We had visitors…

 So last week, we were able to host Ten’s aunt and uncle from Kobe! They were taking their retirement vacation wich included a few days in NYC, Yellow Stone, Vegas….and honestly I forget where else…but they had a very busy schedule.  

One of the awesome things was…I got a Japanese housewife for a day. I joke with Ten about this all of the time. No, but his aunt spent basically one full day at our house cooking. She loves making onigiri and is planning on opening her own shop when they get back to Japan.

They also spent a lot of time with the girls doing things like playing, doing homework, and reading. The girls are seriously in love with their great uncle. Emi was fairly terrified at first though.

 It was very nice getting to spend some extremely rare time with Ten’s family. It was really good for everyone…but after a week it was also nice to get our space back ๐Ÿ˜‰


Statue of Liberty

 So, a little out of order but here are some pics of when Ten, Nana, PaPa, and Mia went to the city to visit the Statue of Liberty. Emi and I decided to sit this one out because she wasn’t feeling all that well and there was a heat advisory. It would have made for a miserable morning for a two year old.

So while I wasn’t there, I did get several pics and updates of their day.

They all made it to Grand Central. I love Grand Central. I feel like I’m in a movie every time I get off the train.


They headed straight to Battery Park to ride the ferry to Liberty Island. First, they made a stop at the Seaglass Carousel so that Mia could ride it. Looks so beautiful in pictures, but this group wasn’t impressed. I still want/need to see it in person.


….on the ferry…


….and then getting lunch immediately after. They had alreadt been gone all morning by this point.


Hi! Ten is clearly the photographer for the day.


Love this picture.


…but this is probably my favorite of the day.


An overcast day, but the city still looks so pretty.


The original torch inside of the pedestal.


Saying bye.


Intercourse, Paradise, and Bird-in-Hand, PA

 This was THE best part of our trip, at least for me. I also know my mom really liked it. I could spend time in Pennsylvania Dutch Country every week and not get tired of it.

This is me excited to be in Amish country. Posing next to two signs….yes, random.


One of the many, many buggies we saw this day. I was actually worried that I wouldn’t see any Amish/Menonite/Brethren before we arrived in Lancaster County which now I know is ridiculous as it is called Amish Country for a reason.

We arrived in Intercourse pretty early in the morning and first stopped into this little store where my mom bought the girls bonnets! So cute, and believe me I am finding excuses here for wearing them ๐Ÿ˜‰  

By the way, notice Emi’s clothes, it was the Fourth of July.


Mia also in a patriotic shirt.


Another buggy…these things were so much faster than what I had imagined.

We walked to a shopping area called Kitchen Kettle Village and spent the morning here sampling ice cream, cheeses, meats, etc. They also had tons of home decor that Ten loved looking at. Total tourist trap, and we loved every minute of it.  

Playing some tunes outside of the store. Thank you kind store for not caring if kids come and “play” the piano. We definitely bought a few things here.


Everything looks cuter in a bonnet. Emi milking a cow…btw…i cannot wait to read Little House on the Prairie with the girls…fyi, I hated that show as a child…haha


 After a hard one hour of shopping, we decided to get some homemade ice cream. This was so, so good and creamy. It was among the best I have tried. 

The girls sharing a strawberry scoop and a scoop of chocolate.

Next we visited several different shops.  

Hi Uncle Sam!


The girls didn’t care much for the meats and cheeses at this shop, but they wanted a picture with the pig.


We also visited a shop that made all kinds of salsas, jams, butters, etc. i LOVED this place. Ten snapped this picture before he saw the sign that says no photos. oops, very hard working Amish ladies here making all kinds of yummy things.

Before we arrived in Intercourse
we decided that we were not going to take a buggy ride. We just felt like it was too expensive, and we could drive through the farmland ourselves. 

, Mia and Emi really, really wanted to. They had been good all morning doing adult things like shopping, so Ten thought we should do it for them. I was very reluctant, but it ended up being the best part of our trip.

Emi talking to the horses. She loves animals more than any kid I know.


In the buggy and ready to go…and yes, Mia is sitting in the front seat.


Sweet picture.

And we are off. We rode through miles of farm land and Amish houses. Everyone knew our driver and we even stopped in at one house. Tourist trap to buy some cookies from an Amish family….loved it and bought the cookies ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our very kind guide who let Mia drive the buggy! She loved this so much. I was so impressed with this man. He fully listened to everything Mia had to say and seemed to really enjoy her company. I honestly believe this has to do with their lifestyle. People seem to come first, and I felt like we are really doing it wrong…us in the modern world.


Go Mia!


Beautiful. Amazing so see houses and land without any electric lines.

I took so many pictures of the buggy ride, but I can’t post them all here. That was just a little sample.

  Next we went to a smorgasbord in Bird-in-hand. We wanted to try some different authentic dishes and this was apparently the place to go.

They had the cutest Noah’s Ark buffet for kids. Our girls love thst story, so they thought this was really cool…amd Mia enjoyed serving herself from it.


Starting with a very unhealthy but really awesome salad. The local cheeses were really good.


While I skipped a few authentic dishes (here’s looking at you ham ball), I tried almost everything else. Tasty meatloaf, zuchinni casserole (liked), Amish shepherd’s pie (ok), sauerkraut and pork (liked), and so many more things. BTW…my mom tried the ham ball…and while not bad, not something I would choose to eat.


A scary leopard peaking out of the window. Mia loved being able to serve herself at the little buffet.


So many good desserts….a whoopie pie (way too sweet for me) and some peanut butter fluff.


After we were overly stuffed, we packed up and headed to Paradise, PA… PaPa and the girls on is bike.


Driving down the road, we saw a huge number of horses and buggies. It was a charity event for kids in need.


P.S. Typos again that I can’t fix because of the app I use….may have to use the computer in the future.

KOA Elizabethtown

 I am really working hard to get all of our vacation posts up, but we will see. We just always have something going on, and it’s hard to keep up with it all blog wise.

As part of our vacation, we decided we wanted to try camping. After looking at tent/tent site prices and cabin prices, we decided a cabin was the most economical way to go and it would also let the girls rest more than being in a tent. Here are just a few photos from our cabin site.

Yay for porch swings! We had no idea this would be here, but we were so greatful to have a place to sit back and relax.

The girls were so excited to have a cabin. In fact, they just wanted to stay here and play for the most part.


An excited Mia on the top bunk. She wanted me to take a picture of her touching the ceiling.


On the Fourth of July it rained and rained some more, but we were able to sit on the covered porch and do sparklers.


Everyone just enjoying the afternoon.

The camp grounds  also had a playground which is awesome when you have a toddler and preschooler.  

One of the nights we spent cooking around the fire. So stressful with Emi. She has no sense of danger.

Here is NaNa and PaPa setting up their tent site which was very near our site.


….and a snap of the pools which were literally ice cold. Way too cold for the adults, but Emi and Mia had a great time.

…and finally a snap of dinner at the campsite.

Making banana boats, requested by Mia.


So, there you have it. Much cheaper than a hotel and the girls and everyone really had a nice time. We may plan to go camping once more before summer is over.