So last we left you, we were enjoying the company of our dear friends Marci and Jim.

3/18/12-Day 4

After a lovely breakfast and some hanging out on the deck, we got dressed and headed up 79 to Mike and Katie’s to see the Bunn family. Nolan was turning 5 later that week and since none of use (meaning Matt and I or his parents) were going to make it to his birthday party, we decided to celebrate that day. Both kids were excited to see us and immediately wanted to play. Rick and Diane showed up a little bit later and we had some lunch, then Lydia went down for a nap so we took Nolan outside to play.

He had an air pump rocket that flew….so he and Matt tried to get it as high as possible. When Lydia woke up she gave us a dance performance:

And then the kids and Katie raced on the driveway. Lydia needed to make sure we were watching while she ran:

We headed inside for cupcakes and presents. Nolan got a sweet LEGO helicopter from Matt and I, a globe from Rick and Diane and Lydia got a cabbage patch doll and a WONDER WOMAN INVISIBLE PLANE! Yeah, I was little excited about the plane.

Nolan immediately wanted to put together his helicopter with Uncle Matt’s help, so they got started on that:

While Lydia enjoyed her PB sandwich:

I love that face! The rest of the night was pretty quiet. The kids went down, we watched some basketball, then headed to bed since we wanted to get to the Strip District relatively early and be up before the kids left.

3/19/12-Day 5

Playtime in the morning, then we were off to Pittsburgh! We were definitely missing our favorite haunts for shopping and eating so we tried to hit a bunch. We started in the Strip District and restocked our Penzey’s supplies, bought lots of chipolte peppers for Matt to make hot sauce and wandered around reminding ourselves we didn’t have a cooler. After that adventure, we headed to Fat Head’s, one of our favorite restaurants on the SouthSide to enjoy lunch and fabulous beer. Connecticut, take note:

We then took a walk down to SouthSide Works which turned out to be much further than we thought. We did some shopping, then Matt went to get the car and we headed back to Mike and Katie’s for kid time and dinner. The kids were definitely tired so we left so Katie could get them down and we could go see Eric and Sunshine. Fun Fact: Eric is Wiz Khalifa’s producer and owns a recording studio in Pittsburgh. We sat around chatting for awhile, then headed back for sleep!

3/20/12-Day 6

We were up early the next day to get on the road to Emporium! My godmother lives in Emporium (a tiny town in North West Central PA) and since we were out that way, I wanted to take advantage of the closeness and see her! We had a nice ride up and picked up Aunt Mary to head to lunch when we arrived. Lunch was nice…nothing too exciting and lots of Aunt Mary filling me in on news of my cousins. We then decided to surprise my Aunt Joan (my grandmother’s twin!) and headed up to her house. I haven’t been to Emporium in almost 5 years, but it’s like I’ve never left. It’s just one of those small towns that feels like home. The look on Aunt Joan’s face when we walked into her kitchen was priceless…I hadn’t seen her in a long time either, so it was happy all around! We stopped in quickly to see Aunt Susie, then were on our way to Altoona to have dinner with Uncle Bob and Aunt Jan.

3/21/12-3/23/12 (I’m pretty sure I’ve lost count)

We spent the rest of the week in Altoona, which was refreshing and relaxing. Also WARM. I went shopping with Diane and bought shorts and Birkenstocks. And got to eat at Chipolte….love that place. I learned how to shoot a pellet gun:

And we went to see The Hunger Games. We both finished books, ate lots of fresh and wonderful food and slept soundly. It was the part of the vacation we really needed.

On Saturday we headed back to my parents house for dinner and a break in the drive…my mom ordered White Mills Firehall chicken for me because the Methodist church was having a dinner! I was so excited! I’m never home to get it fresh because the BBQ dinner is always at the beginning of September and I’m busy. It was as delicious as I remembered and I am good until my dad makes it for me this summer. 🙂

We actually got  back at a decent time on Sunday and I was able to go to work on Monday with laundry done and my house clean. While vacation was exhausting, it was renewing and so good to see all the people we saw. Definitely had me prepped for the week after it: V-Week!