Sunday, April 03, 2011

Day Trip - Philly

We LOVE Philadelphia! Jeff served his LDS mission here, so it holds a special place in his heart. We visited Philly and the surrounding area the first summer we were married - it was our first family vacation! We went back another time with Jeff's family when his brother got married here. Since moving out here we have been to Philly 5 times - yeah, we enjoy it. :) Here are some pictures of our most recent visit, which was back in February. We counted it as our Valentine's Date - only fitting to go to the city of brotherly love.

Our first stop was to the Italian market to pick up some delicious sesame bread. It is amazing! It comes in a long french bread-type loaf and is scrumptious. And it doesn't hurt that it's less than $2 a loaf. After that we walked a little ways to get a cheesesteak from the famous Pat's.

Here I am with my cheesesteak. It was okay, but Jeff and I couldn't help feeling like we were getting ripped off, considering that this cheesesteak was about twice the price of the ones we normally get (and quadruple the price of the $2 cheesesteaks Jeff got in the ghetto on his mission). However, it's one of those Philly things I had never done, so I'm glad I can check that off the list. After that we hopped in the car to go to our next activity.

Although there are definitely some gorgeous places in Philly, it definitely has the nickname "Filthadelphia" for a reason. Look at all that trash!

Okay, here we go - much prettier. The beautiful city skyline.

Here we are at the destination - the Philadelphia Masonic Temple. Jeff had been there before but I hadn't. They had some amazingly ornate and beautiful rooms.

After the Masonic temple we walked over to one of my all time favorite stores - Anthropologie! They are based out of Philadelphia, so I was very excited to see their flagship store and witness the clever, quirky, and beautiful decor they come up with.

Look at that clever cascade of, well, any guesses on what they are?


I also very much enjoyed these hanging lamp shade things made out of magazine pages folded into fortune teller things (please tell me you know what I'm talking about).

Jeff was so nice - he walked around the store with me and even let me buy something. After that we walked over to Paper Source, one of my other favorite stores. And after that it was off to the Philadelphia Art Museum, one of the other classic Philly sites I've never been to, other than running up the Rocky steps. :)

They had all sorts of neat displays in the museum. I really liked these tiles - they reminded me of the Minton tiles from the Capitol that I love so much.

I thought this light shade of aqua was lovely.

Jeff's favorite part of the museum is the armory. They have all sorts of armor for humans and animals. So fascinating! I can't believe people could actually walk around and fight in that heavy, heavy stuff.

This is a special helmet for soldiers with mullets. I mean, if you've taken the time to grow a mullet it's an investment you should protect, right? Just kidding, I made it up. But it would come in handy for those brave mullet wearers.

*Sigh* My own knight in shining armor. :)

This picture reminded us of the tree farm around Jerome in Idaho. I love seeing it on that drive, so I thought I'd post it here as a reminder of how much we love Idaho.

After the art museum we drove to Reading Terminal Market and got some sweets from a little Amish sweet shop there. After that we drove to meet up with our friends Jared and Chelsea so we could go out to dinner.

On the way there we saw this funny man on his bicycle. You'll notice a blue balloon under his right arm. He was waving it in the air to signal to his friend, also on a bicycle but a ways behind him. It was just so random and funny. We just continued driving on to Jared and Chelsea's place. As we were leaving, to make it even more random, we saw this guy and his friend ride right by their apartment! We got a kick out of it - there are some interesting people in the city.

After that we went out to dinner at an AMAZING Mexican restaurant called Distrito. Such a funky yet hip restaurant. They have a lucha libre theme, and it is painted bright pink inside! The food was yummy - honestly the best nachos I've ever had in my life! They have two types of Nachos, one is called "Ignacio" and the other is "Encarnacion,"referencing Nacho Libre for those of you who haven't seen it. We got the Encarnadion, and believe you me it definitely had us singing like Jack Black - incredible! You can believe we'll be getting those again!

After that is was back home again. It was such an amazing day! We definitely went "Ehlers style" as we call it, meaning we crammed tons of stuff in. Some people wouldn't call it vacation, but that's the way we roll and we love it.

One of my absolute favorite parts was simply holding hands with Jeff as we walked around. I loved our date and had so much fun spending a day in the city with him. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day Trip - Gettysburg and Lancaster

One of the best things about living on the East Coast is how close everything is. Weekends are a great time to take day trips to see the amazing sights that are just within a few hours of where we live. Last weekend we woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to drive a little north to see Gettysburg and Lancaster. We had a great time!

Our first stop was Gettysburg. We went to the visitors center there and watched a film about the battle that took place here. We also went to see this amazing cyclorama pictured below. It is a 360 degree painting done by an artist a long time ago, but they have updated it by adding a small light show and narration that makes you feel, to a small degree, like you are there in the battle of Gettysburg. Very cool!

After seeing the cyclorama we went to the museum they had there. I've been reading a biography on Abraham Lincoln (by David Herbert Donald) which I am enjoying very much. It's interesting to read and learn more about this incredible time in our nation's history, as well as have a greater grasp on the intricacies of the decision, politics, and people of the time. Another thing that helps is that I've been giving tours of the Capitol, which requires me to know at least something about history. :) The Capitol was being built and expanded during the Civil War period, so it's great to have that context, too.

One of my favorite parts of the museum was the American flags. The flag on the right was the Confederate flag and the one of the left was the Union flag. Notice that that Union flag includes 38 stars, one for each state including the states that had seceded. I love the faith the people had that the Union would stand, despite so many indicators to the contrary. Some people just wanted to let the South secede and start their own country - how grateful I am for leaders like Lincoln that had the courage and fortitude to sacrifice and fight to preserve the United States!

I LOVED this apron! 38 stars here as well. I think I may be making one of these for myself in the future. :)
Me and Honest Abe - what an incredible man! Interesting fact about Lincoln - did you know he kept his notes in his stovepipe hat?

After the museum we were off to the cemetery and battlefield.

One of the highlights for Jeff was going to the top of one of the observation towers in the area to get a better view of the land. He was so excited! One of the reasons was that being on the East Coast it is sometimes hard to get above the treeline and get a lay of the land. The other reason goes back to when Jeff visited Gettysburg with his family as a teenager. At the time Jeff really wanted to go the top of the observation tower but wasn't able (his parents were probably wondering how they would get all 6 kids up to the top!). So we joked about how Jeff had waited for this moment for 14 years, haha!

Here are some pictures of the cemetery where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address.

So cool to think the Lincoln was in this same spot!

After Gettysburg we headed east to Lancaster, PA to see the Amish. Being country kids we of course loved being in the wide, open spaces in farm country. Lancaster has definitely been commercialized some, but we still got to see some authentic Amish people, houses, and farms.

Gorgeous! At one point we saw an Amish man plowing his fields with a team of mules, while in the background there was a modern-day farmer in his tractor. Quite the contrast.

After a delicious homestyle buffet lunch and some shoo-fly pie we went to a few little shops in the area. One of these was "The Outhouse," a funny little souvenir shop. There were all sorts of fun things in there, as you'll see below.

Me and Jeffrey. But we're not the funny things. :)

This, on the other hand, was. They had all sorts of things like this around the shop. We may or may not have paid a quarter to get a view of the "man eating chicken."

I got a big kick out of the mirrors!

Itty bitty!

Not so itty bitty.

Speaking of mirrors, this was just a random bathroom mirror at the restaurant that made me look I have severely misproportioned hips.

After that we went on a journey to find some covered bridges. Jeff had found directions about how to get to 4 in the area. We drove through more beautiful countryside to get there.

I love East Coast houses! So classy.

Here's one of the bridges. I loved that it was red.

Here we are going through one. They are all narrow and one lane only. Going through these bridges took us back in time a bit.

And after that it was home again, home again, jiggity jog. Time together, fun filled explorations, tasty food (including this yummy whoopie pie), and even a stop at Wawa on the way home so Jeff could get one of the sandwiches he loves so much. Not to mention that we made it home in time to see Jimmer and the BYU gang win, putting them into the Sweet 16. That's what I call a good weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

belated birthday posts

Goodness - I have I really not posted on here since March? Shameful. Well, a lot has happened in our lives since then, some of which is posted on my other blog. One of those things is was my birthday back in May. The big 2-7 for me! It was fun to have friends over to play bocce ball and have a little celebration with ice cream and cake.

A couple of my gifts were either in the works or Jeff wanted me to pick them out for myself, so he made little paper representations of them. Oh, how I love when Jeff draws pictures. :)

What do you do when you don't have birthday candles? Strike a match and ask your friends to sing the Happy Birthday song quickly before your fingers get burned.

Our wonderful friends who joined in the festivities. Please note that I did not ask anyone to make a funny face, but it just kind of turned out that way anyway - haha.

Jeff entertaining the kids with a snow globe (did we really still have that out in May? Yikes!).

While we're on the topic of birthdays, Jeff just had his 28th birthday this past Sunday. I posted about it on my other blog, along with some awesome pictures of him blowing his candles out. Check them out here. I espcially like the one below. :)