Tag Archive | cars

A St. Patrick’s Day Sunday Drive

For Valentine’s Day this year, I gave Dave a jar of “cheap dates”.  I got the idea from Pinterest, and he loved it! In the pint jar, there are over a year’s worth of dates for either the two of us to do together, or for us to do as a family. Last week, we took the first of these dates and went to Rita’s for Italian ice. This week’s date simply said, “Go for a drive.” Dave knew what I meant by that, but Katie didn’t have a clue. They both looked at me a bit sceptical of what was to happen. But I was happy! I knew what this could turn into!

At the end of the driveway, Dave says, “So which way do you want to go?” not sounding at all thrilled.

“Go right. Katie, you get to pick which direction we go at the next stop sign,” I said.

I was excited. Katie had no idea what she was about to experience. I thought back to my childhood days when it was a common occurance to jump in the car on a Sunday afternoon and just drive around and look at scenery and other areas you don’t see every day. My Pappy Wingert was a master at the Sunday drive. We’d jump in the car with him and drive for hours. We’d end up miles from home and get home after dark! But we saw places that were interesting and fun! Those Sunday drives were part of my favorite childhood memories. I only hoped that we would come across something interesting today!

We each took turns at stop signs and stop lights choosing which direction we’d go next. I soon realized that I had an advantage when we reached Cove Gap. “Turn right here!” I yelled.

Dave turned the wheel and we started the beginning of an afternoon long history lesson. We were in Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park.

We learned a few things:  1.  Katie learned that Buchanan was our 15th president, that he was never married, and that the school that Mommy graduated from was named for him. 2. Dave learned that Buchanan attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, that Buchanan’s Birthplace was the first State Park in Pennsylvania, and that the monument was built in 1907. 3. I learned that Harriet Lane, his niece, purchased the land that became the state park and that this really was the area where Buchanan was born, and that James Buchanan’s mother put a bell on him to hear him in the woods around their cabin!

I told Katie that there used to be a sign at the beginning of the trail to the monument that simply said, “Monument”.  I shared with her that my cousins and I once went there for a picnic and decided it would be fun to “be” monuments next to that sign. Well, the sign is gone, but the rock that was there remains. So, Katie decided we should do the same thing. The results are below!

We got back in the car and I whispered to Dave some directions. We were headed to another historical place…Fort Loudon, PA. It was close to supper time, so we stopped for supper at a favorite spot, Milky Way. Mmmmm, was it good!

We finished supper and headed down the road. I was now driving. We drove to the site of Fort Loudon. Katie had no idea about how Fort Loudon got its name or that there was actually a fort there many years ago.

“Mommy, can we go see James Buchanan’s log cabin before we go home?” asked Katie.

“Sure! It’s still daylight!” I said. Then we headed toward Mercersburg Academy. It took me a few minutes to remember what part of the campus the cabin sat on, but we soon found it.

“Cool!” said Katie (and I think she really meant it!).

The sun was setting, and so we decided to head for home.

“This was really fun,” said Katie smiling contentedly. “I hope Daddy pulls this ‘date’ out of the jar again soon.”

Me too, Katie, me too!


Adventures of the Chronically Lost

Dave and I both had off work today. He had a doctor’s appointment in Mechanicsburg to check the leg he had surgery on a year ago, to see if the vein has disappeared. We decided that on the way, we would stop at Community Aid since it was Wednesday and everything is half price on that day. (If you’ve never been to Community Aid, you should go! It’s like going to Goodwill or a thrift store, except that they have everything marked at 1/2 price on Wednesdays and you can get a whole lot more for your buck!)

Community Aid

Community Aid

We’ve been to Community Aid many times before, but one of the last times we went, we got lost. Why? Because I (yes, me) wasn’t paying attention and missed telling the driver (Dave) where to turn. So today, we decided that wasn’t going to happen again.  I had the directions in hand and we were on our way.

We traveled down Route 81 just like we were supposed to. We turned off Exit 59….just according to plan. I was busy chatting with Dave about this and that….something I don’t get to do much when Katie is along. Well….we did it again. We missed Exit 3 after we got off the first exit. “Here we go again!” exclaimed Dave. Ugh!! It was my fault again!! I was running my mouth and not paying attention and we missed it again! We tried to correct ourselves to no avail. Neither Dave or I have a “smart phone” (ours are pretty dumb!) nor do we use GPS. We rely on MapQuest directions (which usually don’t fail us if we’re paying attention!). We turned left, and turned left, and turned left again. We thought for sure this would get us back toward the direction we were going. Nope!!! Next thing we’re seeing is the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg….several miles away from where we needed to be!

Harrisburg, PA as seen from the Susquehanna River

Harrisburg, PA as seen from the Susquehanna River

At this point, we figured we were lost long enough. After all, we’d wasted a good hour. It was getting closer to Dave’s doctor’s appointment time and we had some time to make up. We started looking for Route 81 signs and finally found our way back to the highway. This time we were going south, as we had gone too far north!

Dave’s appointment went well, and he was told he didn’t need to come back unless he had a problem! Woohoo! We set out once more after his appointment (actually 15 minutes before Dave’s actual appointment time!) with a goal of getting to Community Aid.

Exit 59 (Again!)

Exit 59 (Again!)

We made it!! We didn’t miss the turn this time!! We did well at Community Aid. After all it was 1/2 price day! How often can you say that you only spent $34 and got a dress, 3 skirts, 2 pairs of kid’s jeans, 2 girls sized shirts, 3 women’s tops, 5 mens shirts and 2 teacups with saucers??? Not often, I’d say! We decided to try going home Route 11 for a change of scenery.


We were doing fine until we got to Carlisle. We missed the sign for Route 11 and continued “straight” when we should have turned right. We ended up on Route 34 and realized quickly that we weren’t on Route 11 any longer, nor were we going to get to Route 11 from the route we were on!  We decided that we would just see where this road would take us! Soon we came to the town of Mount Holly Springs. rails 16 0130 dcg 15426We then discovered we weren’t far from Gettysburg. Now Gettysburg was a place we knew and we also knew how to get home from there!! The gas gauge started to show signs that we needed to fill up with gas and so we found a gas station and stopped in. “It’s pee pay,” says Dave.

“What!! That’s riduculous!” I said, immediately catching his mistake.

Dave realized at that moment what he’d said. His face turned red as he laughed one of those laughs where no sound comes out but your whole body is shaking and your face disappears in one big squinty grin. Tears squirted out of his eyes. We were “rolling” at the gas pump….we were in hysterics! Dave finally regains his composure and says, “I’ll go PRE-pay for the gas. Do you want a drink or anything?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “I could use a Pepsi or something.”

“Let’s go in and pay for the gas and pick up some Poke or Pepsi,” Dave says.

“Dave, really? Poke?”

“Oh what is the matter with my tongue today?” questioned Dave again starting to laugh! We finally got ourselves calmed down and went inside.  It felt good to stretch and get a drink. However, “pee paying” became the joke for the rest of the day!

Finally, Gettysburg came into view. Route 30 was in sight and home not too far away. It had been a long day, but a fun day as we wandered around and around.

I love making memories with this man!!  Lost or not, there’s no one else I’d rather be with on an adventure!