Sunday, July 1, 2012

Family Fun!

One of the challenges of living the "RV Life" is that it's pretty much done alone. 24 hours a day, it's just Jack and I. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my husband and enjoy his company (thank goodness!) but sometimes it's nice to converse with someone different! Most of the time, chatting with "neighbors" isn't but a quick sentence or two, and then they & us continue on our way.

Seeing the (new to us) country everyday adds to our conversations and activities, so I'm not (really) complaining here. Merely an observation, ;-)

These past two weeks have been an exception - we've been visiting with family! Jack is originally from Pennsylvania, and his cousin and sister still live here. It's been years in-between visits, so there was much to catch up on and enjoy together.

Cousin John and his family live in Somerset PA. It's quite a lovely town, small but big enough to have food and activity variety. John and Linda took time off to show us around, feed us and talk with us. "Talking" is a wonderful thing - one that most of us take for granted and don't think much about. But take it away, and boy, you notice it! What lovely conversations we had, and about so many different topics! They have two delightful kids who are going into & are in college that added to the mix.

John & Linda made sure that we saw all that this area had to offer! We went to the Flight 93 Memorial that plays tribute to all those brave passengers during the 9/11 catastrophe. It is not complete yet, but still very moving and well done. We also visited the Museum for the Johnstown Flood that happened in May of 1889. Not to keep with "sad subjects" we were whisked off to view the Horseshoe Curve for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Both Jack and I love anything that has to do with trains, so this was quite fun to see. We even got to ride the Funicular up to the top of the hill (& back). What a hoot!

On our own, we visited Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous homes. It's well taken care of by the Conservancy and quite beautiful to visit. We took lovely drives all around Laural Highlands County and enjoyed seeing unique barns, gorgeous woods and even a couple of covered bridges! We even got to tease their daughter as she waited on us at the restaurant she works at! We really enjoyed this visit and plan to return in September en route back "home" (California).

Jack's "baby sister" lives in Camp Hill PA, which is just outside of Harrisburg. Their three grown children live nearby, two with families of their own. The youngest, Ben, just got a job working for the very new casino Live! which actually is in Baltimore MD, as a "Compliance Manager". We had the opportunity to visit him and have lunch together at Live! It's quite the casino, as it has NO dealers of any kind of game! Every game, and they do have all the standards, is automated! They are still working on the "addition" which will include some dealers as well as entertainment. Very cool. We spent one day visiting Gettysburg together. Bob had been a number of times, so was a great host in taking us to all the "important" areas - as one could actually spend days & days there (which we didn't choose to do). Very impressive. They have a new Visitor's Center that shows a film, telling the story of what happened, as well as a great diorama. It also has rooms and rooms of terrific exhibits and stories. I felt "very educated" on the subject after we left! ;-)

While here, we took ourselves to see how QVC is broadcast. They have a great behind- the-scenes tour that included watching the live show, a cute "bloopers" film and even got to meet a "hostess". We did, however, escape from buying anything beyond postcards, from their on site store! We spent a little time visiting Harrisburg and had a lovely lunch along the docks.

All that said, the very best part was just being with family! Phone calls and e mails are great, but there really isn't anything like the "real thing"- visiting, talking and warm hugs!

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

...kicking back in Pennsylvania, Marie

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