A few days ago we made our annual pilgrimage to Lancaster, PA. This year, for the first time in three years, we camped out.
The tent is brand new, having discarded our two older (and smaller) tents during the great b*d bug debacle of 2007. Two of our sleeping bags are also brand new as the kids have outgrown the child-sized ones that they used to use.
Squidette was put in charge of erecting the tent with Little Squid assigned to assist while I started a fire. Experience has shown that if we do not start a fire by 5 or so then we will not eat until really late. (Mike was unloading the car and doing a small amount of unwinding after a nerve wracking drive through some really nasty rain.)
They did a great job until it came time to raise the roof. At that point the stronger (and taller) adults had to step in and help. We also had to put the fly on as neither child has the height or jumping ability to get it over the top of the tent.
Yes, it is huge but it served well and we were all as comfortable as one can get in a tent on a hill.
Little Squid woke up each morning in a heap at the bottom of the tent. The rest of us managed to mostly maintain our positions on our mats but he and I had the more slippery sleeping bags and with his lower mass, he had a lesser ability to stick to the slanted surface.
After a dinner of locally made / grown, slightly undercooked, sausage, corn on the cob and (fully cooked) bread,--and s'mores for desert, we sat around our pitiful fire and knit / read. A quiet and companionable evening as we listened to guitar music coming from a neighboring campsite.
The next day we trooped off to a local corn maze for another annual tradition and got ourselves good and lost and then found again as we wended our way through the maize.
I got a good amount done on this year's Corn Maze sock.
A hefty lunch at Good and Plenty (another tradition), some shopping and then back to the campground to swim and just hang out for the afternoon. We did not even attempt a fire until after dinner, dining instead, on cold (cooked) sausages, fruit and bread, all obtained from a local market. Yum! Then, we finally lit the fire and sat around trying to think of campfire songs and instead singing all sorts of silly stuff.
Our neighbors, they of the guitar music (which I realized was recorded) stayed up way beyond our bedtime, chatting loudly. I couldn't really fault them, they did turn off the music at 10 (the campgrounds quiet time) but it started the night off badly for all of us and not one of us slept well.
Waking by 6:30 (habits are hard to break, especially when you haven't slept well to begin with), we breakfasted, read, and stared in awe at the incredibly dense fog that obscured our view of the cornfield just 100 yards away.
Once the fog had lifted a bit, we went off to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. We've been here once or twice before and really like looking at the old trains. It was their family weekend so they had some retired engineers there to explain some of the engines to us. After a full two hours we pulled ourselves away and went to Jakey's for lunch. It was our first time dining there but not our last! Mike, Squidette and I all had bar-b-que sandwiches of one sort or another--Little Squid was less adventurous and had a hamburger.
A trip to That Fish Place, That Pet Place then ensued with the acquisition of lots of food and supplies for our turtles-in-residence and for Little Squid's soon-to-be blue tongued skink. Then a "quick" round of mini-golf at a new-to-us place (with a good amount of shade!) and back to the campground for more swimming / reading / relaxing.
Our final campfire was more successful than our first two and we managed to successfully brown our corn and smoked sausages which were eaten with fresh cantalope and more local bread. Mmm ... whoopie pies finished up the meal. Sitting around the fire we passed around my BeBook with it's collection of books and read a variety of selections from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Mike started a story from Arabian Nights (on his Nokia tablet) and we laughed and joked and generally enjoyed each others company.
All of us slept much better--probably because we were so very tired from two nights of little sleep--and were abruptly awoken by our neighbors noisily rising at 5:00 a.m. Grr ...
I managed to fall back to sleep and the kids didn't hear them but Mike was up for the day at that point and woke me up when he finally decided to start packing.
And so we are now home, though not at the end of our summer travels. I know I promised you Pittsburgh and, of course, there is all the knitting that always happens while we travel. Please be patient, I will get to all in good time.