A couple weeks ago, Rodney asked me if the girls and I wanted to with him when he went to Pittsburgh and Erie for work. It's been over a year since we've traveled with him, so I really wanted to make it happen. BUT . . . it's been over a year since we've traveled, so we didn't have an active museum membership, and he'd only given me a little over a week's notice. Most museums will give you a receipt when you buy a membership and then mail you a permanent membership card. The receipt generally works to get you back into THAT museum, but it's iffy, at best, to try to use that receipt to get into reciprocal museums. Buying a membership at one of the Pittsburgh museums doesn't work because there are 2 museums we love and they won't reciprocate with each other. So I dove into researching nearby museums that we might be able to get a membership card in time. And settled on the Lancaster Science Factory.
It's reasonably priced, nearby, and the website said that if you came in and bought a membership they'd give you your membership card that day. Perfect! So, Tuesday before last, after music lessons and lunch, we headed to the Lancaster Science Factory. It's not huge, but we had fun. BONUS they give a homeschool discount on the membership, so it was even less than I'd expected! The "Factory" in the name means it's in an old warehouse/factory building (or maybe just a building that was built to look like one?) So everything was in one big warehouse-ish room. Which was AWESOME because it meant I could keep an eye on everyone while they each did what they wanted, instead of having to all stay together. Lots of the exhibits were things we'd seen before at other museums, but Little Bit didn't remember them, so she had a blast. Lexie found some robotic cubes that she spent most of her time figuring out and building with. Now she wants to add them to her Christmas list :) Ashlyn spent time figuring out how to run a sound board, but had trouble convincing her sisters to talk into the microphone so she could figure it all out. It was a nice afternoon, and is close enough that on super hot or super cold days when we need a change of pace, we can pop back over there. And, as promised, we got our membership card the same day, woo-hoo!
Later that week when we went to Sonya's for co-op, Ashlyn found out that Heather (the other family that comes) was bringing their dog Maggie (the lab we watched over Christmas). AND since Maggie would be there, Sonya was going to at least try having their dog (whose name I can never remember how to spell) out and see how he did with Maggie. The dogs did fine together. The weather was gorgeous so we spent most of the time outside soaking up the sunshine and fresh air, and Ashlyn was IN HEAVEN! And Lexie was pretty happy to get to play with the baby without having to share with Ashlyn :)
Sabbath afternoon we loaded up and headed to Pittsburgh. It occurred to me that Little Bit is now older than the twins were when Rodney started travelling. It's definitely worlds easier now with 3 big kids instead of a baby and two little big kids. One of the things Little Bit remembers from previous trips is her "hotel breakfast". I shudder a little bit about the huge quantities of simple carbs and other things that I try to limit, but it doesn't happen often . . . she spreads yogurt on a waffle and then sticks fruit loops into the yogurt *shudder*!! I have faith that, like her sisters, she will eventually realize that fruit loops are nasty, and move on to at least slightly healthier options when eating at hotels (but our hotel breakfasts are most definitely not up to our usual health standards).
Sunday we hung out at the hotel, went swimming, and did some school. I figured crowds would be worse at the museums and such on Sunday, and didn't feel like fighting them.
And . . . this is getting long, and we had a BUSY week last week, so I think I'll wait and continue our adventures in a second post :)