On Monday morning, January 2nd, we surprised the kids with an announcement: a road trip to Pennsylvania!!! We woke the kids up at seven and were driving out of the garage by 8:24 am. Miracles do still happen, I guess.
The drive out of MI and through a bit of Ohio is pretty boring. However, once you enter Penn, it’s so beautiful. I’m sure all of the hills didn’t help our gas mileage but the scenery through the Northern tip of the Appalachians is absolutely amazing; the mountains and huge rock walls were beautiful! We were all wondering if the locals there ever traveled to Canton oohing and ahhing over how flat everything was.
We drove through Ohio before getting to the State of Independence, but most of the driving was in Pennsylvania itself.
The kids before they had read the sign.
…and after we threatened them.
Soon we were back on the road! Nothing exciting happened for about seven or eight more hours when we finally got to our hotel! Well, we found our hotel but decided we needed to hit up a gas station before checking in.
That was a mistake.
It took several twists and turns in back-roads and neighborhoods through Scranton’s northernly neighboring city Dixon City before finally finding fuel but it was kind of worth it because it was a full-service gas station! Very cool.
Anyways, we reached the Holiday Inn in Dixon City around 9 pm. There was a POOL. 😀
swimming in December?
^^the view from the kid’s room^^
The next morning we all enjoyed a breakfast of cold stiff hotel waffles (Naomi didn’t know they were toaster waffles and were meant to be eaten after being toasted) and decent sausage gravy (they taste good together, ask Naomi) After breakfast, we left the hotel and headed to the Steamtown Mall. Right away I (Paul) led Jen to the best part in the mall:
This is the actual sign that used to be off the freeway just outside Scranton. This sign can be seen in the opening credits of the popular TV show The Office. For the afternoon we drove around and saw other sites that appear in the show, which none of the kids watch so they couldn’t appreciate and had to sit in the car for half of the time staring at a brick wall waiting for their parents to remember them. But we had fun!
This was the train yard behind Steamtown mall. It was just a cool looking shot.
This was Cooper’s Seafood. Another place of interest for Office fans. They had a little gift shop with funny hats that hundreds of people had previously worn.
We started driving home that afternoon/evening but realized it would be 3 am by the time we’d get to Canton so we took our time on the drive home. We stopped in a neat little town called Clearfield, PA and visited a couple of small shops in their downtown area and then checked into the Hampton. This hotel also had a pool but everyone was too tired to swim except for Josh and Anna.
The next morning we stopped at several more places to break up the drive so it didn’t feel like the ten-hour drive it was to get there.
The pictures really don’t do it justice. Every bridge we crossed had ridiculously huge mountains and trees surrounding and rivers underneath, it felt like a movie. As obscure as Scranton sounds, it’s actually a great city to vacation in solely because of the scenery.
Unfortunately, we don’t have photos, but Scranton was very appropriately named the Electric City because of the way the whole city just lights up like a million Christmas lights at night. The view is INCREDIBLE when driving on the highway.
^^grabbing lunch at Pizza Hut in Ohio!^^
I asked the kids when the trip was coming to a close, “So do you guys like to plan out a vacation and then look forward to it or did you like doing this one spontaneously?”
They all exclaimed: “Spontaneously!”
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