Friday, April 19, 2013

Side-Tracked... and Philly

So, as I was saying at the end of my last entry, we saw the sign for Valley Forge on the way down to Philly and spontaneously decided to stop and check it out.  For those unfamiliar with the significance of Valley Forge, it was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777-1778 during the American Revolutionary War. (Taken from wikipedia's article on Valley Forge)  So I'll get straight on to photos:

 
Huts where the soldiers stayed.




This chapel is still actively used today.



After that little venture into history, we finally arrived in Philadelphia late in the afternoon, and since none of us had eaten since breakfast, naturally our first stop was for a real Philly cheesesteak... in the freezing cold!  Bucket list item, check.

Oh and I should mention that we did manage to unintentionally step foot in New Jersey momentarily after making a wrong turn (thanks to our "trusty" GPS) and being forced to drive across the Ben Franklin Bridge.  I didn't realize Philadelphia was so close to the border.

Capturing part of Independence Hall before catching a cab to go eat.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Pennsylvania in Spring...

... wasn't too different from winter this year!  We got to see a ton of snow, at least on the Eastern side of the state, not so much the Western though.  But we still had a blast on both sides!

Two weeks ago, Jacques, Erin and I were on a plane heading to Pennsylvania for a week-long vacation, where we'd land in Pittsburgh, spend one night there, then drive across the state in our Ford Explorer rental to Reading (about one hour north of Philadelphia), spend a couple nights there with Jacques's Uncle Jacques (who he was named after) and Aunt Jane, then drive back to Pittsburgh to spend some time with my dad.  We ended up logging close to 1600 miles on that rental, which is why the entire trip seemed longer than only a week.  But it was well worth it, and so much fun!

Anyway, straight to pictures:

Starting off with a photo of Alaska.
Buried railroad tracks somewhere in Sharpsville, before heading out across the state.

Running into snow at one of the rest stops!
Erin and I stopping to take a break from playing in the snow!!  I think she was as excited as I was about all the snow.
Starting to snow harder here.



Catching the sun out this time!  I loved all the shadows reflected on the snow.


Erin making... tree art?  (Or at least that's what she said.)
 That's the gist of the drive across the state to Reading.  We arrived late evening to a wonderfully delicious meal, cooked by Jacques's Aunt Jane and a couple of his cousins, along with homemade bread that Uncle Jacques makes every day.  We then spent some time visiting with his family, all of which he hadn't seen in years.  We didn't get to sleep until around midnight, then we woke up early the next day and headed out to Philadelphia.

On the way there, we pass a sign for Valley Forge National Historical Park... and on a whim, we decided to visit.  We spent too much time there though, and got into Philly around 2:30pm.  Look for those photos in my next post!