I haven’t felt like writing here lately, but I wanted to have a record of our anniversary trip. It’s always nice to read this kind of stuff months and years later, ya know?
Friday afternoon, Rob and I left work early and headed home to pack and get the kids and the dog all packed and ready to go to Grandma’s. (It still sort of blows me away that my parents are grandparents.) We dropped Connor off at a friend’s house because they were doing an all night thing with a youth group at a bowling alley and the Brunswick Zone. By the time we got to my parents’, it was dinner time – so we all headed out to eat together before Rob and I took off on our own.
The ride up to the place was nice – we chattered excitedly about various things and just generally enjoyed each others company. I had to pee on the way there, so we got off at an exit and I ran into an UNO to use their restroom. I felt like I was stealing or something – walking in purposely as if I was meeting my party at their table… and then walking out, avoiding eye contact with the hostesses. No one stopped me and told me to give back their toilet water and paper, though, so it was all good.
As we got closer to our destination, we ended up on some dark, somewhat spooky roads. Both of us fell silent as we braced ourselves. Would the place be totally scary and unsafe? Would we have to turn back around? Even worse – would we be abducted, never to be seen again after this night? Okay, so my imagination gets a little carried away at times. I’m sure Rob wasn’t thinking that dramatically. Or maybe he was. ;-)
I was really anxious to see if the place I found online lived up to the pictures and descriptions from its website. My worries were for naught, as it turned out. We stayed at the Furnace Hills Bed & Breakfast in Denver, PA and I can’t say enough good things about it. The house is a log cabin built by the proprietor and his loving touches were apparent everywhere. The entire place was gorgeous, clean, well-kept and peaceful. The owners weren’t there this weekend, though, so we were greeted by the owner’s sister, Heather.
Shortly after we arrived, we hit the hot tub on the back deck, even though it was raining/snowing softly and the hot tub had no shelter. It actually felt great! That night we stayed in our room, enjoying the time to ourselves. We watched Desperate Housewives online sitting next to each other on the bed with Rob’s laptop. That was fun. Since we got there somewhat late, our first night was pretty short, but it was the perfect precursor to our relaxing, alone weekend.
On Saturday we ate breakfast with the other lodgers – a female couple who roomed next door to us. I swear they said they were sisters, but Rob disagrees. ;-) They were nice enough, but really kept to themselves. Our hostess cooked a breakfast of oven baked caramel French toast, and sausage links with a beautiful fruit platter served on the side. Due to my food issues, I just packed my own breakfast loaf, though, and ate it with the others. Surprisingly enough, the other guests didn’t ask why I wasn’t eating the same food as them.
After breakfast, we decided to begin our adventure by driving towards Lancaster. Neither of us were sure what to expect. I think I had visions of Amish people out in groves, walking on sides of roads or riding their buggies all over the place. Since we just put Lancaster into the GPS, our directions took us to downtown Lancaster where we promptly entered the ghetto. I was quite surprised – where were the Amish people? The horse and buggies? I got on the phone with my parents who told us another address to plug into the GPS system and we were on our way towards the rolling countryside I had imagined. We drove around for a bit, trying to decide what to do first when he happened upon the Strasburg Railroad. Rob immediately pulled over and as we walked up to the museum area, we looked across the street and saw the locomotive there for rides. We agreed that it looked like fun and bought our tickets.
The ride was entertaining and educational as the conductor told us bits of trivia about all the areas we were passing there and back. It was also nice to sit for a while because I wasn’t feeling so great. My legs were achy and I felt run-down. I was grateful for something local to do that didn’t require a lot of energy on my part. I took some pictures with my cell phone because we both forgot to bring our digital camera. Thankfully, my cell phone takes somewhat decent pics. Here’s Rob sitting on the train before all the other passengers boarded. Doesn’t he look thrilled? Ha!
By the time the train ride was over, it was close to 1 PM and we were both ravenous, so finding a place to eat lunch was the priority. My parents mentioned Millers Smorgasboard as a place they liked, and it was only minutes away from the train, so that’s where we landed. I just read a review that says this place is a slightly overpriced tourist trap, and I would have to agree. We paid $50 for lunch! The food was just okay, but the atmosphere was inviting and comforting. We were just glad to be away from home, alone together, and decided we didn’t really care about the price. In general, all-you-can-eat places end up being a big waste of money for me, anyway since I eat my controlled portion sizes no matter where I am.
Once lunch was over, I was feeling a bit better, so we hit the outlets hard. There is definitely plenty of shopping to be had in Lancaster! Usually, I get to the outlets in Rehoboth all by myself; shopping outlet-style with Rob was cool, I felt like he got to take a peek into my world. I am a big time bargain hunter and know my prices pretty well – I loved being able to tell Rob what was worth it and what wasn’t based on my experiences. We ended up getting a bit of our Christmas shopping completed and Rob scored some new clothes for himself, too. I didn’t get anything for me except makeup, since none of the prices were good enough.
The outlets weren’t the only stores we went to – we also checked out a few of the smaller Amish-style places as we drove all around the area. We visited Intercourse, Bird in Hand, Ronks, Paradise, Ephrata, and Akron among other towns in the area. We got a few new decorations for our house that I just love. You can see one of them here:
Isn’t it pretty? It also gave me the opportunity to change around the walls since I have never liked the positioning of my “Love, Faith, Hope” photo frame things. I arranged them differently and put them on a smaller wall. See?
Anyway, back to the trip. This is turning into the world’s longest blog entry. Saturday night we went out to eat at a Chinese buffet place (again with the buffet!) that I really didn’t enjoy at all. Then we bought License to Wed to watch on the laptop back in the room. We did much the same thing on Saturday night as we did the night before – hot tub soaking and watching our entertainment on the laptop while lying in bed. Bliss.
Sunday was check out day and it came too fast, of course. I was glad I wouldn’t have another night sleeping in the bed there, though. The bed in our room was just horrid. I’m not sure what was wrong with it exactly, because it felt fine just sitting or lying on it. But sleeping in it all night was another story. Neither one of us got a good night’s rest there because we kept waking up in pain from the bed. Not good. I want to go back, though, and try out the other beds because I just loved this place so much.
Look how gorgeous it is!
Before heading back home, we went back into the tourist areas to buy some vacation gifts for my parents. Afterwards, we were on our way.
All in all, it was a great weekend. It was good to reconnect with Rob away from work, the kids, and all of the every day life stressors we deal with on a regular basis. I loved being able to just cuddle up to him and focus all of my attention on him and him alone. We need to do it more often!
And here’s to at least another 15 years with my honey!