Saturday, August 3, 2013

AmeriTrip: Fires, Hiking, and the City

Driving for long stretches of time can be tiring. The white lines blur together. Brake lights blind you. Car horns pierce your ear drums. Being able to settle down in one place for an extended period of time is always welcomed. Luckily, this past week was spent in the lovely state of Pennsylvania and allowed Cathy and I a chance to rest, re-cooperate, and re-connect with friends and family (well for Cathy at least).

We rolled into PA Thursday night (July 25), saw Cathy's friend Annie, had some scrumptious tacos and ice cream, and then headed over to her sister's, our home base for the week. Throughout the course of the week we saw (and I met) people and saw some pretty cool sites. Highlights of the trip include:

- Meeting some of Cathy's childhood and college friends (all of which were super awesome!) The main reason for us going back to PA was to see Cathy's friend Lizzy, who is currently pregnant. Unfortunately, she did not have the baby while we were in PA, but it was great to meet her and learn more about Cathy's childhood. We also hung out with her friends Annie, Cory, Dave, her sister and her husband Steve, along with a few of their friends. New friendships were formed and I'm excited to see them all again in the near future.

- Hiking through the woods with Lizzy (while imitating mating calls of various animals) and hoping that Lizzy didn't pop while on the trail

- Experiencing the greatness that is a Pennsylvania diner

- Driving through the battlefields at Gettysburg National Park and seeing one of the sites that I've wanted to see for a long time

- Getting my fill of card and board games for the next couple of months. Scrabble, Phase 10, Bananagrams, Peg Leg, Monopoly Deal, and Skip-Bo were all played multiple times. I felt like I was 10 again and playing games with my family. This was a perfect way to wrap up every night.

- Received a personal tour of De Sales University, the school that Cathy went to for four years. It was definitely a lot smaller than UNI, as their student population is only about 2,000 students - TOTAL! However, for a small school, the campus is very spread out which provided for lots of walking and green grass.

We had a great trip back to Cathy's home state. It was really neat to see where she grew up, went to school, and worked with. We were treated to an amazing week by some pretty cool people!

After recharging with our week in PA, we headed across the border into New Jersey to spend a few days with Cory, one of her best friends from college. We enjoyed a couple of late nights by the pool (aka me "accidentally" falling into an above ground pool - that takes talent!), engaged in the awesomeness that is fire (and Cathy didn't burn anyone this time!), and I learned quite a bit about college Cathy. Yesterday, we spent a few hours in The Big Apple. It's been about 3 years since I've been back, so it was cool to walk around and see the sights of the city. Today, we're heading down the road a bit to see Cathy' aunt before heading onto the last two stops of our trip, Charlotte and Atlanta!

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