Saturday, October 22, 2016

Lancaster Trip

I'm a few months late on this recap, but I didn't want to just skip over this trip to get up to present day. I finally finished the project I had been working on during my approximately 2.5 hours weekly of freetime (i.e., Audra's weekend naptime), so hopefully I'll be able to catch up again soon :)

Back in August, my mom, brother, SIL, nephew, and me and the girls (Ryan decided to have his own version of a vacation at home in a quiet house) went up to Pennsylvania for a long weekend. We were headed to Lancaster, which appears to be most known for its Amish population, quilting... and Dutch Wonderland, which was our primary destination ;) There was a carnival by our house again, so before we left, we had to make it through another week of passing the carnival every day on the way to and from school, and the girls asked to go to it every day, and every day I told them we were about to go to a bigger and even better amusement park, if they could just wait a couple of days. Sometimes it's hard to be a kid.

So we drove up to Lancaster, and our first stop was at Friendly's for lunch, which Josie always loves because she really likes that she can get a balloon there. Audra was more amused by drinking her milk and water at the same time.

We then went to the B&B for naptime, and although we had briefly considered going to Dutch Wonderland for the park preview (where we could have gone for the last 3 hours the park was open), we ended up just hanging out at the B&B for a bit and then getting dinner. Dinner was notable for the number of horse-drawn buggies going by outside the window, and watching for them quickly became more exciting for the girls than the authentic Amish meatloaf they were pushing around their plates ;) 

The next morning, we headed out for our day at the park. The girls went on the carousel first, and probably would have been happy to spend the rest of the day on it. Audra in particular loved her black horse, and even yelled at other kids she saw riding on it later in the day, claiming (rather loudly) that they were riding her horsie :-\

Cousin Benjamin went on his first ride too, with some assistance from Josie. The ride was hilariously slow, but it was completely adorable to see how much the kids liked it (and Audra's aggressive bulldozing).

The rest of the morning was basically a flurry of going from ride to ride. There were a decent amount of other people there, but the lines weren't too bad so I think the longest wait was maybe only 15-20 minutes. Josie and Audra went on the little kid rollercoasters and just loved them, so Josie and I went on a rollercoaster that she only barely met the minimum height for. Although she loved it and shrieked throughout the whole ride, I couldn't stomach going on it again after seeing her head flopping all around (it was a rather bumpy wooden coaster) and I therefore spent most of the ride trying to prevent it from banging on anything.

The food choices at the park were less than ideal, so in wandering around in search of healthier food (and eventually even just any food), we found our way into a dinosaur jungle. Josie promptly got into a dinosaur egg, and then demanded to know why the (animatronic) dinosaurs were moving if they're all supposed to be dead.

After that, we found our way to a dining hall that was out of pretty much everything I wanted to feed the kids, so instead I spent a ridiculous amount of money ($60!) on smoothies for each kid (that Audra almost immediately spilled, which she somehow manages to do with every drink she ever gets at a restaurant), grilled cheese for the girls to split, a sandwich each for my mom and me, and a salad. I was more than a bit frazzled at this point, having waited too long to get food and then having to make impulse decisions about said food while in a noisy, hot, and humid room, but at least my mom had settled the girls down with some oranges in the meantime. After that, we headed back to the B&B for some much-needed naptime (for me, too).

Fully rested after naptime, we went back to the park to ensure we got our money's worth for the day ;) The girls were excited about the double stroller I rented... and I was excited about it being half-price since we got it in the evening ;)

The kids went on more rides, doing quite well being kind to each other while squished together on the rides, but decidedly less so in the stroller. They rather quickly decided that the stroller wasn't big enough for the both of them (probably true!), and there was lots of squabbling, one child or the other being pulled out to walk if they were being too antagonistic, etc. In attempts to make sure it at least wasn't hungry tummies causing them to be so prickly, I got them water, lemonade, and a pretzel (which did seem to help), and then we went to an aquatic show.

I thought the girls would probably be into it, but I still didn't expect how into it they actually were. Josie was like this for the whole show:

I'm not sure she blinked or sat down the whole time. Meanwhile, Audra clapped in delight with every trick, and hugged her lemonade like a long-lost friend.

We did a few more rides, story-time with Princess Brooke, the log flume (which the girls especially liked, despite Audra getting a faceful of water she wasn't expecting), more food, and then since the park was being closed down around us, we took our cue and finally left. This was such a great park for the kids at their ages, so we're already talking about going back next year.... just probably not in the summer, since it was a bit hotter than was entirely comfortable.

The next morning, we had another lovely breakfast at the B&B, and then Emily and Brian took some pictures of the kids. Ben is clearly an old pro at taking adorable pictures, but I was floored by these pictures that they took of the girls - they're both smiling, looking at the camera at the appropriate time, and not blurry or overly disheveled. Well done, and thank you, Brian and Emily :)