We were rather frustrated to find that many of the interesting sounding museums and other educational things in that area are only open from May - September (give or take a month). I told Rodney to please plan his trips accordingly in the future LOL. However, we had a good trip in spite of not being able to visit some of the places we'd hoped to visit.
We enjoyed swimming at the hotel pools. In the past, Little Bit has needed to "re-learn" to use her arm floaties since we go several months between trips. But this time she walked right down the steps into the pool and took off. It even worked ok for me to just sit and watch, and work on e-mails part of the time, woo-hoo! Which also made it easier to snap a few pictures of them having fun together.
I'd heard that the Creamery at Penn State has awesome ice cream, so we stopped by there while we were nearby. I must say that offering a child's size would be appreciated. They were HUGE scoops! And of course what's the fun of a shop with a big selection of flavors if everyone doesn't get their own? So even Little Bit got her own, huge, bowl of ice cream. It was yummy!
One place that WAS open was Fort Necessity. And God blessed us with absolutely gorgeous weather the day that Rodney was working near Fort Necessity! We packed a picnic lunch and made a day of it! The girls earned their Junior Ranger for Fort Necessity, we hiked to the fort (though I didn't get any pictures at the fort, I was busy trying to make sure that Little Bit didn't get in TOO much mud since anywhere that wasn't paved was pretty soggy. The girls (and I) had a hard time believing that the fort was really so small! I can't imagine!
The visitor center included a lovely "interactive playground" that teaches children about the fort and history surrounding it while also letting them get their wiggles out. Since it was such a lovely day, we spent a LONG time at the playground. Especially since the playground equipment included a "covered wagon" and "fort" perfect "props" for Sassy and MiniMe's imaginative play! I think they travelled on wagon trains and fought in wars and who knows what all else while we were there. We also had some fun with the picture-taking-props at the playground. I'd like to introduce . . . the Tavern Keeper's family
French and Indian Soldiers:
The Tavern, and second battle field (something-or-other Glen) were closed for the winter, so we'll have to go back again in the summer, but we enjoyed what we were able to see. We also stopped by General Braddock's grave.
The day Rodney was in Erie, we weren't as lucky with weather. We'd hoped to go to the zoo, but it was rainy and icky. Rodney wasn't sure how long he'd be and I didn't want to pay for us to go to a museum, if we weren't going to be there very long (we have a membership to the zoo, so don't have to worry about "getting our money's worth" in one visit there). It worked out ok though. We dropped him at the church, then went to a grocery store since the hotel we were in for those last few days only had "diet" yogurt. Little Bit had enjoyed having yogurt for breakfast at the previous hotel, and was disappointed when I said she couldn't have the yogurt at this hotel (the white flour, corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors that are pretty much unavoidable at hotel breakfasts are bad enough, I'd had good intentions to at least bring along homemade granola to have some of the days, but ran out of time to get it made before our trip, but I draw the line at artificial sweeteners!). So with a rainy icky day to kill, too far from the hotel to go back there, I figured we'd get her some acceptable yogurt. By the time we were done at the grocery store it was lunchtime so we went to Taco Bell, then Little Bit watched Leapfrog on the car DVD player while the big girls read books for history (we're learning about Lewis & Clark and there were a TON of recommended books for this section so they had plenty to keep them busy on this trip LOL). By the time the Leapfrog video was done Little Bit was ready for a nap so she took her nap while the big girls and I listened to Jonathan Park Adventures.
So, those are highlights of our week of traveling with Rodney. I have to say, all three girls are awesome travelers! And adapt quite well to the variety of hotel rooms.
The previous week was consumed in changing the 0-4 year old room at church from a Forest into an Ocean scene. The big girls were amazing helpers! And Little Bit was wonderful at self-entertaining with her little bag of toys that we brought along. It took us parts of several days because I wasn't sure what all we'd need so we did what we could, then had to go back to the dollar store before we could finish. Then we did a "test run" of the program and discovered a few other changes that we made. But I was very happy with how it all turned out. Here's a quick picture I snapped before we started the program last Sabbath.
And just because she's soo cute, here's a picture I snapped of Little Bit before she woke up nice sunny one morning. Doesn't she look angelic? Yes she should be freezing to death, but she INSISTS on taking her nightgown or pajamas off before she actually goes to bed, and somehow never seems to be too cold, so we go with it.