Saturday, August 24, 2013

too short. way too short.

i need a vacation from my vacation.
unfortunately, i'm already back to the grind - albeit grinding it out at home, work is still work.
school started for the kids this past monday, but they'll start on monday morning. i think they're excited, but a little sad vacation is over as well. 

the next few blog posts will probably all about our adventures stateside, so be warned. i've got so much work to do, that i'll procrastinate by blogging, i'm sure. that's just how i roll.

 my goal was a lot of free or low-cost activities for the kids due to the school district of philadelphia's dooms-day budget and lay-offs. we went to see the horses and feed them cut up pears at the farm school. samil and amely l.o.v.e.d. it - every time we drove by they wanted to stop. 

we also spent a few hours at valley green feeding the ducks. 
i don't know why i left this for the end of our trip - it was a nice respite from the heat, but it was a saturday morning and there were just way too many people back there. plus the ppa was ticketing people who weren't parked in the parking lot (that only holds like 20 cars) and i had to wait awhile to get a spot. boo. 

we went to knoebels park for a day - the kids were in heaven! samil even went on the phoenix roller coaster. he is so proud of himself, though i don't know if he'd be as excited to go on another. he tells everyone that the coaster "didn't even have a seat belt and my butt went up and down the whole time!" he bit his lip, too.
amely, of course, cried because she wasn't big enough to go on the roller coaster. so she went on the old-time cars with grandpop, instead. 
if you've never been there and you live in PA, it's definitely worth it - admission is free, and rides are paid individually with tickets. this is perfect for our family, since my mom doesn't go on rides - so paying for her to go into an amusement park is a waste of money. i also don't do a ton of rides. we go the kids wristbands and some tickets for the grown-ups. the kids could ride whatever, and if we saw something we wanted to ride, we went. perfect. 
also! we took a picnic lunch - filled up some coolers and set up shop in the picnic area. and then! we LEFT our stuff on the table all day. all day. and nothing was missing. amazing.
we also went to hershey, pa to check out the chocolate factory. hershey park is insanely expensive, but the chocolate tour is free. plus there are a lot of other fun things to do in the area. the chocolate world tour has not changed since i was a kid - but they've really built up that part of the complex with a 4-D video, a tasting tour and a make your own chocolate thing. we just did the tour and bought some chocolate. the prices weren't terrible, but the lines were INSANE.
then we drove to find this cool bologna making tour (never found it) and headed to an old friend's house to visit with her and her amazing kids. well worth the drive.
of course, no trip to philly is complete without a visit to geno's. (or pat's if you're not smart).
the kids didn't like cheesesteaks. i'm not a diehard either, but i do like a good steak when i'm home. they did, however, love water ice.

we spent a good deal of time in playgrounds. playgrounds in the DR are few and far between - and even then, they're not great. we have some playground equipment at school, but it's not awesome! like parks in philly. we went to the castle park - some township park in north wales (where we met up with some friends and awesome futuro lleno de esperanza supporters), morris park in plymouth, gorgas park in roxborough.

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