Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hershey and Gettysburg

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to go to Hershey, PA...I envisioned rivers of chocolate.  That's not exactly what we found, but it was still pretty fun.  Hersheyworld has a neat "ride" that explains how they make chocolate and they have a huge store.  Free fun!

Here's the part of the ride where they showed making Hershey Kisses.
Here's our "Hershey Kiss"

Here we are with the biggest Hershey chocolate bar.  It weight 5 pounds and costs $40!

After visiting Hershey, we grabbed some lunch and drove to Gettysburg.  Kevin and Julie, Jeff's parents were able to fly out and visit Hershey and Gettysburg with us.  It was great to see them!  Here Kevin is really enjoying his burger at lunch.
At the visitor's center we watched a movie about Gettysburg and visited the Cyclorama, a huge painting depicting the battle.  Here's Julie and Lily in the Cyclorama.

The museum was really neat, but it was big and we were pressed for time.  I was moved by this wall of photos showing the faces of those who died in the Civil War.
Here's Jeff shooting a cannon out on the battlefield.  There were cannons all over the place.

My favorite spot on the battlefield was Little Round Top.  The view was really beautiful and you could understand why having that view could be very advantageous in battle.

The girls really enjoyed spending time with Grandma and Grandpa

Another favorite was hiking to the top of a tower and enjoying the view from there.  It was really beautiful and you could feel that it was a very special place.
After the battlefield, we went to Pizza Hut for some dinner before we had to part ways.  It was nice to sit down and enjoy a meal together.  The leftovers were good too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

We had a great Father's Day together.  I love to give presents, so I made Jeff open his gifts before we left for church.  He got a nice pair of shoes (he picked them out), a new wallet, and a candy bar bouquet.  I the the candy was the best surprise and I let Lily bring it to him.  So cute!

I had to speak in church.  My topic wasn't assigned so I thought I would read the conference talk titles to refresh my memory about conference and I remembered that there were a lot of talks about mothers and their importance.  I almost wrote a talk about mothers when I remembered...its going to be FATHER'S DAY.  It would be really weird to hear a talk about mothers on father's day.  So I wrote a talk about fathers instead and it turned out great.

For dinner we grilled down by the pool.   A nice relaxing ending to a relaxing day.  Jeff, you're the best!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New York City

I have always wanted to go to New York City.  I was planning to go there during my senior year of high school, but then I had an opportunity to go to Spain and couldn't pass that up.  Now we live about an hour outside of NYC.  We've been putting off visiting because I have heard so many horror stories about driving in the city and the train ride from here costs $25/person round trip.  We decided paying $50 just to get to NYC was too much so we braved the roads and drove into the city.

It really wasn't bad.  We only experienced a couple of crazy things.  Merging to get into the Lincoln Tunnel had me fearing for my life...and then on the way home a lady decide to drive her car across 5 lanes of traffic, in the middle of a crosswalk in front of a cop!  Psycho!

It was our wards temple day, but its a little tricky for us to figure out the babysitting.  And the fact that I'm still nursing Claire doesn't make it any easier.  So we plan on going back another time and asking friends in NYC to babysit for us.

We visited the Natural History Museum because we could get in free with Jeff's work ID badge.  This is the museum from Night at the Museum.  The museum is nothing like the movie...I don't know why I thought they would be the same.  Here are the similarities:
1) Dexter the monkey (not in African Mammals, but some other African rain forest preservation exhibit)

2) Rex, the T-rex (upstairs with all the dinosaurs, not in the lobby)
3) Easter Island Statue, aka Dum Dum.

Here are some things we saw at the museum that were so awesome they should have been in the movie:
1) A giant canoe

2) a rug made of spider silk (no dye, its the natural color of the spider silk).  I learned its hard to raise spiders in captivity because they keep eating each other.

3) A giant tree stump (I think it was from like 1 AD)
4) This great mask.  They could have had Jeff be the actor because he looks just like it!
After the museum we met some fellow MBA students for lunch at Patsy's.  The pizza was awesome and it was fun for me to see how others are enjoying their internships and living in NYC.
In the afternoon we visited Central Park.  It was very beautiful, very huge, and very crowded.  There was some kind of festival going on while we were there.  We stumbled into a wedding.

Once out of the park, we walked up and down 5th Avenue.  We were looking for the Disney Store, but apparently it is not on 5th Ave.  The street here was REALLY crowded.  My favorite sight was the police officer writing a ticket to an ice cream truck driver while the driver continued to sell ice cream cones.
Then we went to FAO Schwartz, the giant toy store from Home Alone.  Claire was really excited to be there, but Lily was sleeping.
Lily did finally wake up and we had fun playing with puppets.

I was sorted by the Sorting Hat (of course into Gryffindor)

And we read a story.

Then we went home because we were exhausted from so much walking!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Somerset Patriots

Turns out Somerset has their own baseball team.  They play in the Atlantic league...which I'd never heard of.  We got the tickets for free from our apartment complex and had lots of fun spending the evening at the game.  I dressed the girls up in their Cubs shirts and Jeff wore his Cubs shirt too.  I was the only "team neutral" member of the family.  The Somerset Patriots played the Long Island team.  I don't know who won because it got too late and we had to leave to let the girls go to bed.  We had great seats, 3 rows behind home plate!
And here's another picture of Claire since she isn't looking in the family photo.


Claire slept through the night last night!  Hooray!!!  Hopefully it will continue.

Jeff put her to bed with a sippy cup of water so I don't know if that made a difference or not, but I'll be trying it again tonight.

She did wake up for the day at 5:55am, but that sure beats waking up at 2am, 4am, and 6am.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baltimore and Annapolis

We spent this weekend visiting Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland.  I must admit, when Jeff initially suggested we visit these cities I was skeptical.  Would there be anything to do???  Yes!  We had so much fun and couldn't see everything we wanted to.

We spent most of our day at the National Aquarium, which is fantastic and huge.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the Aquarium.

We ate lunch at Uno's Pizza (go Chicago style pizza!).  We were able to sit out on the patio and enjoy the beautiful day and harbor views.
Here's a picture of the Aquarium from the outside.

After lunch we finished up at the aquarium and then drove to Annapolis.  There we walked around the US Naval Academy, which was beautiful, and the charming historic main street.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jersey Shore

We had to take advantage of the beach being so close by.  We visited Jenkinson's beach and boardwalk for the day, about an hour drive from our house.  The water was very rough and very cold, so we spent all of our time on the sand playing and picnicking

Here's Lily and Daddy's sand castle.

The sand was made up of lots of small rocks and shells and was kind of hard.
Sand always manages to get in everything while you're at the beach.  The worst part was all the sand in Claire's mouth.  She would crawl in the sand and then suck on her fingers.  There was nothing I could do to stop her, but I tried rinsing out her mouth several times with her sippy cup.

Overall, we had a lot of fun in the sun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crayola Factory

A nice woman, Kim, in the apartment complex volunteered to take Lily, Claire, and I along with our friend Michelle to the Crayola Factory.  The factory is about 45 minutes away in Pennsylvania.  We had a GREAT time there.  Lily loved it!

Its set up with several different stations where you can create art projects.  We spent the whole day and loved creating so many fun projects with Crayola products.  Here Lily and I are making a butterfly with Model Magic.

Here are Kim and Victoria (the little girl she babysits) playing with Model Magic.
Here are Lily and I making art with melted crayons.  We dipped a long q-tip into melted crayons and then "painted" with the wax on little paper stars.

Here's Michelle with her finished star.
Here's Lily and Victoria drawing with chalk on the indoor sidewalk area.

There were stations to make paper bag puppets, color pictures, paint with bubble wrap, and make thank you signs for the sun.  There was also a play area for small kids that the girls loved.  You could tell they were having fun by how high-pitches their screams were.

No visit to the Crayola Factory would be complete without a visit to the Crayola Store next door.  The variety of products was amazing.  I bought some window crayons.  I've never seen them in any other store.  The Crayola Store also had the world's largest crayon on display.