Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vacation....part 2

Our gracious hosts....

I realized the other day when I posted about our trip.... that I didn't have a good picture of who we went to visit. So here they are Chris, Ashley, & Ava. Chris and Donovan went to Hesston College together. They were so kind to us to let us be at their home for 3 nights. Ava did an amazing job of sharing her toys and her parents. I can't imagine what was going through her cute little head. "Mama, when are all these people gonna leave?" Or maybe...."Those kids sure do make a lot of noise!"

Day 3= Saturday.

On Saturday morning we rented boats at a nearby reservoir.

In theory this sounds like a really great idea, and a fun-kid friendly activity. But add in the factor of the "3 to a boat" rule, and having 2 small toddlers that didn't want to wear life jackets in the warm summer heat.....And you got yourself 2 mamas who were ready to go back in after about 20 minutes of the 2 hour minimum rental time. It didn't help matters that the boats with electric motors went a whoppin' 10 miles per hour. At that rate you need 2 hours to make it off shore.

Maybe we'll try it about 14 years.

I believe this was a thumbs up to head back into shore.

And Saturday afternoon we had a mini-celebration for Suzanna's 2nd Birthday....She was pretty tickled to have all the attention I think. And I was happy that it was so low-key. In the past I have done pretty big parties for the kids' birthday's and while I enjoy all the celebrating and company....It suits me just great to keep it simple.

Saturday evening we headed over to Ashley's parents house for swimming and a cook-out. I now realize where Ashley got her hosting skills. Her parents were super kind to us, and were so gracious. What a neat family to get to know better. They made us feel so welcome and a part of their family. We enjoyed a delicious meal of corn-on-the cob, hamburgers, and cheesy sausage dogs. The kids were in the pool until 9 p.m. And Jack swam independently for the first time! It was such a confidence boost for him. This morning we had wanted to head to the shore and see the ocean, but it was really overcast. So we took our time with breakfast and getting ready, packed up and headed out.

Here is one of the many stops we made beside the highway today.

We drove for about 1 1/2 hours and stopped off in Hershey, PA.

There was a free tour you could take through part of the factory. The kids really loved it!! It was a good break from being in the car seats. Did you know Milton Hershey who started the company was Mennonite? Amazing!

And here is "sweetness" having a melt down at the Chocolate factory. I think for little 2 year old....we are packing too many things into one week.

No fear....The chocolate we bought fixed the melt down in no time flat.

I was absolutely in awe today of all the beautiful things God has given us to enjoy. I never realized PA has so many beautiful mountains and rolling hills.

We decided to stay over in Pittsburgh for the night. Here we are walking the city for a while on our way to supper. It was fun to see someones creativity on the side of a building.

For dessert we shared a piece of cheesecake.
For a long while it was just so fun to sit and watch all the other kids in the water fountains. Only Isabella asked to go in. We thought we didn't want to mess with 4 wet kids and digging dry clothes out of the back of the van overloaded with suitcases and coolers.
There are so many times I struggle with being "fun". I want to let the kids do something fun...or play with them...but I let things get in the way. Like the wetness, or the mess, the pile of laundry waiting for me, or the time it will take. How terrible if I let this be my theme in life. After struggling with this thought and the fact that we will probably never be in this city again....I asked Donovan what he thought. He was game. Because he is the essence of fun.
Which by the way is what I first fell in love with about him.
And then we asked the kids,
"Wanna get wet?"
Wish I would've got the look on their faces on camera.

Absolute pure joy!

"Mama, Wet!"

Some of the sites as we were looking for a hotel.....

City life sure has some cool free water parks and live music in the park. Entertainment to add another. There were so many people sitting around on the park benches just watching the children faces and they squealed with delight over the water squirting in their faces. Now that is entertaining!!!

Hope I haven't bored all 5 of my readers to death. Just so fun to reminisce.

For now I really should hit the hotel bed. We will be on our way home tomorrow, and I really must have sleep to deal with all the emotions, that I'm sure there will be.


Sherri said...

What fun favorites are the water fountain ones for sure! Glad you broke out of your mold and let the kids get wet...those faces of joy are priceless!

Have a safe trip back!

Kim said...

What a great time Heather! Don't you love the look of shock when you give your kids the answer they least expect?

Jenn said...

How fun! I need a vacation after this weekend. I agree birthday parties are fun, but low-key ones are great too.

I'm sure you have WAY more than 5 readers ;)

Holly said...

Looks like FUN! I am so glad you guys got to take a vacation! Love ya

Cottonista said...

Way to let 'em play! They will remember that for a long time.

cheryl said...

Apparently you have 6 readers b/c I just logged on and you already had 5 comments:) The trip looks like a lot of fun. It's true, God has given us so many things to enjoy. That's why I Love traveling soooo much!

Cindy said...

Hey, why don't you come swimming as soon as you get home. Oh wait, you already did! :) And I got a clean garden out of the deal ... you city slickers you!!!

The 5 Bickies said...

We have been wanting to get to Hershey for the chocolate tour. Might be a day trip in August. Glad you had a great trip to our area!

Anonymous said...

How fun! I've never been to Hershey, Pa. in my life! We travel the world, but some of the beautiful spots in the good ole USA we really need to explore! Thanks for all the information on what you all did!!!!! I'm sure the water will be a highlight that the kids will always remember!