We've had a trip to Erie, then Hershey planned for about 6 months. Blake and Brian were going to attend an anesthesia conference together. Blake and I flew out of Idaho Falls on Friday, Aug. 15th. Brian and his family left Cindy's house on Friday morning, and got home about 4pm. Blake and I arrived in Erie a little after 10pm.
One good thing about them just having left Idaho was that Annie already knew Blake and didn't have to take any time to get to know him. Maden's face is very typical if you tell him to smile. I kept telling him that when he's older he'll be sad that he wouldn't smile for pictures. He doesn't seem to care.
On Saturday, we harvested and washed some produce from their garden.
Blake and Brian had been playing tennis, so we went to join them for a picnic and some playing in the park.
After the picnic, the kids had a little tennis lesson. Annie doesn't want to be left out of anything, and thinks she can do whatever Maden does.
Saturday night, Brian and Celia went on a little date to see Cirq de Sole and to a street fair, Brian was real happy with his big bag of kettle corn. It was really good. While they were gone we took the kids to Chic-fil-A, and to Krispy Kremes and to Walmart.
Blake was the designated reader on Saturday night, then the helper to put this huge puzzle together on Sunday morning.
Sunday afternoon, we went for a river walk. Blake found a snake in the grass before we went to the river. The kids love taking river walks. They took a net and caught some little minnows.
They found quite a few minnows to put in the bucket. The water was cold when you first stepped in, but you got used to it pretty soon.
Annie is quite the trooper in the river. We went to some deeper spots and found more minnows. It was getting quite late, so Blake picked Annie up to carry her home, so we could go faster. He slipped and fell, neither were hurt, but his leg and pants got all dirty. Annie was not very impressed when they fell. I have to point out the smile on Maden's face! We put the fish in the water table, the kids loved watching them swim around in there.
After the river walk, we came back and roasted marshmallows in the fire pit. Maden was shooting some baskets and Annie was doing the hula hoop, she was so funny, she would hold the hoop up and let it fall, then wiggle her hips after it had fallen.
Of course, Annie had to take some selfies.
Monday morning, Maden played the Wii, and Annie cheered him on and sang some songs with Grandpa.
Annie loves babies, she can spot them in a crowd anywhere. And of course another selfie.
We went for a little walk with the wagon and the trike.
Monday afternoon, we drove to Jamestown, PA to the Pymatuning Deer Park. It is a nice little park with animals to feed and see.
Maden loved riding the see saw, and of course if Maden did, then Annie did too.
Maden got to go on a little horse ride, love the smile on his face because he didn't know there was a picture being taken. Annie loved seeing all the animals and birds.
Maden got brave enough to let the deer eat out of his hand, Annie would pick the corn up and give it to him to feed.
We spent the day Tuesday travelling to Hershey. We drove both of Brian's cars with Blake and I and the kids in one and Brian and Celia in the other. We stopped in Grove City to go to an outlet mall. It took a little over 6 hours to get to Hershey. The kids were really good little riders. We stayed at The Hershey Lodge. It was huge with a lot of rooms and restaurants and meeting rooms. It was pretty funny that the shampoo, conditioner, soup and lotion all smelled like chocolate.
Wednesday morning while Blake and Brian were in their meetings we went to check out the miniature golf course at the resort. Maden got a hole in one on hole #4, then I did! The pressure was on, but Celia came through and got a hole in one also!
After golfing, we got in one of the pools. Maden loved swimming around with his floatie. Annie wasn't so sure about the pool and life jacket, but she still smiled and said cheese for pictures.
After the guys got done with meetings, they went to play tennis for a bit while Annie was napping. See how Maden watched tennis? When Annie woke up and came out, she of course had to take some selfies.
We went to the Hershey Tour and took a little train like tour to see how they make chocolate. We had to wait in line a long time because it had started to rain, so all the people in Hershey Park came inside too.
Thursday morning, Celia and I took the kids toThe Story of Hershey and museum. The kids learned how chocolate was made in the old days with some interactive stations. Funny Annie in the bottom right picture....you were supposed to stand on the little stair and have your chin rest on the top so it looked like you were in the factory uniform. She was too short, but stood there smiling and saying cheese even though she couldn't see over the top.
Brian and Blake played tennis again after their meetings, then joined us in this little spray pool. Celia and Maden had fun dragging Brian into the spray. Annie didn't want to get in at first, then changed her mind and had fun in the cold water.
The grounds of the resort were beautiful, Blake loved these huge leaves. Maden enjoyed playing some games with us in our room. Annie loved looking at pictures or videos on my phone on IPad.
Friday morning we went to Zoo America Hershey. We decided that Maden really doesn't like zoos all that much, but Annie loves them. I'm glad those bears are not real, they are pretty big. Annie and Maden seemed to have grown some antlers!
Friday afternoon, we went to the Hershey Gardens. They have some beautiful gardens, along with a butterfly house and a children's garden. The fountain with ball was very interesting. There was a place that you could make music by hopping on the squares. Maden really enjoyed that. They had races between the rows of flowers.
We tried to take a family photo, but they turned out a little blury. That makes me sad.
Saturday morning, Celia taught the kids how to play shuffle board.
Annie got tired of the shuffle board, so we went over to the play ground. She was determined to climb up by herself, and she did! She got pretty good at it too.
She sat down in this little circle and it turned into an impromptu photo shoot. Isn't she just the cutest little bug?
We went back to the mini golf in the afternoon. Maden got another hole in one, then Celia did too. Brian got three! Blake finally got one!
Brian and Blake had to try their hand at shuffle board too. There was a lot of fun things to do at the resort.
Sunday morning, Blake and Brian left their meetings about 9:30, so we loaded up and headed back to Erie. We followed Brian all the way. Maden was hiding under his blanket so I couldn't get a picture of him, but I caught him, even with a smile! Of course Annie wanted to have my phone so she could take her own selfie.
When we got back to Brian's we had to look at all the pictures that I took while I was there.
We had a great time, it was fun for Blake and Brian to attend the conference together and be able to talk about the things they learned. It's always such a treat to spend time with Maden and Annie. It's always hard to say goodbye. We flew out early Monday morning and are not sure when we will return to Erie, it might be next May when Brian graduates.