Checkout is at 2, and check-in is at 2, so we took our sweet time leaving here. I made sandwiches and insalada caprese for the boys and kept a little insalada for my snack. They ate here and then we finished packing and left at 12:30. Our drive was only 2 hours so this should be an easy day!

You know how that goes? It should’ve been an easy day. Ted sent me ahead at the new place to check out the hookups and it’s crazy! Pulling through like they expect us to the electricity/sewer/water are on the right. Electricity and sewer are toward the back of the bus, but the water is about even with the door. When we talked to the woman at the front she said it’s because this is a companion site, and we wouldn’t be able to see that reserving it online (why?). Even as a companion site I don’t know how it would work for any camper. She told us a few other sites we could check out but they were all 30 amp and we don’t want that for a monthly site. Ted said we could make the site work so we went back to it. He initially wanted to move the sewer hose from tank to tank every time we dumped but I begged him to not make us do that! We’ll need to buy another sewer hose tonight but he can make it work. Fewf! After he knew that the bus position would work we were ready to level. We ended up with 3 blocks under each front tire and 2 under each front jack I think. It wasn’t hard to level, and the front bathroom door stays open without being propped open. The boys stayed at the playground for a long time, and we were thankful for the time to get things set up. The water pressure here is abysmal! Ugh. There isn’t anything to do at this point, though. We’re booked through Labor Day and lucky to have a place.

We weren’t fully set up but had both beds almost cleared so Ted took a shower and we left for Grandmom’s. She made supper for us; ham steak, corn and mashed potatoes. We brought tiramisu…since I’m not a coffee drinker I’m not really a fan of that but everyone else liked it. Dominic and Justin came over and played with the boys after we ate supper. Jim came over too and said hello, but then he just left and left his boys at Grandmom’s. Max brought the Switch and Justin had his 3ds so the boys had a good time.

Jack kept asking to see the dogs so we went outside for a few minutes with them. When they came back inside with us Scooter repeatedly jumped on Jack, and Jack doesn’t know how to speak sternly to them so he ended up pretty scared! That’s a first for Jack at Grandmom’s house. When it was time to go Jack didn’t want to walk by himself to the truck, he held tightly to me until we were out of the house.

On the way home we stopped at Walmart for the sewer hose. In other sewer news during our drive in the bus today a sewer smell from the front bathroom permeated the whole bus!! Ugh, it’s horrible!! So we also bought some plug in smell-goods for the bus, but when we got home the plug didn’t work with the actual bottle of smell good. Poo. Fortunately the sewer smell was completely gone when we got home.

IF: 4pm snack, then supper

Jack was making some noise around 7 this morning so I had him come into our bed and ‘go back to sleep’. Well, I tried at least. After lying there somewhat quietly for a while (not by his own choice) he fake coughed a few times and then said he had to throw up!! He was totally lying!!! What a punk!

While I was in the shower Ted sent Max to dump and he found a leak in the sewer line! Ugh. Ted cleaned it up as best as he could and we got ready to go. We left for Gettysburg around 9:20; it’s a 2-hour drive there. We stopped on side of the road right at the beginning to attach the transponder to the truck.

Since we got there around 11:30 Ted decided to eat at the visitors center before we headed out to the battlefield. As much as I want to do IF I’m not gonna sit at a restaurant watching other people eat. I had a salad and the boys had cheeseburgers and fries.

We started our driving tour at 12:10 and finished at 4pm. What a day! Ted bought us a driving tour that played from his phone at certain GPS coordinates through the truck speakers. This tour follows the visitor’s center map with 16 stops along 24 miles over the almost 4,000 acres of the park/battlefield. There were so many monuments, and the area was so huge! One of the plaques we saw said there are over 1,300 monuments and memorials here! Every Union regiment that fought here erected at least one monument; Pennsylvania alone placed 123 regimental monuments! It’s so sad to me that so many were killed fighting for the ‘right’ to own other humans. A plaque said that 9,000 Union soldiers and 6,800 Confederate soldiers were wounded, killed or missing on the first day of the battle! Some info from the map I found interesting and sad: “When the armies marched away from Gettysburg they left behind a community in shambles and over 51,000 soldiers dead, wounded, or missing. Wounded and dying were crowded into nearly every building. Most of the dead lay in hastily dug and inadequate graves; some had not been buried at all.” Imagine all the people who lived there and how their lives were changed!

This is the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. 75 years after the battles here 1,800 Civil War veterans helped dedicate this memorial to peace in our nation.

I thought this church’s bells were beautiful!

You can see where a cannonball went through the side of this barn!

The fighting happened July 1-3, 1863; and Lincoln gave his address November 19 of that year. I didn’t realize that there was so much time between the two! This is where he delivered his Gettysburg Address.

Gettysburg is just acres of open fields and town with memorials here and there lining roads. I didn’t do a great job capturing that with these photos but you can get some feel for it.

Ted wanted some ice cream after we were finished for the day but didn’t find a place that suited him so we headed back home. We stopped at Walmart along the way for a new sewer line, STP for my truck and bread, and we also bought a rebels heat shield for the truck! Woot! We stopped near the bus for high octane gas for the truck. Ted’s hoping that and the STP might help its pick-up which is kinda poorly these days. I also bought a bag of ice since I really need to clean the ice maker well and let it really dry out.

At home we dropped the boys off at the playground while Ted started cooking potatoes. It took him from 6:40 till 9:30 pm to fry 4 potatoes! I think next time we’ll have to use the deep pot and fry larger batches. He also whipped up some amazing fry sauce that I need to add to my recipe box. We had shoo fly pie for dessert, but no one was impressed. Ted remembers Mrs. Norma’s mother’s shoo fly pie was wonderful…I guess we’ll try it from another place sometime. One of the things I didn’t like was the topping; I love a good streusel topping, but these ingredients had been ground into a fine powder. I want chunks or crumbs, I don’t want to feel like I’m eating flour poured on top of a pie which is how many pies around here are topped. After supper Ted looked over our route for tomorrow and set out the bus’s transponder for me to attach to the windshield.

We headed out to Hershey Park this morning. Ted said yesterday that we’ve done so many amusement parks lately that we could skip it and that was fine with me! But I didn’t want to skip the Hershey museum/factory. We wanted to do the ‘make your own candy bar’ part but when we were in line to buy tickets it was sold out until 8:30pm!!! We weren’t staying that late! So we bought the 4D movie and chocolate tasting. The movie was a stupid kid’s show that was too young for Max, but Jack seemed to like it. The chocolate tasting was fun, though; I’m glad we did that. It was a good explanation of how cocoa is harvested, where it grows, etc, and then how each person’s taste is different so there aren’t any wrong answers, just think about these things as you taste chocolate. We got 4 different types of chocolate and were told to look, listen (as you break a piece), smell and then taste the chocolate. Neat!

Next was the factory tour. The line was deceptive; it was much longer than it seemed at first. And the ride wasn’t worth it, really. It was a cartoonish ride showing the different steps to processing the chocolate. They stopped doing actual factory tours in 1973! By this time we’d been there almost 3 hours so our free parking was about to run out. Ted and Jack went to move the truck while Max and I picked up a mug of chocolate for Grandmom and a 1 pound Reese’s cup! Since Ted found another parking space he and Jack came back in to look over the bakery and see if there was anything else we wanted to buy. There were lots of fun things there, but Ted was happy with what I’d already bought so we left.

We found a nearby farmer’s market and bought blueberry balsamic vinegrette, 3 woopie pies (mint, chocolate chip and original), shoo-fly pie (that was pretty disappointing), 6 ears of corn and some potatoes for Ted to make us fries; all for $22.

We went home (about an hour’s drive away) and had meats and cheeses for supper while we watched The Breadwinner that Jenni McD mentioned to us. That was a good, but very depressing, look at what life is like for women in Muslim countries. We’ve been exhausted every night, so we didn’t stay up too late.

We didn’t hurry, just packed up and left at 10:15. We stopped just down the road for gas and used the truck wash for the first time. I called the wash when we were across the street gassing up and there was no one getting their trucks washed. 10 minutes later when we got there we were 3rd in line. And we sat and sat! There were 2 wash bays but the left one was closed. After trucks started piling up they opened the left side. We tried to time how long the wash would take (since we had nothing else to do while we waited, and since it seemed like it was taking a long time) but both times they pulled the semi cab into the bay and started washing it before they pulled the whole truck in. They ended up doing that to our bus as well, but the whole thing only took about 10 minutes. When Ted was in the office paying he said they said they’d had trouble with stuff catching on fire in the left bay! And he thinks the first truck that went into that bay had to be towed out! Crazy!

We arrived at the campground at 5:00 and it was a doozy! It looked totally hill-billy, but do I have any room to talk seeing how we live in a bus?? Probably not. Looking at where Ted was going to drive the bus to get to our site was a little scary, so we decided to unhook the truck while the office chick went inside to get our paperwork. When she showed us our site on the map she said we wouldn’t be following the one-way signs this time, and she would lead us to our site but then we were on our own. Heh. She was not the person who usually drove people to sites and it was obvious she was nervous about helping us situate ourselves. Ted took it like a champ, though, he’s an awesome driver! Our site was so slanted! We put 4 blocks under the front driver’s tire, 2 under the back driver’s tires, and 2 under the front driver jack. Then Ted leveled it in 1 shot! He’s a pro!

Max helped set up the front for a few minutes and then we sent the boys to the playground and I started working on the inside. Ted had some trouble with the sewer so I asked a neighbor for help. Once Ted got the outside finished he came inside for a drink and I had him sit while I worked some more. He decided to check the vent to the front bathroom because it still smells so bad. He hadn’t been up on the roof very long before he hollered to me to text Max to come home, it was starting to rain and the skies looked so dark! He came inside and then the bottom opened up and it poured! It started and stopped a time or two. We debated whether we should go get the boys or not, but I said as soon as I got soaked going out to the truck we’d see them. Ted said I should go get them so I did, and sure enough, as soon as I started the truck I saw Jack sauntering up the hill. Max was running from tree to tree trying to keep a little dry but Jack was just walking up the middle of the road. Heh. That silly boy.

I cooked us hamburgers for supper, and boy! That meat from Wegmans is amazing! We now have pretzel buns every time we can for hamburgers. That started out as Max’s request and he’s completely won us over.

It’s almost time to move away from Richmond! We’ve done so much here, it seems like we’ve been here longer than 2 months…though that is long for us.

Ted and Max packed up some of the outside this morning while I blogged. Then we went to the office and then to the cheesecake store!!! We’d seen Daystar Cheesecake factory store since we got here right by the campground and finally got around to checking it out. It’s a good thing! For $14 we bought an assorted cheesecake (turtle, hot fudge sundae, strawberry and vanilla), half a New York style, a tiny lemon and 2 tiny chocolate cheesecakes, and with our purchase we got a free tiramisu!

I dropped Ted back off at home and headed out to Goodwill Outlet. For $0.69 I got a wowo world/US map for Jack, a cute cowgirl zip pouch, a pot handle for my big cast iron, about a cup of Legos, just enough construction paper to get Jack through another school year and a neoprene bag for our Switch. When I was just about finished someone opened the door and I could see that it was raining cats and dogs outside! Of course I’d left my rain jacket conveniently in the truck. I shopped a bit more and when I was ready to go the rain had diminished quite a bit. I went right next door to Bay Seafood and picked up our supper. I think I paid $44 for a dozen steamed crabs (6 with old bay and 6 with ‘rock salt’ or what sounded like that. The guy said our lips would blow up if we ate those, heh), a small fried clam strips, hushpuppies and onion rings.

When it was time for supper Max actually cried at having to eat crabs!!! Have I raised a weenie??!! It’s been so long since I’ve had them but I remembered all the steps to cleaning, and they were pretty good! They guy said they steam them and then sprinkle the seasonings on after, and you could taste that, but I enjoyed them. The crab boils we used to have in LA you boil them with lots of seasoning in the water so the meat is flavored through. And neither seasoning was hot, though there was a little heat. Jack was a trooper! He sat by me and I showed him what to do and he mostly did it himself. I saw him picking shells out of his mouth, so I’m hoping he didn’t swallow any. He ate his by himself and then I’d go through what was left on his plate and get the hard to get meat. Both boys ate 2 and Ted and I each ate 4. I think we’re gonna have to have crabs again a few times to get Max used to it.