Today the Box rumbled down the Pennsylvania Turnpike -- America's first superhighway -- toward Philadelphia to visit a prospective host family for a French student homestay.
We passed my favorite farm on the eastern side of the turnpike with its all-white buildings and its "Repent!" sign, then stopped short of the city, roaring off the Schuylkill Expressway onto the "Blue Route" to Villanova.
It was interesting to see the beautiful campus of the famous school of the same name. There were a number of other institutions of higher education in the vicinity.
Thanks to Mapquest and GPS, I easily found the family's house, located on a quiet street lined with vintage houses, appearing to be from the 20s and 30s.
There I was greeted by the oldest of six children and invited in by the mother. All the kids were at home. They hung around throughout the "interview" with mom and dad. They were all so quiet and well-behaved. The parents were delightful, too, and had a lot of experience hosting foreign students over the years.
After completing the application and asking a few questions, I went upstairs to see the room where the student will sleep. The French kids are allowed to share a room, and this one will probably do so.
I left Havertown feeling very comfortable that this French student would be in good hands.
I grabbed a bite to eat and got right back on the turnpike to head home. At the Lancaster/Lebanon exit I zipped through the EZ Pass lane and headed up the road to Cornwall. I wanted to stop to say hello to the folks at Cornwall Iron Furnace and pay my dues to the Associates group.
I was given a DVD of the orientation film used for visitors -- a very nice gesture. I reminisced a while with the staff and then headed back to Harrisburg through Annville and Palmyra.
Our good friends Bill and Debbie asked us to go out to dinner, and we went to their place first. It's rather new and beautifully decorated with the kinds of things we like -- including a ton of Lesterware! We looked around and talked a bit, then headed into Harrisburg to a restaurant called Dodge City.
There we feasted on shrimp, chicken parmigiana, seafood pie, and seafood sampler. This was followed by strawberry shortcake, shared by the lovebirds Debbie and Bill, a sooper dooper chocolate brownie for Susanne, and apple pie à la mode for me (always thinking outside of the box.)
A short ride, and we were back at Bill and Debbie's, where we found the Box waiting patiently in the glow of a streetlight. A quick visit to Debbie's craft room (she is into stamping and makes beautiful cards) and then a peek at her lime chiffon bathroom (which poor Bill will be painting soon because Debbie has lost her "touch" at selecting colors) ended our delightful evening.