Peter Lyons

Aug 11, 2012

Family Reunion

Last Friday night I departed for our annual family reunion on my Mom's side of the family. I parked at the RTD McCaslin park and ride, got some dinner at Whole Foods, tried the self-serve froyo place in that shopping center, and caught the bus to DIA. I flew a red eye that landed in Newark at 5 AM. On the plane I coded my first NPM module: writers-digest.

After landing, I hung out and rested in the airport until my cousin Andrew arrived shortly after 8 AM. Uncle Pete picked us up and took us to their house while their three car loads of people assembled and finished packing. I drove with Ed and Emily along small state roads up through northwest New Jersey into Pennsylvania, stopping once for coffee and snacks. We had rented two condos in the Woodlock Springs resort. Dinner Saturday was lasange from Perotti's in Cranford. I ended up sleeping 12 hours Saturday night, I guess due to jet lag plus the red eye.

Sunday afternoon I went for a jog with Mike and Elleree. It was drizzling rain, but Uncle Pete and I went water skiing. The resort runs 3 boats pulling skiers most afternoons between 1 PM and 2:30 PM. Each skiier is given two chances to get up. After what we calculate to be a 14-year hiatus in my water skiing career, I was able to get up on a slalom water ski with no issues on the first try. It was fun to be back out there. We went again on Monday and Wednesday as well. There's a video on facebook available. Thursday it was closed due to thunderstorms and Friday the line was too long and I didn't want to spend all afternoon waiting around in the rain.

After skiing Sunday, I swam around a bit, toured the resort, and had a piña colada. I went out with Kate, Steve, and Will on a scenic pontoon boat tour of the lake. Later some of us were playing a bit of tennis but we got rained off the court. I took a shower and a nap before a dinner of flank steak, quinoa salad, chick pea salad, chicken, and pork. We watched Olympics (women's beach volleyball, mens 400M and 100M finals, gymnastics vault finals) in the evening, as we would do all week.

Monday I had a yummy breakfast sandwich and then we headed out to the tennis courts. Then lunch and another round of water skiing. Afterward I swam in the lake with Elise, Ed, Mike, Mark, and Leslie. We got hot pretzels and beer at the lakeside grill, then Mike and I explored the lodge a bit. We checked out the game room, bunker, night club, and dining halls. Then it was back home to clean up for dinner. Everyone was instructed to wear a white shirt for a family portrait preceeding dinner in the lodge restaurant. The food was fairly terrible, although I ordered and enjoyed the turkey dinner. Others who ordered the tuna or ravioli did not fare so well. Some one accurately noted that Woodloch is essentially a "cruise on land" type of arrangement. Then back home for more volleyball.

Other highlights included our new traditional of dinner cooking teams and competition. Our team was first and we made roast chicken thighs with fennel, roasted beets, brussel sprouts and tofu in an asian sauce, plum wine reduction bruschetta appetizer, and home made brownies with ice cream for dessert. Steve's team made enchiladas and caprese salad. The third team had grilled salmon and risotto. We watched a ton of olympics on TV in the evenings. Will enjoyed hunting around for frogs which were plentiful in the area.

It was, as always, great fun to spend time together as a big, loud, family, and I really like swimming in fresh water lakes. I've got a few more rounds of east coast visits to make this week before flying back home on Wednesday.