We spent the week of Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania and had the best time. Traveling with the kids is so much fun. Not that it wasn’t fun when they were little, but it sure is simpler now that they’re older. They can carry their own bags, follow signs in the airport, and generally are more flexible than they were years ago. Part of why we waited to do this trip until now!
I mentioned in an earlier post that the Lord was so gracious in many ways during our travels. I took a combination of medications to ensure I wasn’t sick and I was so thankful they worked. I was a bit loopy during our travel days but thankfully my travel buddy, James, had me covered. The four of us paired up walking through the airport and sitting on the plane, and James made sure I was following him in the right direction and that I received a snack and drink since the flight attendants came around while I was sleeping. He was great. Thank you, son! Anna’s Dramamine provided uneventful flights too. So thankful!
We flew from Denver to Pittsburgh and then drove a couple hours to Johnstown, PA to stay with Kenny’s aunt and uncle, Barbie Ann and Ron. It was a long day of travel and we were so thankful for their hospitality.
The next day we introduced the kids to Johnstown – where Kenny’s grandparents lived, where his dad grew up, and where Kenny lived briefly around 2nd grade. It was so fun watching him retell stories to the kids. The history of where we’re from is so important and I love passing this down to the kids.
We started the day by picking up Aunt Loretta. Loretta is one of the most thoughtful people I know. She has consistently sent us birthday cards, Christmas cards, Easter cards, Halloween cards, you name it. She remembers the kids on every birthday sending a card and cash. For years they’ve written thank you notes to Loretta and it was so wonderful they were finally able to meet her!
We started the Johnstown tour by visiting St. Columba, the church where Kenny received his First Communion. In fact, there’s a picture of Kenny on that day standing in this exact spot in the garden. He also attended the private school connected to the church in 2nd grade.
Next we visited Kenny’s grandparent’s old house. He has such fond memories of living there and visiting over the years. The train tracks are just past the back yard. Kenny even showed the kids how he used to put pennies on the tracks in hopes the pennies would be flattened.
Next stop was the Inclined Plane which unfortunately was not working right that day. We waited around in hopes it would be fixed, but eventually had to leave. We still took some pictures and bought a few souvenirs in the gift shop.
Lunch was of course at Coney Island!
After lunch we stopped at the cemetery where Kenny’s grandparents and great grandparents are buried.
We then said goodbye to Loretta and headed to see cousin Janice and her daughter, Dee Dee.
Our last night in Johnstown the kids went out to collect eggs with Uncle Ron. Because the rooster was in the coop, Ron gathered the eggs himself and spared the kids. Oh well, at least they got to pet the hogs and say goodnight to them.
The kids LOVED the two golden retrievers at the house; especially Anna.
We also enjoyed spending a couple evenings with cousin Matthew and his fiancee Bri.
That was just Day 1! Whew! We crammed quite a bit into our first day but really wanted to take advantage of the time to see family and show the kids some of the sights. So thankful for the time in Johnstown!
On our second day we started to make our way to Lancaster County where Kenny’s dad lives. We took a couple detours on the way first. One to Horseshoe Curve – an impressive train landmark.
The second detour was to Gettysburg. James just finished studying Gettysburg in school and the entire 5th grade memorized and recited Lincoln’s address. We HAD to stop since we were so close. If we had more time we could have spent an entire day there. There is so much to see. We found the location where Lincoln gave his address and the memorial to Lincoln and then went on our way.