As most of you know, I recently took a trip with my parents to visit my brother who is living in Pennsylvania this summer for an internship. We had such a wonderful time, and I'd love to tell (and show!) you all about it. ☺
We departed on Saturday morning and prepared ourselves for the 17+ hour drive.
|Super-comfy beds and a pool/hot-tub welcomed us in Colombus, OH.|
|We were very excited to see this sign after 2 days in the car!|
We took a trolley tour of the city, and it was very fun and informative. A couple "natives" gave the history of Mr. Hershey and his company in a pretty entertaining format, complete with singing, dancing, and free chocolate.
|Audience participation was a must.|
|The Hershey House|
|The Hershey School (for underprivileged children)|
|In addition to the chocolate factory, there's an amusement and water park, as well as a large arena/entertainment venue.|
|Once upon a time, Q made a seal with a "B" on it - please note the sealing wax securing the washcloths.|
Since Q had to work the first three days we were there, we had ample time to be tourists. On the first day, we went on an Amish Farm and Home tour. This included a tour of an old Amish farm home, a bus tour of the surrounding countryside and farms, and a self-guided tour of an Amish farm property. This was definitely on of the highlights of the trip for me - I'm fascinated by their lifestyle!
|(There was just water in there.)|
|This little guy strangely resembled Charlie the cat...|
|The Amish children (and adults) ride scooters, rather than bicycles, so they can't travel too far.|
Dad took one for a spin.
|Pretty sure the "teacher face" is universal.|
|It was wash day when we were there, so there were clothes hanging everywhere we went, and on the longest clotheslines ever!|
After the tour, we were hoping to eat lunch at an Amish farmer's market, but were disappointed to find out it wasn't open on Mondays. While we were driving to find a new authentic eatery, however, we passed a farm with a couple large tents set up and lots of cars and buggies parked nearby.
|Ribs and potatoes (not pictured: homemade BBQ sauce, coleslaw, roll and butter)|
|Fresh (filled) donuts, fry pie, and "whoopie" pies (Did you know these originated in Amish communities?)|
That evening, Quinton prepared a lovely (and delicious) meal for us and took me on a scenic motorcycle ride.
The next day began with a mission to find my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather's grave site. Guided by my grandma's careful instructions, we found his headstone. We were also able to look inside the church and talk with a long-time member of the congregation. (These pictures are mostly for the sake of those family members reading who might not be able to see it in person.)
From the Muddy Creek Church, we drove to Gettysburg. It was the 150th anniversary of the battle, and we happened to be there on one of the days the battle actually took place. Consequently, the place was packed! Tours were sold out, traffic was crazy, and there were enthusiasts and reenactors everywhere. We took in as much as we could, though - ate at an "authentic" restaurant in a house that still had bullet holes in the bricks, looked around the visitor's center, took a self-guided driving/hiking tour of the battle grounds, and visited the cemetery and site of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
|The movie "Gettysburg" was shot here, and they had some of the costumes and props on display.|
The next morning started with Swedish pancakes for the birthday boy before he headed to work! ☺
Then, we spent the morning and early afternoon walking around downtown Lititz. There was a chocolate factory to tour, a cute park to explore, and some fun shops to peruse.
After Dad went on a motorcycle adventure (per Quinton's prompting), we went to New Holland to get a tour of the plant and building where Q is working. We couldn't take pictures of most things, but I don't know that I'd be able to re-explain all the processes and duties Q shared with us, anyway! He absolutely loves what he's doing there, and it was so cool to hear him tell about it all. Though they do lots more than production at this location, the plant there produces balers...and there were sooo many parked, ready to be shipped and sold!
|We started at the art museum in hopes of seeing it up close before they started setting up the fireworks, but they already had it blocked off, so this was as close as we got to the Rocky steps...oh well!|
|Don't worry - we ate a philly in Philly.|
|Betsy Ross' house|
|Benjamin Franklin's grave|
|Looking pensive in the Quaker meeting house.|
|Quaker meeting house|
|Second Bank of the U.S.|
|The Liberty Bell|
|They rang the bells the day we were there...just like they did on July 4, 1776.|
|This is where George Washington and his family sat! They got a double-wide pew.|
We all slept in a bit the next morning, packed up, and headed back west. We stayed in Indiana on our way back and partook in some White Castle cuisine, then picked up some St. Louis-style pizza for lunch the next day on our way though STL.
I found an app for the "license plate game" on my phone, and we saw all but three states! (I just saw a Vermont plate while driving through downtown Lincoln yesterday - go figure!)
|Documentation of the states we traveled through on this trip.|
Sure hope this finds you well and staying as cool as possible.
(This one took it out of me - I'm fresh out of witty salutations...),
P.S. Holy moly - pretty sure this is my longest post ever. Thanks to those of you who read it in its entirety! Let me know if there's any part of the trip you'd like to hear more about.