Vacation Recap, PA/NY, Part IV

We took a week to visit famous places in Pennsylvania and New York (specifically Philadelphia and Manhattan).

Day 5

Had some breakfast in the hotel room. Cereal and milk, because of the fridge. Plus some other items that didn’t need to be heated.

First stop of the day – the subway station. It was located two blocks away. An uneventful walk there, and then we were down in the station. First order of business was to buy MTA cards for the family. However, subway stations are not setup to be the starting point of a family journey. The MTA agent in her tollbooth-like enclosure said she could help me if I had a problem with my card, but to buy a card I had to use the self-serve kiosk. The self-serve kiosk lets you buy one card at a time, and requires a number of menu selections.

I waited until there was no one in line, then I started. Bought a card, bought another card, then it wouldn’t let me buy a third card. I switched credit cards – my guess was the credit-card fraud department figured more than two swipes of a credit card at a self-serve kiosk means that someone’s card was stolen and the thief is looking to quickly convert it to different currency. So I switched credit cards and slogged through two more transactions.

At this point, I felt sorry for the people who had lined up to use the kiosk, so I stepped aside to let them use the thing. Then I returned with a third credit card for the last two MTA cards. I handed them to Alpha and Beta, who liked the feeling of responsibility and freedom with an MTA card, but I kept Gamma’s and Delta’s cards because I had a feeling they wouldn’t hold on to them very well.

So Some Wife and Alpha and Beta swiped themselves through to the platform. I lined up Delta and Gamma in front of the turnstile. Swipe one card: “Go”, swipe the next card: “Go”, swipe the third card and walk my self through.

It would be a lot easier if they’d let you combine riders on one ticket. On the plus side though, some of our stops were short enough that they were considered legs of one trip and so we weren’t charged for them.

Our hotel was up by the Lincoln Tunnel, and our first stop was the World Trade Center. It was early enough in the morning that there were a bunch of people on the subway trains. The boys enjoyed the whole process, especially getting to stand and hang onto things in a moving vehicle.

photo of people on the NYC subway

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Vacation Recap, PA/NY, Part III

We took a week to visit famous places in Pennsylvania and New York (specifically Philadelphia and Manhattan).

Day 4

Woke up and went down to the main floor for breakfast. The breakfast had a lot of options, including a few microwaves so you could heat things to your own satisfaction.

Then we got ready for the day. The plan was to pack up and head out of Philly, spend the day at Diggerland USA, and end up at our hotel in NYC for dinner.

It took a few trips to the parking garage to get the van loaded. Kids were well-fed from the hotel breakfast, and it was only 30-45 minutes away, so we were in good shape.

Only problem – it was about 100 degrees out.

photo of the entrance to Diggerland USA

When planning the trip, I saw that walk-in prices were $37 per person, but $32 if you buy online. I waited to buy online and was going to do it on the trip, since I could show them my phone or whatever instead of having to print out tickets. But while we were in Philly, we grabbed a brochure for Diggerland and it had a $27 admission coupon. So I grabbed 5 more, in order to get the whole family’s tickets for that price.
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Vacation Recap, PA/NY, Part II

We took a week to visit famous places in Pennsylvania and New York (specifically Philadelphia and Manhattan).

Day 3

Woke up and went down to the main floor for breakfast. The breakfast had a lot of options, including a few microwaves so you could heat things to your own satisfaction.

Then we got ready for the day. The plan was to spend the day taking in the historic district: the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the US Mint, and Ben Franklin’s grave.

The historic district was several blocks from the hotel. There wasn’t a good public transportation option, and I didn’t want to have to deal with traffic and parking, so we walked. It was good for the kids after spending all that time in the van the previous two days.

On the way there, we happened to pass another district:

photo of the Chinatown part of Philadelphia

Being part Asian, the family wanted to make a quick detour down that road and see what we could see.
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Vacation Recap, PA/NY, Part I

We took a week to visit famous places in Pennsylvania and New York (specifically Philadelphia and Manhattan).

Day 1

Get to eastern PA. Nothing fancy here.

Stayed at a local place (not a chain) because I thought it would be interesting – a greater chance of something memorable compared to a national chain.

The place was called the Hershey Farm Inn, and I chose it because they had a buffet-style restaurant that was open for breakfast (and free for hotel guests). Plus it had a pool. And some nice grounds: a pond, some goats, some geese, a flower garden, walking paths, and a giant statue of an Amish man. I didn’t know about that last item until we arrived though. The place is not related to the Hershey Chocolate Company – it’s just near the town of Hershey.

photo of the Hershey Farm Inn grounds near Lancaster, PA

It fulfilled my expectations in that it was unique and therefore memorable. I can’t recall the details/layout/features of the various chain hotel rooms we’ve stayed in, but our accommodations that night were half of the top floor of an old farmhouse. It was setup to sleep 8, I think, so two of the kids didn’t even have to share a bed like usual.

I took the kids on a walking tour of the grounds while Some Wife got dinner ready in the room. She brought it from home so we wouldn’t have to go out that night. We ate dinner, then we all went to the pool. Outdoor only, slightly cold, but it worked. After the pool, the kids played on the boat-like play structure and chased the geese. Then winding down in the room with some home-improvement show on HGTV, then off to bed.

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Three More Weeks

Only three more weeks until Reformation Day. This is the big one, being the 500th anniversary of Luther’s uprising. Start planning your festivities now.

So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.'”

Jeremiah 18:11

Peeves

People can have pet peeves.

That implies there are or were wild peeves. And that makes me wonder.

  • What was the natural range of the wild peeve?
  • When was the peeve domesticated?
  • Why was the peeve domesticated?
  • Of what use are they, really?
  • How did they help further society, like the horse?

Someday I may investigate this further. Any interesting findings could be published in a book with a title such as On the Domestication of the Peeve.

You will laugh at violence and famine, And you will not be afraid of wild beasts.

Job 5:22

Example of Success

I’d like to present to you today an example of success:

Colin Kaepernick

The critics might disagree, saying that he’s a washed-up quarterback who can’t play in the NFL anymore. But if your definition of success is “currently playing in the NFL”, then over 99.9% of the people in the USA are unsuccessful.

Other critics might contend that he has brought division and conflict to our country with his antics during the national anthem. That might not look like success to you, but your goals are not his goals.

What are his goals? (I haven’t asked him directly, so I’m going off common knowledge and common sense here):

He wanted the country to be aware of (and discuss) the treatment of minorities. He accomplished that, so success.

Before that, as an NFL player he wanted to get his team to the Super Bowl. He accomplished that, so success. Rather, partial success, since he probably wanted to win the game.

Before that, as a college player, he probably wanted to make it to the NFL. Again, success.

I dare say he has accomplished more and been more successful before the age of 30 than many people are in the whole lives. You can say a lot of things about Colin Kaepernick, but unsuccessful should not be one of those things.

The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.

Genesis 39:2