Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trippin' to PA: Day 1 and Then Some

This past week, the HOchieS' took a road trip to PA.  It was an opportunity to spend some time with BH on his Summer break, and get some of America's history in.  As H1 says, it's good to learn about your country.

Really though it was truly all about little BH and H1 and I did not get to do Dutch Country Amish-inspired activities as we had hoped.

On the first day, there was mostly driving and before we got to the hotel, we went to the Choo Choo Barn.

The Choo Choo Barn is pretty famous in the world of miniature, model train displays, I gather.  Why, just last night I was surprised that after years of watching one of BH's favourite videos "I Love Toy Trains", I only just realized that displays from the Choo Choo Barn were used in the footage of that video.  You people have no idea what I'm on about, do you?

That's okay because I am not a train enthusiast myself.  How could I have known?! How could you? Maybe some of you are secretly trained in the arts of trains.... Train Ninjitsu, if you will.


Anyway, it was an impressive display - noisy toy trains, marching bands, a circus, a zoo, a house on fire, a symphony in the park and a snow capped mountain with snowboarders and skiers - were all there among many other things to marvel at.

While I may not be a train enthusiast, I do love toys and miniature toys at that and ever since I got my macro lens, I've experienced many a joy in taking photographs of toys.  They're my favourite subjects to try taking pictures of and had the Choo Choo Barn train display not been behind this huge protective glass enclosure (and rightly so), I would have gone more nuts than I did.

I still went nuts though, just so you know.

Scary mines and a discotheque? Gamma Radiation People?
I wouldn't stand so close to that bridge
Seems like fun, yeah? I didn't get to go on any ferris wheels...
I also did not see any marching bands...!
Where am I? Not in the audience.

Caused what? "He"?
Damned deer.
Snowy mountains? Ski lifts? This Choo Choo Barn is the sheetz.
Dancing techno elephants.
Hard-working peeps.
Hard-working hobos.
Fire? In the house, a fire.
Luckily, the fire department is right down the street.  H1 and I counted how long it took.  It took 10 seconds to get there.  As to how long it took the fire fighters to get out of the vehicle, well...let us just say it is a miracle anyone survived.
After "oo-ing" and "ahhh-ing" at a plastic replica of all of PA, we felt that we saw it all right there at the Choo Choo Barn and there was no need to further our trip.  So we went home.

Bwahaha.  Oh, no.  Just kidding.

But what I am not kidding about is the next shocking bit of information I have to impart.

Please take a moment to prepare yourself.


Starving, we made a decision to go to Cracker Barrel for lunch.

I had to go with the sampler.
Due to the fact that there is no easy way to ease you into the shock of the next bit of information I have to impart, I will just come out and say it: the food was actually very much decent.

Though they did fry the crap out of the okra.  What is wrong with them?
The mac and cheese may have been bordering on good.

Okay, it was good.  Alright? Pshaw.  There, I said it.

the apple cider was definitely good.
By the time we got to the hotel, it was near 4 p.m.  We made a failed attempt to go to Downtown Lancaster to visit the Central Market.  There was not enough time and the Market closed which ruined the rest of our trip because sadly, the Market is only open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  We stayed only until Thursday meaning we did not get Momma HOchie a soueveneir of a quilt.  And try as I might, I found nothing great to bring home to her.  Need I say that she was not pleased with us? It made H1 and I very, very sad.

Downtown Lancaster - a somewhat shady deal.  I saw lots of these.
There were nice buildings.
With Ye Olde Bed and Breakfast places.
A Theatre.  Ye Olde? Not sure.
Statues of Ye Olde people? yes, probably.
We did find the Creamery though and the trip was almost not for naught.  And let me tell you, that was some FINE tasting ice-cream.  It was fabulous actually and what I wouldn't give for another scoop of banana fudge ice-cream.  Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

Carmen & David - they know ice-cream.  Oh yes.
Do you? Do you really?
I can say for sure they did a great job making these flower cones out front.
And there you have it.  H1 says it was one of the best vanilla ice-cream cones she has ever eaten.
And I yummed up the banana fudge.  You only see fudge ripples but inside, were HUGE fudgey bits.  They were fabulous.
Luuuiiiissss had the fluffer-nutter on a pretzel cone.  I was told it was wonderful.
The rest of the evening was spent exploring our really great hotel room and hotel pools.  For dinner we had pizza from Sluggers and it was made of cheddar cheese.  I don't mind some cheddar cheese and while the pizza was loaded up with meat, I did not enjoy the taste of the sausages.  Perhaps this pizza needed the old time Mario's treatment - ketchup, mustard and some pepper sauce and the sausages replaced with awesome times hamburger meat.  The wings were alright but overall, that would be a 'no'. 

Choo Choo Barn and the Shops of Traintown
226 Gap Rd
Strasburg PA 17579

Carmen & David's Creamery
25 North Prince Street
Lancaster, Pa 17603

Fellow 3DS Cool Kids Met Via Streetpass at on Day 1 on 7/05/2011: None.  Cool Kids apparently do not hang out at the Choo Choo Barn or Downtown Lancaster.  But that is a lie because I was there.  Psh.


  1. I had a friend from ACA days that is from Lancaster PA. I think he still lives there too. Funny how much I know about it even though I have never been.

    That ice cream looks amazing, makes me want one.

    I was telling Aaron about the cheddar cheese on Mario's as well as the ketchup, mustard and pepper sauce for enhancement. He looked at me like I was strange haha ;)

  2. Had I known you knew someone, I could have gotten recommendations on where to eat! Ah well, perhaps there will be a next time.

    The ice-cream was amazing. I would go back to try some other flavours.

    Unfortunately, Mario's pizza no longer tastes like good times. Their pepper is still stellar though, so I'd go and take some of that and put it on my Royal Castle. Yum.

    wv: mialipa


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