Monday, June 29, 2009

Camp Hill, Pa (Kim's Version)

Since we were with my family in Pennsylvania it is my turn to blog again. First some back history. When I was young my mom use to make the trip out to PA every summer so that she could visit with her brother and we could be close with their six children. It was the best time of my, my sister’s and my cousins’ life. We have such fond memories of our times together and especially of my grandmother who for the most part made the trips possible with some extra funding.

We arrived at Tim’s house at about 1:00 and that is when the reminiscing began. We both agreed that John and Sheree were the instigators and constantly got us in trouble. But both of us participated in each adventure because of the poking and prodding and sissy calling by our older sibling and cousin. J Tim spoiled us and the girls with his wonderful cooking, French toast, sweet potato fries, and homemade choc. Chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. Needless to say the girls were in heaven. Much different than chicken nuggets and Mac and Cheese that Mom makes.

The next morning we struck out for Gettysburg. Now I know that Mark said his version, here is mine. Mark was practically giddy with excitement when arriving. He bought the film and picture package (don’t remember how to spell that c…word). Before going into the film Mark was distracted by the gun collection on the wall. He was admiring it when a lady was asking questions about them. He proceeded to give her a full run down of the guns and their advantages and disadvantages. I watched with pride over his knowledge, until ten minutes passed and the kids were driving me crazy so I dragged him away. (Mark should retire back there and become a guide!!!) We watched the movie and then headed up stairs for the giant circular picture. It was pretty amazing, but when the audio started all three girls jumped with a start at the cannon fire. I thought for sure Keegan was going to fall to the ground as if she was shot to go along with the dramatization. We headed for the museum next. I think we lost Mark after the first couple of rooms. The girls although interested could not move as slowly as dad. By the time we were done looking at all the sights, we had plenty of time to look in the gift shop and at all the other exhibits before Mark appeared out of the museum. He probably could have spent another three hours there, but the girls were hard to keep contained and we decided to head back to Tim’s instead of take the 2 hour driving tour. (Mark did that on Sat. alone and with enough time to truly enjoy himself.)

When we arrived back at Tim’s my cousin Rachel and her boys were there. At first shy around their new cousins they all sat properly. Ten minutes later they were all up in Tim’s tree talking and playing, not to mention starting an amazing three day game of hide and seek. It was so fun to see, it must have been how mom felt when she brought us out as little girls.

Thursday we headed to Washington DC for a great day and a half of walking and touring. Mark will give the detail on that!! Although for all you wives out there, check the weather. Husbands do not care if it is 100 degrees and 95% humidity, they will walk all monuments without melting.

Friday we arrived at around 4:00 in the afternoon. My cousin Gab had arrived with her two kids about an hour earlier. So now we had four adults and six kids in my cousin Tim’s house with one bathroom. This brought back more memories of childhood. The game of hide and go seek had started up again and the children were off!! We talked for awhile before packing children and food up for a trip to John’s house. The whole family was convening over there for a pot luck and fun.

John has a great house in the woods. The kids proceeded to get out of the car and start exploring. Keegan was a bit shocked that the boys wanted to swim in the little creek. Did I say shocked I meant appalled. I told her that it was clean and she would not die. Such a city girl, if it is not the ocean or a pool she did not know what to do. It took her exactly 10 minutes to finally change into at least her swim suit bottoms and flip flops, so that they might go exploring with cousin John up the creek bed. Again waves of fantastic memories kept hitting me as if I were a sandy beach in the pacific. The rest of the adults convened in the kitchen of course to talk and get reacquainted. John’s girlfriend Laura is quite amazing and speaks four languages and survived raising three girls and a boy. So I guess I will survive my two girls!! Jody and her boys arrived shortly and Dan was the last to arrive around 10 o’clock after his shift at work. All in all we had 11 adults and 6 children at the dinner. The kids roasted marshmallows, rode on quads. (Mark and I drove a quad for the first time!! There were trails that led deep into the woods. We had a blast!) There was a bonfire, which Mark manned, a band of relatives playing guitars, base, drums and singing in microphones and to top it off John, Jody’s oldest brought fireworks!! I will leave out the part where John lights them with a propane torch. We had so much fun it was hard to leave at 10:30, but Violet was just about asleep in my lap.

The next day we recovered with a “quiet” morning of hide and seek and coffee while Mark headed to Gettysburg again. The visit was topped off with another visit with my Uncle Bob (who served in Germany the same time Elvis was there. He had great stories for Mark) and dinner with Gab and Jody’s family. I can not wait to visit again!! When, I do not know, but it definitely will not be 10 years!

Off to Ohio to visit and stay with a good friends of Mark's, Tim Smith.



  1. Ohhhhhhhhh man, I could not be more jealous!! I want to be there soooooo badly! If any Spirk kids are reading this, I'm sending you all hugs and love! Kimberly wasn't exaggerating when she says those were the best times in our youth. I can't wait for my chance to reconnect with you all. Thanks for all the details, Kimberly!

  2. Too bad you didn't get more time in DC, but I am glad to hear Mark got to spend a lot of time at Gettysburg.