Pennsylvania. The state next door. Been there LOTS of times. In fact, we’d already been to both Philadelphia and Hershey before. So, we weren’t able to say that we were visiting a state we’d never been to before (a trend that will continue through the end of the year, unfortunately). The kids had never been to Philadelphia and we have friends in that area. And with all the history we had learned in Boston, going to the historic district of Philly just made sense. With Hershey, we were excited to do trick or treating and celebrate Caydence’s birthday at the sweetest place on earth!
First off, I have to say something about the campground we stayed at in the Philly area, Lake-In-Wood Resort. It was about an hour west of the city but we picked it because it looked unique. And it was! As the name suggests (or tells you flat out…) it is a resort. So it’s not your typical campground. This has been the only campground so far that the kids have asked to come back to in the summer sometime. They had what looked like an amazing pool with fun water features that connected under a bridge to the indoor pool that the kids enjoyed one afternoon. They had a restaurant, a great playground, golf cart rentals, and an ice cream shop. But to enjoy the most intriguing feature, you’d have to leave the RV at home. They had really cool rental cabins. Let me count the ways: A yurt, a double decker bus, a tree house, a teepee, a gnome home, a train car, a covered wagon, a log cabin…. and the list continues! I wish I could have gone inside of them because they all looked like really neat experiences. And, to top it off, our site was stellar and super affordable since we were there off season.
But enough about camping! Let’s get to the good stuff! Seeing OTHER PEOPLE!!! Of course we see lots of people out and about. But after three weeks on the road, the initial vacation feeling on the trip was starting to wear off and it was feeling like we ought to be headed home to see friends and family again. Spending every waking moment with each other is so great but also, something to get used to. We were starved for adult interaction when we got to see my childhood BFF (she’s still pretty cool now, too) and her family. We sat and chatted and had a meal together and it felt so good to be with friends! And our kids played and played and then begged for a sleep over before we finally had to peel them away from each other. It was just what we needed and look forward to visiting with more friends, soon!
We had been going so full speed all through New England, so our time near Philly was a little more relaxed. We took a few days to just relax at the campground and recharge. We only went into the city one day. We filled that day with history and thinly sliced steak. As I mentioned earlier, Zac and I had been to Independence Hall, but it had been years.
There was something really special about going straight from Boston to Philadelphia and learning about the founding of our country! Zac and I really enjoyed and I’m hoping that the kids at least learned something that will stick in their brains. It’s so much information coming at them all at once. If you haven’t been to Independence Hall, you really should. It’s so neat to stand in the same room where the Declaration and the Constitution were signed.
Just a short Uber ride away and you’re taste testing some Philly Cheesesteaks! We all got one of Pat’s famous steak sandwiches and then Zac went across the street to Geno’s so that we could sample that as well. The verdict…. theeeeeeyyyyyy taste pretty much the same. But the good news is, either is great, so pick the shorter line.
Our time in Philly had come to an end and it was time to head off to Hershey. We were also really excited about this trip because my parents would be joining us there! It had only been three weeks and we’ve definitely gone without seeing them that long even when we lived close by. But there was something different about those three weeks being spent away that made them seem longer.
Again, we had been to Hershey before. But it had been 10+ years and we had heard that they had done a lot more since we’d been there last. And boy had they ever! Guys, Hershey’s Chocolate World is the real deal. Before I say this next part, let me be clear: Nothing is Disney but Disney. It stands alone in it’s awesomeness. But it seemed as though someone from the Hershey company must have visited the happiest place on earth and came back to PA with new found ideas for the sweetest place on earth. They added new attractions and made the old ones better.
Interactive shows, animatronics, projection, and top notch workers made this a trip to remember. Make sure to also ride on chocolate and history trolley. You will learn all about Milton Hershey and how he created a chocolate empire. And also how he and is wife created a trust fund for the Milton Hershey School that offers education and housing to under privileged kids. Pretty neat stuff. A couple days later, we headed next door to the amusement park and had a great time there as well. To all of my Ohio friends, Hershey is the perfect little trip to make since it’s only a few hours away.
And that was Pennsylvania. It was time to pack up and head out to yet another historical spot: Colonial Williamsburg. But not before saying goodbye to my parents. I’m not going to lie. There were tears. We won’t be seeing them for over three months and that’s the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing my parents! It was hard. But I’m sure we’ll enjoy seeing them all the more when they come to visit us the next time.