This week, I was lucky enough to host my WI family for some “PA summer fun” family vacation time. This has been a trip a long time in the making – from the first possibilities of me moving to PA we talked of them coming to visit. This was one of the first things written on my fridge calendar back in January and as the months progressed we added possible fun times to our itinerary.
Last Friday, the kids had a half day of school to end their school year. Once school was out, they piled into the van and were off… Over the river into the UP – across the Mackinac Bridge – and through the Ohio & Pennsylvania Turnpikes to “Miss Amy’s House” they came.
Text messages and phone calls on Friday & Saturday provided a glimpse into the excited van as they made their way here. By the time the kids were pounding on my front door on Saturday evening we all were more than ready for days of fun, fun, fun!
Sunday is for Civil War! After brunch that included an introduction to Pork Roll & Scrapple, we headed to New Jersey for the afternoon. (Add another one to the visited states list, kids!) Our goal was to see an annual Civil War reenactment – we arrived just as the battle was starting. In addition to seeing the battle, we toured the encampment and learned quite a bit about the rifles and combat methods used during the war. To recharge from the hot and sunny outing, we stopped at a drive in for ice cream & floats. After a fun afternoon “out” we returned home for our “Sunday supper” routine that began during my Marinette days – after cooking many meals in their kitchen it was fun to cook with them in mine. Supper gave way to a lazy evening enjoying just being back together.
Monday is for Amish Country! Once we were all up & fed, it was time to load into the van and head west towards Lancaster County. It is definitely a favorite day trip spot for me – so of course we would go there. As we started sharing the road with buggies, the boys were responsible for keeping count of how many we saw throughout the day. Our day was filled with shopping both at Kitchen Kettle Village and other favorite stores; sampling many tasty jams, salsa, mustards & more; tasty family style lunch at Good & Plenty Restaurant; just exploring the countryside. As rain started to move in late in the afternoon we searched out 2 covered bridges in the area – one to drive through and one to walk around.
Tuesday is for Cheese Steaks, Coloring & Baseball! I went into the office for a few hours in the morning while the kids enjoyed some splash time at their hotel pool. At lunchtime, we headed out with an itinerary to take us a bit north. First up was another local taste – delicious cheese steaks. Then, a beautiful drive along the Delaware River took us to Easton, PA and the Crayola Experience.
The Crayola Experience was a hit with all of us – we could probably have spent twice as much time there. Each of the kids has a creative streak & this was a perfect place for all of us to channel our inner artist as we worked our way through the various art stations. We named our own crayons, made markers, created digital art, colored pictures, captured “family selfies” into coloring pages and all around had a fun time.
After a couple hours in color wonder, it was time to head a bit west to see some baseball. Our seats in “The Bacon Strip” in the far right outfield made for an excellent place to cheer on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in a minor league game. It was a beautiful night for baseball – we were lucky that rain in the area did not come to the ballpark & impact the game.
Wednesday ended up being for an unexpected early departure due to a family need back in WI. While we were all sad as they drove away from my place in the early morning hours, we were so thankful for the time that we had together here. From the fun adventures to the simple hangout times at my place and everything in between, we filled the days with many great memories!