Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Welcome back to the mainland!

I am absolutely overjoyed to report that Jenn, Michael, and the kids are now on the mainland! Though I will thoroughly miss Hawaii, the beauty, the food, and the places I got used to especially during the month I spent there during Aidan's birth and infancy and will miss having ready access to Fabric Mart and the Soap Factory, I am happy to report that they will be far closer now and not require a long airplane ride to see them! They now live in North Carolina, a whole lot closer to us than Hawaii! Weekend trips are a whole lot more doable than getting back and forth to Hawaii.

The family came up to visit and to take the kids to the National Apple Harvest Festival which is the first two weekends of October every year just north of Gettysburg in Arendtsville, PA. It's huge and lots of fun. It was crisp and sunny and a perfect day for going to the festival. Michael had to take the kids' wagon apart to get it into our van so Grandpa and Michael are putting it back together with Aidan's help. I haven't been to the apple festival since Jenn and Jon were about waist high, and I will say that I truly enjoyed it! A good time was had by all.

The festival has lots of arts and crafts and food and fun activities for the children. Here the boys are in a huge pile of hay that is designed for them to throw, jump in and enjoy.

Collin didn't understand right at first that you could throw and play with the hay, but he quickly figured it all out. (Ok, so I covered them both in hay a few was so much fun!)
Not only was the hay fun to throw at your own brother, it was fun to throw at the other kids that were in the hay play area. They also had a disappointingly small petting zoo at the festival, though we'd gone to the larger one at Baugher's orchard the day before so the kids got to see the animals there out of cages and able to be touched and petted.
The kids also enjoyed the large historic steam engine and tractor displays near where we ate the lunch that we'd brought with us, and later in the day Aidan got to walk through the car show area with Dad and Grandpa while Mom and Grandma shared a pumpkin funnel cake with Collin.
Not only was the wagon a fantastic idea for putting the kids into when they got tired of walking (or we got tired of carrying them), but it also helped carry the lunches and diaper bag plus the few items of arts and crafts that we found while we were there.
The vendors are not supposed to sell anything commercially made though some do, the majority of the items available are hand crafted. We found a couple of hand painted signs and some cat related figurines while we were looking around. Since we were there to spend time with the boys, we didn't even look through half of the booths that were there.
You can get an idea of how many people were at the festival by looking at the crowd in the picture as Michael and Mark waited for Aidan take a pony ride. Collin liked sitting on top of the fence to watch.
The festival is so large that people have to park in one of two farmer's fields and take the busses the festival provides to the site of the festival. That in itself was an adventure for the boys!
By now, Collin's shoes were off, it was getting close to the end of our day as the boys were starting to get really tired.
There's Jenn with her cool sunglasses on right after loading Aidan onto his pony. The car show area is right behind her. We both wore tie-die that day because we know how much Michael loves it! (NOT!)
Aidan looks like he's not sure if he likes the pony ride or not in this last picture, but most of the time as he came around he looked happy. We were off to the car shortly thereafter and the kids both slept all the way home. It was fun! We hope to repeat this in the future as the kids get older.

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