I think the following picture of Remy best illustrates how much everyone needed a staycation over the holidays:IMG_0226

Of course, this was not during a 5 hour long car trip (she hasn’t fallen asleep on one of those bad boys for several years), just on the 10 minute ride to Elijah’s school. We often travel over holidays, but this year, we decided to hang out and relax, with very little on the agenda other than read, go to museums, and build the LEGO Death Star.

Before we cozied in for 2 weeks of no travel (and there were numerous blissful days where the car never left its parking spot), we ventured to Hawley and Wilkes-Barre for the beloved tree decorating tradition.

DSC_0269Can you see how amazing Ella is with her little cousins? She is going to be the best big sister in a few months!


DSC_0300This is actually a time-lapse video, not a photo. Elijah basically tended and watched the fire until his toes started to freeze. Little pyro.


Back to city life! A few days before Christmas, we brought home Remy’s class pet, Hammie. Joe is clearly thinking, “I don’t remember being part of the discussion about bringing a hamster home for the holidays.” Hammie turned out to be such a highlight of the holidays. The kids loved making mazes and villages for him, and they even happily helped me clean out his cage twice. I think they were trying to show how responsible they were in the hopes that we would get a hamster for a “permanent” pet. I have always wanted one of those relaxing walls with running water in my house, and I have to say: watching Hammie roll around in his hamster ball all over the first floor was an odd, but satisfying substitute.DSC_0337DSC_0379


Putting some of the final pieces on the Death Star. Our initial guess was that it would take us the whole vacation to finish it, but, thanks to task master Elijah, we were done with a week to spare.DSC_0373Nini and Pawpaw came on Christmas Eve, and we loved having them be part of our staycation too and took lots of notes to commemorate the occasion. Does anyone else’s kids do that? I literally have notebooks full of Remy’s “notes”.


We showed Nini and Pawpaw our favorite exhibits at the Franklin Institute.


We also found some inventive ways to get rid of excess energy since the kids wanted to stay in their pajamas and not go outside for as long as possible.

DSC_0405DSC_0424 DSC_0440 2

And we played with Hammie again….and again…

DSC_0433We closed our vacation with a trip to Franklin Fountain. Elijah looks slightly alarmed in this photo because the crushed pineapple was in danger of escaping the delicious confection that is the Maple Rag. Don’t worry-we managed to slurp all of it up and ended this lovely staycation on a sweet note.


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