Monday, November 15, 2010

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Friends, and Family

I am just now getting around to blogging our beautiful family summer vacation through Pennsylvania and Michigan.  We went for 10 days in August.  Our dear friends, the Tremblay's moved to Pittsburgh last November.  We missed them terribly and decided to cash in our airline miles that we had been collecting and head north for a visit.

August 12 to 21 - The kids have all been on a plane before but still it was exciting fun.  I packed all kinds of games to play but in the end the good 'ol DVD player (and movie) did the trick.  James was content strapped in his car seat and the girls played cards and read their books.
Once we arrived, the Tremblay's greeted us with open arms and the warmest hospitality.  We hung out for a day, catching up with one another and seeing downtown Pittsburgh.  Then we decided to caravan together to see Gettysburgh and Valley Forge.  It was nice to see a little American history for a change. 
We saw the place where President Lincoln gave the Gettysburgh Address.  We walked the fields where the civil war took place.  We saw a diorama program that explained how the individual battles took place in Gettysburgh.  James had a hard time sitting through the whole thing so he and I went to the gift shop where he found plenty of action shooting the stuffed animals. 

It was truly a serene feeling knowing how much blood was shed in the town and on the fields we walked.  The kids loving every minute together...playing and laughing. 
Next, we left Gettysburgh on our way to Hershey, PA and Valley Forge...first stopping for the night for a birthday dinner for Kevin at Olive Garden.  Then on to our hotel room for the night.  The next morning the kids swam in the hotel pool while us adults chit chatted and drank our morning coffee.  Ohhhh and not to forget our wonderful coffee breaks we would have throughout our trip.  Caroline was the best and made sure we kept a thermos of hot coffee and all times :) 
Hershey, PA is where the Hershey Chocolate Factory subsides.  This was the kids' favorite part of the entire trip.  We took a tour at the factory and learned how Hershey chocolate is made.  After the tour was over we each received a piece of the delicious creation...YUM!  We then took the rest of the day driving to and exploring Valley Forge picnicking at parks along the way.
George Washington's Headquarters
Soldier barracks
We headed back to Pittsburgh to play at the Tremblay's neighborhood park, in their yard full of toys, and enjoy candlelit dinners on their backyard deck. 

Just when our trip was what we thought the best ever...we found that we were only a half days drive to Aunt Jerrie and Uncle Jim Hoenerhoff's house in Michigan.  Darrell and I were planning to take the kids to Niagra Falls but found out on Facebook that Aunt Jerrie offered for us to stop by for a visit.  So in a spontaneous second we switched the compass to drive Southeast instead of Northwest.  Before we new it we arrived in South Lyon pulling up to the most beautiful landscaped house on the block.
We found that we had just missed Cousin Mark but cousin Mike stopped by for a morning visit before the Hoenerhoff's took us to Greenfield Village.  Uncle Jim and James immediately fell in love with the steam engine while the girls spent the afternoon making homemade candles out of real Bees wax.  The village was created by Ford who brought famous houses and buildings together (such as the Wright bros and Ford Motor Co).  The village was decked out in 1800s style.  The clothing, model T cars, and everything back from the Colonial days.  We learned about trades such as making pottery, weaving, tin and glass blowing.

 What a wonderful visit we had with our family that we hadn't seen in years.  A fantastic treat!!!

On our way back to Pittsburgh we stopped in Ohio at the State park to have a picnic.  The park had a trail through the most beautiful tall trees that I had ever seen.  The kids posed as I took a ton of pictures of course.  Such beautiful nature God made!

 We couldn't wait to get back to Pittsburgh to spend our last couple of days with our Tremblay's.  The days of course went fast but we spent every last minute enjoying each others company.  The last evening we roasted marsh mellows...a memory we will never forget.  So much fun, with such good friends.  Even though we may be across America...we will always keep the Tremblay's close in our hearts!
Lunch on the deck
James and Victor "fix" the lawn mower
Crazy friends!
We love the Tremblay's!


Scott and Jessica Shobe said...

What a fun vacation. You did so much!

"Muffyjo" said...

Thanks for Sharing Your Vacation Pics. Loved Them! Looks like you had good weather to have fun with too.