Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Sweet Time at Hershey Park - And Then We Got Lost (Road Trip 2014)

Dear friends,

We arrived home from our road trip yesterday, so I guess it's time to catch up on my last two blog posts for the series!

The day after our Hess family reunion, a bunch of us went to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania with a fantastic group discount organized by one of my cousins. Several of the older kids were allowed to go off on their own, while some of us adults stuck with four of the youngest in our group.

As I look back on the day, the thing that sticks out to me is that it was a time for me to be a mom first, and not worry about what I would personally like to do. My job was to see what would be fun for my little girl and her three second cousins, and do that! None of them were interested in big kid stuff, so I spent a lot of time watching them go round and round on the kiddie rides.  :-) I did go on the merry-go-round and the monorail and other tame rides with them. My big mistake was convincing Mel to go on the Comet roller coaster, which was too intense for her -- and the seat was way too tight for my ample hips.

The big excitement came when we decided to go to the Character Quiz show and my little girl was selected to be a "contestant." She won a huge Hershey bar.

The chocolate bar quickly melted, so my cousin got several plastic spoons from the ice cream stand and the kids dug in.

I didn't get any pictures of the water park, because I didn't want to get my iPod wet. We were all tired, and some of the kids feeling a bit sick, by the time we got done. My teenage daughter lost her sneakers at one of the water rides, so I lent her my crocs and walked barefoot most of the way back to the car.

Actually, one of the most memorable events of the day happened on the way home. We finally left the park after 9:30 PM and expected to be back at my dad's house by 11. Apparently, despite my driving directions printed out in my notebook, I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to get back on I-81, and that it was time to switch to I-83. I drove and drove in the dark while my kids zonked out, and kept waiting to get to the Baltimore beltway so I could travel west for a few miles on I-70 to Route 29, which would take us down toward my dad's house in Columbia. Then I saw a sign for I-70 and wondered if I had already been on the beltway without realizing it. That is, until I noticed that the sign said Frederick, Maryland was 27 miles to the east, when it should have been to the west of me. Instead of Baltimore, I was in Hagerstown, Maryland! The irony is that I had been listening to Avicii's song "Wake Me Up" and thinking about being so tired. As soon as it dawned on me that I was drastically off course, the line "Didn't know I was lost! Didn't know I was lost!  Didn't know I was lost!" came on. I started laughing hard enough that it woke me up enough to make it the rest of the way home. We arrived at 12:40 AM, and I later mapped it out that we had traveled an extra 50 miles. Unfortunately, this wasn't the only time I got lost on our road trip. It happened several times and got to be quite a joke. I just wish that particular detour had been during the daytime so we could have seen the beautiful western Maryland countryside. But then again, if it had been daytime, I would have realized I was on the wrong road much earlier!

Needless to say, I did very little the next day.  It seemed a waste of time, but that's OK with me. Sometimes we need a down day, especially on vacation! I figured it was a great opportunity to rest up for the final leg of our journey which would start two days later...

Thanks for reading!

Virginia Knowles

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