Todd always has the entire week off during the 4th of July holiday because they shutdown the factory at Honda to changeover for the new models coming out and then also give all the people that work at Honda R&D (which is where he works) the week off. He only has to use 1 vacation day too for the whole week...yeah, it's a pretty sweet deal. Our 6-year-old nephew stayed with us for 2 days and 3 nights at the beginning of the week and then we dropped him off back home in Youngstown last Wednesday morning on our way to Laporte, Pennslyvania. I've been going to our family's 103-year-old cottage every few years since I was younger and this was our 3rd trip there together (first in July 2010 and second in September 2011).
My dad and brother, along with most of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, had been there the entire week and I was eager to get there and see all of them. The 7 hour drive went surprisingly smooth (only had to stop to go to the bathroom 3 times, including our stop for lunch, which is a win in my book). Todd & I arrived at the cottage, quickly unpacked, and then went over to the other 2 houses that my aunts, uncles, and brother own and share to say hi to everyone. Everyone was coming over to the cottage for dinner that night so my dad, Todd, and I made a quick stop up to Canyon Vista to check out the beautiful scenery before dinner.
Canyon Vista view
Todd & I
After dinner, we made s'mores in the fireplace
The next day was the 4th of July and after a 3 mi run around Laporte, all 17 of us drove over to Eagles Mere to watch the parade and then enjoyed the sunshine at Lake Makoma.
Clearly, my favorite place in Eagles Mere, The Sweet Shop
Some of the other stores in Eagles Mere
This parade is unlike most parades where I think literally anyone that wants to be in it can just hop in
Old fire truck
Most of my family milling around after the parade
Todd & I (and baby bump!)
Arriving at the lake
View of my family and the lake
Todd & I
After spending the afternoon at the lake, we grilled out at the 2 houses and had a mini fireworks display.
Friday morning, my dad, Todd, and I drove a couple hours south to Pottsville, PA to take a brewery tour of Yuengling, America's oldest brewery. It was founded in 1829 and they're still brewing in the original location (as well as several other locations in Pennsylvania and Florida).
Outside the brewery
Walking inside the brewery
Brew kettles on the tour
The best part...the tasting room
Todd sampling one of their beers while I had some birch beer
Once back in Laporte, we met up with the rest of the family and went to dinner at High Knob Inn, a local bar/restaurant. Since we had such a large group, we had to split up into 3 tables and didn't end up eating dinner until after 8:00 PM.
Todd, me, and my dad after dinner
Our last full day in Laporte was another gorgeous one where we spent most of the afternoon at the lake again.
Love this place
Todd & I even went canoeing around the lake
We grilled out again at the other 2 houses (they're right next door to each other) and Todd enjoyed some Kentucky moonshine with my uncles and cousin
We rushed over to the Sweet Shop in Eagles Mere for ice cream cones before they closed...
and made it back to hang out with the family and watch an outdoor slide show of my dad and his siblings in Laporte when they were younger
We had to get up early on Sunday to clean up the cottage before leaving to drive home. Since my family is spread out across the midwest and east coast (Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania), I don't get to see them all at once very often and it was great to see all of them...especially since we're expecting Baby Rodrick to arrive in a couple months! Hoping to get back again in the next couple years...
Last morning on the porch swing