Sunday, July 29, 2012

Going to Park City

It's me, Sarah Ann.

This post is for Saturday, July 28. (We're almost caught up.)

Rachel didn't write about all of Friday because she just wrote about the part where she broke her foot. So, I'll start by telling you about Friday night. A lot of people on my grandpa's side (my mom's dad) came to visit my grandma and grandpa's house for a family reunion. There were lots of people there, even more kids than when my grandma's family came the night before. I played with lots of new cousins - some of that I didn't even know before. I went to bed late that night again. We had to say goodbye to our cousins and aunts because they were leaving early to catch a plane the next morning. That was kind of sad, but I was glad I'm going to see my Grandma Albrecht in three more weeks when she comes to Wisconsin to help us unpack.

On Saturday, we had to pack all of our stuff and we left my grandma's house. The first stop we a splash park in Herriman, Utah (I think that's the name of it - we had to drive about two hours to get there.) We met my mom's friend from college and her little daughter. Her daughter was two just like Christian and they had lots of fun playing togetheer. Taylor just played on the park and wouldn't play in the water. He didn't even get his hair wet one bit.

We ate lunch there and then left. We were excited because we were going to see my grandparents on the other side and my aunt. But best of all, we were going to see my dad. We hadn't seen him this whole trip. We drove to Park City where there is a huge reunion of my grandma's side of the family. Our car barely made it because the road is soooo steep and our van had to pull the camper. The car almost overheated. My mom was afraid to pull over because she was afraid that if she stopped, she wouldn't be able to get going again.

When we pulled in the condos in Park City, we saw my dad. I got to be the first person to hug him. Right away we went to the swimming pool and saw lots of cousins. Rachel couldn't really do much in the pool because of her foot. She can take the boot off and get her leg wet, but she can't put any pressure on her foot.

Taylor wanted to watch the Olympics. That night, we drove to Salt Lake City for my dad's great aunt's ninety-sixth birthday. My aunt told me lots of jokes on the way. Here's one:

Why does a flamingo stand on one leg?
Because if it lifts up the other leg, it will fall over.

The end.

(I'll add some photos later.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Three Bones

This post is for Friday, July 27th. (We're almost caught up!)

Rachel here:
We started out the day by meeting some old friends from when my parents were in graduate school. My family met them at the park. At the park we played soccer until I went to play on the swings. I was jumping off them like I always do. After a while I decided to do a spin in the air.  I tried it a few times. Then once I landed and felt a pain in my foot. I sat there for a while holding my foot before hopping part way to the bench where my mom was sitting. My foot really hurt a lot. She came over and brought me some water. I continued hopping to where my mom was sitting. My mom tried to get me to swallow some Allieve but I couldn't seem to figure out how to do it. Then my mom realized there was children's Ibuprofen in the first aid kit in the car. We stayed at the park for just a little longer. I hopped all the way to the car.

Once at my grandparents' house, my mom had me elevate my foot and put ice on it. She did some research on the internet and called the insurance, then took me to InstaCare. There, they already had my name in the system from when I was a baby and got really sick when visiting Utah. My mom thought it was broken before we went. I REALLY hoped it wasn't broken because I didn't want to miss out on some of the other fun things coming up on the trip - especially hiking the narrows at Zion National Park.

Eventually they called me back. They made me sit in a wheelchair. At first I didn't want to, because I didn't want there to be a fuss. But I was getting tired of hopping, so I sat in the wheelchair. I talked to the doctor for a minute, and then they did an x-ray. A few minutes later, they showed my mom an x-ray. She told me that three bones in my foot was broken. Two of the bones were minor breaks (they were broken all the way through but still lined up). The other was not so minor. The ends of the broken bone were side by side. The doctor came back and said I would need to wear a boot for three weeks. That's when my mom told me that they had thought I would need surgery. The boot goes all the way to my knee. I can't put any pressure whatsoever on the front part of my foot for three weeks. My mom bought me crutches. It's a lot easier to move around with crutches than just with the boot. My aunt met us at urgent care and gave me a get well balloon.

I really wish I hadn't broken my foot. It hurts - but that's not the worst of it. I really wish I hadn't broken it because I can't run or hardly walk. I can't even sleep normally. Mostly, I'm sad about missing out on some things. In the future, I'll try to be more carefuly. But for now, I'm trying to look on the bright side.

Nerdy White Water River Rafting

This post is for Thursday, July 26.

It's Taylor.

You might have read Christian's blog post about going to old buildings and looking for gold. What he meant is that we went to Bannack State park. It's a ghost town. We went in some old houses. It was really neat.

Let me back up. We left the cabins in Melrose on Wednesday morning. We drove about 45 minutes to Bannack State Park. The story of the town is that there was this guy named Henry Plummer who was a bad guy. He was put in jail in California for shooting someone. Then, he moved to Montana. He became the sheriff there. Then they discovered that there were some outlaws that were killing the miners who found gold and stealing all the gold. Soon, they were suspicious that it was Henry Plummer. They decided to hang him. He said, "Stop. Don't hang me. In 24 hours I can bring you my weight in gold and I'll never come back to the town." But the didn't listen to him. They hung him anyway. They also hung his 24 friends.

We walked all around the town. Se saw a saloon, a school, a church, and some houses. At the end, we got to pan for gold. My cousin actually found a little sliver of gold. It was just a speck but they said it was the biggest speck they had seen all summer. A different year, someone found a piece the size of a pinky fingernail that was worth about $200.

After Bannack, we drove abother five hours or so to Nibley, Utah (by Logan) to where my grandparents live.

Thursday morning, we drove to Idaho with lots of cousins to go river rafting. It was just about 45 minutes outside of the border ot Utah. We got on this big, giant blow-up raft and went down the river. It was fun.The name of the company that we went down the river with was called Nerdy White Water River Rafting. At one point, we actually got to jump in the river. That was really fun. We went through some rapids that were really awesome even though they were only class 3. We went down two little waterfalls. Once my mom's cousin fell out of the raft and it took him a few minutes to swim and catch up to the boat and get back on. Afterwards, we got to drink homemade cream soda.

That night, my grandma's relatives all came for dinner. It was really fun. We played foosball and a really fun gamed called Snorta.

playing games with my cousins

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Wild West in Bannack State Park

This post is for Wednesday, July 25.

From Christian:

We see old buildings. We look for gold. My clothes get all west. We ride in car.

The kids in front of one of the abandoned buildings in the ghost town of Bannack

We played in the old jail!

Do we look mean hanging out at the outlaw's saloon?

We had fun playing on the old merry-go-round in front of the school.

We got to search for gold. I dumped my water all over my clothes and got soaked.
From Christian:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Visit with Lewis and Clark

This post is for Tuesday, July 24.

Hi. It's Sarah Ann again.

Today we woke up and had to get busy. It was time to leave Glacier National Park. First, we were heading to the Lewis and Clark National Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana. We signed up for this juniot explorer program. Each age had a different packet. My cousin (who is one year younger than me) and I got a folder for us. It was really easy to fill them up. We did each page even though we didn't have to.

We went through a museum and watched a movie to learn about Lewis and Clark's trip to discover the west.  Before that, I didn't know ANYTHING about Lewis and Clark so the museum really did teach me a lot. They had to follow rivers west into areas that nobody knew about it. One time, there was a fork in thr river and they didn't know which way to go. The Native Americans had told them that the river would have a waterfall, so Lewis went ahead on one of the forks to look for that. I think it was the left fork that he took. He was proved right when he found the waterfall. Now you might wonder how they got over the waterfall in their boats. They had to get out of the water and built little carts with wheels to pull them over the hills. They had thought it would only take a day but it took a really long time. And it was really tiring. Two times a Native American woman saved them. One was Sacagawea. She helped talk to a tribe of Native Americans who weren't sure if they would help Lewis and Clark or not. They ended up giving them the horses they needed to continue their trip. The second Native American intervened when another tribe didn't like them so much. She said that she had met white people before and they were nice to her. We also listened to a talk about Native American games.

I'm dressing up like an explorer in the Lewis and Clark National Interpretive Center.

Then we had to drive some more. We drove to a little town called Melrose, Montana. There, we stayed in some cabins. We ate dinner really late and even took showers. The other place in Glacier National Park had run out of water so we could only take showers one day. My aunt even got in the stream by the cabins that had really cold glacier water and washed her hair there. After that, we went to bed because we had had a busy day.

Rachel and Taylor with my cousin at the cabins in Melrose. My cousin turned six months old!

The Big Debate: Grizzly or Black Bears in Waterton Lakes National Park

This entry is for Monday, July 23.

This is from Taylor.

Monday morning, we drove to Canada. We were going there to see more of Glacier National Park. Actually, it's Waterlake National Parks there. It's kind of a separate park, but they're also kind of together.

On the way there when we were right near the border, we saw a bear right by the car. The people there already watching it said it was grizzly but at first we thought it was a black bear. Later, we found out it was a grizzly. (Not everybody in my family agrees. Sarah Ann and Aunt Tarythe still think it was a black bear.) Then we crossed the border. They wanted to know where my dad was and if my mom had a note saying it was okay to take us across international borders - and that she wasn't kidnapping us. She didn't have a note but they let us go across anyway.

First, we went to Cameron Lake and rented rowboats. It was really fun. I was sort of bad at rowing at first. But then I got the hang of it. The lake was really pretty set right against a big, beautiful mountain. It was a little windy.

Then we went on a hike called Bears Hump hike. It's less than a mile each way but it was very steep and hard to get to the top. When we got to the top, it was very pretty and VERY windy. It blew so hard that it could blow a person off the mountain if he weren't careful. The way back down was simple.

We got back in the car and drove across the street to the Prince of Wales hotel - a famous hotel by the mountains and lake. We had high tea there like they do in England. The food was great. It was scones, tiny sandwiches, and little desserts.

The last thing we did was drive to Red Rock Canyon. On the way, we saw another bear. I think this bear was a grizzly bear also. Most people agreed but it was far away and hard to see. When we got to Red Rock Canyon, we went straight into the water. It was freezing but beautiful. It turned my feet red. My cousins' toe turned completely white from the cold water.

When we got home, we looked at the pictures of the bears. We still couldn't all agree. We'll post a photo below and you can vote on which type of bear you think it is.

Here's the first bear we saw. It was right next to our car.

Here I am rowing on Cameron Lake.

The view from the top of Bears Hump hike.

We're all about to get blown away by the wind next to the Prince of Wales hotel.

My toes got really cold wading at Red Rock Canyon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Snow in the Summer on Going to the Sun Road????

This morning we got to sleep in. After that, we drove Going to the Sun Road. It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t that we were going to Sun Road but that the road was actually named “Going to the Sun Road.” This was the scenic road that goes through the middle of Glacier National Park. Lots of people say it is one of the most beautiful drives in America and I can see why. Giant, steep mountains with snow-covered tops (and middles) stretched to the sky. Evergreen trees made their journey toward the middle but couldn’t make it all the way to the top – because the mountains were so tall that they reached way past the timber line. Rivers and lakes rested in the valleys of the mountains. Waterfalls cascaded down to meet the road.

The first thing we did was drive to the Logan Pass Visitor’s Center. Logan Pass is the highest point of Going to the Sun Road. There, we did the Hidden Lake Overlook Hike. It was 1.5 miles each way. It’s considered the best short hike in Glacier National Park. My whole family (except Christian), my cousins and their whole family, and my grandparents did the hike. When we asked about the hike at the visitor’s center, the ranger said we’d have to hike through a few snow patches. Well….it turns out that those snow patches weren’t really patches. They were more like snowfields. (Is that a word?) Before we even began a hike we saw a mountain goat with her baby. The baby was sooooo adorable. "Wow!" I thought. I couldn't believe we had already seen a mountain goat. The hike started on a boardwalk. It seemed like a normal hike. My mom even commented that she could have almost brought the stroller on it. Then we reached the first "snow patch." That's where the word snowfield comes in. There was a LOT of snow and it was steep going up. We kept loosing our footing, slipping and sliding. Eventually we reached a spot where there was about three feet of boardwalk before we reached the next "snow patch."  Eventually we reached this bend. On one side, it was almost a straight drop off with no railing. On the other side, it was straight up. And we were hiking on slippery snow. My cousin decided it might be easier to climb up the ridge and then get down from there instead of hiking around the bend. I decided to follow him. We got up there only to see that both sides were now way too steep to climb down. So, we had to continue walking along it until we reached a part where we could climb down. It was a bit scary and my mom wasn't too happy about our choice.

Throughout the hike, we saw several more mountain goats. Everyone else saw some bighorn sheep in the distance but I was ahead of the group at that point and didn't see them. Eventually we reached the overlook. It was beautiful. There was a lake and a valley with sheer, steep snow-covered mountains on all sides of it. There was a ountain goat there so close that we could have reached out and touched. I think the hike at Logan Pass was one of my favorite hikes ever (and I've been on a lot of hikes).

After the hike, we continued the drive. We didn't make it all the way to the end because we were running out of time. We turned around and headed back to camp. At camp, we roasted hot dogs for dinner over a fire. It was pretty cool. Then we held our own little church service (we were too far away to drive to an actual church meeting) before roasting marshmallows. I like roasting marshmallows almost more than I like eating them.

Overall, I went to bed feeling very content with the day.
Here's me with my Aunt Laura at Logan Pass

Here's some of the snow on the path on the Hidden Lake Overlook hike

The baby mountain goat. Isn't he cute?

Here we are at the overlook at the end of the hike

We stopped and put our feet in some freezing water on the Going to the Sun road

Glacier National Park

This post is for Saturday, July 21.

It’s Sarah Ann.

Yesterday we drove nine hours to get to Glacier National Park. We are going to stay here for four nights. Our campground is really cute. We are sleeping in our pop, but all my relatives are sleeping in cabins. The relatives that I’m talking about are all my mom’s family – my grandma and grandpa, my aunt and uncle from New York City and their three kids, my aunt and uncle from Washington DC and their baby, and my aunt and uncle from Austin, Texas. My two step cousins and my dad were the only ones not there. I’m posting this late because there wasn’t any internet or cell phone service anywhere near where we stayed. My mom couldn’t use her phone within almost two hours of the park.

Glacier National Park is really, really beautiful. It’s in Montana and part of it is even in Canada. Some people who have traveled around the world say Glacier National Park is the most beautiful place they have seen. I think it might be the most beautiful place I’ve seen.

On Saturday, we started out by going to the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. The wind was REALLY strong. We were all freezing even though we had pants and sweaters and everything. The first thing we did was take a boat ride that left from the Many Glacier hotel across Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lakes. The stairs to the boat were really steep. They told us about the glaciers and what they were called. You know if a lake has glacier water because it turns the water turquoise. There used to be 150 glaciers in the park but now there are only 24. To be an active glacier, a glacier has to be at least 25 acres, be moving, and be a certain thickness – I can’t remember exactly how thick. There are only three active glacier in the park. She told us how there had been a fire once a long time ago at the Many Glacier hotel. It was a very interesting story.

At the end of the boat rides, we went on a hike. We learned a lot on the hike too. We hiked two miles roundtrip through the woods, across streams, and on boardwalks to Grinnell Lake. It was gorgeous.

When the boat rides were over, we went on another hike called Red Canyon Falls. It was almost four miles roundtrip. I wasn’t in the advanced party. My mom convinced me to stay and wait by the lake while some people went ahead to the falls. We saw a moose swimming in the lake. Luckily, it stayed on its side of the lake. We saw it eat underwater.

Then we went to eat dinner at the Many Glacier hotel. It was yummy. I had an awesome day.

Everyone in front of Many Glacier hotel

Here's me on the hike to Grinnell Lake

Grinnell Lake

Do you see the moose swimming? We saw it on our hike to Red Canyon Falls

And there's the falls - from across the lake

Driving Across Montana

This entry is for Friday, July 20. (We are a few days behind because we had no internet for five days.)

From Christian:

We drive in car. We go up the mountains. We go down the mountains.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bad Weather in the Badlands (Theodore Roosevelt National Park)

From Taylor:

You would think that when I say bad weather I would mean pouring rain. But actually when I say we had bad weather in the badlands I mean that it was roasting hot - as in 107 degrees.

But let me start at the beginning. We woke up and left for our horse ride at 8:30 a.m. inside Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We did it so early because we knew it was going to be soooo hot (I was happy we moved it). It was me, my two sisters, my mom, and my grandpa riding horses. They almost didn't let Sarah Ann go because she was too short, but then they shortened up the stirrups so she could fit. At first, I was nervous and didn't know if I wanted to do it. But after the practice ride when we rode around in a circle, I felt confident and knew it would be fun. My horse was named Peppy. He wasn't too Peppy though. In fact, he was sort of slow. I tried to kick him to go faster, but he wouldn't. I liked going uphill because sometimes Peppy would run and I would have to slow him down.

After the hour and a half horse ride, we drove the south loop of the National Park. We saw tons of animals like bisons and prairie dogs. We saw tons of prairie dogs - so many that eventually I got tired of prairie dogs. We could hear them talking to each other. Then we saw tons and tons of bison and they were really close to the rode. They were close enough to our car that we could probably touch them. They didn't seem at all afraid of humans.

We got out of the car at an overlook and did a short hike to a neat view. It was so hot. When we got back to the car, my face was drenched in sweat. My mom had to basically drag Sarah Ann. I thought I would faint on the way up to the overlook. Then on the way down, I felt a little better.

When we were driving back, my grandpa said the rocks looked like ice cream cones. My mom said, "Who wants to go lick one of those ice cream cones?" Christian yelled, "I do!" When we told him he couldn't because it wasn't real ice cream, he cried the rest of the way through the loop.

Here's me riding a horse

one of hundreds of buffalo we saw

Rachel and Sarah Ann on their horses
We'll add more photos later. Our internet connection is really slow here and isn't cooperating very well.

Too Much Hay! (North Dakota)

Medora the Musical
This post is for Wednesday, July 18.

Here's from Rachel:

First I am and going to explain what Christian wrote. He has a habit of not thoroughly explaining things.  I don't know about you, but 3 sentences that lack linking verbs and adjectives don't allow me to envision an  entire 24 hours. Quick fill in:

On Tuesday, July 17, we woke up at Indiana Dunes State Park (which is a little part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore) and put the pop-up down. That always makes me smile. Once I got my arm stuck, another time we had to put up and down the stabalizers about 20 times, ect. (I don't want to go into the arm stuck story - it was a bit traumatic even though it didn't actually hurt in the least.)

Then we rode around looking at moutains of sand - a.k.a. sand dunes. They were neat. They may have been neater if we had hiked up them - the original plan - but it was about two million degrees outside. We were all very, very glad to swim in Lake Michigan. We weren't glad to walk to the beach at the lake on the hot sand. It scorched our feet even with flip-flops on.

The rest of the day was spent in the car - on a looonnnngggg car ride - a bit over six hours. It was 104 degrees outside while we drove. That night we got to sleep in a HOTEL in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We don't do that every often on this trip, but we did it that night because that night was sandwiched between two vvvveeerrrryyyy llllloooonnnngggg days of driving.

We woke up on Wednesday morning and we experienced my favorite part of hotels: the free breakfast. I don't care if a hotel is fancy. I just care that it has breakfast for me - preferably waffles.

That day we got to drive 9 hours and 45 minutes in the car - and that's just the driving time - not counting our stop for ice cream. We spent most of the day driving in North Dakota. You see, I have this thing about North Dakota. You see, my grandpa had been to 49 states. He had been lacking none other than North Dakota. So, I've always wanted to go to North Dakota - particulalry with him - for that reason. He met us in North Dakota, so he got to go to his 50th state. In between breaks from movies, reading, and books on tape, I looked out the window. And almost every time, I saw about twenty bales of hay. They were rolled up and just sitting in the middle of the fields. I tried counting them but there were too many.

Once we got to North Dakota, my grandparents, Taylor and I went to Medora the Musical (Medora is the name of the town we're staying in - it's the gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park). The musical was pretty cool. There wasn't really any plot to it. It was mainly just a lot of singing and dancing with a bit of information about the history of Medora. The choreography was really good. The twelve singers and dancers were really good too. It was all at an outdoor ampitheater. You felt you were in the middle of nowhere until you came across this huge escalator leading down into the ampotheater. I felt like saying to that escalator, "What are you doing here?" They also had a comedian come in and tell a few jokes.

So, to close, here's a joke from the musical so you can feel like you were really there with me. (Don't be offended if you're Irish - he said Irish people like to make fun of themselves. He was Irish too.)

So there was an Irish man and an American man getting interviewed for a job. The employers didn't know who to pick so they gave them both ten questions to answer. They both got nine right and one wrong. The employer said, "We're going to give the job to the American man." The Irish man said, "That's not fair. We both got the same number right." The employer answered, "It's because of what you wrote on the fifth question. He wrote, 'I don't know.' and you wrote 'Neither do I.'"

Are you laughing? I sure was.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

From Christian.

Raccoons at the Nature Center at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Us swimming in Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
I see raccoons and turtles. I swim. I have fun! It is hot. I ride car.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Stranded in Pittsburgh

Hello readers. It's Sarah Ann. This morning while I was sleeping, our car broke. Well, it didn't exactly break while I was sleeping. It has been making this funny sound for a while. It was this clicking kind of sound. So, this morning my mom took it to a mechanic. It was a good thing she took it there because today we were going to drive seven hours to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The car guy said he could guarantee that if we hadn't brought it in to get fixed, we would've ended up stranded somewhere. It would've probably been in the middle of nowhere. because by Wednesday night, we will be in North Dakota. To get to North Dakota, you have to drive in the middle of nowhere a lot.  Now, we're just stranded in Pittsburgh. They think they can have the car fixed before lunch.

Our plan for today was to stop at Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a picnic and then swim in Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It was the first time we would swim at a beach on this trip. We are still going to do that but now we will have to swim tomorrow morning and only have a short stop at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Surprise Party in Pittsburgh

It's Taylor again.

We started yesterday by going to church. I didn't really want to go at first since I wouldn't know anyone there. But it turned out to be okay.

Christian helping Reed cut his birthday cake

Here's my lighting a sparkler with Elissa

Christian and Sarah Ann on the playset
In the afternoon, we had a party. It was actually a suprise birthday party for Reed, Christian's birth grandfather. Reed thought it was just a dinner for family to get together. There were lots of people there. We had a parade to the house starting from their neighbor's house and sang happy birthday. There were two boys my age and we made some Yakenscheide - it's this mixture with all this random stuff like leaves, twigs, blue bubbles, garlic, rootbeer, gingerale, crab apples, grass, water, a couple of flowers, and much more. When we were in the middle of making the Yakenscheide, the girls started making something much like it. Then we had a big fights with girls about it. That was the most fun. It ended that both of the Yakenscheide got dumped out.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Post for Saturday, July 14
 Rachel Speaking

On Friday we started the day by meeting up with the birth family. You see Christian was adopted as a newborn. So every once in a while, we get together with them. Since we were driving through Pennsylvania, we arranged to spend some time with them. Both birth grandmothers, one birth grandfather and the birth father live in Pennsylvania. The birth mother, the other birth grandfather, and even a birth great-grandmother came from far away to meet us. We are even staying at with Elissa and Reed, some birth grandparents, here in Pittsburgh for three nights.

Anyway, we met them at Falling Water. We got there before everyone, and because my mom had misplaced her cellphone, we had no way of contacting them. Just as I was begginning to worry, they arrived. It turned out they had tried to call us, but as I said, my mom didn't have her cellphone. We went on a tour of Falling Water, one of the most famous houses architectural wise in Ameria. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. When I was two, I lived in Wisonsin and went to a preschool designed by him. The house has just as much space on outdoor patios as it does inside it. It was built on a waterfall and there are even steps in the middle of the house that go down to the river. It has so many windows. Some of the birth family stayed out with Christian because - well, imagine him on a tour. He wouldn't last more than two minutes.

After that, we were going to go on some natural waterslides in Ohiopyle State Park, but the weather didn't obey our wishes. Instead, we went to Fort Necessity. Fort Necessity was a fort built at the beginning of the French and Indian war. The named it Fort Necessity because - it was necessary to build it. No joke.  It was basically the first time George Washington had ever led troops. In the end, he signed an agreement with the French allowing him to surrender. He happily signed the paper because his army was not in such a good position. It turned out he signed out a paper that said he was personally responsible for some person's death. He didn't understand it because it was written in French. Also, what he didn't know was that the French weren't in such a good position themselves. They were running out of ammunition while George Washington's group still had plenty.

Afterwards, we had a picnic dinner there supplied by Anita, one of the birth grandmothers. It was really yummy. We drove to Pittsburgh to Elissa and Reed's house.

Saturday, we started out by going to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It was very interesting. One of the things I found the most interesting was that Eskimo girls marry when they are twelve or thirteen. Christian really enjoyed all the dinosaur exhibits. After the museum, we walked across the street to the Cathedral of Learning. It was super cool and all old-fashioned and stuff. I thought it looked so much like Hogwarts. There was one giant room that even had Dumbledore's chair. - at least it looked like it. Then we went next door to the Heinz Chapel. It had really pretty stain glassed windows. For dinner, we went to this place called Quaker Steak and Lube that had cars hanging from the ceiling. There, we met up with my grandma who had flown in from Utah. She'll spend the next few days of the trip with us.

We finished the day by riding the Duquesne Incline up this mountain where we could see a pretty view of the three rivers of Pittsburgh meeting. All in all, it was a splendid few days.

Here's me petting a hissing cockroach at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Don't I look scared of the dinosaur?

We got to go inside the Heinz Chapel

The view from the top of the Duquesne Incline

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Falling Water and Fort Necessity

This post is from Friday, July 13.

Christian's turn. He already went to sleep so he will add his narration later. For now, here's some photos.

Everyone at Falling Water, a house in Mill Run, PA designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

another view of Falling Water
Fort Necessity - built by George Washington and his men and the site of one of the events that led to the French and Indian War
The words on the playset set "A family moving west on the National Road" - that's us since we were driving west on the National Road - and lots of other roads too!

The kids at Fort Necessity

The Battle of Gettysburg

This post is for Thursday July 12.

It's me again, Sarah Ann.

Today we went to Gettysburg. There I learned a lot about the battle of Gettysburg. First, we went to a movie, saw the cyclorama, and went to the museum. The battle of Gettysburg was part of the Civil War. It was between the North and South fighting each other. The Civil War started with South Carolina. They wanted to keep slaves, but as you know, Abraham Lincoln didn't and he was the president. South Carolina said that if Abraham Lincoln became president they would leave the country. A couple other states in the South joined with South Carolina. They started a war. The South's leader was Robert E. Lee.

The battle of Gettysburg happened near the town of Gettysburg - that's how it got its name. It happened at the beginning of July in 1863. It started July 1 and ended July 3.The Northern army had higher ground - on top of the hills - so they could see what was going on. After a few days of fights, Lee's plan was really risky. He decided to send his army straight into the center of the Northern army to try to break through. It almost worked, but it didn't. 

By the end of the war lots of people were kidnapped - I mean taken prisoner, dead, or wounded. Sometimes they were fighting near neighborhoods. The people had to and hide in the basements. At least that's what I think they did.

I thought the battle was very, very sad. To have so many people be killed was sad.

After we saw the museum, we drove around the battlefield a little. Then, we had to say goodbye to our cousins. We had to drive three more hours to Ohiopyle State Park. It was dark by the time we got there and we had to set up the camper in the dark. We thought about getting a hotel, but we didn't because the hotels cost $100 a night.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Amish and More Amish

It's Taylor.

Tonight is going to be short because it's late at night and I want to go to bed soon. We've been staying up late a lot in the last few nights.

Today we woke up early and went on a bus tour of the Amish countryside. I learned that you can only tell if a woman is married or not when they go to church. If the women have white over their dresses, they are single. If they wear black, they are married. Women only wear dresses - and only solid colors. Men only wear solid colors too. You can tell they are married because they grew out their beard after they get married.

We also went on an old fashioned train and on a buggy tour. At night, we went swimming.

All the kids are jumping and being crazy in the camper, so we'd better end.
Lunch in Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA

The train museum in Strasborg, PA

An Amish buggy ride in Bird-in-Hand, PA (isn't that a funny town name?)

We ate an Amish family feast with Pennysvlania Dutch cooking