Thursday, June 3, 2010

PA Revisited

Just wrapped up the 2nd annual Kickoff to Summer Pennsylvania Vacation. Britta and Tom are wonderful hosts and once again Will and I had a great time. The high lights of the trip.

~ This was my second time taking Will on a flight and on all 4 legs we have lucked out and sat by very nice men. Going out we were seated next to a sweet old guy who had the most awesome socks. I was trying to figure out if I could sneak a photo but decided against it. They were purple, blue, yellow and green checkerboard. Sweet. On his visit to Utah he discovered salt water taffy for the first time and loved it. He gave us candy. I felt like I was 4. In a good way.

The bad part of the flight? The descent into Philly. I was in the beginning stages of a cold (because I can't go on vacation without being sick) and my ears wouldn't pop. If anyone was looking at me they probably thought I was having a seizure. For about 5 mins I couldn't sit still and just sat rocking back and forth covering my ears wanting to scream so badly. That was the longest 5 mins of my life.

~ Thursday we ventured down to Baltimore to check out the train museum. First stop lunch on the harbor. Cheesecake Factory time. Exhibit 1 of why I gained weight on vacation.

If you look just past the tower of whip cream you will see a second tower. Not sure why Britta and I were thinking we needed two orders. I'm gonna blame the heat. We did not. It was very, very tasty though. And my streak continues. I have yet to eat cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.

Sadly driving to the train museum we were not able to stop at the Weight Lifting Museum, Dentistry Museum or Irish Shrine Museum. Maybe next time. A specific highlight of our car rides though was Ella singing along to the Glee soundtrack aunt M gave her. You have not seen adorable until you see her made up moves to Gold Digger. Hopefully Britta will be able to get them on film sometime.

On to the trains. I learned some interesting history about the railroad, did you know that the US time zones were created because the trains needed a uniform time for schedules and safety on the tracks? Before then noon was when the sun was straight ahead and that was the only "time" that the US followed. And that the mail used to be picked up by train on these cool hook systems where a large hook would grab the bags of mail along the route, no stopping required.

There are many old trains that you can walk around, and a few that you can climb in, a fav for the kids. There is also one car that has a large miniature town in it. When we left that section Will looked up at me and said, "Mom, I'm so happy right now." That was worth the whole trip.

Posing in front of one of the largest engines ever made

Playing pretend in the caboose. Will wanted everyone to talk in army voices. Ella doesn't know any army voices.

~ Friday it was on to Green Dragon, a unique mix of flea market and amish farmers market.

I wish I bought my food from somewhere this beautiful.

I did end up with some yummy jerky to bring home. This was one of my favorite booths. One stop shopping, tools and apples.

Ahhh...memories...if I could have thought of a way to get you on the plane, you would have been mine.

~ Saturday we headed down to the river for the city arts festival. Exhibit 2 on why I gained weight on vacation.

Many, many booths of local art. Although a restless child and limited wallet shortened the stroll I still walked away with several pieces. A few I can't talk about yet, but I have several small prints I'm excited about framing and displaying in my bedroom. Along with the art booths there was a stage where local bands were performing throughout the day. Again if not for the whining toddler I would have loved to stay and see a few more perform. But at least I didn't miss out on the crazy lady dancing in front of the crowd. As someone behind me said, Well it is an arts festival.

~ Sunday we had a great dinner at home and I got to meet the Cincotta's, Britta and Tom's new friends. They have a wonderful family and 4 sweet boys and I've heard so much about them it was a lot of fun to finally meet. Too bad I didn't think of getting the camera out.

~ Monday the kids got loaded up for the first topless ride in the jeep. Destination park.

After a short visit the heat chased us back home for some fun in the sprinkler. Sophie is ready to see what this is all about.

Or maybe not.

But the other kids had fun.

Break time. Maybe a chance to get a group calendar photo?

Maybe not. For dinner we went over the Cincotta's house and I left with a coveted handmade gift from the talented Enoch. Again no photos, but had a great time hanging out with all their kids and playing a round of Clue. Had a small rainstorm while inside eating dinner. My one regret for the trip is that I didn't get to sit in the porch room during a rainstorm. Sad.

~ Wednesday was time to go home but not before spending the day in Philly at the Please Touch children's museum. Will has already requested to revisit this museum along with the train one. A great interactive play area for kids that had them entertained for hours.

Lots of cars to fix and ride in

Lost a piece in there, and got stuck

Maneuvering a front end loader (fuzzy shot, but come on, that face!)

Time to move on to some grocery shopping.

And a friendly checker to ring you up

Order up!

A quick check up

Water fun

And a final attempt at a group shot

The museum was definitely a highlight of the trip and will be revisited. The flight back though sad, was much less painful. Other than listening for 2 hours straight to a very loud new jersey accent trying to convince the guy next to her that he needed to ask his girlfriend to marry him. And why he couldn't go less than 1.5 carats on the ring. Another very nice guy sitting next to us that when Will whined that he really wanted to sit next to the window, traded us.

Another great vacation and start to the summer. I would love to end up in PA sometime in the fall to see the leaves, but I definitely think a few more summers to come will be spent there. Thanks again to the Schroeders. Love you guys!

more photos on flickr...


Swede_Lady said...

The museum in Philly is being added to my list of places to go when Lucia and I visit. I love the pic of Will getting stuck in the car. Miss that little guy!

Lori said...

Holy cow, they're all getting so big! I can't wait to hit PA again too. Such a great way to start your summer!

Wade The Rascal said...

I bet all of Will's friends get tired of hearing him say, "I have the coolest mommie in the whole wide world!" Kari, that boy is so lucky to have you; He's having the greatest experiences, stuff I couldn't have even dreamed of as a kid. I love the pics. So much fun; so much to do in PA. I really have to try it sometime. And greetings to your amazing sisters!

Marty Wombacher said...

Great photos and I'm glad you had a fun vacation once you landed! That Philly cheesesteak sandwich looks amazing! I want to go there and try one. Thanks for taking us along on your vacation, this was a fun post to read and look at.

Britta said...

What about what a cool aunt he has, Wade? I mean - I live in Amish country - how much cooler can you get?!

We had a blast, Kari - you'll definitely have to come in the fall sometime though - we'll drive out to Pittsburgh for a tour of the foliage.

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