Thursday, May 6, 2010

A little chocolate, and a Philly Cheesesteak!

Hi to all.  I'm hopelessly behind on life, blog reading, get the idea.  However, I cannot complain, as I have been traveling to Pennsylvania this weekend, and I can't wait to show you some things.  Here we go!
Enjoying a fresh pretzel at Immergut (It is Good in German).  Yes it was!
My husband had an overnight trip in Philly, so I took the kids a few days early for a little "field trip".  We drove through the Amish country the first day and then up to Hershey.
Thanks to Siobhan, I was able to look at beautiful scenery like this...instead of the freeway.  She used to live here, and gave me great directions on what to do, and where to go.  My husband bought me a GPS before going, and "Lola" (as my daughter named her), did not like the fact that I was taking a different route, but I ignored all of her instructions and stuck to route 896.
 I bought this cute doll in Intercourse at a the Old Candle Barn.  Then it was on to Eldreth pottery.  I looked at everything, and honestly had the hardest time deciding what to buy, so I left without a thing.  We went to Hershey that night, and after a fitful night of dreaming about not getting a piece of Eldreth pottery, I made the stop on the way back to Philly and bought two plates.  The little black one was my first choice.  I loved the colors, and thought it looked great with my new doll.  The other plate was sitting over with 3 other plates.  They all had names and dates on them, and normally they would have been $50.00.  I don't know if they were ordered and never picked up, or what, but this plate was marked $2.00.  It made me think about orphan samplers with other peoples names on them.  I  decided my doll could be named "Anna Marie", and I bought it.  I told the saleslady she probably thought it was weird that I would buy a plate that had someone else's name on it, but she said people do it all the time.  (I guess I'm not the only crazy person.)
We went on a buggy ride with a former Amish teenager named Kaleb.  His family is Amish, but he has decided to pursue an education and become a vet.  It was really interesting listening to his perspective on things.  We learned much about Amish culture.  A real highlight of the trip.

My daughter was so excited to make her own candy bar, as we had seen on the Hershey website that it was new for 2010.  Well, Wally World was closed when we got there.  The machines have net yet been completed, and it won't be open until the end of June.  It was the biggest letdown!  We toured the factory, and she really loved the ride, so her spirits were better after that. The next day we went to the Hershey museum and went to the "Chocolate lab".  It was really interesting to learn about, and taste chocolate from all over the world.  We didn't know that we would be making our own candy bar in the lab, and DD was thrilled!  We added crushed red peppers to our chocolate to make it more like the Mayan's would have done.  It just makes the chocolate taste warm, but it's not spicy like you would think.  A wonderful place to visit.  I think another trip back to Hershey to stay in the Hershey hotel, is on our list of family vacations!
This little quilt was in the Hershey museum.  I can't wait to find some pink, and make one.  It was so sweet.  The back was interesting too.  It was a pieced quilt as well.  Very different color schemes, that seem to work great together.

This was a sampler in one of the cases.  Love the design of this one too.
Back in Philly, we walked around a bit the first night.  We went to "Logan square" which has some beautiful fountains.  This use to be the place that they had a gallows set up.  Hanging's happened here every weekend.  Hard to imagine, and a little creepy.  They moved the cemetery and made this park, I think in the 60's.
The next day, I didn't take my camera, because we wanted to go to the US Mint, and when I was there last year, camera's were not allowed.  I left it in the hotel room.  Well, wouldn't you know it, they are only open Monday through Friday, so we didn't even get to go, and I had no camera for pictures of Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell!  UGGG!  DH took pictures on his iphone, but it's likely I won't see those again. Our kids favorite thing, Chinatown!  So funny.  DD bought a silk dress, and Chinese parasol there.  DS bought a pack of fake money!
 Lastly, we went to Las Vegas and spent the night.  We had to take a late flight home Monday night, and had the whole day to kill.  We found a Cafe Rio in Vegas (which is one of our local favorites), and right next door was our local favorite custard shop, Nelsen's Custard. 
 After that we went to see the lions at MGM Grand, and walked around all day.  Our feet hurt, and it was hot, and I think we were all feeling "vacationed out".  I don't enjoy the Las Vegas strip at all!  It was hard to have my kids there as there is so much crap that they can see, that I didn't want them to see!  It was not a good end to the trip, however it gave us much to talk about with them, and it helps them to realize what stuff is out there. 
Back home...
Before I left, I received a special surprise in the mail.  Jolene, sent me a wonderful set of silk to stitch Carriage House Samplings Noah's Ark Stocking.  I was so overcome with emotion.  I am so blessed with wonderful friends.  Thanks so much Jolene.  The colors are beautiful!  You are such a sweetie!
When I got home, I received another surprise from my great friend Terri!  She was sending me belated birthday wishes.  I just love this flower frog, and the darling sewing set she made!  The scissors are perfect too.  Terri, you made my day.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart!
My SIL, Melanie, gave me this great tile changing frame.  She made all of the vinyl stickers, and spent a ton of time making this cute gift.  It was so different, and I love it!
I won Sharlotte's blog contest last week, and she sent me this darling towel.  It goes perfect in my house.  It really looks great with Terri's gift!  Thanks Sharlotte!  Love it, and your stitching is wonderful!

On the stitching front:
I'm almost done with my little bunny.  I just have to finish the basket and words.  It's funny how fast this was going at first, and then I kind of stalled.  I hope to finish it up this week.  I don't like how the dye lots change on the dress.  I had an extra skein that I started with, and it was obviously a little brighter than the 2 new skeins I bought.  Oh well!  I still love this little bunny.
I started this little sampler on the airplane.  It is a freebie from Plum Street Samplers.  I thought it was appropriate as we went to the Betsy Ross house, and this reminds me of her house.  We had a lot of turbulence and it was hard to stitch anything.  This is all I got done on the 10+ hours of flying!  Can you believe that?  It was a  wonderful week!  Thanks for checking in with me, and leaving a comment!  You are wonderful, and you make my life sweet! 


Cari-in-VA said...

Loraine - it sounds like you and the kids had a fabulous trip(s). So many wonderful things to see and do!

Congrats on all your lovely gifts and wins.

And your WIP are wonderful - I just love that big ole bunny!

Margaret said...

Looks like a wonderful vacation! I love that area of Pennsylvania. I want to go to Eldreth Pottery someday! I'm glad you got something there! Sorry Las Vegas wasn't the greatest -- it's probably good to have your kids know there are some unsavory things in the world. Love all the stitching -- so pretty! And lovely gifts and wins too!

Jennifer said...

Hi Loraine! Your trip pics are great . what a wonderful adventure.the only time I have been thru that area it rained the whole road trip so we didn't get to see a lot of the sights in Amish country but Phillie is fun .
Love your treasures and pics of the quilts. I know what you mean on catching up on blogging. Life is busy for us Moms . Have a wonderful Mother's day!

Ranae said...

How fun!
I want to make my own chocolae bar, lol
The weather looks like it was beautiful.
Fun gifs and wins.
I love that bunny

Maggie said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! and what wonderful birthday gifts too!

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

It sounds like you all had a great time! I love PA and wish I had more time to explore the area when we do go thru there on our way to VA. I love your pottery pieces and your doll is fabulous! The buggy tour with Kaleb sounds like a GREAT way to spend the day! Bummer about ending in Vegas but it sounds like you made the best of it!
You got lots of great goodies and you deserve them all!
I can't wait to see you!

Katrina said...

What a fun trip, loved looking at all the pictures. I just ordered a gorgeous plate from Eldreth Pottery and I love it.

Great stitchy pics too :-).

Cari said...

I love reading all about your much fun with family and your adventures!! I'm assuming you used the Shepherd's Bush color changes for Ah 'Tis Spring. I love the piece but really didn't like the dress color the designer used....I have the SB color changes but I think I'm going to do my thing and use Belle Soie. I'm thinking Bahama Breeze will be the perfect color for the dress. I get pics when I start!

Dot said...

I loved the pics of PA and the trip. I would have loved the pottery place. Sorry you didn't have your camera for the historical sites. That sounds like something I would do. Glad you were able to take the kids and share those things with them.
I like your Bunny and your gifts.

Catherine said...

I just found your blog via Sharlotte at The Happy Needle!! What a fun post! You were actually in my part of the world!

Deb said...

Wow what a wonderful post. I don't even know where to begin. It looks like you had a wonderful time on your trip and got to see all those wonderful things. I love going through Amish Country and have been in PA and Ohio several times. I'm always amazed at their lifestyles.

And be still my heart on visiting Eldreth Pottery. I would have been over the moon to get into that place. I love their pottery so much (as we speak I have a piece coming from them - LOL). I love the doll that you picked up too.

Vonna said...

Thank you for the wonderful trip through family and I are planning a trip to PA next year, hopefully, God willing.

There is an Amish settlement just a few miles from us, so we see buggies quite a lot. The Amish are reallly neat to talk with, aren't they? I really admire them.

Love all your stitching!

Siobhan said...

I'm so glad that you had a good trip, Loraine! I just love 896. I know there are faster ways to get there, but to see the 'real' Lancaster County, you need to get off the main routes. I looove the goodies that you picked up! What fantastic stuff. Would you believe that I've never been to Hershey?! That's something all my brothers did yearly but for whatever reason, I was never with them. It sounds like the kids had a great time--I'm glad. Love your WIPs, and the wins and gifts are wonderful. :) Sorry to hear about Las Vegas and the kids--I can imagine that must be hard to explain to the kids! I think mine get tired of hearing "that isn't appropriate" but they're older now and now I hear them saying it themselves about things. LOL I've never been to LV... my taste runs more towards 896 than the LV strip! LOL

Have a great weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day!

Mylene said...

It looks like you all had a great time. Beautiful gifts received.

Happy Mother's Day!

Jane said...

Loraine, I loved reading about your trip away! Pennsylvania would be wonderful to see and the Amish so interesting.

You're going well with your bunny, not much to do now. I've got an update on mine but have had a sore eye this past week and haven't been blogging. I hope to do a post soon.

Just wanted to drop by and catch up on your adventures. Hope you have a lovely Mother's Day.

JOLENE said...

Happy Mother's Day Loraine! Sounds like you all had a wonderful trip in amish country. I loved reading about your excursions. Love, love, love that rooster, so cool! Your sweet bunny is so almost done, and it is beautiful....congrats! Cute kids. See you soon....

woolwoman said...

Wonderful post Loraine - I hope to visit Lancaster next year when the rug hooking national is there. I'll have to read this one again to see all the fun details in those photos - what a great trip and wonderful gifts you got. LOVE your NFF bunny - she has that one on rug canvas too - what fun! Mel

Karen said...

I like the bunny you've been stitching.