Pennsylvania & New York

We loved Pennsylvania and New York! Here are the places we were able to visit:

20150425_183938Gettysburg, PA – We had originally planned to stop and tour the Gettysburg National Park (after all, we are roadschooling), but after coming from D.C. when we read the price of the tour we decided to skip it. Then, as we were driving by, the Gettysburg exit just happened to be the one that looked best for a parking lot lunch break, so we turned off to find somewhere. As we searched, we ended up driving right past the Gettysburg battlefield and cemetery (wow!) and through the sweet New England town of Gettysburg itself (so so cute)! So we whipped it around at the town roundabout and ate our lunch in the overflow parking lot of the Gettysburg National Park, enjoyed the scenery, and said our goodbyes. I love surprises like this!

Mason-Dixon Line – Who knew there was actually a road sign notifying people of crossing the Mason-Dixon Line?! Well, there is. Unfortunately we were going to fast to get a photo. This was the moment our journey became a little more real– we’re definitely out of our element now!

20150422_153357Hershey’s Chocolate World, Hershey, PA – The Sweetest Place on Earth! Our little guys don’t normally say too much about our travels except, “That’s cool!” or “Where are we going today?” but when Elijah (9) learned that we were going to be passing through Pennsylvania on this trip, he immediately asked if we could go through Hershey and continued to remind us the closer we got. So, we drove through just for him, and we’re so glad we did. Where else can you find kiss-shaped street lights and an entire complex devoted to the making of candy? The kids were beside themselves with joy (and they don’t even eat candy that much). It didn’t matter to them that the theme park was closed (why does a chocolate factory have a theme park anyway?), nor did they care that we didn’t do 20150422_155116any of the high-priced attractions like designing your own candy bar ($15 each) or watching the 4D chocolate movie ($7-9 each) or doing the official chocolate tasting experience ($7-9 each). They were just so happy to do the free little tour ride twice and shop in the candy store. Honestly, it really wasn’t my cup of tea because they don’t show the real chocolate being made and also because the tour ride was more like the small world ride at Disney than an actual tour of any kind (must be the singing puppets and strange voices throughout). But we all loved the store and the candies we bought.

20150422_194452Cabela’s, Hamburg, PA – We realize that Cabela’s is a big box store and not an attraction or natural wonder of the world or anything, but they allow overnight parking for campers, so we love them. The Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA doesn’t just allow overnight parking; with their colossal RV parking section and black and gray water dumps, they cater to it. We were so happy to drive in and see about 8 other campers parked, 2 of those being other Airstreams (such a rare treat)! We even stepped out to take our trash to the bin and met the sweetest couple who were staying in their 07 Airstream just a few spots down and chatted for a while about New England travels. I love meeting nice folks, and these were some of the nicest!

20150424_152925Lackawanna State Park , North Abington, PA – After nearly 3 weeks on the road without shore power, we treated ourselves to one night plugged in at this state park. Unfortunately, the same-day check-in charge was $31/night, but we really enjoyed being able to run our dehumidifier, heater, and convection oven, and the boys had so much fun running around in the woods and playing in the creek (we really love state parks for this). Also, since check-out was 3PM the next day we were able to get almost a full 24 hours. Such a good break from the constant search for water and dumps!

20150425_184010Black Bear Winery, Chenango Forks, NY – This was another great Harvest Host spot (really getting the goodie out of our $40/year membership). We tasted the delicious blackberry wine and enjoyed a beautiful but frigid sunset over the gorgeous New York hills. The owners were really nice and happy to have us stay the night, and we are so thankful for their hospitality.

 

20150427_085912Boondockers Welcome Host Family, Mt. Upton, NY – Since we’ve been enjoying Harvest Hosts so much, we joined Boondockers Welcome and completely hit the jackpot with our first stop! The couple we contacted were so nice and helpful in letting us know how to get there, and as it turns out they even had two sweet little boys who were ready to play with our road-weary little guys! So we showed up around 2PM and spent the entire day in great conversation while the kids enjoyed playing outside with treehouses, obstacle courses, chickens, baby guinea hens, gardens, hay bales, a sweet dog, and big wheel trikes of every size (even adult sized, which we had to try ourselves)! And they also had full hook-ups too.20150427_085241 We were blown away by their hospitality and kindness, especially since they gave treats when it was time to go (fresh farm eggs, garlic scape pesto, and homemade cookies). As soon as we were out of the driveway the boys said, “When can we come back?” and it was evident that we hadn’t just stayed the night in someone’s driveway – we’d made friends. We can’t wait to see them again!

 

20150428_135403Adirondack Mountains, Diamond Point, NY – We are completely in foreign territory now, seeing something new every single day. So I wasn’t completely surprised to see signs for ski resorts and the Adirondacks, but it was quite surreal. The mountains, hills, valleys, and barns in this part of the world are gorgeous. I’ve tried to take a few photos, but honestly, they pale in comparison. Also, after weeks on constant driving, museum visiting, and town-hopping, we’re pretty tired. Thankfully, we contacted another Boondockers Welcome host, and he offered us a spot in the Adirondacks for a few days. So we settled into a remote little spot and took a few days to see what we could see, hike through the woods and prepare for the last week of travel on the way to Maine.

 

20150428_123658Prospect Mountain at Lake George, NY – The reviews for this hike said “not recommended for kids under 4th grade,” so we almost didn’t go. Then because there weren’t any other hiking trails close by we decided to go for it, and we’re so glad we did. The hike up took close to 2 hours and was incredibly intense, but the kids weren’t the ones asking to stop for breaks; I was. The view from the top was stunning. It was really something. Thankfully the hike 20150428_134806down wasn’t bad at all, and it left us all so drained and full of endorphins that we spent the rest of the day relaxing with smiles on our faces. Some of us may have spent the next two days with sore legs, but we’ll definitely be looking for more hikes like this in the future!

 

20150429_101140Lake Champlain, NY – Driving can sometimes be tedious (well, riding at least – Matthew is still too afraid of my driving to let me take over sometimes). However, the drive from Diamond Point, NY into Vermont around Lake Champlain was absolutely breathtaking. The mountains, the valleys, the sparkling blue water, and the sweet little towns just waking up from their winter hibernation – it was so, so beautiful.

Now it’s on to venture through a couple more states before landing in Maine – only a week and a half to go! I think we can make it! (Surely we will, right?)

2 Comments

    1. Celeste

      Thank you so much, Sarah! We always love when friends offer us a place to stop over, and we’d love to see you guys! We’ll definitely give you a buzz when we head through PA again!! Thanks a million!

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