We kicked off our summer with a couple of awesome weekend trips! As soon as Dan's summertime three-day weekends began, we took a road trip to Lancaster County, PA to spend a couple of days with Dan's folks.
Our first stop was the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Yum!! We rode the tour twice at Emma's request. They have an informative, kid-friendly ride that demonstrates how their chocolate is made, and they give you free samples of chocolate at the end!
The next day, we visited the "Turkey Hill Experience" ice cream factory, thinking that it would be similar to the Hershey's chocolate factory. But you had to pay for everyone over the age of 3 to tour their museum (which didn't sound interactive enough to keep Emma's attention), so we decided to just visit their gift shop.
Emma is wearing a cow headband and giving her best "moo". :) We all enjoyed some Turkey Hill ice cream, too.
We drove around a little bit to sight see, and stopped for dinner at Hershey Farm and Restaurant, home of "Big Amos" the barefoot Amish giant. Dad Jester is pretending to be our horse. Heh!
The highlight of the trip was seeing "Sampson" at Sight and Sound Theater, a Christian venue that features biblical musicals. It was a spectacular performance!
A week later, my parents joined us on our trip to visit my brother Steve, his wife Sheila, and their daughter Meera in Boston for Independence Day weekend.
Enjoying the flavors, sights, and sounds at Quincy Market
Emma absolutely loved playing with her cousin, Meera!
We visited a fun splash park and playground one afternoon
That night, we strolled along the harbor
Papa, Nana, and their sweet granddaughters
Dan made a point of taking us by the original site of the "Cheers" bar.
The next day, we walked a couple of miles along the Freedom Trail, a free, self-guided walking tour of some of the city's most famous historical sights.
The balcony of the Old State House is where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the public in 1776. It's still read aloud from this balcony every 4th of July.
We visited Granary Burial Ground where Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Henry, and other notable figures are buried.
The Massachusetts State House, located in beautiful Boston Common park
Emma took the opportunity to play at every stop we made.
That evening, we took a Boston Duck Tour around the town and harbor.
When we began the water part of the tour, the guide called for kids who wanted to go up and drive the boat. Emma was brave enough to walk to the front, but once there, was too overcome with shyness to actually grab the steering wheel.
She loved the open air ride, though!
Meera seemed to love it, too!
During our last full day in Boston, Steve gave us a tour of Bentley University, where he's the newest professor of philosophy.
That night, we visited the harbor again to wait for the 4th of July fireworks. We found a great spot with a playground for Emma to play on while we enjoyed the gorgeous view.
It was very crowded downtown that night, but the fireworks were spectacular! It was well worth the time and energy it took us to get there and back home again afterwards.
Steve, Sheila, and Meera visited our hotel the morning we left, so we could say goodbye. Emma really misses her cousin, and we can't wait to see them all again at Christmastime!