Sunday, June 28, 2009


Does anyone know what these three things have in common? If you said Pennsylvania – you’d be absolutely right. R. and I are on the road again. This time heading to find all three.

Frederick, Maryland is our first stop – OR NOT – with me behind the wheel. I flat miss the exit (R. informs me as we sail by our intended turn-off).

“I didn’t see the sign,” I tell him.

Silence fills the air. I’m sure R. is either satisfied with my answer (highly unlikely) or so stunned, he’s finding it hard to respond.

Before he can formulate words, I add. “I don’t look at signs. I just drive. Half the time I don’t even know what the speed limit is.”

Laughter erupts from the passenger seat.

“What’s so funny?”

“That explains so much about your driving and why you don’t drive in Houston. You COULD get lost and never be found.”

Oh HA!! HA!!!

Since I missed Frederick, R. directs me to our next stop – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We locate the Visitor’s Center and they offer a couple of tours for us to choose from. We decide to go on a self-guided one (yes, R. is driving).

With map in hand, we take off. The barn in the picture below is #1 on the tour and where the Civil War began.

R. takes his time driving through the tour and pulls off at the different statues along the way.

This one depicts the men who fought from North Carolina.

This is The Valley of Death

This is for the Pennsylvania regiment. Elaborate with statues of men standing at attention on all four sides (one we recognize as Abraham Lincoln)

Our visit to Gettysburg put a face on the Civil War for me and I’m ashamed as to how lightly I’ve taken it through the years. Maybe the appreciation of history is finally sinking into this head of mine. Guess it’s about time.

While R. and I are learning about the battles, the ‘kids’ are clamoring about our next stop. I try to shush them, but Randy is almost beside himself.

“Can you guys hurry up? The place is going to close before we get there,” the little bear growls (oh, I mean says).

If you’re wondering what he’s referring to – it’s Hershey, Pennsylvania. Home of the:

As we park at Hershey’s Chocolate World and get out, I thought Ray and Randy would faint from the aroma surrounding us. Trust me I have to hold their hands or they’d take off and Hazel and I would find them head-first in a vat of chocolate.

We’re not a foot in the door and R. stops and buys all of us a goody for our walk around the facility. People, I’ve never seen so much candy in one spot. And they came in every shape and size imaginable, too. I think the boys (R. and R.) thought they’d died and gone to heaven.

At 3:30 we go out and catch the Hershey Trolley. All of us enjoy the trolley ride around the town that Milton S. Hershey established back in 1903. The guides tell the history of how milk chocolate got it start and gives out samples we can savor along the way.

As they show us the Hershey grounds, the tour guides point out the plant where the chocolate (and other goodies) are made. There is also a huge amusement park, concert venue and a rose garden which Mr. Hershey gave to his wife many years ago on the property located next to Chocolate World.

Red Rose Motel - Our day ends in the quiet town of Rheem, Pennsylvania at the Red Rose Motel. Cozy little cabin, comfortable bed and cool breezes blowing through the window. Dreams of sugar plums – oh I mean chocolate dancing in all of our heads.

This morning the family is on the road to Lancaster County – Amish country and I can’t wait. As a quilt lover, these stops excite me as much as the chocolate did the boys yesterday.

We see our first horse and buggy and I’m transported back in time. I look over and see the Log Cabin Quilt Shop and the most magnificent quilt I’ve ever seen. I instruct R. to pull in as fast as he can (but warn him to be careful not to run the Amish family down).

I marvel at the black and white quilt hanging by the front door (which you can't really see in the photo-sorry). Every part of my being wants the beautiful masterpiece, but I don’t buy it. I purchase a wall hanging with the same pattern. Yes, I’m selling my house with the black and white bathroom, but who says I won’t use black and white to decorate my next place.

Amish hospitality and workmanship welcome us into every store we browse through. R. finds another walking stick and buys it. We are getting quite a collection.

On our way back to Herndon, R. drives. I’m navigating us through the back roads of Pennsylvania and Maryland – and NOT doing such a fine job, I might add. But I have to come to my own defense – PA or MD don’t waste their tax dollars on road signs (I'm being a bit snide). At one point I think R. thought we were lost and never going to be found. Thankfully a neighborly gentleman (and a cop) gave us directions and we were on the road again.

Until next time – love ya!!!!


PS: I hope you’re enjoying the PS’s as much as I am – today is a doozer. Some of you are aware that there is a town in Lancaster County called Intercourse. Yes, you read that right. Oh, how I wanted to mention it, but didn’t know how to tactfully. Mr. R. found the perfect solution – a street sign announcing an OB/GYN conference. Priceless!!!


Charlotte Holt said...

Hi Janetta and Ray,
Glad you have such a good time and keeping us informed. Yes, I've been to Intercourse. We had a lot of fun there. Don't forget to stop by Bird In Hand. You'll find a lot of beautiful quilts there at the quilt shop on the hill. I bought two made by the Mennonite ladies. I recommend that you also see a show at Sight and Sound theater there in Lancaster. Awesome! I've seen Daniel and In the Beginning (twice).

Charlotte Holt said...

Please don't edit my remarks. I saw some mistakes. LOL

dwanreed said...

Janetta, I wish I could take Ray and Randy's place and join you on this awesome trip. You have seen and done so much. What a wonderful experience. Around how much were the Amish quilts? What about the black and white one?

Annette O'Hare said...

Great post Janetta! I'm enjoying this trip as much as you and Ray are! Love ya!