Last week we did something kind of crazy: we drove 750 miles to Pennsylvania to meet a family for the first time and stay in their house for a week.
Actually, it wasn't so crazy. Alison and I have been emailing frequently for well over a year. As we are both writers, we got to know each other quite well through the written word. She is another Rwanda-Mama-to-be, and also has two young kids. Although I was nervous about meeting her face-to-face (will the wonderful email friendship carry over? It did!), a few minutes into the visit and I was having a blast. What a great family!
Travel log first, thoughts after.
On the way up, we stopped for an overnight at the Nelsons' house, where I neglected to take a single picture of the boys having an absolute blast with their "cousins" (really my cousins). They ran outside until after dark, and then played in Sam and Seth's basement room until bed time. And I enjoyed talking Nano with Aunt Steph.
We made the long drive the next day, arriving in PA around dinner time. That night, we chatted, got to know each other in person, met the husbands and kids, and watched the four kids play trains until bedtime. We also learned that just about everything in this area relates to trains. Or chocolate. Or the Amish and farming.
Day One in PA (Friday, 10/22): Enjoyed a quiet day in. It was very cold and windy, so that was a good choice! We did go over to the most interesting park, fed ducks in a spring-fed canal, and visited Wilbur Chocolate Factory (smelled so good).
Then the older three watched (what else?) a Thomas movie while Cory took a nap and Alison and I sat in her (wonderful!) sun room and talked adoption, writing, family....
Day Two (Saturday, 10/23): What a fun day this was! I took so many pictures (and then Alison took more when my camera died part way through the day - and stayed dead) that I'll have to continue this day in another post. We took the Strausburg Engine to Cherrycrest Farm, picnicked, spent the day and the farm, and took the train back. Then we ate pizza for dinner and played a railroad-themed board game after the kids were down.
The train ride was so fun! The train swayed back and forth and went something like 16 miles per hour, the same speed it went when it was really taking people places back in the day (as opposed to taking people around just for fun). Made me think of Little House on the Prairie and how long those train trips must have taken.
(Cory insisted upon wearing that Burger King crown)
(Jeremy didn't know the ticket-taker guy was behind him)
(Liam and Annabell)
(grey smoke from the train making the day look stormy)
At the picnic place was a great wooden see-saw that the boys loved. I wonder how hard it would be to make one for the back yard?
The kids in the Africa shirts I made for them (with a button over Rwanda):
Stay tuned for part two, coming tomorrow...