Weekend in PA

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND for us was a mix of longstanding traditions and new experiences.  We began our favorite weekend of the year with our traditional Thursday morning drive north, complete with all 18 minutes of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant. Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving unless my kids suffer through this tradition!

After a fantastic mid-day dinner at my aunt and uncle's place in Lancaster PA, we swung by Curt's aunt and uncle's home for a visit before ending up at his parents' place, where we made ourselves right at home by making sure all of our stuff was strewn all over their house within minutes of our arrival.

Friday morning featured some shopping, but not the Black Friday kind of shopping. I avoid that at all costs. No, instead we visited a market run by some local Amish. While I was checking out, a nice young Amish man walked in with eight loaves of homemade bread still warm from their Amish oven. I added a loaf to my stack of goodies, and didn't protest much when my mother-in-law insisted she photograph me in front of the very horse and buggy responsible for the fresh bread delivery:


Later that day, we found ourselves at the fine establishment my father-in-law calls the "Hoot 'n' Holler."  While he schooled his son in the finer points of barroom pool, I made friends with the very patrons after whom the bar's delicious, handcrafted pumpkin ale was named.  Aaron and Patty were hosting some friends of theirs who'd traveled aaaaaall the way from Curacao, which is all

…to Central PA, which is not at all like this, which means they must have come to experience the Local Culture, which, to my pumpkin-ale-soaked brain, meant I was an AMBASSADOR! I needed to show these lovely people a Good Time! Besides, how many times do people from Curacao come stumblin' in to the Hoot 'n' Holler? (Answer: Not many.) So, we raised our glasses and sang happy birthday to the one who came all the way from the islands to celebrate turning 41, and I took lots of photos on my cell phone, none of which turned out.  But it was fun!

Saturday, I got to treat my mother and mother-in-law to lunch at The Kind Cafe in Selinsgrove, PA. What a cute place! If you're ever passing through the area, go there.  The coffee was good, the food tasty and the people were really, well, kind. Nice and kind.

Sunday morning, I made crepes for breakfast, then we gathered all of our stuff that was strewn about the house, stuffed all of it into our car, and departed. But there was one more tradition we needed to bookend our weekend: The annual cutting of the Christmas Tree at Pikes Peak Acres, owned by Curt's aunt and uncle.  And it was all

Tree pickin 

and all


and I would like to publicly thank Aunt Eleanor for providing Peezer with not one, not two but three candy canes so that he would stop freaking out after he dropped and broke the first two:

Candy cane kid 

And so, we strapped the tree to the top of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster Suburban and headed south through heavier-than-normal traffic, past several auto accidents and the ensuing backups, to our Home Sweet Home.