The Rest of Our PA Trip

So, I’ve already written about our trip to the wedding of one of our former youth.  Now, I thought I’d share the rest of the trip.
 I just want to say upfront, that after taking this trip sans kids, I’m convinced at the necessity of couples to get away with each other if they can, preferably on an annual basis.  I remember when I taught school, I met some parents who went on an annual cruise together without the kids.  I didn’t think it sounded very practical then (before I had kids), but now I can see that it was probably a very healthy decision. 
Don’t get me wrong.  I adore my kids and we have a great time on vacations…well now we do.  Admittedly, I thought the word vacation to be an oxymoron for the longest time.  In the dictionary it has the connotation of suspending work and resting.  As a mother of three kids all under 6 at the time I really had a problem with that.  Somehow diapers, potty breaks, and feedings didn’t ever get suspended for me.  Thankfully, I can now say to those mothers of very young children, there is a light at the end of that tunnel and it’s not as far away as it seems. 
Of course, money is an issue.  However, even if it’s not a long trip, maybe even just a weekend get away, I’d highly advise it.  Get that husband alone and go have some fun. 
Now, where was I?  Oh yes, the rest of the trip.  2nd man has a cousin who lives in Pennsylvania and is like a sister to him.  She, and one of his best friends from college, were both in our wedding and had their first date the night we got married.  They have since married and we all have kids of similar ages.  When we started planning the trip we knew that if we were that close to Jessica and Brett we had to stop and visit.  That was such a great decision.  I just love them both so dearly.  Jessica is like a sister to me now too.  She’s one of those people who are drop dead gorgeous even at the crack of dawn. Then, when they get all dressed up with their bling, you just want to crawl under a rock rather than stand next to them.  You want to hate them and think they are snotty and all about themselves, but instead she’s anything but that.  She’s one of the most real and sincere people I’ve ever met.  She’s a great mom and wife and loves the Lord.  
Brett and I got to know each other by default.  While all of us were newly married we were on a trip visiting family.  2nd man, Jessica and the rest of the siblings went into the bedroom of aunt Alice and Uncle Dan to gather around the bed and have a family heart to heart.  Apparently this was normal for all of them while growing up.  Being new to the family Brett and I weren’t going to invite ourselves into such a sanctuary and neither Jessica nor my 2nd man thought to invite us.  So we found ourselves in the living room getting to know each other.  That happened about 10 or more years ago and we still laugh about it today.  Now, though, we, (the four of us) find ourselves visiting late into the nights whenever we see each other.  It’s such a comfort to have such close friends and family that are sharing the same stages of life with you, raising kids, church issues, growing marriages. 
            Although is was a little weird to only have one set of kids running around instead of all of ours too.  We relished the time with them and their great kids.  Can’t wait until they come out to visit us next month!
            After spending the entire weekend with Brett and Jessica, 2nd man took me to Philadelphia to sight see.  I never really had a great desire to build an entire vacation around Philadelphia, but I do love historical sights and since we were there anyway, I wanted to at least spend a day there.  Oh my, was it a great time!  It was a much prettier city than I expected.  We went to see Liberty Hall and the Liberty Bell.  We even ate a Philly cheese steak right there on the lawn in front of them both.  I was intrigued as we sat there, to notice that about 75% of the tourists there were foreign, mostly Chinese.  I guess this surprised me a little.  I wouldn’t be much interested in another country’s governmental beginnings, but somehow they were.  Maybe they were immigrants and very thankful, who knows?  Or maybe it would be like me going to see Buckingham palace if I went to England.  I don’t know, it just seemed weird to me.  I didn’t appreciate history much as a kid, but now I carry a mixture of guilt and newfound interest in just what people had to sacrifice for us to have the freedoms we have today and are currently throwing away little by little. 
            After getting our car out of the scary parking garage, we drove through China town, which was pretty cool and on to see other parts of the city.
One stop was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where 2nd man ran the steps from the movie “Rocky”  [DISCLAIMER:  although neither of us condone the full movie, 2nd man saw it as a child and has always loved the theme of the underdog getting a chance to win the title] so, this was a really neat moment for him.  I got out our daughter’s camera that we took with us and started to video tape his running.  Then, I went pale…I didn’t push the button!  2nd man had to do it again!  Thankfully, he was feeling spry and did it for me without too much hassle J 
It really was a great day and ended with us getting to stay at a very fancy hotel with a suite.  Doesn’t get much better than that.  However, thus ended the good parts of the trip. 
On Tuesday we flew back home.  Oh, it’s not that I didn’t want to go, but the getting there was somewhat of a disappointment.  The airline we flew, (which will remain unnamed, because I do like their prices and general treatment), has a unique way of boarding their passengers on a first come first serve basis.  If, you don’t pay the extra money to get on first, you may not get to sit with your party.  Well, that’s what happened to us.  Can you believe on a huge jetliner, nobody was willing to move seats so we could sit together?  I ended up in the middle of two very large people for four hours.  But, that’s not really the worst of it.  The gentleman to the right of me apparently ate something the day before that didn’t agree with him.  I don’t generally like talking about such things, but let me just say for four hours in five minute intervals, this poor man was relieving his discomfort for the rest of us to breath.  I mean truly, what is a person to do?  I wanted so desperately to look at him and yell, “Dude, take a pill or something!”  but, of course I’d never do that.  So I tried leaning forward on my tray table to read my book and plug my nose.  My eyes were burning and my stomach was weak.  Ironically, I was reading my Gracia Burnham book, To Fly Again: Surviving the Tailspins of Life.  An excellent book, I wish I had read it in a better frame of mind.  As she was describing some of her experiences being held hostage in the jungle I was desperately trying to imagine myself in a jungle, breathing fresh air!  Reading through chapters like: “Anger doesn’t help” or “Rising Above Impatience,” I was trying to convince myself that my current circumstances weren’t included.  
Then, about three fourths of the way through the flight, the woman next to me started having some sort of fit.  She was probably in her sixties and was reading some sort of romance novel.  Suddenly she started making noises of “Woo!” or “Oh oh oh”  I wasn’t  sure if she was just in a really heated scene of the book or was she feeling alright?  What if she was having a heart attack?  Was this going to be one of those circumstances where she dies right next to me on the plane and I say something stupid like, “I didn’t know!”  Thankfully she calmed back down in about five minutes and continued taking up the whole armrest. 
When the flight was over I was almost in tears.  2nd man was wondering what in the world was wrong with me?  When I explained it all he was roaring with laughter and promised me some Starbucks to pacify my angst.  I promised him that our next flight was not taking off until I was sitting next to him.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to cause any scenes on the next flight and we even go an entire row to ourselves.  I had calmed down and we were able to laugh the rest of the way home.  Like 2nd man says, “we won’t ever be short on laughter in our home.” 
It’s good to be home and back to the kiddos, but I am so thankful for being able to take the trip.  2nd man and I haven’t really had many chances like this.  Usually when we’re leaving our own kids we’re with someone else’s kids.  It was a refreshing and happy time.  I’m one blessed woman to have my 2nd man!

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