Friday, June 2, 2006

a sweet getaway

We just returned from a family vacation/ 10th anniversary trip in Hershey. I know, not the most glamorous place to go for a 10th trip, but it actually was very nice (our actual anniversary isn't until July). We were in a large suite, complete with master bedroom/bath, kids bedroom/bath, living room, dining room, and full kitchen. N loved the chocolate trains that passed by our hotel several times a day, E loved the pools, and we loved the space.

We kind of planned our week so that we spent every other day either busy/quiet.

We visited Dutch Wonderland on Monday-- a perfect park for kids 10 and under. The rides were small which was perfect for our kids because they do not have a 'thrill seeking" bone in their bodies (wonder where they got that from?). There was also a great water section in the park with fountains, little slides, and water sprayers that were perfect for the hot afternoon hours.

Tuesday was a "quiet' day that included a tour of the "chocolate factory", a trolley tour of the town, and a disney-like 3D movie that wasn't completely appreciated by our non thrill-seeking kids. We then went back to the hotel for a swim in the afternoon. After dinner we went to Cocoa Castle, a great public playground very similar to Wall Park in Elkins Park.

On Wednesday we started out the day at Hershey Park. It opened at 10, and for the first hour or so the kids seemed to enjoy the rides, more or less. But there were crowds of school kids, it was hot and humid, and by 11:30 it was clear that they weren't enjoying themselves, and neither were we. So we decided to go back to the hotel for lunch, and naps all around. 5 hours later we returned to the park refreshed, and were happy to see almost all the buses pulling out, leaving the park relatively empty. E happily rode on all the kiddie rides, N unhappily rode with us on family rides, and Ed and I went on a couple of roller coasters. It was great being there in the evening- it was cooler, more relaxed, a much better time was had by all, and we stayed until closing. When we returned to the hotel E and Ed went for a special night time swim.

Since Thursday was a quiet day, we went to Hershey Gardens. It was beautiful, and very nice walk through the grounds. They had a great children's garden, with a butterfly house where we saw a butterfly that had just emerged from its chrysalllis. It was very hot though, so we didn't stay long. We went back to the hotel for lunch, and then while N napped I took E back to the pool. She loved swimming, and made two big break throughs this week. One, she actually held her breath, put her head under water, and looked around with her goggles on (last summer we had a huge pool side break-down, freak out when this was strongly suggested). She also jumped off the side, by herself, and swam to me. Granted, she had swim bubbles on her arms, but this was something I've been trying to get her to do the past 2 summers, so it was great that she finally took the plunge. Anyway, after N woke up, we all checked out the Hershey Outlets before dinner, and then went back to Cocoa Castle.

Then today we walked through the Hershey Zoo, and went on the factory tour one more time before driving home. All in all, this week was exactly what our family needed, especially since we have had so much time apart in the last few months.

Sorry, no pictures-- we realized we forgot our camera about a half an hour down the road from our house.

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