The sadness of leaving the Cape was tempered by the knowledge that we had a fun visit to Nana’s before heading back to Philly. The drive is always loooooong, but we arrived in time to be reunited with Harvey and play around before dark and to start a fire (Elijah’s fave pastime)!
The next morning we drove up to Scranton to meet Pop and Ella and take the infamous Anthracite County Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, one of those activities I have filed under “Things You Never Knew Existed Until You Dated/Married Someone from NEPA”. Joe and I went on the tour once many years ago, but we thought the kids might enjoy it. It is so interesting to hear about the history of the area and about these coal mines, which provided the livelihood for so many of the area’s residents. It’s pretty trippy because you go fairly far down underground-it’s not exactly the best activity for people who are claustrophobic. You learn all sorts of random factoids about the coal and how it was removed (and how dangerous the process was), and really it makes you so thankful that you don’t work in a mine. It was so dark down there when the mines were actually functioning, and little kids as well as adults were down there all day basically. Afterwards, we had a picnic lunch and played at the awesome playground located right near the coal mine tour. Then it was back for s’mores, fires, and hanging out with the chickens in their palatial spread. After bidding the mountain goodbye, we were happy to finally head back in Philly and quickly got back to our old tricks: dress up, baking, snuggling with pink blankie and reading our very first “real” book all the way through all by ourselves. A few days later, Elijah passed his swim test, which he has worked so hard for all summer. Everyone who passes gets a special ankle band, and he kept admiring his band and talking about it. He never takes it off, and I love that he gets a little thrill every time he looks at it. Next up, a visit from our favorite cousin Ella!!!