Last month I had the long-awaited opportunity to visit Ashley and her family in the far-away place known as Ephrata, PA. We lived next door to each other in our youth, and although youth is rapidly fading into our middle years, we are still close despite the miles between us.
So before I get maudlin, let's get on with the fun stuff. Below is Sheba, a sweet, lovable Labradoodle who belongs to Scott, her oldest son.
Not only is she adorable, she is smart too. We were sitting outside with her and she was demonstrating her ability to come, sit, lay down, etc. when Ashley told Michael to have her l-a-y-d-o-w-n for a treat (spelling it out). Sheba responded by laying down. We tried it again and she did it again. We told Scott later that Sheba could spell.
While Ashley is born and bred a Southern gal, she has taken great pride in finding fun and interesting things to do in her own backyard. She truly does bloom where she is planted. And speaking of blooms, aren't these pretty? This is a flower tree at Knoebels Amusement Park, about an hour or so from their house.
If you like groovin' to the oldies, the group singing here would be right up your alley, with such songs as Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Surfin' Safari and The Twist.
For a different kind of music, check out the old Wurlitzer Organ tapping out a lively beat.
What trip to an amusement park would be complete with a ride on good old wooden roller coaster? Well, it's not my cup of tea, but the boys enjoyed it. We all later enjoyed the Black Diamond ride through a haunted coal mine.
We capped off the adventure with a ride on the giant ferris wheel. It had been a very long time since I had ridden one, but it was fun and afforded us a great view of the park, and the surrounding countryside.
The next day we traveled to Strasburg to ride the steam train. It was a 45 minute journey through Amish country...literally through the cornfields. The engine puffed black smoke from it's coal fire and chugged along at a leisurely pace. Here you can see it at the station waiting to depart on it's next run.