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View from Seymour Mountain, Adirondacks, NY

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Hidden Gem - Safari Time!

20023949_10214376004580724_7269673476662354437_oWhen I started researching the area in preparation for our trip, I did a pretty extensive (I thought) internet search for any kind of tourist place in the area. I had a pretty good list of places to go and things to do, enough to cover our two week visit. But our favorite experience so far was at a place that we only found out about by chance!

Last week at Zooamerica, on our way out, Harry struck up a conversation with one of the guides, who asked us if we’d had a good day. Upon hearing that we had, he recommended we check out Lake Tobias Wildlife Park, and we were so glad we did!

19990370_10214376961524647_706463726681717997_nThe place opened at 10 am, and we left in order to arrive right as they opened. That was a good move. We ended up with a really close parking spot and we were SO surprised when we left to drive out past fields of cars that had arrived after we had.

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We started out with the hour long safari tour. Wow, what a great tour. We rode around in an open air bus, where the animals were traveling 19990191_10214377013165938_6322274896748363762_naround in free ranging groups. As we passed the different animals, the bus would stop and the tour guide would talk about the animals, their habits, where they lived, etc. 20032047_10214377011045885_193115711400677952_nIf I have any complaint about the tour, it would be that the guide simply talked without any kind of a microphone, and with all the excited kids on the tour it was really hard to hear what he was saying. But the overall experience was so great even without being able to hear him all the time.


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We all really enjoyed the safari tour.

After the tour, we walked over to the other side of the park, where there were more traditional zoo type enclosures.


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We got to see birds, primates, bears, as well as walk through a house of reptiles


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19990498_10214377173649950_5941467809694068128_nWe finished up at the petting zoo.

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We all had a great time, and the Lake Tobias Wildlife Park has definitely gone to the top of our list for best experience of the trip!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

To the Depths of the Earth

19959153_10214363250381877_1819736261945254421_nWell, maybe not that far. Yesterday’s adventure took us to Indian Echo Caverns, which is an underground cave system that goes about 110 feet below the surface.

The tour is about 45 minutes long, and they have a pretty good system. When we arrived, we paid for the tour and received a ticket with our tour group number written on it. The tour before us had just left, so we had about a 20 minute wait. We used the time to browse the gift shop. Schaun has a rock collection so we found the perfect item for him to pick up after the tour – a selection of small polished rocks where you could fill a small bag with the rocks of your choice.

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After a short wait, our tour number was called and our group assembled. There were maybe 15 people in our group. Our tour guide led us down the stairs (71 stairs) and into the opening of the cave.

Pictures won’t do it justice. The formations in the cave were pretty awesome.

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Our tour guide was great. Explained a lot about how the cave was formed and its history.

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One of my favorite parts of the tour was where the guide talked about what total darkness was, and how a cave is one of the few places where that is attainable. She asked us to cover anything that might give off light, had us close our eyes and then she turned the lights off. When we opened our eyes – nothing! Wow. That was an experience.

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Another of my favorite parts was hearing the story of a man who lived for the last 19 years of his life back in the 1800s in this cave. That area above our heads was where he had his bed and possessions. (Although I googled him this morning and found that he had a pretty sad life – he was known as the Pennsylvania Hermit.)

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They call this spot the crystal lake.




There were a lot of random tidbits about the various rooms in the cave system as the tour guide led us around. It was really interesting and we all enjoyed it.


After the tour we went back to the gift shop so Schaun could pick out some rocks for his collection. We were home by lunchtime, and then enjoyed an afternoon at the pool.

Another fun day, and we have more planned for today!

Friday, July 14, 2017

An Afternoon at Chocolate World

19958905_10214340151804427_8288522818079058543_n (2)Yesterday was super hot and muggy, so it was a good day for a nice indoor activity. One of the things on our list to do was a tour at Hershey’s Chocolate World. The tour itself is free but of course there are many other opportunities to spend some money.

I went online the night before and looked at the options. There are several experiences available, and they also had bundle options which give you a few bucks off. We were interested in the Chocolate Tasting Experience and the Make Your Own Chocolate Bar experience. There wasn’t a bundle option for just those two, but there was one that included those two as well as a 4D movie. The total for those three experiences was $28 per 19905227_10214340151484419_7800211437209516483_nadult and a few bucks cheaper for Schaun. Given that the Make Your Own Chocolate Bar one was twenty bucks all by itself, I didn’t think that bundle was a bad deal.

Besides the admission to events, these places charge an unbelievable amount of money for a simple sandwich and drink at their food courts. So I bought our tickets online and scheduled our events for the afternoon so we could eat our own lunch. When we arrived there, I was so glad that we had our tickets already because the line at the ticket counter was crazy and it was great to be able to walk right on by.

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We did the free tour first. It reminded me of a Disney ride. It was interesting and entertaining. We rode on a car while animated Hershey bars explained the process of making chocolate.


From there we went to the 4D movie. I didn’t take any pictures there, but it was more fun than I expected. Schaun definitely enjoyed it. We had 3D glasses on and the movie was animated and interactive with the audience. Also, after each experience we received a small Hershey bar, so that was a tasty treat.

19989741_10214340154164486_198802856731011540_nOur third event of the day was the chocolate tasting. We received a small bag with four sample bars. Two of them were standard flavors, and two I had never had before. The person running the tasting talked some more about the process of making chocolate, and then went through the process of how to taste chocolate. Number one rule – no chewing!

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After we tasted each, we got to choose the taste that came through to us, and then we were able to compare our opinion with others in the room.

It was fun. And yummy.


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And the experience I left to last was the highlight of the afternoon – Make Your Own Chocolate Bar!!

We got all gowned up to go into the chocolate room.

The first part of the process took place in a room with computer monitors. We each scanned our ticket and got to make choices about our bar. We could choose up to three components to add. Schaun chose pretzel pieces. I chose toffee bits and rice crisp pieces. There were other options also, like cookie bits or chocolate chips.

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Then we got to follow our chocolate bar through the process.

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20050463_10155563339874766_1482844159_oThe component we chose was added to our bar.


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And then our bar was completely coated over with milk chocolate.



After all these steps, our bars traveled through a cooling chamber.

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And finally, we were able to design the wrapper for our container.



The end of a super fun afternoon!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Just Chillin’

The really nice thing about planning our visit over a 2 week period is that we don’t have to rush to see everything in just a few days. Yesterday we decided to stay home and get a little down time – whether that was better for the child or the grandparents, who knows! haha

We had a nice relaxing morning, watched a little tv and introduced Schaun to the game Phase 10. He did great with the game, but had a little trouble with the number of cards as his hands are too small to comfortably hold all the cards at once. I had seen one of those card holders for kids recently, and walked over to the office to see if they had one in the 19905035_10214290924493775_5263658147486389045_nstore here, but no luck. It must have been at the last campground where we overnighted. I am trying to figure out an alternative to make it easier for Schaun to keep track of his cards.

After lunch we went over to the pool. It was a cloudy day, and the pool is not heated, so I only made it into the pool for a short period of time – maybe a half hour. But Schaun didn’t even seem to notice the temperature at all – kids are so hardy in that respect. And on top of it, he made some friends. So we spent most of the afternoon at the pool – Harry and I relaxing in a chair by the side of the pool while Schaun and his buddies played  and had a good time on the slide. (The picture is from Sunday, when it was sunny – we didn’t see the sun too much yesterday.)

Our original plan was to go to Hershey again today, but one of his pool friends is leaving tomorrow, so we decided to put off Hershey for a day so Schaun can have another fun afternoon at the pool. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Zooamerica

19904896_10214302273737499_4473521484785805800_nThe town of Hershey has a lot of various sightseeing options. Eventually we will check most of them out, but today we were starting out with a trip to Zooamerica. As zoos go, I don’t think it’s huge. In fact, admission to Zooamerica is included with entrance to Hershey Park. But since we are here for two weeks, I didn’t really want to jam everything together. I think it will be more enjoyable for us that way.

We arrived at Zooamerica around 10:30, and I think it took us about 2 hours to see the whole thing. And we took our time about it – stood around and watched the animals at some of the exhibits for a while.

19958939_10214302266617321_2707208083617729351_nWe were lucky. The animals were pretty active compared to some of the previous times that I have gone to zoos.

Here Schaun is watching a porcupine. He was pretty taken with the porcupine, and that was his pick at the gift store on the way out. (Pictured in the above picture)

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After leaving the zoo, we went over to the nearby Hershey Town Square, where we found a great spot to eat the lunch I had packed.


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We had a really nice time checking out Hershey for the first time, and after returning to the campground, we enjoyed the pool for the rest of the afternoon. I even went down the water slide. No pictures of that – yet!



Tomorrow we are going to have a relaxing day around here…play some cards, and spend some more time at the pool.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Off to Hershey!

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For the past year, we have been planning this summer trip with our grandson Schaun, and yesterday was finally departure day!


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We felt super lucky to have such a gorgeous day for traveling.

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To make the trip easier for Schaun, we broke the travel day up into two, which made for a nice short trip. In fact, we didn’t even pull out until a little after 11, and we were still settled into our overnight spot at Woodland campground around 2.

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This morning we pulled out around 10, and had another short trip. We arrived at Twin Grove Resort in Pine Grove, PA around 1:30.


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We are in love with our site. We got the first site in the row, so only have a neighbor on one side, and the sites are definitely a good size.

We also like the placement of the fire ring.

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We arrived early enough that we were able to fit in some pooltime this afternoon!

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Both Schaun and Papa tried out the water slide at the pool.




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Then the gentlemen shared a drink in the shade…


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…and Schaun helped cook dinner.



We’ve had a great first day, and still have two weeks of adventures to come!