Thursday, June 18, 2009

Heading east...


We wanted to get an early start on our trip east, so we decided on a 5 am departure time. Being the morning people that we are (not), an early departure time usually translates into a tad later. Okay, most of our departure times translate into a tad later. We did actually make a 5 am departure time once. We were headed to Sanibel and knew that we had a loooooong trip ahead, so we made haste getting out the door. This time, however, we were back to our usual habits...5 am turned into a hair past 6 am. We'd already filled up the tank, but we made a caffeinated beverage stop just down the road and hit the highway around 6:30.

It was a gloomy day for a road trip. We drove in and out of rain all day, but we never shook the cloud cover. In fact, we didn't see the sun for the first three days of our trip. We were also in a little bit of shock over the nip in the air. I threw caution to the wind and packed mostly summer clothing, completely convinced that we would be sweltering. Not so much...I packed my sweatshirt in my suitcase and nearly froze to death all day in short sleeves. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of our trip this time last year to Florida.

The Wheeling Tunnel...

I had packed a lovely picnic lunch with memories of our last summer's road trip to DC in mind. With a cold drizzle falling, we ditched our picnic plans and stopped at Wendy's. By early afternoon, we were tooling through the tunnels of West Virginia (no bear sightings this time) and cruising across Pennsylvania. We arrived at our first destination in Hershey at a respectable 5 pm. We were pleasantly surprised by our accomodations, the Suites at Hershey. We had a practically brand-new 2-bedroom condo with a gas fireplace and a jacuzzi tub! Who knew a cozy fire would have such a draw on a June afternoon? We hauled out the lunch goodies for dinner and then went to explore the pools.

The Allegheny Mountain Tunnel...

Both were very nice...we hit the indoor pool first. Some of us hit the pool a little harder than others. Incurring one nasty nosebleed. Apparently, they were having a race on the bottom of the pool, and the depth changed a little too quickly. And someone is a lifeguard. Heh. Someone also plays rugby and has a previously broken nose that contributes to frequent nosebleeds. Bleh. So impressive was the blood gushing from his nose that my sick family all cheered, "Take a picture!" And I did. I'm not posting it. It's in the flick'r set. You'll have to go find it yourself. And I know some of you are clicking right now to see the carnage.



The kids loved this "pool within a pool"..

We had to watch to make sure Caroline didn't

follow Mickey's headfirst example

out of the baby pool into the big pool!

The big kids also insisted on a trip to the outdoor pool and hot tub. It was ridiculously chilly outside...probably in the upper 50s...but they dove right in. Caroline's southern China blood could only take it so long before she was begging to get in the "hot pool". And then we learned that Pennsylvania has a state law prohibiting those under 14 to be in public hot tubs. So we left the crazy teenagers to their fun and headed in. Luckily, that jacuzzi tub in our room quieted the protests from the younger two. I was hoping that our long day combined with a nice little soak in hot, bubbly water would have them calling it a day, but they just didn't want to miss out on the fun.


Don't they look cute in their coordinating swimsuits?

A total coincidence, but a pleasing one, nonetheless...

So then we hit the snack stockpile...I was much more prepared this time around. You might remember our spring break debacle when I was stuck in a hotel with nothing but granola bars. You health food freaks (and I mean that, oh, so lovingly) probably ought to stop reading now because I cancelled out every healthy thing I brought with the additional purchase of Pringles and sunflower seeds and chocolate chip cookies and fruit roll-ups. And then we wrestled over cable channels (remember, no cable at home) before trumping the History Channel (boresville...sorry, Jon...sorry, Alex) with none other than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I kid you not.


"I wanna go in da hot pool, Mommy!"

And, while Mickey was passed out cold on the sofa bed by the end of the movie, Caroline held out until we all went to bed. I could not believe my eyelids. We had that kid up by 4 am and in the shower and dressed (because her idiot mother forgot to give her a long overdue bath the night before) by 4:30. She was practically drunk with exhaustion as we were loading up the car. She was walking around asking each of us questions and then laughing with the over-exaggerated laugh of a drunkard at any and all responses. How she managed to stay awake through a late-night movie is beyond me. She slept well, though...I woke up to her feet in my ear.


The "14 and over" crowd...


Mickey and Caroline in their very own "hot pool"...

Next up...our very own trip to the Chocolate Factory...

No sign of Charlie...


Jack said...


I love your pictures!!! Can I join your family?

Love ya,

Kristi said...

Oh so much to say...
First of all, I'm glad that you didn't come across any bears! I'm not sure that you could survive that one without me. (hehe)
Second of all, REALLY cool tunnel pictures!
Bummer on the 14 and over rule, but I'm glad the "little ones" were appeased with the jacuzzi.
And the coordinating suits? AWESOME
So far it looks like it was an incredible trip. The only thing that could have made it more fun would have been to have a family of four along for the ride. We bring bears you know, so it's much more exciting...