People Just as Crazy as Me

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I know it's Tuesday - But how about a really cool weekend recap! with PICTURES!!!

Welcome to the true Trainpalooza weekend recap! I was going to do this last night, but then, Tired took over, and it was all down hill from there. So, we woke Emry up on Friday around 7a, and told him we were going on an adventure, and to get in the car... Basically it was Eat Breakfast QUICK, Brush your teeth, PUT ON THESE CLOTHES, GO GO GO! Three Hours later and about 500000 "Are we there yet? Where are we going" questions later, we pull into Dutch Wonderland! And Emry is like WHAT IS THIS! When he found out it was an Amusement Park with Water Slides.. He just about disintegrated from Joy. It was the BEST SURPRISE EVER. Little did he know.. Giggles.

We did a whole bunch of toursity things.. Like take pictures in those cut outs.. because it's mandatory... right? Dutch Wonderland is basically an amusement park from children under the age of 11... Emry could ride each and every one of the rides if he wanted to... and we basically did.. Trust me.. I'm pretty sure we stopped and did everything!

The had this very cute Dinosaur exploration area, in which the kids could uncover Dinosaur Bones... and excavate! It was super cute. They had robotic Dinosaurs, and you got to walk through and learn a little bit about each type of dinosaur. It wasn't very big, but it was a GIGANTIC hit for Emry. He just loved it  !

We rode the roller coaster at least 4 times, and then I promised Emry we would go again after we did the water area. The water park aspect of this was also small, but, they had a lot of really fun things jam packed into it. There was this HUGE water slide, that you rode on a raft.. The weight requirement was a maximum of 350 lbs, and between the three of us, we were just under that.. so we were able to ride that all together. Which made it super fun.. Unfortunately.. no pictures from the water park.. I'm a mom, but I'm not STUPID. hahahaha. But, we then proceeded to go back to the roller coaster and finished out our day with one final ride!

We then told Emry that we were going home and had a LONG drive ahead of us... which wasn't true, we were headed to the Red Caboose Motel... And he started to see signs, and asked what it was.. and I said.. well let's drive by... And as we did that, I asked, "What if I told you we weren't going home?" Emry said... "Uhhh".... "What if I told you, we were staying here, RIGHT HERE, for the weekend." And then there was this moment of explosion in the backseat.. I cleaned up all the brains off the ceiling and managed to put my son back together. Hehehe. The motel was as you would expect.. It wasn't a Holiday Inn or a Clarion.. It was a MOTEL... But, it was CABOOSE shaped and that is all that Emry cared about. His face says it all..
We ate dinner at the motel restaurant, in which I had the 2nd best shoo fly pie in the county... It's award winning, and boy oh boy was it tasty! And then we explored the grounds... There was a petting zoo, and this amazing Viewing Tower that was built at the top of an old Silo.. So much fun! So beautiful.. You could SEE it ALL! I loved it.

I woke up on Saturday morning at 5:45a... Mostly because my alarm woke me up.. and also because I was trying to stay active while we were on vacation. I did a 3.28 mile run through the Lancaster Farming Roads, in about 32 minutes. Horse and Buggies passed me... A couple farmers turned to look at me as I ran by. Everyone waved.. I waved back. But, I'm pretty sure they were wondering what I was running from/to... And why I had a bright pink bandana on my head. Answer: Bed head is the worst and I need something to contain the amount of sweat my head produces during a run. Yeah, I took a selfie... Yeah, I look like death.. It was really HUMID at 6a... Just saying. 

Around 8a, we woke up, had breakfast at the motel's restaurant. I swear, the food was really good! I was thoroughly surprised! I had a fresh Farm Veggie Omelet, and all of the ingredients came from the farm right across the street. How AMAZING is that? So tasty. You could taste how fresh it was!
We began to explore the motel some more, and had some fun at it's petting zoo. There were horses, pigs, goats, a vicious turkey... and some chickens. Emry got to feed them.. We then went into the gift shop in our motel and took some silly pictures.. I know, it's shocking.. but I just can't help myself. I quite literally must find funny pictures to take EVERYWHERE we go. It's an illness... and I'm passing it on to Emry. HAHAHA.

Then we washed up, and proceeded to go to the Nation Toy Train Museum. Yes, there is such a place, and it was, quite literally, right next to our motel. They had antique Lionel Cars on display.. and had multiple model train sets... One of them even had this drive in movie screen... we found where the camera was located.. and broadcasted Klay and Emry on the screen. Yes, another excuse to take a silly picture.

We had some time before our lunch on the Strasburg railroad, so we headed to this tourist trap called the CHOO CHOO BARN. It was 1,700 square feet of model train set. That is as many square footage as the first floor of my house. It was crazy, and the entire time, I could see the wheels turning in Emry's head. I am sure he is going to have a sit down with my father and make sure we can accommodate a LARGER scene in our basement.

We then went over to the Strasburg Railroad, got our tickets for our Lunch Ride, and walked around the station. There was an antique car show, and the railroad had a lot of little rides and games for the kids to do. They had a pumping hand car, and a mini train ride.. Emry was just over the moon. I don't think his feet touched the ground the entire day. The lunch on the train wasn't the best. I had assumed there would be more of a selection... but there wasn't, and it was REALLY expensive for what they gave you. But, It was an experience, one that Emry will probably not have again for a long time... so, we just rolled with it.

After our train ride, we crossed the street to the National Train Museum.. yup.. Two train museums in the same town. One for TOYS and One for the Big Boys... Yup, I said it.. and it was true! It was this entire WAREHOUSE sized building, with a town, and station set up on the inside.. and they had SO many different types of trains... It was super cool. They had a set up where the children could "lay their own railroad" and an area where you could go under the train.. and see all the working parts. Super cool. 

After that, we made our way over to the Amish Village, and learned a little bit about the Amish. This was a nice relaxing hour long tour... And it was greatly appreciated since we had been going strong , and moving around since 8a... well.. 6a for me... Yeah, that 3.28 mile run, I was feeling it by the end of the day. Emry's favorite part of the tour was the Churning Butter... and the petting zoo they had outside. The funniest picture I got, was Emry in the schoolhouse... Pretending to be a bored AMISH kid. I giggled myself silly... It's inherited, we like our silly pictures!

I made sure to get a picture of Emry and I in a buggy... I wish we had time to take a ride in one.. but, it just didn't pan out. Maybe next time... if there is one.. I think I've seen enough TRAIN things to last a lifetime!

We went to Hershey Farms for dinner (Thanks Lindsay!) and I took a picture with their GIGANTIC AMISH DUDE.. and he stepped on my hand! I mean seriously.. Dude.. I need those fingers! Haha.. Just kidding... But, once again... the picture says it all. I'm a hot mess, and I know it. The buffet was EPIC... and I swear... I just couldn't decide what to eat, and was proud of what I didn't eat. So.. I say that's a win win.. But, I'm not going to lie, They had a Waffle Maker... and I made myself a Waffle Ice cream sundae for dessert.. and I'm not sorry.

We were so full, and it was 8p by time we were done... And we were EXHAUSTED. We stopped by a local wine store, and picked up some Country Cherry Wine.. and then enjoyed the sunset... While Emry watched TV in the Caboose... I slept like the dead.

Sunday morning, I woke up and I could feel it in my hips, and my legs.. I had done WAY too much walking and running around on Saturday... So I opted not to run... and that's probably the best thing, since I can still feel the soreness in my hips. Ahh... I love when my body hates me.

We got breakfast on the road, and we headed "home"... but, oh wait Emry... There is ONE MORE SURPRISE! I thought when I announced that we really had one more surprise to go.. He just about EXPLODED.. my car is going to need to be detailed from the inside... All those kid brains everywhere.. what was I thinking? We arrived at The Crystal Cave in Kurtztown, PA, and took there tour of the Cave! And there were some really great Stalagmite crystals.. and it was an awesome hike through...

Yeah, I said I was done with the walking... I think I lied... but, I really had no idea how much walking we were going to do. It was an hour and a half of a tour. It was crazy! Emry got to learn a lot about the history of the cave, and how they believe the crystals were formed. And about the cave being submerged by water at one point... And he just ate it all up. 
There were even really cool formations in the rock.. One of them being the "Jack Frost" face.. The legend says that Jack Frost lives in the Crystal Cave, and that this stone structure of his face, blows ICE COLD AIR through the cave, keeping it always at a cool 54 degrees. Yup.. I was in a tank top and jeans.. Emry and Klay were in T-shirt and Shorts.. It was poor planning on my part. But, when we came out of the cave.. It made the 75 degree day feel like a HEAT WAVE.

The tour was over and thus was the vacation. We made our way home, and only hit a minimal amount of traffic... We then just decompressed and vegged out on the couch!

Emry played with the new train car we got from one of the stores... and it was just over.... As quickly as it began.

He was super surprised, and he can never say that we never GO ANYWHERE in the summer.

And he's still talking about it.. as he should... because it was the most EPIC train vacation ever.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!


  1. What a cool trip!!! The photos are great. And I LOVED that you woke up early to run. That would be me all the way! :)

  2. Looks like you guys had a blast. The buggy would have been a fun ride, next time.

  3. YAY you got to eat at the BIGGEST BUFFET EVER!! I was thinking about you guys on your trip all weekend- SO glad he was surprised, this is awesome!

  4. What a fun trip! I have to say I'm a little jealous. I love trains! Oneonta is sort of a train town in a lot of ways and I spent most of my free time there growing up as a kid.

    Fun fact! I'm in the first generation since my families got to this country that hasn't worked for the trains in some way. I almost took a job with CSX to keep the tradition going!