Monday, August 29, 2011

Tales of a Naughty Blogger, part 2

This is what we've been up to more recently.

The girls and I took a trip to northern Virginia to visit my parents. We stayed for a few days. We shopped till we very literally dropped and had a great time relaxing with 'Nana and Papaw'.

Lunch time!
Alice with food hanging out of her mouth. She loved Nana's ginger bread cookies.
Then Lucy, Alice, Penny, and I left for Hershey, PA to meet up with Travis at an anesthesia conference being held at the Hershey Lodge, while Sophia and Holly stayed for their first ever Nana Camp. Upon check-in at the Lodge they handed Travis a huge stack of Hershey's chocolate bars. Delicious!
The sheets we decorated with Hershey kisses.
And so was the bathroom wallpaper!
The hotel was HUGE and had a bunch of wings that were named after their different candies. They must have known my proclivity for chocolate and peanut butter because we were on the Reese's peanut butter cup wing.
Ordered room service for our breakfast. So pretty. And it came with MORE candy. Bonus!
The next morning (after our chocolatety healthy breakfast) We went to The Hershey Museum to learn about how Milton Hershey made the company. (Basically, he started with other candies, moved into chocolate, encouraged ideas from all the workers, gave away his entire fortune twice, started a school for disadvantaged youth that's still there today, and lots of other good stuff.)
Lucy was b-o-r-e-d. Luckily they had a little hands on exhibit for kids about Mayans and chocolate.
She got to learn about how they separated, roasted, and pounded out the cocoa beans; dig for puzzle pieces (that would eventually show a Mayan hieroglyph depicting a cocoa bean); grind cocoa; spin it into a froth; and eventually decorate a burlap bag with chocolate in it. She was happy.
Outside, on the main drag of Hershey, PA the street lights are all huge Hershey kisses. Cute!
Also outside was a group of Hershey workers protesting. This was all over the news while we were there and apparently these are college students from other countries who are hired for the summer by a third party company to come to America (paid for), stay in apartments with other college kids (paid for), and work at the Hershey factory for about $8/hour for the summer. They were protesting because they felt they were being treated like slaves. Can you tell I don't feel bad for these people?
Then we ate lunch at a yummy Japanese restaurant where our kind server made Lucy some 'chompsticks'.

Alice chowed on the sticky rice.
After that we went to Hershey Gardens. Beautiful place! They had this adorable butterfly chair that Lucy thought was just for her.
The gardens had some great views of the town.
They also had a Children's Garden section full of lots of fun, beautiful, and good smelling stuff.
Everybody had fun.

At this statue, Lucy said, "MEAN TURKEY!" :)

The following day, our friends the Allred's, who live a couple of hours away, came to visit us. We went to Hershey's Chocolate World. There's lot of stuff to do there as long as you want to spend money for them, don't need a stroller, and love buying Hershey's brand stuff. We were a little disappointed. Mostly because it was super packed and between our 2 families we had 4 kids under the age of 2 and REALLY missed having a stroller to cart them around in (they're not allowed in most areas). Plus, we're not really Hershey collectors or anything, I'm not much of a shopper and most of the building is a giant store. One of the attractions that they have there that's free is a Hershey kisses packaging area for kids. They take your picture and put it on a tag (which you can buy for a small fee), put on a workers hat, give the kids a kiss shaped container and let them fill it up. You can keep the container, also for a small fee.

We decided to splurge for the adults and the Allred's oldest son to 'Make your own candy bar!' That was actually pretty fun and interesting, but they didn't explain that the other kids over 2 couldn't come into the 'lab', too, so Ryan Allred nobly gave his ticket to their next oldest kid, and he took the other one over 2 out and bought her cupcakes. We got to pick our flavor of chocolate (white or milk), 3 'drop-ins' from a list of 6, and whether or not we wanted sprinkles on top. They had signs up that were quite informative that talked about the candy bar making process. We educated ourselves while we watched our candy bars get made. You also get to design the packaging for your bar, which was unexpected and fun. Mine was milk chocolate with pretzels, toffee, and raspberry bits. It was pretty good.

Then we looked around in the stores and I bought a 1 lb Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Yes. You read that right. We also did the other free thing, a 'ride' that talks about how they make chocolate. Think 'it's a small world' but with cows and slightly less singing. Our friends the Allred's bought us a giant candy bar that had a picture of all of us on it. We love them and miss them!

We also had a good time just hanging out in the hotel. It was unbelievable. There were 3 or 4 pools, a playground, tennis courts, game room, wii room, 'character' sightings, biggest splash contests, and kids craft areas. Lucy even got to meet some of the 'characters' in the lobby during breakfast one day.

The next day, my parents brought Sophia and Holly up to Hershey and we decided to head to Hershey Amusement Park. They had a fantastic time.

After that, we were all pretty exhausted and it was time to go back home.

A couple of days later, Sophia had her first day of school. 1st grade!

The next day, Travis took us to a place that had these.

And we got this one.

And this guy?
Well, it's time to find him a different home. He just needs more attention then this mom of 5 can give. Anybody looking for an obnoxious dog? Just message me! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tales of a Naughty Blogger, part 1

I admit it. I have been extremely lax in posting our summer funness. So now I'll have to do it in 2 parts.
In July we went to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana to visit some of Travis's extended family and had a fabulous time! First, we went to Montana where his Aunt Linda and Uncle Butch invited the other Aunts, Uncles and Cousins over for a Sunday afternoon cookout.

Then we went down to Buffalo, Wyoming to see his Grandpa Chabo. The girls had a fun time snuggling together in the queen guest bed at his house, then it was up into the Big Horn Mountains to the cabin for some serious fishin

We also too long naps, took sink baths, snuggled, and saw some wildlife. (That's a moose.)

We basked in the beauty around us and played on the shore.

And generally, just had a fantastic time.

Thanks, Grandpa, for letting us stay with you! We had a great time at the cabin!

Then, we came back home and the good times rolled.

Alice and Penny started teething, we got a dog, and Sophia and Holly went to soccer camp.

And now that all of my children are literally crying for my attention I'll let that be the end of part 1. More to come!