Friday, September 9, 2011


After buying all of those Pennsylvania Dutch goodies for Sarah, we headed westward the following morning to New Brighton in Beaver County. Our trip in our new van was uneventful. Sadly, we had to leave the Box home in the driveway as sentinel watch over the newspapers we forget to cancel. We arrived a little after lunch, releasing Sarah to go to Ohio with friends to an agricultural fair.

We stayed with Cole and Chloe and enjoyed our evening with them. Susanne went to their favorite Mexican/frozen custard place down the road and brought home tacos made to order. The kids love them, and they made sure Susanne planned to bring Sarah her share, not realizing she would not be home for dinner. Cole's gesture of concern for his mom was heartwarming, though. We frittered away the evening playing games and watching Nick at Night. My, how shows have changed since we enjoyed seeing Cole and Chloe dancing to the Wiggles back in the day!

Sarah arrived home late, having had a good time at the fair. Everyone was tired by then, so we all hit the sack.

First Presbyterian Church, Beaver Falls.
In the morning Sarah made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Then I drove to the next town over, Beaver Falls (home of football great Joe Namath), for church. There's a beautiful 1929 English Gothic building housing the Presbyterian congregation, and I have wanted to see the interior for some time. It was a good service, and afterwards I spent sometime talking to the music director and taking photos. It would be virtually impossible to replicate such a building today due to the costs. It was great to see the building being well-maintained and preserved.

Upon arrival back in New Brighton, I enjoyed a plump ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. (Notice that none of the lunch meat I took -- Lebanon baloney or ring bologna -- was served. Sarah would be eating that later under cover of darkness.)

Trouble's ahead!
After lunch, Susanne took Cole to Target to pick out the Lego set that she promised while he was moaning and groaning on his hospital bed. He was such a sad sack that if he had played his cards right, he might have asked for anything under the sun and gotten it.

Meanwhile Chloe and I had a great time playing. We started with Trouble, a modern version of Parcheesi, then started some drawings using a cool set of pens, pencils, and papers she had recently acquired. We also spent time looking through the 'horsey' picture book that I had brought from the famous Ollie's in Harrisburg.

Soon Susanne and Cole arrived home with a m-a-s-s-i-v-e box of Legos, enough to built a launch pad and rocket ship -- hundred of pieces. For Cole, more is better. In a few hours he had that thing together and showed it proudly.

Sarah's pal Brian came over for dinner, which included some pork, fresh corn, and macaroni and cheese. Monochromatic but tasty as all get out. Dinner was followed by conversation until bedtime. Soon enough the kids headed upstairs.

Before our own bedtime, we were treated to a microscopically-small piece of the shoofly pie I had taken along. It lived up to its name of 'wet bottom.'

After breakfast on Monday morning, we packed up and headed back to Harrisburg so I could see the eye surgeon the following day. It was decided to take an alternative route that would take us past a mall with Susanne's new favorite store, Marshall's, and a Panera restaurant, where we would have lunch and do an experiment on 'wicking.' Then we got on I-376, passed through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, past the downtown skyscrapers, through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and out to the turnpike entrance.

Fun on the turnpike.
We traveled without incident as far as Somerset, where we stopped at the travel plaza for fuel. We glided back into traffic only to come to a complete stop a short while later. A really complete stop. We sat behind a school bus for more than two hours, wondering all the time what was going on up ahead. We managed to find the turnpike's radio station and heard that there was an accident six miles ahead.

Just before we began to hyperventilate and scream "Kill me! Kill me!" traffic started flowing again, and we were finally on our way home for good.

Now it's time for the "leftover' pictures from our trip:

Looking down the center aisle of the church.
How did these hymn boards get up so high?!

The font and puny Pascal Candle.

I like the English-looking lamps in the choir.

A beautiful cross has central place.

The pupit is highly carved or cast.

The original pipe organ.
Looking toward the back of the church.

A large stained glass window.

The same window from the exterior.

 The central tower.
I know -- too many church pictures,  but
I was quite impressed by this historic building.

 Sarah's dining room mantel has a Parisian theme.

 Phoebe the cat loves gazing out the front window.

 Here's that monochromatic meal.

Susanne checks her mail.

Cole with an eye on the television.

 Sarah flashes a smile.

 For some reason, this caught my eye at Panera.

 But I ate this.

 And Susanne had this. I have no idea what either one was!

Leaving Panera, we spied our son's in-laws
lurking in the parking lot.

  This was the view out the passenger side window while we were
stuck on the turnpike. Grey and dreary, but pretty to look at.

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