Monday, October 31, 2016


Root canal and trick or treating - two things the Grubb family rarely does, thankfully!
The woods behind this parking lot were their playground.
They found a snake while mom watched from the building above.
Yesterday I woke up with a really bad toothache. I was extremely sensitive to my warm drink in the morning and couldn't talk all day because if I opened my mouth air would touch my front tooth causing overwhelming pain. So this morning I was able to talk to my dentist in California and he was able to help me find an endodontist in this area. (Thank you Dr Alley!)
I was so thankful to get an appointment today and be able to deal with the problem. The doctor had fun recalling memories from his childhood when his parents would take their four kids on trips around the United States to see historical places and national parks. He even said he didn't like it sometimes but is thankful  now. The dental assistant enjoyed recalling her days of being homeschooled in Canada. So it was fun to be able to identify with both of them on some level (in addition to my excitement at the prospect of leaving there pain-free.)
we had planned to move toward Philadelphia today and start exploring the city tomorrow. But endodontist office was closer to Philadelphia then the campground so we decided to look and see if there was anything mirror to Philadelphia. We were so excited to find something similar to the place we found in Chicago. The place is a parking lot for employees of the University of Pennsylvania hospital down the road. But they welcome RVs and even have electric and water hook ups and a dump station! So we get to stay right in the city with the option of not driving (and paying $10/hr for parking) and just taking public transportation to all the sites.
The gentleman who works at our parking lot/campground was able to point us to a neighborhood about 10 minutes away where we could enjoy trick-or-treating. So we gathered up some supplies to create costumes and headed out.
There were tons of kids out and it was such a fun neighborhood because all the people giving out candy were hanging out on their porches talking to each other and greeting trick-or-treaters as they went by.
We were only out for about an hour, but in that time small baskets and bags that we had with us were filled with candy. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hopewell Furnace and Daniel Boone

It is still a beautiful fall here!
Today we learned about the beginnings of industrialization at Hopewell Furnace.
In the cast house above, the waterwheel below turned moving Pistons which blow air into the furnace and kept it above 2800°!

Here at the bottom of the furnace, the first product of each batch would be white iron, lower quality finish but still very useful. (It was very useful during the American Revolution and on into the mid 1800s.) Next the gray iron came and that was used to cast nicer products. For example, Hopewell was famous for their furnaces.
All the people working the furnace would live here in a little village basically. And in the big house was the owner/manager.
The small national Park was very well laid out and had great explanations that introduced our family to a completely new subject, iron making. Each job, including the materials used and the part it played in the overall process, was represented in the re-created village.
This river is pronounced "skoogle". (Learning Pennsylvania-speak)
At the Daniel Boone Homestead, we enjoyed the little visitor center.

A video gave us an overview of Daniel Boone's life.
Outside there is a stone house that was built around the log cabin Daniel Boone grew up in. Actually the logs were also replaced with stone. So there is one made of stone that was the fireplace and Daniel Boone's log cabin that is still there in the basement of the newly built house. But this is the property where he was born and lived the first 15 years of his life.
Nevertheless, it was fun to find the birthplace dedicated to Daniel Boone and sharing his story. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Winter at Valley Forge

...And the next winter, the continental army was at...
But before we get to that...
We woke up in this beautiful place. Home for the weekend. 

Jo and I drove into town to this historic building - the post office. It was fancy and had a General Delivery window!
The postal service has a way for people like us to get mail. It's super old school. We haven't really needed it until now, but since we want to vote, we needed to get our ballots. My dad mailed them to us by general delivery. You can have mail sent to your name at "General Delivery" in "Anytown", USA. Then you just have to show ID to pick it up at the post office.  Usually, you stand in the regular line. But here in the olden days post office, there's a special window just for us! Ring bell for service and voila, now we get to vote! Thanks Dad!
Off to Valley Forge!
They have a great visitor center and movie. Then you can head out to see all the different parts of the encampment in person. 
Soldiers built themselves these "huts". It's said there were over 1000 of these and each took about 80 trees to construct the whole cabin and all its furnishings for 8-12 men to sleep. 

The kids played army all day. 

This was General Washington's headquarters. He was here!
We are so blessed to have this opportunity to better understand our past so we can be wiser stewards of our future. So thankful that the Lord has afforded us this opportunity!

Trenton, NJ - Capitol #23

This Capitol was right on a busy street with lots of other buildings close to it, so we took our photo from the back where we parked. 

Although we made it to NJ, like NY we intend to come back when we do NYC. So today was just a glimpse of the state. 
New Jersey's Capitol is unique in that you have to take a guided tour to visit. Thankfully, when we got there one was scheduled to start in 30 minutes. 
"Liberty and Prosperity"
Fiat justiatis ruat caelum: justice for all or the heavens will fall. I love the Latin everywhere. So now Kik says "if Fiat means 'for all' then I can have one, right?!" Using he Latin to his advantage to get a car. Haha. 

Our guide was impressed with the kids' questions. I was pleased to hear questions that made it sound like they've actually been learning quite a bit on the previous Capitol tours. 

Many capitols including New Jersey have red and green for their house and senate, modeled after England's parliament. 

After the Capitol, we visited the state museum next door. 
We enjoyed artwork. And played we were flying animals. 

We explored wildlife and dinosaurs and coastal creatures. 
There were even a couple fun science/technology displays. 
We had a fun but quick visit to the state house and we'll be back to see the rest of NJ in a bit.