Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grandy Camp 2014, Part 2

Day #7
Our family is reunited! Grandy Camp sounded so fun that Jon and I wanted in on the fun! We've been wanting to visit Penn's Cave for some time now. It's only around an hour away from my parents, but I've never been there before and Jon hadn't been there since he was a little kid. So off we went to cross another item off our Pennsylvania bucket list.

Because when you have four kids, everyone needs a turn.

Poppa took us the "scenic route." It may have been one of my favorite parts of the day! So much beautiful Central Pennsylvania countryside! So many quaint Amish farms! And long stretches of no cell phone service and piles of horse manure in the road.

Taken from a moving car, but this round barn!!  I can't even.

Our trip to Penn's Cave included Wildlife and Nature bus tour. The kids were soooo excited to ride on a "school bus" ... without windows too! One of the rules was that all body parts had to remain inside the bus. Jude was fascinated with how easily he could stick his hand or elbow out the window. And I was the lucky person who got to sit next to our loud and spunky four year old who likes to constantly test the rules!

One of her "treats" from Grandy Camp--feathers for her hair!
I was also the lucky person who got to hold Joci. Marmie tried, but you know how that goes. Unfortunately for me, Joci decided she was hungry right as the bus started on its two-hour, no breaks tour. Which meant some slick maneuvering on my part. She also decided to drop a deuce before we even saw the first animals. Yup, two hours stuck on a bus with a tired, hungry, poopy baby. So sorry people who were sitting next to us!

Following the wildlife tour was our trip to the caverns. Everyone climbs in a flat-bottomed boat and you tour the cave by water--entering a large opening at the beginning, traveling through several different "rooms," and coming out in a lake on the property before making the return trip back.

The kids did really well for having to sit very still on a boat (and in the dark for most of the time!). We were shoulder to shoulder with everyone else in our group. Naturally, Joci started to get fussy again but she was able to eat under the guise of darkness and was fast asleep for the better part of the tour.

After the tour, the kids opted to try their own hand at "sluicing" for gems. NOT rocks, mind you. I made the mistake of calling them rocks once, as in, "Jack, please get your rocks out of the living room." And I was sternly told that they are GEMS. (And we currently keep them in a special little hand painted chest along with a gem identifying chart that Jack likes to use to tally his treasure.)

For being a kid activity, they sure don't make it very kid-friendly!
We followed up the festivities with dinner at Penn's Inn, which overlooks the beautiful farm valley. And then, in order to time our arrival back at Marmie and Poppa's with bedtime, we decided to drive into State College and grab some ice cream at the Penn State Creamery.

Day #8
This was our annual, and much-anticipated, family day at Knoebels for Poppie's company picnic! It was a gorgeous day and super-duper crowded. Like the most crowded we've ever seen our beloved amusement park. The kids didn't get to ride as many rides, but we still had a great time with the grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. These kids love their cousins!

Photo Credit: Nonnie

Photo Credit: Nonnie

Photo Credit: Nonnie
Last year, Jon won the boys a stuffed frog and shark from the frog-flinging game. The boys talk about it all the time. And their one request was for Daddy to win them new animals this year. So that was one of the first things we did. It was also the last thing we did. Because when you have four kids (and four cousins), you have to win more than one prize!

The latest addition to his family of "stuffy animals."  He decided to name him "Turtle," goes nicely with "Monkey," don't you think?
Jack was really looking forward to the Phoenix again. And somehow, somebody convinced Jude to try it out too. Yeah Jude, my tiny, sensitive 4 year old (keep in mind, Jon and I were at least 10 or so before we rode the Phoenix!)

I wasn't there, but word on the street is Jude did not like it. He didn't even want to get in his seat and it all went downhill from there (literally). He was not a happy camper when I saw him coming down the ramp. BUT you'd never know it now. He's been talking about the Phoenix all week and how AWESOME it was. And of course, how BRAVE he was when he rode it. Hmmm ... hindsight is 20/20 I suppose.

Another highlight of the day was the participatory theater act at "the castle." Hello, Lia's dream come true! Marmie took one for the team and joined in with her favorite granddaughter. Lia wanted to be a butterfly so they camped out at the "woodland animals" trunk and Marmie donned the ladybug wings. But then girlfriend got a little envious of the girls who go to dress like princesses, so Marmie added a second set of wings to the costume to make things a bit more exciting.

And exciting it was!

Taking a bow!
Marmie's death scene stole the show!

Photo Credit: Nonnie

As you can see, the entire day was great fun. We were originally going to leave by dinner so we could get the kids home for bedtime, but we just couldn't pull ourselves away. So Jon downed some coffee and I forced myself to stay up and ask him random, silly questions to keep us both awake until we pulled into our driveway well past midnight.

And that was Grandy Camp (and Grandy Camp extended) 2014! The kids haven't stopped talking about it since we got back, and they're already making plans for next year. Thank you so much to the grandparents for entertaining our little loves and giving us this much-loved midsummer break!

1 comment:

Jennifer Smith said...

They are such wonderful grandparents!! And Marmie's death scene is hysterical!!

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