53,000 Stories...

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

Hello my friends! It's been sometime since my last post, I know. The past month and a half has really taken a toll on our minds here at home and we were looking forward to a visit with our daughter in Virginia this past weekend. Sadly her schedule was changed to the point that if we went for a visit we really wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to see her. We waited until we couldn't wait any longer in hopes that she would call and say things have changed, but the call didn't come so we cancelled our trip to Virginia. Bill and I really needed a getaway and of course everyone knows this is my favorite season for getaways so we did a complete impromptu/put a getaway weekend together in a flash planning session. So, before I go any further, I recommend that you have your phone well charged lol, or better yet, sit with a laptop or desk computer with a big screen so you can enjoy the hundreds (yes I took that many!) of pictures-no I won't bore you with all of them (I hope) of what I would call one of the "bestest" and "unforgettable" trips I have ever had. Yes, it was that good! So, go ahead, grab a large mug of hot chocolate (because the weather has finally permitted it!) or a large glass of your pleasure, cuddle up with a blanket, prop your pillows, and enjoy what is undoubtedly my longest post to date and probably ever will be!

And so we begin...

On Thursday, (5 days ago) we got the pleasure of packing up a rental car that we had reserved. We wanted NO troubles and we were fortunate enough to get a wonderful Toyota hybrid that has altogether opened our eyes!! We headed out a little after 4 in the morning and our adventure took us north through Ohio then west to the beautiful state of Pennsylvania. Bill and I have only been to Pittsburgh in the past, but no further. This trip was taking us clear to the other side of Pennsylvania just shy of the Delaware border.

Quietly to myself, like always, I said my prayers for a safe journey, also praying that everything would be okay at home even if we weren't going to be gone that long. My stomach always churns and gets all knotty every time we head out on trips, but the instant we hit the highway, the excitement stirs and I get all camera happy. (as you will see!)

The trip started off smooth and hours seem to have gone by as we hastily made our way through major cities before rush hour set in. It's funny how you travel and you forget the rest of the world still has to work during the week so you tend to forget traffic can build up at certain times of the day. As always, Bill and I have smiles on our faces because we're not heading to work; so I'm sure those that were probably didn't want to see our happy faces as we sat relaxed in our almost new rental car reclined in the smell of new leather.

I'm not exactly sure where we were when this all happened, but as we were making our way near the Ohio/Pennsylvania border Bill noticed a car in the median making an illegal U-turn heading in our direction. As he was saying it, he then said, "did you see that?" Of course I hadn't so I asked him what it was he saw. Evidently, there was a lady on the side of the road waving to us and oncoming traffic with her arms in the air like she was doing jumping jacks. And it looked like she was only wearing one shoe! He said he noticed that there was a guard rail missing. Quick conversation lead us to the next exit where we both decided we should just turn around and at least make sure she is okay. By the time we got to her (doing a U-turn in the median as well) we noticed the vehicle he saw earlier doing the U-turn was parked where she was standing. I told him I would go check and when I got to her, there were two men there, both not saying anything to her, just looking around. I told her we saw her waving and just wanted to make sure she was okay...then I looked to the right and was in complete shock...down a small yet deep brush filled hill was an enormous truck-like a tow truck-completely flipped and sitting on it's top, all wheels in the air! I just looked at her and blurted out, "did YOU do that???" and she said "Yes!". I know my mouth was on the ground. I again blurted, "...and you walked away from this?" and all she did was hold her arms in the air toward the sky... I asked if she needed a phone, but the other man had let her use his. Then I just looked at her. She was standing there with no shoe on her right foot. She said she climbed out right away because she didn't know if it was going to catch fire. Evidently the entire vehicle shut down as she was driving on the highway which I'm assuming shut down all her mechanics and ability to steer. How she managed to climb the hill and with just one shoe is a mystery to me. Without thinking, I walked up to this complete stranger and just hugged her...and she just started to cry. It took her a good long time before she let go. The reality of walking away had hit. A police officer had arrived, she said she didn't need us to take her anywhere so, knowing she was safe we went on our way. And here she is, shoeless foot propped on a beam. All we could think about afterwards was the fact that we were only the second car to pull over...You couldn't see the truck from the highway...what if she was unable to get out and flag us all down? No one would have known...

highway accident

After this excitement, Bill and I agreed it was time for breakfast!! So, not breaking family tradition, Cracker Barrel was the stop! Our family has the motto that, "no trip is a trip without a meal at Cracker Barrel" lol.

cracker barrell

I even tried to eat healthy knowing that this weekend was going to be all but healthy!

And then we arrived!

Welcome to Pennsylvania

I'm not sure if you have ever been to Pennsylvania, but all I can say is, "IT'S BEAUTIFUL". All the trees and mountains and colors. The highways are clean, the roadsides are clean. The tolls are expensive (not a good thing lol), but the scenery was amazing. It was raining here and there as we drove, but nothing that made the trip unenjoyable. It actually added to the season and autumn flare. And I apologize now for the blurry photos and window glare on some lol.

But it also brought about some of the thickest fog we have ever seen. It didn't help that we had to drive up a mountain that was twisted and wet or that we were behind a semi hauling enormous logs and filled to capacity... But Bill handled it in stride!

bad fog!

Pennsylvania, historically, is a colonial state. And I, historically, am a colonial lover. So add this charm to the beautiful scenery and I am one happy camper. The route we followed took us through several towns and several counties, all having their own unique charm. This little town in York County had some of the cutest colonial homes and businesses!

Can you see the little candles in the windows through the blur? I LOVE candles in the windows and for over 17 years I've always had little lights in our front windows! It's such a welcoming look!

I know you don't see it, but there was a school bus stopped ahead of us picking up elementary students in the town to take to school. The mom below just waved good-bye...

And there were so many farms alongside the historic stone farmhouses...

Just think what that building in the middle would look like with little candle lights in the windows!!! :)

Our first night's stay was in Lancaster. Most people know that Lancaster was the most populated area of Amish in the US. Being that our family frequently visits the Amish in Ohio, Lancaster was a bucket list visit for me. After we checked in to our hotel, we decided to have an early dinner. Lancaster wasn't too close, it wasn't too far either, but we decided to eat first then head to Lancaster to see what shops they had and find good places to stop and pick up some baked goods the following day. When we got to Lancaster we were a bit disappointed. It is no where near commercialized as the Ohio amish area and we only found a few shops. We decided to look around in the ones that were open and basically just leave the amish shopping to our visit to Ohio Amish. I'm sure there are still a lot of amish in the area, but like I said, they just aren't as commercialized.

To add to our disappointment, the hotel we chose ended up being right up against the highway! So guess what we heard all night??? This is a view from our window!