Monday, July 15, 2013

July 7-14

(Still waiting to upload some more photos to go along with this blog...)
We left Pennsylvania on Tuesday (the 9th) after having spent two fun-filled weeks with Seth's family. The one activity I forgot to mention was firefly catching, something Ella and I particularly enjoyed. Those of you in the East may not understand why I find these little bugs so magical, but man are they cool twinkling across the lawn and in the trees...

We spent the next 4 days making our way back across the country with a quick stop in Chicago, where all we really got a chance to do was eat some authentic Chicago pizza and see the skyline from the car.
Seth's phone died so we were without GPS and a camera.
All our Chicago photos were taken the old fashioned way, with a 35mm point and shoot.
So... we don't have digital pics of that adventure for the blog... yet!
The pizza was delicious!   

We also visited Nauvoo, Illinois, one of the cities settled by the early members of the LDS Church. The kids didn't let us linger to soak up the history there, but it was cool to at least have a taste of it and say we'd been there.

We finally made it to Colorado and spent another couple of days with Nonno (Grandpa), as respite from our travels. He took us to the top of Pike's Peak (he said it was something everyone should do at least once). The drive is crazy, but the view is awesome!

Eventually we found ourselves back in Utah. Our last day of driving (Sunday the 14th) was pretty harry since Monet got sick that morning and basically threw up the whole way home. We figured we couldn't escape the whole month without at least one of the kids puking either in their bed or in the car, since those seem to be the only places that kids throw up.
Our rental van also didn't end up making it over 5000 miles unscathed, either. Somehow during our time in PA the rear blinker light and casing got smashed. I hope it is less than our $500 deductible :(
All told, we had an amazing time. I still have a hard time believing all we saw and did, and that we were away for a month! It is sure good to be home.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 3-6

I haven't uploaded pictures for these days yet. Stay tuned!
Wednesday (July 3) we took the kids to Sandcastle, a waterpark in Pittsburgh.

Of course I got horribly sunburned.
Thursday was the 4th of July and we spent the afternoon with the family; Oma and Opa, Brittany and her boyfriend Josh, Meg and two of her kids (Gabby and Grant), and Aunt Kris, Uncle Ron, and Kate. Later that night we tried to go see fireworks in Freedom, but it turned out that the city had already done them the weekend before. I love fireworks, especially when they are launched from barges in the rivers, and was sad we missed them. But, we did light sparklers and made s'mores over a little fire in the backyard.
Friday we all went to Kennywood, an amusement park in Pittsburgh. It was crowded and we had the kids with us, so we spent most of our time in Kiddie Land. Of course Marley freaked out on all the rides, but only until I forced him to go once, then he loved it. What a pill. At least I got to go on a couple of rollercoasters (The Phantom's Revenge and Jackrabbit), and the kids had fun.
Saturday Oma and Opa let Seth and I go downtown for the evening while they took the kids to see a movie (Despicable Me 2). It was really nice for us to spend some time alone together, strolling the city hand in hand. We went to the Strip District and ate at the Primanti Bros. there. We dipped our feet (and head?) in the fountain at Point State Park, drove around down town, and had dinner at Hofbrauhaus (a German restaurant and brewery) where we were serenaded by raucous versions of Happy Birthday and Sweet Caroline sung by a suspendered and grey bearded German, and buzzed patrons waving giant beer mugs in the "Beer Hall."
Hobrauhaus Pittsburgh      

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June 28-July 2

We've spent the last few days hanging out with some of Seth's old friends. His sister, Meg, threw us a party on Saturday and it was fun to reconnect and meet some new people.

On Wednesday (the 2nd) we took the kids into the city to see the Pirates play at PNC Stadium. It was the kids and my first pro ball game... and what a view!

While we waited for the game to start, we built sandcastles by the river...
Nothing compared to the other sand sculpture we saw there!
The Pirates played the Phillies. Phillies won 3 to 1 :P

Even though we had spent a small fortune on food, we let a rickshaw driver talk us into a ride since we'd parked a good quarter-mile away. It all adds to the experience, right?

June 24-27

I'm kind of behind in posting. We've just done so much that it is hard to keep up! On Wednesday we went to the Carnegie Science Center.

We learned about space...
Explored a real submarine...

Met some famous robots...

Saw a scale model train of famous Pittsburgh landmarks...

And Seth realized his dream of seeing Pee Wee Herman's bike.

Thursday was the twin's birthday. They are four and, no matter how much I protest, insist that they are officially NOT babies!
We celebrated with Oma and Opa (Grama and Granpa), aunts and cousins...

Friday we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo. I've been to zoos in Salt Lake, Denver, San Diego, and Pitt, and this one is by far the coolest. You start by riding a giant escalator up a hill and then you snake your way through the forest...
They even have an aquarium!

And rope bridges!
Saturday we spent some time the Children's Museum... 
This was the coolest thing. A "mirror" made of little wooden squares. A camera set in the middle of the hexagon would record your image, and the squares would tilt up and down to change the shadow and light reflected on them to recreate your image. High tech and low tech at the same time!
The kids even did some crafts...

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 21-23

We arrived in Pennsylvania in the wee hours of Friday morning (about 3 am) and spent our first weekend here just getting settled. We hung out by the river...


... and bummed around town
Eating at Quaker Steak and Lube (really good wings)!
Coloring chalk in Grandma's driveway.