Monday, July 27, 2009

We have a rental in Irvine!

There it is! We chose a rental home in Irvine: 19 Deer Spring, Irvine CA 92604. Don't stop by yet though (even though we have a guest room for you)! We don't expect to move in until August 10th. Eric and I searched the rental listings by computer while in PA and made our top ten list. We put an application in for this house but had to wait almost 10 days to get confirmation that we were approved. Eric flew out to CA last week so he was able to walk through it. It was four bedrooms and space in the master bedroom for Eric's office. We are really excited about the neighborhood (Deerfield). There is a community pool and park on our street plus biking trails that can get us all over the county (even to the beach!). There are also restaurants and coffee shops in walking distance. The church currently meets about 2 miles from our house.

This summer has been a once in a lifetime treat! We've continued to enjoy new things here in PA (camping at Gifford Pinchot park, a balloon festival in NJ, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia) while Eric flew back to CA to start work and get our house plans finalized. (I'll try to put up more photos once we are reunited with Eric- and his laptop).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NYC Getaway

Eric and I took a little vacation in a vacation with a night in New York City (with no kids!- thanks Gram & Gramps). We took the bus from Allentown to Times Square then walked the city.We did lots of the usual tourists stops which we had never seen. We took a tour of the NY public library (which was helpful since the standard question is 'where are the books?'). We ate our lunch on the steps near the big lions.We stayed the night at a hotel near Battery Park and the site of the WTC, had dinner at a small local pub with lots of 9/11 memorabilia. In the morning we took a walking tour of historic NY and Wall Street.And Eric found a nice pipe shop on Wall St- but no purchases.We walked on the Brooklyn Bridge and took the subway to Central Park.We were very impressed (and lost) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wow! What a collection! I wish the kids could have seen the ancient artifacts- especially after studying Egypt last year.
We ended the day back in Times Square for a great Italian dinner in the theater district and a late night bus ride home. Very refreshing and great time to be away with Eric.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Local Culture

We've done lots of activities here with local flavor- especially funnel cakes, pierogies, lebanon bologna and cheesesteaks.

We've been to the Kutztown Folk Festival- same one my mom went to 50 years ago. Also the place where the funnel cake was created. Carson was chosen from the crowd to be part of a PA Dutch dialect humor routine- he was a great sport!

Another unique spot we hit was Roadside America. I had never been there and didn't know what to expect. After paying your six dollars, you walk through a dark door into a huge train set up with miniature village. We walked around the perimeter where there were buttons to push to make trains move, or dogs bark, or coal cars dump their load. There were historic buildings and caves and indians. Sort of like miniland at Legoland- but I found it more impressive. They even had a 'night pageant' where they simulate the sun set, night, and sunrise while playing patriotic music.

Eric & Gramps took the boys on a tour at the Atlas Cement Museum which is the company where his grandfather and great grandfather worked. (My grandfather was also in the cement industry).

We've also been to Shankweiler's- America's Oldest Drive In. All the kids stayed up to watch the movie "Up"- but couldn't stay awake for the double feature. We had a great time and may try to fit another movie in before we leave.

There's only a few things left on our 'to do' list- which is good since Eric leaves to head back to CA on Monday. We've got a short list of house rentals in OC- so you can be praying we get a good one!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day Out with Thomas the Train

Last weekend we went to the NY Susquehanna & Western Railway in Philipsburg NJ for a "Day Out with Thomas". Gram, Brenda and cousin Zach joined us too. It's a beautiful shady area where the train runs along the river. The kids were excited to see Thomas blowing his smoke (although Peter pointed out it wasn't the real Thomas since he didn't talk- and Natalie pointed out the drivers on the engine).
The kids loved watching the water go by. We rode out on the tracks about 15 mins then rode backwards to the station. Driving backwards confused the kids- how can Thomas push us backwards?

After the train ride, the kids got to make crafts, pet animals, jump in a bounce house and meet Sir Topham Hat (although Natalie & Zach were too scared to go near him). What a fun memory!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Gramps!

My Dad turned 59 on July 2nd. We celebrated with birthday cake on the back porch.
We got him a hammock to replace one that was wearing out.
Of course the kids enjoyed sharing the hammock as well as the cake.
Happy Birthday Dad! We love you very much and are so grateful to be here this summer!!