11.17.2010

Our Travel Adventure: Part 1

View of Hershey, Pennsylvania

Jed is exceptionally well traveled for such a little kid. He’s been entirely across New York State, and has visited Vermont, Montreal, and Quebec City. This last week we added Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Deleware and New Jersey, respectively, to his list. We were only gone five days, but it feels like two weeks!

Bron had a conference to attend in Harrisburg, PA for two days, so Jed and I came along for the ride! We left early Tuesday morning. It was an eight hour drive, but I came prepared with a bag of toys and books with which to entertain the little man. Jed even got to experiment with feeding himself for the first time. Man, we’re getting good at this travel stuff! We have been blessed with an extraordinarily good-natured baby. Jed is a really happy boy. He only fusses when he’s tired, hungry, or frustrated. The entire five days we dealt with only one meltdown.

A first time experience: Chowing down on rice crackers

Because the hotel the conference was in had no vacancy, we stayed in a slightly cheaper adjacent hotel. We lived in the lap of luxury for three nights! Bron booked us a suite with a king size bed and jetted bathtub. We found that if we squirted just a little baby soap into the tub and turned on the jets, we got bubbles two feet deep! Jed had a ball.

My baby boy enjoying a big bed after a warm bubble bath

So while Bron was working hard all day at his conference, Jed and I were free as birds to explore our new surroundings. Our first day, we headed straight to Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, PA just seven miles away. It was hands-down my favorite day! Jed went on his first “ride” (twice) and we “both” got free samples of chocolate. I even took a little chocolate tasting class and became a Master Chocolate Taster. (You really do LISTEN to chocolate!) There was also a humungous gift shop and candy store. I didn’t think I could ever get chocolated-out, but I did. After all that chocolate sampling, I was ready for something with a little substance. Then we toured the Hershey Story museum and learned all about Mr. Hershey, his community, and factory.
Chocolate World!

A little kid in a GIANT candy store!

The next day I drove to Amish Country some thirty miles away. Pennsylvania has such gorgeous countryside! I love the green of the East but miss the openness of the West. Pennsylvania seemed to have a little bit of both: green rolling open fields. And the leaves were still on the trees too! It was very picturesque. I wanted to bottle it all up and bring it home.

Outside of Lancaster, Jed and I stopped at various Amish stores to browse (there was a ton of cute decorative stuff!) and even visited an Amish farm to see some miniature horses. It was fun to see horses and buggies driving down the same road I drove and to see Amish children at play in their schoolyard. For lunch, I decided to eat where the locals typically dine to try to get an accurate feel for the community. There was a twenty minute wait. “All right,” I thought, “this is going to be good!” And good it was! Jed attracts a lot of attention. We had every old lady in the vicinity gathered around to gab about him. I also got to sit at my table near the front of the restaurant and watch people come and go. There were all sorts, including all sorts of Amish. I had a great time just people watching. And the food was pretty good too. (Sorry, no pictures of this because I thought it would be a little disrespectful and just plain kinda weird.)

Some snapshots of Gettysburg in the evening

Late in the afternoon, we picked up Bron and dashed out to Gettysburg before the sun set. Bron loves American history. In fact, he just finished reading the Killer Angels trilogy about the Civil War. Gettysburg was definitely high on his list of places to visit. Upon arrival, the first thing we saw was the Cyclorama: a huge floor to ceiling painting that encircled us and told the story of that great battle. It was something else!  Did I mention that the painting is like REALLY OLD? Then we hurried outside to drive around the park. Bron was anxious to see Little Round Top. It’s a good thing Bron knows so much about history because when we visit these kind of places I’m always full of questions; I’m practically clueless! But I think he likes reiterating the stories and sharing his knowledge with me. That’s why I married him. He knows everything so I don’t have to.

We watched this soldier sit quietly and play his trumpet as if we had stepped back in time. 
Then we watched him drive away in a Nissan.

It was a very good two days. Next, Washington D.C.!

2 comments:

  1. What a great trip! Glad to see that you haven't slowed down the fun even with a baby:) We are taking our first road trip 13 hours next Tuesday with little Hazel. I hope she does as well as Jed!

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  2. What a fun trip! I love Jed's little red hairs! He's so dang cute. And all that chocolate!!! That was torturous just looking at it. And I think it's awesome Bron's into all the American history. Not a lot of people know or even care to know that stuff. I love the soldier picture. It looks like it was taken a long time ago, you should enter it into a contest! I can't wait to see you!!

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