuff. Our number was drawn for the margarita machine and assorted goodies to go with! Party at our house...who's in??

Then, there was a dessert competition. I made the one thing in my arsenal that never fails. This yummy has been a staple at the Rydin family holiday table as long as I can remember: Double Cream Cheesecake with Oreo Crust. We found the most sublime fresh berries and then God smiled on my cheesecake: for the first time ever, it didn't crack on top! Maybe it was a sign, because the cheesecake took First Place in the competition. And I almost didn't get a picture...while I was cutting it, another gal asked if I'd taken a picture. Ooops. Second place went to the amazing fresh strawberry pie right behind the cheesecake. The crust combined with the berries: Lawsie mercy...that was yummy!

Later that evening, while Dan took the boys to the Speedway for the races, I was off to the nearby casino in a tricked out Limo-Bus! I did make a donation at the slots (why do I even bother with them?) and then spent the next few hours parked at my favorite table: Roulette! The first three numbers after I sat down were all direct hits for me! I had so much fun, got ahead, never got behind, but ended up walking away with my initial buy-in, so it was all good! Sunday morning, breakfast! This is our host, Ken. He is amazing. I say this because we were all on the same limo ride back home at around 2:00 am and yet, here he was, up bright and early making a huge feast for everyone.

After packing up the rigs to head home, the kids ended up back in the water behind the boat. I worked on my sunburn a little more. After a wild boat ride around the lake, all the kids jumped in the water and pretty soon, everyone ended up sliding around on the ski jump ramp. A perfect end to an amazing weekend. Ken and Danette, thank you again for inviting us to the picnic! We are truly blessed to have you in our lives!


Josie Gramma said...

WOW!!! What a fabulous weekend you guys had!
You are absolutly right -- hanging on an edge is not my style, I like an enclosed helicopter ride.
Congraulations on the first prize in the desert contest -- The old 1984 Food and Wine double cream cheesecake with oreo crust came through again.

Laura and Corey said...

im exhausted just looking at the pictures of your weekend!

Julie said...

Wow! What a weekend!