Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pennsylvania pics

For some reason, the pictures from that last entry didn't get posted so here they all are, jumbled and out of order, but at least here they are!

My princess settings for dinner. Aurora is my fave!

The yummy chocalate lava creation

I was so surprised and it was all so cute! I loved my special birthday chair.

The girls were really good happy birthday singers

Ben and Kaylyn being factory workers at Hershey's

Hooray for chocolate world! I might argue it's possibly the happiest place on earth

Hershey even had some surprise fireworks at the end of the night

I was really happy to finally get to see some fireworks, and they were good ones!

This is how we spend our sunday afternoons; oh the girls...

Nate loving the factory tour

Kaylyn and Ben enjoying the tour of how chocolate is made...for the second time :)

Really truly the world's largest candy bar. It was only $20.00

My personal favorite. I don't love Hershey kisses but this was just cool.

We were definitely the only group of adult factory workers making our own hershey kisses; we felt pretty cool.

Big ol' chocolate rounds

Chocolate paste...it smelled so heavenly

The biggest (and only) chocolate tub I have ever seen. Here it is being mixed.

Thousands of hershey kisses being whisked away into the wrappers

I seriously ws loving the chocolate tour that much

Our friendly, yummy restaurant. Quite the different experience.

Chillin' on the Amish porch with full bellies

Ben and Kaylyn enjoying the view

The Amish do not like their pictures taken so their buggy's are totally covered. We were sneaky with our camera.

Look how cute it is! It's just pure joy here!!

It felt unreal to be standing here in front of this. Way cool.

Here are bunch of buggy's up ahead of us on the road. It was so neat!

This was in the little shop area in Intercourse where the jam shop was. What cute little berries!

The beautiful farmhouse where the Amish family lived that owned the restaurant we ate at.

More buggies! I couldn't get enough of them. It was saturday night and I wondered if everyone was out on dates. :)

Nate's a big fan of Pat's steaks.

Ben and Kaylyn were just lovign the whole experience.

Independence Hall

Liberty Bell right in front of Independence Hall

It's in really good condition!!

The first view of Philadelphia

Looking at Philly from the top of the Rocky steps

This is from the view of the art museum doors

The crew in line at Pat's

That's right, we are right in the middle of the road, standing in line, trying not to get hit by cars.

Philly-the city of smells

THE steps

Here I am trying not to hyperventilate cause I'm so excited

The only thing cooler than this was if mr.rocky would have been here himself, gloves and all.

This place has a little piece of my heart now...

Possibly the highlight of my summer...

This weekend was Pennsylvania pandemonium. On my ultimate lifetime goal list, running "The Rocky Steps" is pretty dang high up there. So saturday, we drove up to Philly with Ben and Kaylyn to explore pennsylvania and #1 on the list was to run the Rocky run. I was like a little kid, giddy and ecstatic! While in Philly, of course we had to have a famous Philly cheese steak. There are two major sandwich shops that are directly across the street from each other that compete. The whole experience is an adventure! The lines are always super long, so it puts you standing out in the middle of the street in an intersection blocking traffic cause there is nowhere else to go! There are rules on how you order your sandwich, and if you don't do it right, you can better believe there will be yelling (they yell even if you do it right!) Let's just say south west Philly is not number one on my favorite places to go list, and the cheese steaks are nothing to write home about (Nate really enjoyed his, but Kaylyn and I could have done without them. Maybe we didn't do it right?!?) Before heading out, we certainly had to go see the Liberty Bell since we were right there in the heart of Philadelphia. We really liked this area of town, the old historic part. Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, lots of Ben Franklin stuff, the house the Declaration of Independence was written in, etc. Too bad it's only about a block and the rest of the city we saw is pretty dirty (except the Rocky part!). I couldn't help getting National Treasure out of my head while we were here and it was a lot of fun. From Philly we went to Amish country. It is absolutely beautiful, nothing quite like it. We visited and shopped in Intercourse, and also drove through Bird-in-hand and Plain & Fancy. We ate at a lovely restaurant/buffet owned by an Amish family and run by them and some Mennanites. I learned a lot in Amish country! It felt like we were in a movie, I just couldn't quite grasp the reality of it, but I really loved it. We spent a lot of time inside this wonderful jam and relsih shop where you could try everything they had. Jams and jellies I never knew existed: mint jelly, carrot jam, jalapeno jelly, peanut butter schmear, cheescake in a jar, orange curd, tomato basil jam, apple cinnamon, and damson plum just to name a few favorites. It was divine!
After dinner in Amish country, we headed to Hershey, Pennsylvania for chocolate world. There is a ton t do in Hershey, but since we only had a couple of hours until they closed, we jsut wandered and did all of the free stuff. I love that the lightpost are hershey kisses and even the outside air smells like chocolate. What a fun place!
Needless to say, we had a great saturday and enjoyed exploring pennsylvania and spending the day with Ben and Kaylyn. We have loved being to able to spend so much time with them this summer and are really going to miss them when they move to Texas. :( On Sunday we went to Nate's sisters' as usual and much to my surprise, the girls had planned a surprise princess birthday party for me! I actually was totally surprised. It was all really cute, and it was so much fun to have the girls so excited about it all. After a very tasty dinner, we had Sara's creation of to die for chocolate lava cake and then played games with the girls. One of the best things about being here this summer has been spending time with that family. I have absolutely loved getting to know Sara and I lvoe our SUnday night chats. I am so greatful to her and Hans for taking us in these last couple of months and cherish our relationship I have formed. It's going to be really tough to not get to see them all of the time. Thanks for the awesome party and presents, Carlson's! I absolutley loved it all!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Weekend with Jenni

PS Hold your mouse over the pictures to read my captions

Where to begin...

We are exhausted; where to begin...
2 Thursdays ago the lady that owned our house called us ranting and raving that we owed her money for utilities etc. This is a very long story and I don't necessarily want to relive it so, in short, she is totally crazy and we moved. Through a series of chaos and events after that phone call, four days later she decided she wanted us out of the house. Fine by us, crazy lady! We don't ever want anything to do with you again and I will spit on your house as I walk away! (I didn't actually spit, but I sure did think about it a lot). Last Monday, I was sharing this crazy story with my Curves people and after another long series of events, we ended up moving in to the basement of my coworker's daughter's house (does that even make sense?). It's a really beautiful 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home and it's just the daughter and her fiancee' (they are getting married in November). The basement bedroom had no furniture, so after one night on a leaking air mattress, thank goodness for my Curves connections; another coworker offered up an extra bed. And it's not even on the floor! So that's the current housing situation. It's actually closer to both our work, and I am getting a kick out of learning about the Jewish religion! :) I really love the house and will have to take some pics later. Here are ones of our basement where we dwell. We share the kitchen and stuff upstairs, but I am currently too lazy to go upstairs and outside to take pics. Some other time.This bed is a full, which is just a bit different than the gigantor one we were sleeping in. But we are just greatful to not be on the floor.

Again, a little smaller than we've been using, but atleast it is bringing us back to reality.

Here is our little bar area with mini-fridge.

Pool table, tv for the Wii, eliptical, what more could you ask for?

Our lovely little patio off the basement. I actually really love it here.

My older sister Jenni has been planning a trip out here for about a month. Of course, it fell on the week we were almost homeless. She arrived two days after we moved into this other place. Impecable timing. Don't worry, it gets better. On my way to the airport to pick her up, Goldie (the car Nate's sister was loaning me for the summer) decided to self-destruct. Yes, self-destruct. This is another story I don't really want to re-live, but after about an hour and half of Nate driving in circles around the airport - three toll payments on the toll road - me melting in the car because it's 96 degrees and I can't make the windows go down because the key won't turn and I'm on the shoulder of a freeway so I don't really want to get out and stand there - my sister stranded at the airport - and still shaking from the whole trauma of the car self-destructing later, we finally made it home. So in short, Goldie is dead. No matter what it is that's wrong with her, I'm sure it would cost much more than she is worth. Thanks for the good times, Goldie. She is currently resting in peace in the parking lot at Nate's work becuase it's right next to the airport and that's as far as he could get her. Don't cry, Trey. She will long live in our hearts.
In Memory Of the one and only Goldie

Besides the fact that everything seemed to go wrong before my sister got here, we ended up having a pretty enjoyable weekend. I think she got to see and do pretty much everything she had planned. It made life interesting with just one car, but we managed to make everything work. With the move and then her being here, last night was the first night we made to to bed before 2am. Jenni and I definitely kept busy, and I really enjoyed playing tour guide. I even got to do and see quite a few things I hadn't yet, which I wasn't planning on, but I was impressed with Jenni's museum skills. She was quicker than I had anticipated! Which made for some free time where we got to do more stuff. I'm feeling pretty metro'd out and this was probably my last time going downtown to DC while we are here, so I'm glad I get to go out with a bang. Just to briefly mention some of the things we did (I realize this is already long and I lot of writing; everybody wants pics!): Monuments by Moonlight tour on an Old Town Trolley (which I highly recommend-it's way worth the price), the National Cathedral, the museum of natural history, the national art gallery, the botanical gardens, Mt.Vernon (who wouldn't just die for that backyard view!?), the National Shrine of Immacualte Conception (Jen really loves old churches), Arlington Cemetery, a tour of the Capitol (you rock, Deidra! Mucho thanks again, we really loved it!), and really a whole lot more stuff that I just can't remember because it's all a blur!! To see more about our fun adventures, you can check out her blog by going to my faves section and clicking on "Jen and fam".

I have officially hired a new manager and am completely overwhelmed. I have so much to do at work and such a short amount of time. I am excited for our last few weekends and have mixed feelings about coming home, but I know I don't want to stay here forever! Becuase work is so busy now, I don't even have time to think about finding a place to live in Logan or any of that non important stuff! Yikes!!!! Official countdown: we will be in Utah in exactly four weeks!PS Happy Pioneer Day to all you Utahns! That is definitely not celebrated here in Virginia and I'm a little bitter I don't get any fireworks or rodeos right now.