September 3, 2009 - Gettysburg, Hershey and the Red Caboose Motel

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)
Click here for video #1
Click here for video #2
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We slept in a little this morning and didn’t get stirring until 7ish. The kids woke up well this morning and devoured their breakfast-grapes and bananas. Graham even had 2 bananas. Our GPS said that we only had 170 miles until Gettysburg so we didn’t think it was too bad. Unfortunately, the drive was through mountains and many, many stop lights. So we had to drive for an extra hour than we had expected-if we would have only trusted Helga (GPS). After a few stops, we were still pleased with our time and made it to Gettysburg a little after noon. Our second potty stop was at a McDonalds-we just used the potty and then played on their slides for a few minutes. And within 3 miles Anderson was asking to potty again-he thought, another potty means another chance to climb and slide!

At Gettysburg, Robby bought tickets at 12:35 for the 1:00 movie. So we sprinted and squeezed in a picnic lunch before hand. The movie was good-Graham could have cared less and was quite antsy through the whole thing but Reagan and Anderson watched. Everyone once in awhile they would hear a familiar word and say “Pennsylvania? We are going there” “Liberty? We are going there.” After the movie, we went upstairs to see the Cyclorama. It was painted in the 1800s but had recently been restored. After listening to that show, Robby headed to the museum for a quick look around. The kids and Tara walked around to visitor’s center. Our next stop was the location Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. Soon afterward, we were back on the road headed towards Harrisburg and the State Capitol building. Robby took his customary picture in front of the Capitol and as usual the building was under construction. The majority of the state capitols that we have seen (and we have seen quite a few) have been under construction-they know we are coming and like to spruce it up a little bit!

The Chocolate World in Hershey has been calling Tara's name since our first trip to Philadelphia in '02. We finally made it here. They were giving out s'mores samples and the boys gobbled theirs up. Anderson asked for more and Graham ate every bit of his cracker and just licked his fingers as he ate. Inside was just as exciting. The gift shop was huge-absolutely huge and we didn't even buy a thing. We did go on a little ride that showed the process of how chocolate was made. Reagan and Anderson sat in the front seat and took it all in. It wasn't enough to interest Graham for very long but he was amused by the singing cows. We needed a little snack before getting back on the road so cookies it was. We all enjoyed them especially Graham, he is our eater right now.

The next stop was near Strasburg and our stomachs were growling. We had seen an ad for Amish BBQ and headed to Jakey’s Amish BBQ for supper. The “best shoefly pies” were made at a store just outside called Dutch Haven. Anderson and I went inside to check out the pies and were told we could get them at Jakey’s too. We did partake in a little sample before finding Dad, Reagan and Graham. We ate outside and the weather was absolutely perfect. Next, Robby tried to explain to the kids that we were very close to our hotel this evening. He told them that it would be like driving to Grannymom’s house. So Reagan asked why we were picking up Grannymom and tried to explain to Dad that it was a long way to Grannymom’s house. After a few miles to this discussion, we were finally at the hotel-thankfully, no one mentioned Grannymom not being here!

Tara was probably more excited about this hotel than the kids. But as soon as we drove up they were thrilled. There are nearly 50 brightly painted cabooses. When you look at the cars parked in front of each caboose, you can see that it is a family motel-all of the cars are minivans! We found our caboose, took a few pictures and then went inside to check it out. On the table, was a birthday cake for Reagan that said “Happy Birthday Reagan” along with balloons and a present. She couldn’t believe that they knew it was almost her birthday and kept asking “how did they know it was my birthday?” In her bag, she had a pink train conductor’s hat, a pink bandana and a train whistle. She was thrilled and Anderson was just as excited-balloons and cake in a choo choo. What more could any child want? Dad had planned the whole surprise for her without Mom even knowing about it.

We walked around the motel grounds-a wooden train for the kids to climb in and a huge playground. The kids had a blast and played until dark. Tomorrow, the National Toy Train Museum is next door, a lookout silo to climb and buggy rides are all right here. Lots to do at this little place. There are corn fields everywhere and it seems that we are in the middle of Amish country. We have seen an Amish man doing something with his fields, another one hauling corn and quite a few horse and buggies trotting down the street by our caboose. After unpacking and quick showers for the kids it was birthday party time. Coke and cake right before bed-they will sleep so well! It was a good birthday-even though it is a little bit early!

Anderson has been asking all evening long “when is this train going to go?” He thinks this train is leaving the station anytime now. He has even asked Robby a few times if he is going to drive us. He has changed from being a “pilot that give out drinks and snacks” (flight attendant), construction worker to a “train man that says All Aboard.” Hopefully the train ride tomorrow will please him. The sign here says that we will wake up on the “right side of the tracks.” It has been another jam packed day and after driving 850 miles since landing 56 hours ago and seeing as much as we have along with a 1, 2 and 3 year old in tow-we are doing pretty good and having a great vacation!

1 comment:

PreschoolMommy said...

bring me back some CHOCOLATE, will ya???