A Weekend in Hershey

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Although I've been away from central Pennsylvania longer than I lived there, it will always be home to me. And there's nothing like going home. Last weekend, my three sisters and I gathered with our children to spend the weekend together. We are spread out all over the US, so a weekend like this is a rare and welcomed treat.

I never appreciated the simple beauty of this area when I lived here. I was young and had high aspirations of heading to the big city. It's only been in recent years when I gained a greater awareness of where my food comes from that I had a greater appreciation for the thriving farming industry of central PA.

This barn sits about a mile from my sister's house. I've passed it hundreds of times and each time I pass it, I smile. I love the bright yellow against the deep green grass and the contrasting silo. It makes me think of spreading out under that tree with a glass of ice cold lemonade and a book for an afternoon.

Just as peaceful is the national cemetery where my parents are buried. It is so beautiful and so meticulously maintained. I take great comfort in knowing that my parents are in such a serene and pretty place.

The family (minus my niece Kendra) gathered for a photo before our trip to Hersheypark. It had been 10 years since many of us had been to Hersheypark. We met up with Kendra once we parked, and in no time, we were riding our favorite roller coasters!

Emma and I made one final use of our selfie stick before we entered the park where they are prohibited.

After 13 years, Emma has finally reached Jolly Rancher status!

Unfortunately, Harper and her cousin Austin aren't quite there yet.

Speaking of roller coasters, this rainbow over Storm Runner helped to brighten our spirits after a thunderstorm rolled in.

When I was a teenager, Hersheypark was practically my second home. My friends and I had season passes, and our parents took turns driving us there for the day. We'd ride our favorite roller coasters all day long and never tire of it. Although I still love the roller coasters, I'm not able to ride them all day, over and over again. The ferris wheel is more my speed these days.

Although there was quite a wait for the new indoor, glow-in-dark roller coaster, Laff Trakk, we had tons of fun while standing in line. Here Harper enjoyed being cradled like a baby. Once inside the building, there are fun mirrors that distort your body and will have you in stitches.

After our trip to the park, we headed home for some night swimming after a long, hot day.

We returned to New Jersey yesterday with a fresh set of memories and hopes of doing this again next year. There's nothing like spending time with family. Whether you see each other often or only a few times per year, it's priceless.

We are counting the days until we meet up again in a few weeks in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for our annual family vacation.

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