27 September 2007

Cleveland Zoo

Since we apparently didn't see enough dinosaurs at the Creation Museum and Dinosaurs Alive!, we decided that we should catch the dinos at the Cleveland Zoo before they became extinct from there as well! There were lots of live animals at the zoo, but we're only going to post the pictures with the kids in them which also just happened to be the pictures with the dinosaurs in them.

Here are the kids being eaten by a snake!

Kids petting the Amargasaurus.

Rebekkah and the Muttaburrasaurus.

Micah and the Deinonychus Slasher.

Rebekkah and the Suchomimus.

Kids and the Torosaurus.

Kids getting scared by the T-Rex.

Chillicothe Paints

Here are a few pictures of us at the Chillicothe Paints baseball game that we went to back in early August. The Paints are Chillicothe's semi-pro baseball team. Man was it ever hot! It was a nice relaxing time for the family. And the best part about it was that someone out front had two extra tickets that they gave us.

24 September 2007

Creation Museum

Several weekends ago we visited the Creation Museum near Cincinnati. The obvious draw for Micah was the dinosaurs and there were quite a few. It was a great opportunity to talk to the kids about creation vs. evolution and God and the universe.

The museum was really a gospel presentation which presented history from creation to the end. All the exhibits were based around the seven C's: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation. After some introductory rooms the C's really started with a film about the first six days of creation in a dramatic reading of Gen 1. Then you went into the Garden, to the Fall, to the Flood, to Babel, and finally to Christ and the cross. Nothing much was devoted to the subject of consummation but I suppose that was just a clever way to round out the seven C's and complete the thing.

All in all it was a pretty excellent museum. Especially since a lot of times it seems that Christian presentation are a bit cheesy. This was not. Plus they had a nice planetarium that we saw on the way out. Very well done. I'd definitely give it 4.5 stars since there could have really been a bit more on the science. I suppose if you were not Christian you would probably think it was a flop as far as the science part goes. Anyway, here are the pictures...

23 September 2007

Day 3 Pennsylvania - Lancaster

The third day was spent invading any shred of privacy that the Amish communities of Lancaster County (it's pronounced "LANE-KEST-R", with the emphasis on the KEST) may have left after the weekend invasions.

To me the whole thing felt a little wierd; almost like we were going to a zoo where the specimens to view were people who were Amish instead of animals. One immediately obvious difference was that the specimens waved at you. The whole time I was wondering what they thought of us. They probably think we're a bunch of idiots who have nothing better to do than drive around and stare at them as they work to put food on the table.

Anyway, we first stopped at the Mennonite Information Center to watch a short film about the old order Amish. It was very educational and just talked about who the Amish are and what they believe. We learned that the largest old order Amish community in the world was right in our neck of the woods in Holmes County, OH. Lancaster County, PA was the second largest old order Amish community in the world.

After the film we hopped in the car and proceeded to drive around their neighborhoods. It was apparent that they did not have washers and dryers since every house had gigantic clotheslines with massive amounts of identical looking clothes and towels on them.

The Mennonites live among the Amish here and so there were shops every so often run by Mennonites (since Amish are not self promoting and do not use electricity, etc.). We stopped at several recommended places along the way. There was a Mennonite bakery where we got some whole wheat hot dog and hamburger buns, pastries, and ice cream. The kids also fed some goats here. At a petting zoo along the way, we took a picture of this wooly cow that was something we'd never seen before. The petting zoo was actually really disgusting so we didn't stay here very long.

At the end of the day we bought some homemade root beer for $2/bottle and it was totally disgusting. It tasted like nasty medicine. The last stop before we drove home was Intercourse, PA. Now we can say that we've been there. Nothing here exciting enough to write home about. We opted not to take a carriage ride here since we thought we just do one when we visit Holmes County, OH.

22 September 2007

Day 2 Pennsylvania - Gettysburg

After we were done at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, we got in the car for a 45 minute drive to Gettysburg. The first stop was the Gettysburg National Military Park. The museum here had a lot of the same artifacts as the National Civil War Museum but did not even compare in excellence. That could have had something to do with the fact that this was free whereas the other had a fee. The most amazing thing about the park was that it was smack dab in the middle of the battlefield and was now a cemetary for all those who died in battle here. It was a strange feeling as we walked around the park.

Later that evening we went downtown and walked around to the shops. The town felt a bit like going to the Oregon coast in that it was a very touristy town with shops that had all the same stuff in them. We had dinner at a cool little spot called the Springhouse Tavern in the basement of the Dobbin House. According to Wikipedia, it was built in 1776 and became the first stop on the Underground Railroad north of the Mason-Dixon Line. The first two pictures are Nicole and the kids sitting outside of the tavern waiting for a table. The third picture is the kids at the table in the tavern.

Day 2 Pennsylvania - Harrisburg

Unlike Day 1 in Pennsylvania, Day 2 was a day to remember. This day we visited a park, a civil war museum, and Gettysburg.

This first picture is of a bridge that spans the Susquehana River near Harrisburg about 2 miles from where we stayed. It is called Rockville Stone Arch Bridge and is one of the longest stone arch bridges in the world (this picture is for the engineers reading this blog). This picture was taken from Fort Hunter Mansion and Park which was also pretty cool.

This was a Sunday so we had to start the day a little later since things didn't open until noon. After tooling around a bit at Fort Hunter (which was also not open) we went to downtown Harrisburg and drove around until the National Civil War Museum opened. This museum was one of the most excellent museums that I have been to and the kids loved it as well. We spent about two hours here. Unfortunately, you cannot take pictures so these are the only ones we got. The first picture is the Moment of Mercy statue out in front of the museum. This was also at Gettysburg. Very cool. The other picture is just before we entered the museum where you cannot take any pictures. This day was a very good introduction and learning experience to teach the kids about slavery and the Civil War. This really made up for the disappointments of Day 1.

21 September 2007

Day 1 Pennsylvania - Hershey

We took a short vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania for Nicole's birthday. We stayed at what turned out to be a bug infested Super 8. It wasn't really all that gross overall but there just seemed to be bugs everywhere. We were welcomed the first night by this wierd bug that is apparently a house centipede. We've also seen this bug in our townhome in Ohio several times. Apparently, they don't seem to live in houses in Washington because I have never seen them until I came to Ohio.

Our first day of the trip was spent at Hersheypark. Either our expectations were set way too high or the place was just not very good. Anyway, we were very disappointed. We were expecting everything to be chocolate/candy themed and it was just a plain old theme park. And not really a very good one at that. I think I was expecting Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory or something but it was not even close. I held my breath for our visit to Hershey's Chocolate which was planned for later in the evening.

There were some fun rides but overall it was just like any other theme park. The additional frustrating thing was that we chose to go on the Saturday of the first three-day weekend after school started which meant that the lines were long and there we tons of people all up in our business. Enough complaining.

There was a cool little show with some sea lions that we really enjoyed. Plus Micah faced his fears and found a roller coaster that he really liked. Despite all of the disappointments, we enjoyed our day and had a good time together as a family.

Later in the day we decided to leave Hersheypark for a bit to visit Hershey's Chocolate World. Again, more disappointment. There was a cool little free ride that toured you through the chocolate making process with a very cheesy diddy by some heifers (cows, not fat ladies). It was pretty interesting but that was pretty much the highlight. We did not visit Hershey Museum. Perhaps we would have really enjoyed this, but we were tired that day and did not want any more disappointment. So we called it an evening for our first day after we went back to Hersheypark to finish the night off.