Jon and I wanted to fit one more Pennsylvania trip in before the baby made its arrival. When we found out Poppie's work was having their company picnic at Knoebels one Sunday in August, we knew that was the weekend to go! But when we saw the upcoming forecast, we almost changed our minds. We're still busy trying to do things around the house, and Jon just had two weeks of travel in a row. It didn't seem worth it to make the long drive just for 48 hours of clouds and rain. But we'd already made plans to leave Jack with Marmie and Poppa, and I had already scheduled a hair appointment. And I desperately needed to renew my driver's license since I had forgotten it expired a few months ago. So we went. And I'm glad we did, because it was a most pleasant weekend.
Saturday was cool and cloudy, but no rain. It was so peaceful and serene in the mountains, just one of the reasons I love to come home for visits. It was also a very productive day - new driver's license, new hair cut, Jack got new school sneakers, the boys took a nap on the way to my parents' and then I had the wonderful opportunity of going through all the boxes of my stuff that I conveniently had left behind at their house for the past 5 years. Yes, now that Marmie and Poppa are retired they are going through major purge mode. Almost like "nesting." Or "empty nesting" rather. They cleaned out their rooms, closets and attics and made piles for each of the kids to go through. And that was my chore the other Saturday. But the experience itself was so interesting I believe I'll save it for another post.
|Reliving our dating years at Knoebels!|
Knoebels was slated for the next day. According to the weather app on my phone, there was a 90% chance of rain every hour that day. So Nonnie and Poppie prayed for clear skies and a dry path through the storm. And that is exactly what happened. Despite my phone continuing to call for storms the entire time we were there, after an initial downpour during lunch under the pavilion, it didn't rain the rest of the day. I literally watched the storm on the radar, raging on either side of us (if you don't have the Weatherbug app I highly recommend it). And as any seasoned amusement park attendee knows, the best days to go are the ones in which it's supposed to rain, but never does. It was cool, mild and there were no crowds. Definitely one of my favorite Knoebels days, and I wasn't even allowed to ride a rollercoaster!
I guess I've officially reached the point where I don't have to do the thrill rides to have fun anymore. I just get a kick out of watching my kids have a good time. And did they ever!
Even Jude got to participate.
And the nice thing about having kids is you have a reasonable excuse to ride those old rides that you haven't been on in years. Yes, Jon was really excited to get back in touch with his former childhood.
And Poppa too of course.
And this guy ... so brave!
|We're trying to teach him the "thumbs up' sign here.|
I loved watching him have fun!
I think the guy on the left did too.
Knoebels isn't just about the rides. Or even the food, although I did enjoy my fair share of THAT. There's some great entertainment too. Sadly we missed the kids' show at the castle (where they dress up and act out what the creepy narrator is telling them to do). I was slightly put-out, because I knew my nephew Alex does not disappoint when it comes to play-acting and figured Jack would enjoy it too. But Nonnie saved the day and she, Alex and Jack had their own little show ... until a voice booming over the speaker asked them to stop and please return the costumes to the chest.
So we spent our Sunday at Knoebels, kept extending our time of departure, and then finally gave into the tired whines and sore feet.
It was time to say goodbye to Jack. I wasn't sure if he would understand what was going on. I tried explaining to him earlier that weekend/day that he would be going to Marmie and Poppa's all by himself! So when we transferred his carseat to their car he crawled right in, gave me a wave and said "I go in the blue car!" It was too easy. I definitely had a harder time saying goodbye. And the ride back to Maryland felt so strange with only one child in the back. I would say "quiet" but that was not the case, at least for the first hour. Jude did enough talking to make up for his brothers absence. Jon and I were trying to enjoy a nice quiet ride through the mountains at dusk ... and our reverie was constantly interrupted by "uh-oh, blah blah blah" or "nuh nuh go", "ahhh ma ma ma ma." Finally, one hour and a handful of binkies later, he succombed to sleep and the hubs and I had a lovely, peaceful rest-of-the-trip home.