Back from Pennsylvania

We slipped out of school a bit earlier than I’d planned so we could get ready for our trip to Dan’s parents on the 26th, only to get a case of the collywobbles and put the journey off until Monday, which gave us a chance to pay the bills and balance the checkbook before heading out.  Mom was also a bit sick, so we could play some games with her without worrying we would pass it to her.  I did have a lovely 46th birthday.

We made marvelous time on the journey down, thanks to getting up early, a good audio book (Alcatraz Vs the Evil Librarians) and no one else being on the road.  Dan’s Uncle, Aunt and Cousin were there for the Monday, and I picked their brains about encouraging K’s artistic bent.  His cousin sat down with K to draw with her, and they were soon joined at the coffee table with many of the other cousins.  Dan’s Aunt suggested being careful of too much constructive criticism, and to buy lots and lots of sketch books.  Dan’s cousin said the same thing, and affirmed that yes, K’s heart is in her drawings, and they are lovely, it’s not just that I’m her Mom.

cousin pile

The next day we visited the Rail Road Museum of Pennsylvania, and I saw a new source of knitwear pattern names – you already know of the street name trick?  Pass  a street with a cool name and quickly write it down because you want something mysterious and unique for Ravelry searches?  Well I’ve got a new one; antique tool names.  The rail road had lots of cool tools, even the jobs sounded cool – Gandy Dancer, that was job.

cousins by the train

K and I by the engine

K and cousin by the engine with wreath

On Wednesday we said farewell to Dan’s sister’s family by driving to Chocolate World in Hershey to buy chocolate and take the free tour with them, then come home while they continued on to her in-law’s house.

K and the kisses

On Thursday we took a walk to the stream trail in Dan’s parent’s development, which happens to go past a tea shop (Dan bought me a coffee, and Ben an espresso, my knee was acting up and I rested while the rest of the family finished the hike.) I smelled one of their tea mixes which had mint leaves, black tea, cocoa nibs and red pepper in it – also wheat puffs, so I couldn’t drink it, but smell was terrific enough. I’m going to try to mix some up myself.

When we weren’t venturing out with 4-6 cousins, Dan made bubbles, and I introduced crochet to the littles.  The guys got to watch the Martian (at least the cursing isn’t gratuitous).

We made excellent time home on the 1st, because no one else was on the highway.

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