Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pocono Vacation

The folks had a time share that they sold a couple of years ago. In June they announced to my siblings and me that they had one exchange week left that had to be used by mid-November. When no one else could use it, we grabbed it for a week of Fall Foliage in the Poconos, a place neither Kathy nor I had been.

We headed North on Saturday, a day before our rental began, after I discovered that there was a beer festival outside of Philly on that day. Despite accusations from everyone I've told about it, I honestly didn't set this up -- we picked the rental for this week because I was off for Columbus Day. I only realized that I'd be able to attend the festival a couple of months after we booked the trip. While I was at the festival, Kathy and Emelia went 15 minutes away to visit with Kathy's grandmother.

The next day, we meandered through parts of New Jersey en route to the rental. Among other stops (i.e., stops other than the beer/wine store and brewpub), we visited a state park, where Emelia got to strut her stuff:

Alas, all that walking wore her out.

In the Poconos, our accommodations were at Split Rock, a resort by Lake Harmony. We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment with full kitchen. The resort itself had plenty of activities, but not surprisingly, there wasn't much geared toward children less than one year old. So for the most part, we used our rental as a launch point to explore the area.

Weather was warm, hot even, the first couple of days. On Monday we visited a nearby brewpub for lunch, and went past an outlet shopping center on the way back home. There, we picked up a winter jacket for Emelia (the blue Michelin-man one in the photos), and looked for a couple of other things. Even as we were doing it, we realized how idiotic it was to trudge through an outlet mall packed with tons of shoppers on Columbus Day on a sunny 85-degree day.

Our accommodations were less than 15 minutes away from a great state park, Hickory Run, with over 15,000 acres. Hickory Run was Kathy's and my favorite part of our vacation. We went there three separate times, and visited wholly distinct areas each time.

But just because Kathy and I enjoyed the hikes, don't think for a minute that nature was Emelia's favorite part of the vacation. Every time we entered the main entrance to the building we were staying in, we ended up passing a painting that made her smile. We even took her to that picture sometimes when she was getting a bit stir-crazy in the apartment, to her great delight.

Yes, our budding art critic was smitten with a painting of a dog wearing clothes.

Thursday was when the rain came, and cooled everything considerably. Fortunately we had picked that day as our pampering day -- I got a massage in the morning, and Kathy got a haircut and pedicure in the afternoon. By Friday afternoon, the weather had cleared again, and we returned to the outdoors.

It turned out that our week was a bit early for foliage -- we still got to see some color, but most of the trees were still green.

Other than those last two days of Maine, this also was the first vacation with just the three of us. Emelia didn't sleep as well as she does at home, and never slept through the night. The fact that I snored a couple of nights in a row meant that I was relegated to the sofa in the living room for the rest of the stay. It actually wasn't that uncomfortable (and the bed wasn't too comfy anyhow), but it still wasn't the ideal set-up. All of us were pretty tired by the end of our trip, but also pretty relaxed.