Friday, June 19, 2009

Sunday in the Park and Rianna Arrives

It's certainly been a busy week here in Pennsylvania.

Saturday was the opening day of "In the Beginning" at Sight & Sound. All went well, the cast was energized and focused, and the Stage Manager was simply amazing. ;)

From June 13 - 21 Thomas the Tank Engine is at the Strasburg Railroad. This means traffic along our 2 lane road is insane.

On Sunday we joined the Dice family on their excursion to see Thomas and then to head to Longs Park for the free concert in the park. To see Thomas we went to the Red Caboose Motel (where you can stay in a caboose instead of a motel room) which is right along the train tracks.

Hannah heading down the track.

Emma wonders where Thomas is.

Kelly on the lookout.

While waiting we were entertained with the farm animals who were also right along the tracks. The mini-horses were hot and tired and most were laying down in the cool grass.

Small-Town-America loves the red, white, and blue!

After waiting for quite a while without a sign of Thomas we decided to just head to the park.

Here I am helping Hannah bring her ice cream cone back to the blanket.

The band of the night was "Bonerama" a trombone based rock band. They were very fun to listen to.

On Monday Kelly and I went for a walk around town. This is the Gonder Mansion, which is just around the corner from us.

This Victorian, Queen Anne style mansion was built in 1905 by local turn of the century big wheel Benjamin Gonder. It was home for him and wife Annie. It's said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman who committed suicide after her husband's death - perhaps Annie. It's reported that the husband and wife reunite in the house, and the sounds of music and their laughter can be heard throughout the home, although other reports claim to hear crazed laughter instead.

As some of you know, Kelly and I are hosting our friend Meredith's daughter, Rianna, for the summer. This will give her a taste of what a more rural part of America is all about.

Heading to the airport we were able to stop by the two most famous cheese steak places on earth. Geno's Steaks and Pat's Steaks are right across the street from each other in South Philly.

Geno's Steaks definitely has more glitz and neon and is known not only for its steaks but also because you have to order in English, which caused some controversy a while ago.

Pat's Steaks is where the cheese steak was invented and it looks more hole-in-the-wall.

Kelly and I ordered a cheese steak from each place and our preference is... Sam's Pizza City in Strasburg. Both Pat's and Geno's were OK (with Pat's being our preference between the two) but they certainly weren't the best cheese steaks we've had. Steaks on South was voted best in the city and so far we have to agree. Kelly's friend Kelly Champagne (who lives in Philly) told us we need to check out Tony Luke's for a really good cheese steak so we'll probably check it out next time we're down there.

So now Rianna is finally here. Our first stop was Cracker Barrel to have some down-home cooking. Rianna didn't venture far from her comfort zone as she had a hamburger but we thought it smart to start getting her used to the idea of the different food out here.

We also brought her to BB's Grocery Outlet to see what an Amish market is like (no electricity, a giant freezer room, & a giant refrigerated room).

We also helped her start a blog at

The next six weeks will certainly be an adventure so check back here for updates!

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