Thursday, July 28, 2016

2016 Summer Road Trip - Pennsylvania

Our next stop was a week in Pennsylvania with Grandma and Grandpa. We left Kentucky very early, and despite a long stop to get Mom's sore throat checked out, we made great time. We even got to Grandma and Grandpa's in time to have dinner with them! We ate outside, where it was nice and cool, and Aunt Lauren, Sadie and Uncle Daniel joined us for some great Rocco's food. After that we even had time to jump in a wading pool with Bruiser and then catch some fireflies.

The next day, we met up with our great-grandparents, Mom Mom and Pop at the Famous Hot Wiener. It was really nice seeing them for a nice lunch.

Our next big thing was Saturday, when we went to Pinchot Park and camped on Grandma and Grandpa's RV. It was a really great time. We hiked around, launched jump rockets in a nearby field, caught more fireflies, kayaked, played lots of cards, and played with our new friend Lana and Sadie. We also had the chance to go swimming on a lake beach and make banana boats and s'mores over a campfire. I had a big moment when I enthusiastically washed everyone's dishes one night.

On Sunday, we went back to Grandma and Grandpa's to do laundry and meet up with Mom Mom and Pop and Uncle Ryan's dad for chicken and waffles at a really nice restaurant, the Altland House. Mom was excited to eat one of her old favorites, and to see Pop and Mom Mom again.

For Fourth of July, we went to a party at Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ryan's. We went to Uncle Ryan's cool media room and watched the entire Harry Potter movie. After listening to the story in the car, it was fun to see how they portrayed the characters and compare the differences between the book and the movie.

For dinner, Uncle Ryan made burgers, Aunt Lauren cooked corn on the cob, and Grandma brought watermelon and other yummy side dishes. After dinner, they had a birthday party for me and Sadie with cake, pie and presents! I got a metal detector which was super fun at our beach stop later in our trip. I also got some great books, games and a sling shot. Since it was raining we didn't watch any fireworks, but we did play with sparklers. Uncle Daniel lit a whole pack of sparklers at once, which was very cool and scary at the same time.

Tuesday, we had a fun breakfast with Aunt Lauren, Sadie and Mianna at the York Market. After breakfast and shopping, Mom and Hazel headed to see Aunt Chris and Uncle Larry. They had a nice visit; Mom was very glad to spend some time with them. That evening we went to Tropical Treat with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Lauren, Uncle Ryan, Sadie, Amy and Mianna, and Uncle Daniel. We ate tons of yummy food and ice cream and Turner got to feed a goat.

Our last day in Pennsylvania we visited Gettysburg. It was a blast. When we first arrived, a Park Ranger asked if we wanted to join the kids' army. We signed up and were told to meet outside at 11 a.m. That gave us enough time to go watch the movie and see the cyclorama. Both told the story of the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg. We all asked a lot of very good questions about why they were fighting, and tried to understand why people would fight wars. After the movies were over, we went outside to join the Army. Mom and Dad had to assure us that we wouldn't really be fighting in a real war.

There was an excellent park ranger who brought all of the kids up front, gave us a quick physical and inducted us into the army. He then explained what it would be like to be in the Army during the Civil War. He showed us the uniforms, the food and how to load a rifle. Then we put on our foraging hats, grabbed our rifles and started training. We practiced marching, learning how to turn, about face, and march in line. We practiced loading our rifles and firing, which took nine steps. Finally, we were ready to go to battle. We marched into position and the park ranger asked me to be the lookout scout. I went ahead of the group and called back that the enemy troops were approaching. After that we marched into position behind fence, and used our rifles the way that we had trained. We won the battle and came back to cheers from our adoring families. Finally, the park ranger called up each of us one by one to congratulate us and give us our discharge papers. It was loads of fun.

Turner and Hazel were pretty tired after all of that, so they headed back to the car. Dad and I did a quick run through the museum; I wish we could've spent more time in there - maybe next time. We also never made it to the actual battle field, so that will give us something else to do next time we visit.

That afternoon, we went swimming at Gigi and Uncle Darrell's pool. Aunt Lauren, Sadie and Grandma joined us, and it was a lot of fun. Hazel went down the slide about a million times, and eventually talked Turner into doing it a few times too. It was a blast!

We were sad to leave Pennsylvania, but we left very early the next morning for the very long drive to Atlanta. Listening to the second Harry Potter audiobook, we made very good time. We even had time to drive a bit along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We saw some beautiful scenery, stopped at an Alpaca farm, and had lunch at a Blue Ridge Music Center. We managed to get in to Atlanta in time to have dinner with Bubbe.

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