We started with breakfast at Cracker Barrell with my Aunt Vicky, cousin Clay, and his youngest, Kate (who we wanted to scrunch into a backpack and bring to Little Rock. A-dorable). We never made it to the Cracker Barrell in Bloomsburg near Danville for breakfast, so this was my first proper bowl of grits in six months (I tried to make them once but would have to start an entirely new blog to chronicle the sheer horror of that event).
We made it to Little Rock around 3:30 to very excited parents who graciously braved the heat of a thousand suns to help unload the van. Afterwards we all went to eat at Casa Manana. The new digs are beautiful with lots of space. We miss our PA friends so much, but are looking forward to time with family, revisiting our favorite restaurants (Larry's Pizza!), and haunting the Riverfront music joints. We'll have real internet by Thursday and I'll put up more pictures then. Here are a few from my phone in the meantime.
A great big shout out to the awesome nursing staff at Geisenger Med Center (Bonnie, Deb W., Linda B., & JoAnn) for getting Christie out early last Tuesday morning so we could make it for our neice's baby, and get to Little Rock in time to see grandparents and parents before Christie starts at UAMS on Monday!!
Little Payton was beautiful and healthy, and to top it all off we got to see our other niece and nephew at the hospital (it's been over two years).
We left Rocky Mount, NC around noon and arrived without much to tell at my Aunt Vicky's house in Dickson, TN where we were welcomed with hot showers and inviting beds. On to Little Rock tomorrow!
Now, can someone explain what in the h-e-double hockey sticks this guy is doing with this bird? Either we are truly back in the south, or I missed some new dead-bird-for-car-decoration memo. It's possible - I missed the nose charm memo too.
This gave us time for one last meal at our favorite Danville retaurant, La Mesa. Sylvester cooks the meanest pork carnitas in Pennsylvania, and makes a wicked Chicken Mole with some kind of crazy chocolate/paprika sauce that sounds nasty but tastes magnifico.
This morning we were up after Christie got home, finished cleaning out the apartment, and headed for Annville, PA to sit on the back porch at the Foleys for a bit (one of our absolute favorite Foley activities). After an incredible lunch at Pho Miss Siagon (a tiny Vietnamese place in Hershey), we said a tearful goodbye to our dear friends. We can't believe how close we've become these past months - we will miss talking late into the night, trips to Friendly's for ice cream, quoting friends, and laughing at each other's stories, but mostly we will miss THEM - just having them in our lives on a weekly basis. We're so glad our paths crossed during this adventure and we know we've made friends for life.
So, the Foleys have been mentioned quite a bit here lately, but if you missed it, they are awesome friends in our homeschool group who have taken us in like family these last few months. They've made our time in PA so fun and memorable and we're already depressed that we can't bring them to Arkansas with us in a few weeks.
Stacey posted on thier blog about our adventures this summer with lots of pictures and gushingly nice comments about us. Be assured, we are the larger benificiaries of the relationship thus far, but hopefully one day we can fully reciprocate.
To read her post CLICK HERE:
Fast forward to Washingtonville, PA where the poplular pastime is to bet on which smoking pregnant woman will go into premature labor first. The walls started closing in last week so I downloaded a geocaching app (c:geo) and we struck out.
Turns out that geocaching is awesome. If you've never heard of it before, there's a good introduction to it here: www.geocaching.com . It's basically a global scavenger hunt. These geocaches, prepared and hidden by other players, can be a small capsule, a large ammo box, or anything in between . So far we've found a bank bag, film case, magnetic box, and all manner of capsules disguised as everything from a screw to a mushroom. Follow your gps coodinates to a cache - it might be hidden in the hollow of a tree, stuck to a guardrail on a bridge, or hidden behind a fake electrical plate in a public park pavillion.
We've found about 20 caches so far, and they've taken us to some of the most beautiful locations in rural PA. Old schoolhouses, cemetaries, covered bridges, downtown areas, and parks. The boys love it, and some of the caches even have a little stash of toys and trinkets inside. They've taken to carrying a little box of items to trade when we find one of these. Sometimes there's only a log to sign, but they still get excited. I especially like the fact that I can filter my search to caches with easy terrain, or ones that are kid friendly, which keeps us from unexpected hikes through the woods.
The boys have decided to leave their own cache at each place we live during our travels. Last Saturday we placed a magnetic "nano" cache on the stop sign post at the corner of the property. According to the online and physical log, 5 people have already found it. We'll place one in Harrisburg before we head south in a few weeks. It's a nice idea, leaving a little something behind everywhere we go.