Wednesday, June 23, 2010
- the local library is TINY. It's a one room library, which doesn't work very well with a 2 year old. The first time there the librarians even whispered at the front desk. The second time was actually really loud, so maybe we'll be okay. I guess it depends on the day. I might try braving downtown to check out the library there.
- there's at least one section of town - where the mall and lots of other shopping is - where you can't make left hand turns. You have to turn right in order to turn left. It's really frustrating, especially when you don't know exactly where you're going.
- Reading (as in Reading Railroad) is pronounced Red-ing. There is a town called Reading, we are in the Reading Stake, and in Philadelphia there is the Reading Terminal Market. Who would have thought I (along with most normal people) have been pronouncing it wrong all my life. I looked it up and we can blame in on the Brits. Apparently there's a town in England spelled Reading, pronounced Red-ing.
- there is no sales tax on clothing. Brent figured out that all "necessities" are not taxed - food, clothing, diapers, etc. It's quite nice. I guess that might mean we get slammed with income taxes, that's yet to be seen.
- the "DMV" is bizarre. They don't really have one. You go to the Driver's License Center to get your driver's license, fair enough. But to register your car you have to go to these random agencies, who do everything from insurance to car registration. I guess the nice thing is there is no long line to wait in, but it's still weird. It's also really hard and more expensive to register your car if you have a loan on it. Again, that's weird.
The house is 3 stories. The bottom level has the door to the garage, a storage closet under the stairs, and then a big room with the laundry room and another storage closet attached. Originally we were going to use the big room as a play room, but we changed our minds and made it the living room instead. It has worked out really nice. My biggest problem about having the playroom down there was that it feels so far away and both doors to the outside are down there, which made me uncomfortable. So, we changed the typical living room on the second floor into the playroom and the formal dining room into the office. It's all a little atypical, but it works nicely. The playroom is very well used. It is covered in toys daily, usually with trains. Derek is obsessed! We decided it was finally time to get a new dining room table, since we actually have somewhere to put it. It's so nice to have a table that fits all of us and the food, with plenty of room for more people. I LOVE the kitchen. It is so nice to have counter space and cupboards!! There are even cupboards that hardly have anything in them. It's great. It's nice having the pot rack as well. The owner left that here for us. The third floor has the bedrooms. The boys have their own rooms. It has worked out well. The master bedroom is spacious with a wonderfully large bathroom with separate shower and bath. I also LOVE having more than one bathroom again with counters, cupboards, and drawers. We love our house. It's so nice to have space again.
The owner, a guy in his mid-twenties or so, left several things for us that makes it even nicer. He left the bookshelves in the playroom, as well as some decorative shelves in the playroom and entryway, shelves in the storage room and garage, and an extra freezer in the garage. He also left handsoap and toilet paper in the bathrooms, which was really handy when we first got here without our stuff, plus a broom and mop, which I didn't think I'd use at first, but it's nice to have a broom upstairs. Plus, there's a security system included. I love all the colors of the walls in the house. The paint makes it even more homey. The only downside is that the owner had a dog, so we still find dog hair all the time, on all the floors. Oh well. It'll disappear eventually I hope.
We can get almost anywhere in 15 minutes or less. Brent works 10 minutes away. Target and grocery stores are also about 10 minutes. It takes 12 minutes to get to church. The mall is maybe 15. The furthest thing is Sam's Club, which is still less than 20. It's taken some getting used to figuring out where things are. I still sometimes get confused as to where I am when I go different places. Our ward is really spread out. It's nice being in a "normal" ward again. There are 40-50 kids in primary, less than 10 in nursery. The youth program is pretty small, which is unfortunate for babysitters. There are a lot of young families as well as a lot of older people. We were surprised to find that our ward is fairly transient. There are a lot of families here doing medical residencies, so they are just here for 3 years or so. We have met a lot of wonderful people.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
- Each president's face is as tall as the entire Great Sphinx of Egypt, measuring 60 feet from the chin to the top of the head.
- The president's noses are 20 feet long, each mouth 18 feet wide and the eyes are 11 feet across.
Needless to say, it is huge! Elliott had read about Mount Rushmore in a Flat Stanley book, so he was excited to see it as well.
View from the viewing platform.
View from the Presidential Trail.
The boys were good sports. Elliott did really well. Derek wasn't very interested in this visit and before we were done he had had enough.
After leaving Mount Rushmore we took a detour through Badlands National Park. For the most part we just drove through. We stopped at a couple of spots to see the view. It was spectacular. Badlands is one of the world's richest mammal fossil beds. It was interesting to see these huge formations out one side of the car and out the other side there were huge prairies. We even saw prairie dog settlements (I didn't get a picture of those). Pretty cool. Enjoy the view.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
After 9 days in the car, we finally said hello to our new home in Orefield, PA (just outside of Allentown). We arrived on Sunday afternoon and our stuff came on Tuesday. The rest of the week was spent unpacking. Brent was amazing in getting all the boxes unpacked so quickly. It is so nice to have a house again with lots of space, room for everything, and especially a washer, dryer, and dishwasher. Hooray! It's a great home. The landlord left lots of shelving in the garage and storage room, plus an extra freezer in the garage. It's so nice to have places to put things. We went to our new ward this past Sunday. It's a fairly small ward, but seems really friendly. It was nice going the day before a holiday - there was a ward picnic for Memorial Day. It was great to be able to go and meet even more people there. There is a family in the ward here for the summer for an internship with Air Products (where Brent will be working). There are several young families. We are looking forward to getting to know people better and making good friends here.
I'll post all about our cross-country adventures soon...