Just back from our family fun weekend in the Poconos where my in-laws have a log cabin. Ahhh yes…fresh mountain air, corn-nibbling deer in the yard as the sun rises, and even bears. The decor of the cabin is true to its location – think hunter green furnishings, forest animal-themed accessories and welcome signs in every room. My mother-in-law (I don’t like that title because she is so much more a friend than a mother-in-law. Her name is Debbie.) is a very warm and gracious person and the atmosphere in the cabin reflects that. My husband’s brother and sister and their spouses and kids came along for the trip, as well as his grandparents.
I should mention that as much as I’d like to be a spontaneous, free-wheelin’ spirit I am not. I love travel but I don’t travel well. Road trips excite me but I get carsick. New environments stimulate my senses but when I go off my normal diet in favor of more indulgent vacation-typical fare, my stomach is sent into a spiral. And forget about the call of nature while I’m away from home. I am not the person you’d find delighting in number 2 in a rest stop bathroom (or a mall or even a family member’s home.) There. We know each other so much better now. Let me also add that my cycle timed perfectly with the weekend. A smooth area like Barbie’s, in place of proper anatomy, would have made life less complicated. (Isn’t her life perfect?)
We did some fun things with the kids, so if you’re in the Poconos any time soon this may come in handy for you.
In Jim Thorpe (also known as Little Switzerland), there’s an old-fashioned train ride. http://www.jimthorpe.org/index.html It runs about an hour and the kids had fun looking out the window at the forest and river. Afterward, we had ice cream at Rainbows End, a charming sweet shop that has all those candy favorites from my childhood that I thought they stopped making. I found them all here! There are also a few antiques shops, gift shops and restaurants along Broadway.
The next day, we decided to head to Knoebels http://www.knoebels.com/index.php , which is a family-oriented amusement park that also has a campground. Thankfully, my husband’s family doesn’t do camping. The park is shaded by many old trees and is quite large. A river runs through it and at certain points you have to cross over foot bridges, which adds a little enchantment. Rides include a carousel, bumper cars, hand cars, a ball pit, various rides for young kids in any vehicle you can imagine – cars, trains, boats, jets. There are too many rides to list. Plenty of entertainment for all age groups.
Food choices were plentiful but, as far as my (annoying) digestive system was concerned, not great. Is it just me or does every mother cringe when their kids feast on fried chicken and french fries? I controlled the urge to shout Fried and non-organic! I’m feeling faint! I quietly rationalized to serve them extra veggies as soon as we returned to NY. The kids finished the day’s fun with candy apples and all five of them were silent as they munched away on red dye #40.
Our trip would not have been complete without my daughter’s half-eaten cereal bar attracting a bear the next morning. The evening before, when we returned from Knoebels, Michael had tossed the cereal bar into the yard while he was cleaning out crumbs from Mad’s car seat. The fruity sweet scent had attracted the baby bear. I’m sure it will disappoint Debbie to know that the predatory wild animal issue – who quite literally come out of the woodwork for even the tiniest morsel of food – is enough to keep me from considering Pennsylvania as a possible relocation site now or in the future. Never ever. I’d worry that a bear would be at the back door every time we popped popcorn for movie night. It is, however, a place where you can slow down and unwind. I didn’t clench my jaw for the two nights we stayed there, so clearly it worked some magic on me. (Yes, I’m a clencher. My dentist is making me a bite guard to wear to bed so I can look like a sexy hockey player every night for the rest of my life. I also wear cotton gloves to keep my hands soft and in the winter I wear moisturizer and socks to bed to keep my heels from cracking. Yes, my husband finds me irresistable. No, he is not legally blind.)
Hopefully we get to do this again soon. It was fun, unpleasant body issues aside. Plus my husband’s family doesn’t bug me the way my family does.