Sometime mid-week during our time in Lancaster County, I KNEW that I was officially on vacation. Someone asked me the date...and I literally had no idea. I gave a date that was 3 days off from what it actually was. Also...at one point...Chrissy asked me what day of the week is was...and it literally took me 5 minutes to figure out if it was Tuesday or Wednesday. That's one way of figuring out if you are on a good vacation...if you can truly forget what day of the week it is. Anyway....that was 3 (or 4) days earlier. Come Saturday morning, there was no mistaking what day it was....it was moving day. I had asked for a late checkout, which our campground wasn't able to oblige because they had our site booked to someone else that afternoon. It felt like we had always been there...and there was certainly a feeling of ownership over that site. 7 days in Lancaster County had felt like a wonderful lifetime....and it felt like a bit of a sacrilege to just hand over our home base to some stranger like we were being asked to do.....but.....reality settled in and we started rounding up our things and packing up our site.
God is so good....just at the same time that I really needed to focus on packing up the site....a time that I knew was going to be hard for the kids to emotionally be a part of...the campground owner ran a hayride for the kids!!! Ours and Susan's were the only ones around....so while I packed up our camper, Chrissy and the kids had the wonderful distraction of a hayride throughout our campground:
"Daddy Dog" buttoning up the site as the kids flew past on the hayride.
Chrissy brought the kids over the Susan and Dave's cabin to give me time to finish closing up the camper.
The older boys playing with their motorcycles that they got at the flea market we went to the day earlier.
Ivy helping Aunt Suse clean up their cabin.
One last romp in the driveway before packing up the bikes.
Well....sooner than we all would have liked to admit...our campsite, which provided a wonderful home for us for a week....a place that felt like we had ownership of for much longer than we actually did....no longer looked like our quaint home away from home, but rather like this:
The saving grace in all of this was that this was more of a "soft" farewell....at this point, we weren't heading home to MA, but rather to Chrissy's mom's home in Southern NJ for 3 days....our vacation would continue for a few more days...but it would be nothing like what we had just experienced.
You want to know how you can tell if you had a successful vacation with your small children....here's how you can tell:
When you are pulling away from your vacation spot and you children are hysterical with sadness. That's how you know that you've pulled off something awesome that they will remember forever.
We headed East....towards New Jersey....looking forward to spending time with Chrissy's family....but leaving a place that still lay heavy in our thoughts. Lancaster County certainly left a lasting impression on our hearts....as well as our camper:
We've already started talking about what our next adventure will be....North to the White Mountains or farther up into Maine.....South into colonial Williamsburg, VA or Washington D.C.....Northwest through upstate New York and into Canada to see the Falls....Although....at this point....the bar has been set pretty high....it will take something special to top what we just experienced....and quite frankly....I'm not in any hurry to try to best it.
If the Amish taught me anything...it's to take it slow....enjoy the process.....treasure the journey.....relish in the simple.
Done and done.
Additional random pics from our trip coming in the final installment tomorrow