Friday, July 26, 2013

PA and Palmyra, NY

After a brief week of settling into our new home, we decided it was time to hit the road. First stop (after just 12.5 hours of driving!) was to visit my family in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Okay, I may be a bit biased, but we had a great time doing all the things that we like to do when we visit PA...
We ate ice cream. 
In this picture- from the Kunkletown General Store.
We rode things with motors.
(I know this picture is terribly blurry, but it was getting pretty dark out by then.  I so wish I had taken a picture of Jake on the four wheeler with Uncle "Nart" aka Mark.  It made a huge impression on the Little Bear and he has been asking about Mark every day since we got home.)
We went swimming at Aunt Melissa's and also at Connie's pools.
It was really hot out, so we went swimming a lot!
It was great to have time to spend with everyone- even if it was brief in some cases. We also had a campfire, ordered pizza from Frank's, and visited the animals an the Haydt's farm. :)  
After 4-5 days in PA we drove 4 more hours north to Palmyra, NY to visit some of our church's historical sites.  My dad instigated this trip about a year ago.  He and his wife Linda, and son Dan (recent high school grad! good luck at Westchester!) along with my sister Pam, husband Mark, and kiddos Leah and Connor all traveled with us.

We visited the Joseph Smith Farm and Sacred Grove.
We walked to the top of the Hill Cumorah.  This was something that my dad really wanted to do and he made it to the top just fine... ahead of this pregnant lady in fact.

And then in the evening we came to watch the Hill Cumorah Pageant.
This is an outdoor performance that is put on for two weeks every summer by a volunteer cast of about 650 people.  There is outdoor seating for a few thousand people.  There is a huge stage put up on the side of the hill, and some cool special effects involved, and of course it is free to attend.  And yes, it rained.  Rob and I last went to this pageant 8 years ago when we were dating and it rained that time too.  This time was different though, as it rained SO HARD and was accompanied by lightning bursts, that the performance for the night had to be cancelled. (This rarely happens.)

But would we be deterred?!?!  No, we would not! 
We returned the next evening (for the final performance of the year) and were finally able to see the show.  The story highlights characters and events from the Book of Mormon and Toby LOVED it and has taken to dressing like a Nephite since we've been home.  (He ties a belt around his waist and another around his forehead.) 
Here's Toby with the stage behind him.
The costumes have gotten better over the years, and my dad says 30 years ago they sat on very basic benches and not the comfy individual seats that are now set up- but the overall message has remained the same- Jesus Christ visited the people of the ancient Americas and they recorded his teachings in the records that became the Book of Mormon.  I'm glad my dad prompted us to take this trip and share these places with our kids.  It was a memorable trip!  And I think they learned a lot and enjoyed it more for having extended family to share the experience with.

1 comment:

Aubrey said...

Such a cool family trip! Love that your dad made it happen.

The last picture of Toby made me teary. He is growing up so quickly I almost didn't recognize him. :(