Day 2: New Plan

Day 2:  Dutch Wonderland
Toy Train Museum and the Baltimore Aquarium
  Our plan for day #2 was to take the kids to Dutch Wonderland.  Instead, we woke up to rain and flash flood warnings.  (I was secretly excited to not have to walk around a burning hot theme park and breast feed a baby there every three hours.  I think theme parks are the hottest places in the world, thanks to all that asphalt.)
   We searched the map and found a couple other ways to provide fun family vacation time.  Day two turned out really well.  Actually by lunch, there wasn’t a cloud left in the sky, and we felt guilty for not having made it to Dutch Wonderland.  Soon, children, we will make it up to you!
  The great thing about vacation at the stage that we are in is not relaxing or rest.  That’s non-existant.  But vacations are still highly beneficial because it forced us to all be in a small space together, giving us gobs of quality time with the kids and with each other.  In the work world they call it “team building.”  In the home world, I suppose we will call it “family building.”  Sure, at home we’re all together too, but not in the same way.  We get all spread out between three floors of space, we’re always running here and there, but not all together, and it’s just really rare to ever have all six of us in the same room.
     I was so thankful we did this.  
 I took lots of window pictures.  This is a very typical Amish homestead.  I didn’t get a good shot of an Amish farm house, but they look quite large because they are pretty much two houses put together.  Their solution to the aging grandparent situation is to put the grandparents and parents all in one house, but separated–so it’s like two houses, attached.  It’s called a “dawdi haus.”  I actually think that sounds like the perfect solution.  Wish we’d had that for Granny!
Strasburg, Pennsylvania is home to the toy train museum.  Right next to the museum is this charming motel.  Each train car is a motel room!

Across the street from the museum is an Amish farmer’s field of tobacco.  Did you know that tobacco is their main cash crop?  Apparently corn is pretty important too though.  We saw tons of corn and tobacco.

 Caleb was SO excited about the National Toy Train Museum.  Joshua was sulky and not excited at all… first
 Dan’s new wheels:  With the addition of John David, we now own two double strollers.  Hurray!  The jogging one we got from Sean and Amy is my favorite, but the littlest man hasn’t quite grown into it yet, so for now we use the one above.
 All three boys really enjoyed the museum.
 There were electric trains riding the rails, and they had buttons you could push to make them stop and start.  Well, Caleb was dashing to and fro, operating these trains.  I think this was the best vacation Caleb has ever had, even if it did only last two days.
 John David felt much the same as I did about the whole train thing.

 Joshua’s favorite part:  a small Lego train display.  Almost everything in this case was built with Lego. Thanks to our children watching Lego informational videos, we recently learned that the plural of Lego is Lego.

 We let them each pick a museum souvenir.  Caleb and Dan bought Dinosaur train toys, and Joshua got a pencil and a bookmark.  Does it seem like someone is growing up way way way way way too fast?
  After the train museum we had lunch at an Italian restaurant, because it’s the one kind of food we all LOVE.   Then we rode around and gazed at Amish country a little longer.

 I can’t wait to go back!  Who’s with me?

Next stop:  National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland!  Alan had never been, and the kids hadn’t been since they were 3 and 2, so I was the only one with any memories of it.  The boys LOVED it.
 gazing at fish
 If the lighting were different, you’d see that they are in some sort of giant shark mouth, but I still like the picture because you can see Baltimore Inner Harbor in the background.
Upon arriving to the shark area, Caleb said, “Hey,  look!  Baby lemon sharks!”  Alan and I looked at each other like “Huh?”  I asked how he knew that (without even reading any signs), and Alan said, “Wild Kratts, right?”  Caleb said, “No, well yes, but also Octonauts!”  Ha!  Well, maybe I’ve let the boys watch too much t.v. this summer, but at least they learned something!

 Toddlers are so cute when they talk to each other.  : )
 Alan got really good at the baby carrier on this trip.  

 Dolphin Show!!!!
We did this RIGHT, ya’ll!  We showed up 1/2 way through the show, just in time to see all the leaps in the air, while bypassing the long wait for the show to start and all the talking they always do in the beginning.  When you are dealing with four small boys, there’s just no need for that preliminary stuff!

Poor Dan.  He is still new to this baby crying in the car thing.  I remember when we brought Daniel home that Joshua and Caleb used to do this.  They are old pros now though.  They barely even noticed the crying.  Bobby got really beside himself after the aquarium, and I was just sitting there, looking through the pictures on Alan’s phone.  Alan said, “Hey, I’m really glad that you’re not letting this get to you like you used to, but could you at least try to do something about it?  I’m having trouble driving here.”  Don’t worry, he didn’t have to cry long.  He would cry for 5 minutes, be okay for a while, and then start up again.  
The first day, he’d barely cried at all.  I have found that babies travel much more nicely in the morning, and they can be really terrifying to drive with at night.  Tired babies are just not easy going.
  And that was it.  Two whole days of family fun.  Maybe next year we’ll go for three days!!!  ; )  Actually,  I do have one more trip planned for us this year.  This fall we are going to do another Jellystone camping (air-conditioned cabin, of course) experience.  Should be fun!


  • Anonymous

    “Tired babies are just not easy going.”

    You got dat right! ~Daddy-O

  • Anonymous

    Enjoyed the post and the pictures. Glad that your vacation went well. Nana

  • Anonymous

    This whole Lego being plural thing could make “clean up time” really difficult… “joshua,..I thought I said to pick up your Lego?” Joshua: “I did!” It would all balance out at the store, though. “I thought you said I could get Lego?” “You did get a new Lego!” Tone of fun 🙂


  • Anonymous

    tonS of fun…

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