Sunday, September 17, 2017

October 2016

When your 4 year-old falls asleep in the car, but you really need to go to the grocery store...

Family baking night - individual pizzas and chocolate chip cookies!

Jackson and I had a play date with my friend Chrissi Harris and her boys, then went to visit my mom, where he lined up all her cars, trucks, and vehicles in a line. She said Thomas used to the do the same thing when he was little. :) This boy sleeps like his daddy - out like a light, no matter the position.

My first temple trip with the Young Women in our ward.

Fall Break is for getting things done - like sitting in Walmart for three hours waiting to get new tires put on.

Campbell's last soccer game of the season. This girl is a champ!

Most of our Saturdays in the fall involve BYU football - so we all have to rep the Y!

The youth at church had a bonfire activity combined with the Greenwood ward. It was chilly, but gorgeous. Isn't Indiana beautiful?! And that fire? Insane!

Jacob asked Brandon to come up and help him with some repairs on his vehicles, so we all went up. Nalon showed Jackson around their house and yard and barn and introduced him to Alisha's horses.

My favorite work day of the year - trick-or-treat! I love seeing all the teachers dressed up, and it's so fun to see the kids' reactions to their teachers in costume!

My very favorite Izabella Nelson - she reminded me so much of my niece Campbell.

Jackson wanted to be Scooby Doo for Halloween, so for our ward trunk-or-treat, I hit up Goodwill to come up with some Shaggy and Velma costumes for Brandon and me.

Celebrating my dad's 62nd birthday at Puccini's in Fishers

Philadelphia Trip October 2016

Frontier Airlines opened up a route between Indianapolis and Philadelphia and offered a screaming deal, so Brandon and I took advantage and flew in for a few days for less than $200 total! My former roommate Rebecca was living in Philly at the time, so I was hoping to visit her, but she ended up being out of town. It worked out, though, because she let us stay in her apartment for free. Free lodging right in the middle of a major US city? Score!

We had a great time checking out the local cuisine, but my favorite spot we tried was Sabrina's Cafe. I literally still daydream about these pancakes (a year later). I took a picture of the menu just so I would remember all the goodness involved here. (They're the Eleven's Better-Than-Eggo's Special Pancakes). SO.MUCH.YUM.

One of our first stops was Eastern State Penitentiary, a historic prison which was super interesting, not to mention eerily gorgeous. The audio tour was fascinating, and the skylights made this place a photographer's dream.

We visited the grounds of the museum of art and saw the Rocky statue and a Spanish version of Robert Indiana's LOVE.

A great view from the top of the museum steps

The beautiful Schuykill River

The Philadelphia temple had been dedicated only a few weeks before we got there, so we were able to go to the baptistry. The temple workers were incredibly attentive, as they always are, but especially so since they were all new and just so excited to be there. It was a lot of fun to be there and it's such a beautiful temple. I loved all the colonial-inspired touches throughout.

We were able to visit the National Constitution Center (for free, thanks to Brandon's military status!), which was also really interesting. I'm so impressed at the founders of our country who cared so much and worked so hard to create something so important

Each state's flag was hung with the date of its statehood engraved on the floor underneath

The American flag overlooking Independence Mall and Independence Hall.

We walked down to the Delaware riverfront, and there was a ship there...I can't remember what it was called now. They were having a few special events aboard and you had to have special credentials to get on...which we didn't. But it was cool to see such a modern ship up close. It was huge!

We hit a few historic sites - Christ's Church, where many founding fathers attended church and where some are buried.

Elfreth's Alley - the oldest residential street in the US.

Independence Hall. We didn't have tickets but were able to get into a tour on standby, and I'm so glad we did. The tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and very entertaining to listen to. I'd been there before, but it was on the 4th of July and tours are much shorter and you don't get to see the whole building. This tour was much more informative and enjoyable.

The signing room

Hand-drawn map from the 1700s

Next, we hit up the Liberty Bell

We hit up Reading Terminal Market and of course had to get some authentic Philly cheesesteak. Last time I went to Philadelphia, I wasn't too impressed but I decided to give it another shot. Still not a fan. Brandon didn't love his either.

Historic Wanamaker organ - it's 7 stories tall!

Historic Courthouse

Masonic Lodge - I LOVED this stonework on the entrance

The original LOVE statue

We had such incredible weather for almost the whole time we were there. Friday night, we were looking or a place for dinner and wanted to enjoy the weather, so we found this TGIFriday's which ha their rooftop bar open for the final weekend of the season. Great weather, great food, and a great view!

Our last day in Philly, we borrowed Rebecca's car (another incredible bonus!) and drove out to the New Jersey coast. This was Brandon's first time on a beach - he'd previously only seen the ocean from the air. We chose Long Beach Island because they were having a kite festival. The weather was cloudy, rainy, and windy, though, so by the time we got there, they were all pulling their kites down before the rain hit. We were still able to see some really impressive ones, though!

Synchronized flying

With the festival having ended early, we had some time to fill. We wanted to watch Thomas' football game, but had a few hours before it started, so we decided to drive to Wilmington, Delaware to watch it. Because when you're that close to Delaware, why not? 

We found a fish house along the river, staked out a table in the bar, convinced the bartenders to change the channel for us, and ate A LOT of nachos. 

We went to church the next day, then headed to the airport for our flight. It was such a fabulous few days - we even had gorgeous views on our flight home! We love Philly!