Monday, July 19, 2010

A Pennsylvania 4th!

Our camping trip was the first, of many, treks to Pennsylvania from our new home in Maryland.  It would have been about 4 hours of driving, but kids just change everything.  We had to stop for lunch, and then Jack wanted to play in the playplace, and Jude needed to eat...  We finally got there just in time for one of my Mom's massive meals out on the porch.  It was lovely to be back home for a few days, just in time for the cooler weather.  In fact, I wasn't prepared to wear sweatshirts and jeans in July and my poor children were slightly under-dressed.  But the chill didn't last long anyway!

We spent the night at Marmie and Poppa's before leaving for the campground and then came back to my parents to spend the 4th of July.  We came back to Maryland for a few days, and then returned once again to Central PA for the weekend so Jon could go on a scuba trip with his Dad and I could get some more quality time in with our friends and family.  Yes, we pretty much ran ourselves ragged over the holiday and beyond.  The boys handled it pretty well and we've spent the last week catching up on sleep and restocking our energy reserves.  Then again, when does Jack ever run out of energy?

So anyway, we returned from the mountains with just enough time to throw our clothes in the washer, shampoo the smoke out of our hair, and take a quick nap before heading up to State College for what we were told was one of the best fireworks shows in the nation.  And I must say, we were not disappointed!

Photo Credit:  Jared Wineberg

This was both Jack and Jude's first fireworks experience.  Earlier in the day they had set off a few testers, Jack pointed at the sky and said "Whoa!" and Jude started screaming.  I thought this was a sign of things to come.  Turns out, as soon as the show started Jack buried his head in Uncle Jared's shoulder and promptly fell asleep.  And Jude just stared at the flashing lights in the sky.  I was a little disappointed.  I really wanted to see what Jack thought of the fireworks.  But he refused to watch.  Oh well, I guess there will be plenty more years of July 4th's to come.

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

One of the reasons I was super excited to come home for the 4th this year was the Watsontown parade.  Seems cheesy, but I have found memories of this small town event from my growing up years.  The celebration isn't quite the same anymore, but the parade itself seemed unchanged.  It is still mainly composed of classic cars and farm tractors.  Rows and rows of tractors.

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

And they still throw a ton of candy to the kids.  I taught Jack had to wave at each car/bike/horse/firetruck/etc. and then watch the candy fall!  He quickly learned to pick it up and throw it in his beach bucket.  It was a lot of fun for him.  Little does he know that his efforts have resulted in a nice little stash for Mom that he will probably never see again!

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg
He was a little skittish of the horses, and not crazy about the people dressed up in pig and chicken costumes.  But waving, now that's more his thing. 

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

And I remembered another reason why I love small town living, not just for the cute parades and festivals, but because everyone knows everyone.  And when your little guy is thirsty and it's 100 some degrees outside, you have excellent chances of running into someone you used to be in gymnastics with, who knows someone who lives right behind where you're sitting, with an air conditioned house, where you can hang out with the hungry fella.  How convenient!

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

After Jack had his fill of the parade and Jude had his fill of milk, the rest of us grabbed some tasty treats and then took Jack to the playground.  Jack loves swinging bridges.  They play on my nerves since I'm always afraid he's going to trip and get smacked in the head by a bridge, and he does.  But he doesn't seem to mind.  Bridges yes, slides no.  I'm not sure what it is about him and slides.  I think it's because he had a traumatic experience once when the slide was "hotttt" (Jack always exagerates the "t" in hot) and he didn't realize it until he was already halfway down.  He tried to turn around and ended up finishing the slide backwards ... and in tears.  Well anyway, he was a bit finnicky about this slide too, until Marmie got up there and showed him how it's done.  I think he's been cured.

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

Photo Credit: Jared Wineberg

Speaking of hottttt, the day was boiling.  My parents don't have AC, Jude was his typical radiating self and energetic Jack was about to wilt. So my Dad suggest the creek across the street.  We used to go here all the time when I was a kid.  We built a dam and had ourselves a pretty sweet swimming hole, complete with "diving" rock.  The rock's not there anymore, and the dam seems to have been relocated a few feet away, but the water is still cool and refreshing.  And what little boy doesn't love a pool full of rocks to throw?  So Jack has officially been "swimming" in the ocean, bay, lake, pool and now creek. 




We wanted to test Jude's reaction as well ... predictable, as you can imagine.  Maybe he likes being a little microwave?


Seriously, I don't know where Marmie and Poppa get their energy from.  Between the two of them they keep Jack well occupied all day.  Which results in 4 hour naps and fantastic nights of sleep in "Uncle Jared's room."  Although, technically we're not allowed to call it that anymore.  My mom requests that, since all the kids are out of the house, we now refer to the bedrooms by color.  I'm still getting used to the changes. ;)


So that was Trip #1 to PA.  Trip #2 occured 4 days later with a subsidary trip to NY so that Jude could visit his great-grandparents for the first time.  Sadly, I have no pictures of the second trip.  I must have been too exhausted to pick up the camera.  But I'm hoping it wasn't our last trip "home" for the summer!

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