Tuesday, July 14, 2009


(Not to be confused with our testimonies) :)

This past week Steve and I traveled to Pennsylvania for a vacation and to visit his brother Brant and sister-in-law Coralee

and our niece Annie

Day 1

We flew out on July 4th and spent the holiday with Coralee's family in Gettysburg. This was great because we were able to see the battlefield

It's pretty much just farm land with a million monuments throughout, but it's important farmland.

I also tried crab for the first time.


Day 2

We went to church and played with Memphis in the park. Coralee also made an amazing pot roast

Day 3

We headed out for Amish country on Monday, and we found it

This picture was taken of the parking lot at an auction that we went to. There was buggy parking and car parking. But, you didn't have to go to a farm to find buggy parking

This was in the parking lot of the antique store where we shopped. We also found this at the antique store

The sign says, "Kissin' in the middle of a covered bridge brings you luck, provided it's your own girl you're kissin'." Coralee said that this a is very popular Pennsylvania thing. You can find covered bridges everywhere.

Day 4

We took our travels to Hershey on Tuesday.

Although they don't have tours of the actual factory, they definitely don't let the tourists go away. Besides a full fledged amusement park, Hershey has a free tour of the process of milk chocolate making at Chocolate world. The tour was informational and put a catchy tune into our heads sung by three cows.

In the afternoon Steve and I went to Three Mile Island, where part of X-Men Origins Wolverine takes place. Although, I don't think it was actually filmed there. The site was actually made famous for the worst civilian nuclear accident in United Stated history. We looked at it from the highway and were still impressed with the size of the smoke stacks.

Day 5

This was the day we began our long walks. First was the Appalachian trail. The entire thing covers 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine. We hiked about one one thousandth of it.

This is where we began the trail

And where we ended it

This is a lookout over the Susquehanna River. trail is absolutely gorgeous, probably the nicest hike I've ever been on. The entire trail is covered by trees like this

We kept the walking pace by going to Harrisburg and touring the state capital

Annie was way excited to be there

This is the main rotunda

And the artwork around the rotunda. It represents the religious freedom Pennsylvania was established under

This is the rotunda in the Supreme court office

Then we ventured to the Susquehanna

And walked across the oldest surviving bridge over the Susquehanna

The cool thing about the bridge is part of it has a grated bottom, so you can see the water as you walk across it. It's pretty trippy.

And then we walked back to the car, about a half hour walk.

Day 6

This was Washington DC day. Brant measured our walking distance for the entire day and it was somewhere around 9 miles. After seeing the sites I now truly feel American.

First was the Washington monument

Then was the Jefferson Memorial

We spent most of our time, proportionally, at the Holocaust Museum

We were there for about an 1 1/2 hours and could have easily spent twice as long or more. I definitely learned many things about WWII and the concentration camps. The most moving part to me was the train car. You walk through it and so you could picture being pushed into it.

We saw the National Archives

Yes, this is the Preamble to the constitution, made near and dear to me by my 8th grade social studies teacher :)

We went to the Library of Congress, but it was a bust because it closed 15 minutes before we arrivedWe walked past the Supreme Court building

And, then we saw the White House

Thus concluded our adventures in DC. Although we could barely walk by the end of the day, it was worth every minute. It made me very grateful our nations capital isn't in Texas.

Day 7

This was our down day. Coralee and I went in search of an Amish bakery we drove past on Monday. It's inside a family's house and the food was delicious. We spent the afternoon watching a movie and packing our things so we could go to Philadelphia.

My old roommate Elise and her husband Lowell live right outside Philly. We spent Friday night with them

Day 8

Our last day on vacation took us to Philadelphia. We saw the Rocky statue, and ran up the steps at the art museum

We went to the Love statue, Philadelphia is the city of love

Then, we did all American history sites

First the liberty bell

Then Independence Hall

Third, the second bank of the United States, which has been turned into a museum, housing many original portraits of the founding fathers.

Fourth, Benjamin Franklin's grave site. We also went to the location where his home stood.
I'm fairly curious if his body is still there, or if they've removed it for security reasons. Also, I was curious about the money...it's not a water fountain, but whatever.

Lastly, Eastern State Penitentiary. This is the oldest Penitentiary in US history, built in 1836 in the manner of a castle. Amazingly, it didn't close until 1971. It's left in semi ruin, and, as such, you really get an idea of the awfulness of it. This was probably one of the coolest things we saw.

Some things of note about the penitentiary: Al Capone stayed there for eight months. He received some nice amenities that the other inmates didn't receive. Also, when it first opened all prisoners were in solitary confinement. The founders thought this was the best was to reflect on life and bring about penance.

This is Steve inside one of the cells. The toilet on the left was added later, part of renovations.

Saturday night we flew back home. On the way to the airport we stopped at the coolest convenience store ever, Wawa. They have food that actually looks delicious and it delicious. Plus, they have a full service sandwich bar, where you order on a touch screen. Brilliant. So, if you're ever in Pennsylvania I would recommend as a rest stop.

As I'm finishing this Steve will be starting school tomorrow. His break was good, and we're excited for another good year.

Thank you to Brant and Coralee and Elise and Lowell for opening your homes and being our tour guides. We had an absolutely fantastic time!


  1. Wow! What a trip. thank you for the pictures

  2. Sounds like you were BUSY! Looks like a fabulous vacation though!

  3. What! You where in DC and didn't call me!! Next time you're up this way you will have to let me know! Glad to see you guys had fun.