Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Last Leg of Spring Break

The final stops on our Spring Break adventure were revisits to our favorite spots from the summer of 2012 when we lived in the cutest little farmhouse for three weeks. It truly was the greatest summer adventure we've ever had.

First stop was Watkins' Glen State Park. I figured it would be cold, but I didn't think it would still be closed for the season. I was so disappointed. I really wanted to hike the falls with the kids now that they're bigger and could have made the entire hike. We did go around to the picnic area so we could glimpse the lowest falls.

 Just like the first time we went, the kids were obsessed with the quality and quantity of sticks. AZ kids don't see readily available sticks like this, and it's always fun to watch what they do with them.
This is a random picture from the Peter Whitmer farm . . . too bad Micah's eyes are closed. This was my favorite history stop because our guide/missionary was so awesome.
 I also took no photos of consequence in Harmony, PA--except for the skeleton of this pine tree. When we were there eight years ago, Lily scaled it all the way to the top, easier than climbing a ladder. The boys really wanted to, and in hindsight, I should have let them. But we longer had access to a washer, and I knew they'd be covered in sap. Note to self: Sap is a small price to pay for a great memory, Mom.
Our final stop on our final morning was Wyalusing, PA.

Here's Hyrum trying to get a great pic for his Insta--but his brother couldn't resist a photo bomb in the back. That kid is always shaking his booty for some reason.
 We stopped at this overlook so many times eight years ago. They're so big now.
 We found that these kiddos loved to run and joke and play much more than they liked historical sites and learning. Whose kids? How can they be my kids???
 Last stop: the grey house.
 I wanted so badly to look inside, but someone is living there and no one was home.

So many memories in that house. I spent some of the best and worst times of my life in that little house, cocooned from the world with my four youngest kids. Catching fireflies at night and watching calves born during the day.
When the boys were little, they used to climb through this tunnel all the time. And (like the sap thing) Mom wouldn't let them this time. Lesson learned twice over.

 So many memories here.

 On our way out, we stopped at the rocky place to play on the slate slide one final time.
 These kids are born explorers, and that inquisitiveness has only increased as they've gotten older.

 I found my familiar perch to watch their excursion, taking the time to ponder on how much life has changed since that first trip. How the kids have grown. How I've grown--two years teaching and completed (almost) two master's programs. So different. And yet, all the rocks are the same. The farm is the same.
There is some deep thinking in there somewhere . . .

Eve has lately taken tons of selfies, experimenting with filters and color.
 A little "Sunrise, Sunset"--when did she get so big?
 More Eve pictures. Not the best of her mama, but I wanted to remember that she insisted on always sitting next to me on each flight.
 Another funny memory: She drank more Sprite on this trip than ever in her life. And she also insisted on carrying that completely dead iPhone everywhere.
She took fake selfies with it and questioned whether TSA would take it if she left it in her pocket, thinking it was real. I love that she's ten and still pretends so much.
Our final flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix was a little weird. Trump had announced that European travel was being restricted/cancelled, but things were still vague. We found out the next morning that people had waited six-seven hours in customs lines at O'Hare that same night. Since Philadelphia wasn't accepting flights from Europe, the plane schedule was messed up. Instead of a basic, bare-bones American plane, we were treated to a big 787 fully decked to cross the ocean.

Eve was thrilled. Can you tell?
These three were bummed that they only had wireless headphones . . . till the flight attendant came by with corded ones. Movies for all for the last leg home.
 Our flight landed in Phoenix after 11 pm, which was 2 am EST, and Eve didn't make it, despite all the tantalizing movie choices. (Disney dropped Frozen 2 the day before, and she took full advantage of it!) This may be the last time one of my kids sleeps in my lap. Some of this getting older is sad . . .
And with that, our adventure back East ended without fanfare, even though the entire world descended into crazy hoarding mayhem in our absence.

Maybe I'll blog some of my quarantine feelings sometime soon, but I've immersed myself in homeschool, schedules, more cooking than I like, and suppressing my stress in front of my kids whenever possible.

Oh, and eating all. the. things. Only Americans can be sent home for weeks with limited access to stuff and GAIN weight. Am I right?

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