Archive | November, 2015

Day 4. Pennsylvania. 249 miles.

After a night in our surprisingly-not-shady hotel, we were greeted by yet another delicious breakfast. In my opinion, hotels are totally worth their price if they’ve got a good breakfast! I don’t care if there is a swimming pool, a gym, etc, if the breakfast is good, I’m there!!

It was Sunday, and we had packed clothes for going to church. We set our course using an address provided on the LDS church’s website for where the meetinghouse was located and off we went. It was a gorgeous fall morning and beautiful drive!

thick fog


Sunday morning fog
The road wound up and over some hilly spots. It was like driving to a backwoods cabin. It was beautiful and peaceful. Then the foliage opened up to some farms
backwoods church

farm church road

little white church
We pulled up to the church about 10 minutes before start time and the place was deserted!! We knew a new church had been built, but the website still listed this cute little church as the meeting place. Luckily, they left a little note for us on the window! 🙂 We just happened to be there on the very first day of their services in the new church building!
go to the new church

farm road

pennsylvania farm
We made it to the new church building just as services were starting.
new church at priesthood restoration site
After church, we were given a tour of the new visitor center & grounds by some more cute sister missionaries. Then we walked through the woods.
woods behind the Hale farm

crazy trees

priesthood men

woods in fall
As a teenager, I visited this spot and took this same photo.
crossing the tracks
We crossed the tracks and walked down to the river.
susquehanna river

susquehanna river 2

river rocks

boy by the river

girl by tree

After spending the majority of the day at the church & river areas, we headed south. We had about a three hour drive ahead of us which meant more cute architecture! We rolled into Gettysburg after dark and it was neat to see the town at night.
Driving thru pennsylvania towns


Day 3. New York. 145 miles.

At the recommendation of the missionaries at the previous church sites, we decided to go to the Peter Whitmer farm. It was a “maybe” stop on our list of places to go, if we had time. Well, we made time. As we drove through the little New York towns, we crossed over a waterway and I said “Pull over!!!” We were just passing a lock and I wanted to watch it in action – and yes, wanted my children to watch it in action too. I mean really, when were we EVER going to see something like this again?!?
erie canal

canoe in the erie canal

watching the lock

lock on the canal
After watching the lock do its thing, we continued off through the small town gorgeousness and farm-fields of glory.
corn field
The Peter Whitmer home.
peter whitmer farm
The missionary who gave us a tour this day not only showed us the log home, but the apple orchard behind the home as well. He kindly let us pick some apples, which were delicious (we hadn’t had lunch yet!!) and it was the kids’ favorite part of the day.
entering the apple orchard

climbing a apple tree

apple orchard
After leaving the farm, we drove down the length of Lake Canandaigua, one of the Finger Lakes. It is just so impressive!! But alas, I was in a car and not a helicopter…or sailboat…
lake canandaigua
Our next stop, I can only describe as a little slice of Heaven. I like to call it Rivendell, but it’s real name is Watkins Glen State Park. Seriously, have you ever seen anything so amazing gorgeous??? Unfortunately, about a bazillion other people thought so too, and the place was just packed!!! (What do you mean, I can’t have the whole park to myself?!?!?!) Tour busload after tour busload of people entered the gorge and we had to go right along with them. There was even a bridal party there!


ribbon of water

watkins glen

late sun through the trees

hide behind a tree
On our way back to the car we found the old cemetary. It’s always fun to look at names and dates and how old the headstones are, etc.
old italian cemetary

tree trunk
After another full day of driving, visiting sites, and hiking through the gorge, we had a fantastically huge and delicious dinner of Chinese food. Yum. Then the drive through New York countryside to our next hotel.
old barn new york

new york sunset

tree silhouettes