I am often on the look-out for a reason to gather our friends for a little par-tay, and when I realized that my birthday, Shane’s birthday, and our good friend La Verne’s birthday all fell within just a couple of weeks of each other, the scheming began.  Shane and I were into the idea of a little celebratory getaway with the gang, and when we casually mentioned the idea to Jack and La V, they nodded their heads, their eyes got bright, and I knew:  this would be good.  Very good.

We all started scouring the internet for ideal party-house rentals, and Jack stumbled upon a sweeeeet water-front home on Whidbey Island with ample room for all of us.  Thus, Schnell-La-Palooza was officially booked!  And after much anticipation, we all boarded the ferry on Friday afternoon, ready for a weekend of eating, game-playing, hot-tubbing, and generally livin’ it up.  I will admit, I feared that the house might not live up to our high expectations, but I was wrong to worry – nestled into the woods, perched just above what felt like a private stretch of beach, it was perfect.

The entire weekend was fabulously chill, as we strolled on the beach, soaked in the hot tub, and got some serious mileage out of La Verne’s new X-Box Kinect (imagine Dance Dance Revolution meets Nintendo Wii, then triple the awesome-ness).  There were times when I enjoyed the quiet of curling up in the sun-room and reading Harry Potter, and there were times when all 14 of us sat around the dining room table together and laughed hysterically.  It felt very much like being on a family vacation – we were all free to do our own thing (a tree pose on the beach, in Shane’s instance), but at the end of the day, we all really wanted to share a meal together and just enjoy each other’s company.

Shane, Jordan, and Bees did a little beach-combing, and came back to the house with a dead jellyfish and a piece of driftwood shaped like a Moses staff.  One ocean’s trash is another man’s treasure, I guess…

The hot tub was a favorite hang-out for a few of us.  102-degree water with a view of the ocean and a beer in hand – life does not get much better…

I think La Verne took the X-box prize as dancer with the most style.  Jason took the prize for ‘most animated’.

When Jack mentioned that he had something special in mind for our birthday dinner, he wasn’t joking – hand-made pasta, topped with a perfect ragu (imagine little strands of heaven wrapped around a fork…).

After our perfect meal on Saturday night, we sat at the table for another couple of hours, playing a rousing game of True Colors, where we pinned people with title’s such as ‘best character for a scorchy romance novel’.  It’s been awhile since I’ve laughed so hard for so long.

We awoke to rainy skies on Sunday morning, which I suppose was appropriate, as I was seriously bummed to be packing up our things and bidding farewell to our cabin in the woods.  **Sigh.**

And so…Schnell-La-Palooza (dare I call it the first annual???) came to a close…  As if the weather gods knew I needed cheering up, the clouds parted as we crossed Deception Pass, giving us one final, beautiful view of the island.


  1. Brian and Nicole says:

    Oh man, so beautiful! I want in on who was labeled what, like who was labeled best character for a scorch romance novel’!
    Nicole 🙂

  2. Schnell-La-Paloooooooooza! « musings of a mellocello says:

    […] For another perspective on this weekend, check out Kelly’s blog! […]