Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vacation – This time we left the state

We finally kept enough money in savings (that pesky well pump stayed alive and no appliances broke) to leave town on vacation. We planned on going to Pennsylvania two years ago. Those plans fell through. Then last June we were supposed to go. Money fell through. We somehow managed to save money so we could go see some relatives and leaves in the northeast.

We both worked ourselves ragged at work the week before. The husband ended up staying awake most of the day to get the tires balanced before the trip. Yes, we should have already done that. Procrastination. Plus the husband had to plug a tire the store wouldn’t. We ended up leaving on Friday night.

We drove a ways and left for a few hours before continuing on. It is a long drive. We managed to get there Saturday evening. The weather was cool and we were loving it.

Sunday we had already planned to go with the family to the Collingwood Flea Market. It is touted as New Jersey’s largest flea market. I have been to larger flea markets in Florida. It was a cute place. The outside stands were better than the inside ones (which were more like regular stores). The husband bought the oldest niece a buffer since she wanted to fix the scratches on her car. I only got a $1 green plastic planter. My sister and her kids got a few things.

After walking the flea market for a few hours we went to the Stewart’s restaurant down the road. It was overpriced and the food wasn’t all that great. You know it’s bad when the husband doesn’t eat all his food. Then we went back to PA. My sister suggested that we check out Linvilla Orchards.

Linvilla was packed. It was yuppies and their families. We checked out the “petting zoo”, walked through the food section and wandered through the pumpkin patch. We took some pictures. The nieces were a bit reluctant to go along with our photo requests. A lot of people were getting pictures of their kids among the pumpkins. There were all sorts of pumpkins and squash. They also had hay rides, train ride, a corn maze, apple picking and somewhere was trout fishing. The husband wished he could have done that.

Monday the family all had work or school so the husband and I wandered the countryside. We ate breakfast at a diner, Andy’s diner. We were the younger ones in there. We went to a bunch of thrifts. I scored mainly games. I don’t know how that happens. We ended up having lunch in West Chester at Brother’s Pizza. We had a good white pizza. We thought it odd they offered tomatoes on it. Yum!
We had dinner with the family and visited the oldest niece at her job. My sister had me watching an old family video at night. It was 1989 and I don’t remember it. My sister had big hair and I had huge glasses.

Tuesday we wandered into Philadelphia. I was trying not to spend much money so we just drove. Then we went to the Reading market at lunch time. I had never been there before. We wandered the aisles trying to decide what to eat for lunch. We saw Bassett’s ice cream and Dinic’s which we have seen on TV multiple times.  We decided on Molly Malloy’s. It is a bar/restaurant that takes a lot of space in the back of the market. I saw the Irish Stew made with Guinness with bread and knew what I had to get. The husband had an apple braised pork sandwich that he raved about. They had a good deal with the parking garage across the street. If you spent $10 at the market and they validated your parking ticket the cost of parking was only $4 for 2 hours. That was a deal since the original price was $6 for a ½ hour.

When we got back to the parking garage there were people arguing so loud and cops came. Then we went to the roof to take pictures of the buildings. We went to the Philly AIDS Thrift and got another deal on $1 parking. I don’t trust the parking meters as much since 1) I have gotten parking tickets years ago and 2) the TV show Parking Wars is a scared straight program for Philly parking.

The Philly AIDS Thrift is one of the coolest thrifts I have ever been to. It has two floors and tons of neat stuff. I only managed to get a cheap paperback and one of their pins. They had a ton of art but it was out of my budget. But the store was well organized and set up to get your attention. Plus a good organization.

We wandered to a few more thrifts on Philly that weren’t too impressive. We had a donut at Dunkin Donuts since it seemed they had one on every block in southeast PA. We figured we might not make it out of the state if we didn’t feed the Dunkin monster.

We went back to my sister’s and found her electricity had been turned off. Well that made it more like our original plan to go camping. We already planned on using the Friendly’s Groupon so dinner was covered. We went with the whole family.

Wednesday the husband and I did some more wandering of the countryside. We went thrifting some more in between wandering winding country roads and checking out leaves that actually change color. We were disappointed at some of the yuppie areas that we ended up in and their sad overpriced thrifts. While trying to take pictures of leaves my phone decided to go into a continual loop. It kept trying to turn on and just cycled back into the start screen. After calling the cell company’s customer service we found out it need a hard reset. There were no stores around that could do it. I started snagging the husband’s phone for navigating.

We also picked my sister up some ice to keep her fridge cold and lighter fluid for grilling. Ended up my sister did not have the right type of bricketts and had a late appointment so the husband and I had a cheesesteak at the niece’s work. It was okay. The husband says he can make Steak-ums at home that taste the same.

Thursday we drove to Virginia to visit an old friend of the husband’s.  We avoided 95 so it took half the day to get there. We visited a while. Then we went to a restaurant around the corner which was yet another yuppie disappointment. Oh well, you try and see what you get. We went on the road until we were too tired and stopped to rest. We went down 17 for most of the eastern coast. We stopped at a few places. We were tired of the slow traffic in Myrtle Beach and went back to I-95.

We were just glad to be home, in our own bed, with the dogs. The husband says he doesn’t want to go back to Pennsylvania unless a relative is getting married or something big like that. I always get sad at some point when I visit. I have lived away from my family for so long that I don’t feel a part of any of it.

We managed to not fill up the car completely. I came back with a pile of games, two still sealed. I found a place with the deal of $5 for a bag of books, so I couldn’t resist. I already posted some for sale. I found a couple more needlepoint to go on the wall. The husband found his deal of the trip – truck rotors that were half the price as in the store.

I was glad to have actual fall weather. I got to wear my cardigan sweater. I saw leaves that had changed color and fallen to the ground. I ate good food. We got away from home and work and now appreciate everything a bit more. Although my original intention of rescuing my mother’s cremains was foiled by the aunt I still had a good vacation.

Yesterday we went to a phone store and they tried the rest on my phone. It went from being in a coma to pronounced dead. It was a sad day for me as it was my first smart phone. When the company showed us how much a new or even pre-owned phone would cost we realized we had to buy one online. I spent half the evening bidding on the same model phone. I got one but won’t get it for days. Plus it cost more than I would have likes, but still less than a new fancier phone. The husband is always picking on me about my phone. I keep explaining that I can live without it, it just makes life easier. I have apps and grocery lists and I navigate with the GPS. Plus I can check email when I am away from the computer. It just is so handy. I don’t get phone calls, but I text people some. Well, I will just back up everything on the next phone and not get so mad when the phone gets slow. 

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