Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vacation Part 3 - Final

After leaving Gettysburg we headed to our condo that we rented for our final part of our trip.  We rented a condo near the Seven Springs Ski Resort near Somerset, PA.  It is south of Pittsburgh about 1 1/2 hrs.  Our condo was very reasonably priced and we were right across from the pool and basketball courts which was convenient.  But, I wasn't very impressed with the condo itself.  The carpet was full of huge stains, several light bulbs were burned out, and there was not enough silverware for one meal.  This was advertised as being big enough to sleep 8 so I thought there should be enough dishes to go around as well.  There is only 5 in our family.  Also, getting ready for bed, we find that the sleeper sofa to sleep 1 of our kids was broken.  There were 2 beds upstairs, so I still can't figure out where the sleeps 8 was supposed to be, because there was only 1 sleeper sofa.  So our daughter slept in a sleeping bag that we had packed during the whole stay.  So, if I had to say it, I definately would not stay there or again or recommend it to anyone.  It was adequate for our stay and allowed us to have a house with a kitchen and actually cook some meals, which we needed.  The outdoor pool was nice, but due to weather and a party that was held there, we only got in it twice.

Since we ran out of time the day before, we headed back east a little bit to visit Shanksville, PA and the site of the Flight 93 plane crash on September 11, 2001.  Pat and I have visited Ground Zero in NYC and wanted to be sure to visit here too.  The site has been taken over by the National Park Service and is staffed by park rangers available to answer questions.  The memorial is in a metal shed (for lack of better words) and has plaques discussing the events on September 11, 2001, binders with phone calls, 911 calls, and cockpit conversations, as well as different items left behind as memorials.  The memorial site is under construction with plans for completion is 2014.  I would like to go back and see the finished site.  As you see from my photos, we were probably a couple football fields away from the crash site.  But, still very powerful to think about all the happened that day. 

The rest of the day and the next were relaxing days at the condo.  Another perk from the condo was having a washer and dryer.  After being gone almost 2 weeks, we had some serious laundry.  It was nice to catch up on it a bit before we headed home.  That afternoon we headed north to Pittsburgh for a Pirates game.  Tickets were super easy to get and very reasonable.  PNC Park is such a beautiful ballpark, it is a shame that more locals don't go to the games.  Our tickets were $27 a piece and we had excellent seats.  We also attended the game on a Thursday, and every one who comes to the game gets a T-shirt.  So, that was a nice treat.  Kids got Adult Small and Adults got XL.  It was a great game and the Pirates beat the Rockies 5-1 which we loved since the Rockies had beat the Cubs earlier that week.  Before the game we walked along the river.  They have a very nice riverwalk with a great view of the city and all the bridges. 

Friday we headed over to the Seven Springs Resort and bought day passes for all of us to take in the activities.  We did the alpine slide several times (way fun), mini golf, and bowling.  They also offered rock climbing, paddle boats, and mountain biking. 

Saturday and Sunday were our driving days heading back home.  We stayed in Hammond, IN at the Courtyard by Marriott.  Another great hotel with free hot breakfast.  There is also a Cracker Barrel next door.  This was our second Cracker Barrel stop during the trip and one of our favorites.  We also don't have Cracker Barrels around home, so they were a treat. 

Our friends loaned up their license plate game.  It is made by Melissa and Doug and was such a neat way to play the game.  It is a wooden board and you flip over the license plates, that are attached with elastic bands, each time you find a license plate.  In our first day on the trip we only had 16 left to find.  By the time we arrived home, we had only 3 license plates we never saw:  Hawaii, North Dakota, and Mississippi.  It kept the kids engaged and helped with their learning of the states and their locations. 

We arrived home on Sunday afternoon after a much needed stop at Target for some groceries to get us started for the week.  We had such a wonderful time and know they kids have many memories.  We are already planning future vacations and places we'd like to see another time that we missed out on.  If you've never been to the great state of Pennsylvania, I suggest you put it on your list!

Thanks for letting me share our vacation with you!  Enjoy the photos!

Vacation Part 3 on PhotoPeach

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