Saturday, November 30, 2013

October, 2013... Sullivan County, PA

I'm so happy that my sister, Lisa, made me commit to spending a weekend up at my dads mountain house in Sullivan County, PA, while I was home - it's been years since I've been up there, and it seems like there's always some kind of festival or fair or something going on, no matter what time of year it is...

"Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, is a breathtakingly beautiful, entirely rural community in Northcentral Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains Region... Mountains and valleys, forests and farmlands are the terrain in Sullivan County's 478 total square miles including waterways...
Known as the 'Gem of the Endless Mountains," Sullivan County is a unique area with beautiful state parks (Rickettes Glen and Worlds End) breathtaking waterfalls, scenic vistas, small villages, natural lakes, quaint shops and a rich heritage that draws people to its region...
Whether graced by spring pastels, summer greens, autumn hues, or newly fallen winter snow, Sullivan County's mountains are profoundly beautiful..."

It really is beautiful there -

My dad's house is up there in a little borough called Dushore  - it only has one traffic light in the whole town and a population of 608 (according to the 2010 census)

          That's the pond back there

This is what I like to call our "murder shed," because it's kind of creepy looking.

                Kathy on the tractor

The house.... with a wood stove in the basement where they store all of the hunting and fishing gear, a pull-out couch, and these awesome slippers that I wanted to steal....

If anyone wants to get me a present, these are one of the things on my wish list. Just puttin it out there.

Upstairs has one bedroom with two beds, a full bathroom, a gigantic living room with another wood burning stove, poker table, two couches, TV, full kitchen, and lots of "trophies" on the wall. 

Photo courtesy of Kathy- @kathleendaqueen on Instagram

There's also a loft up there with another full bathroom and 6 or 7 beds .... and that's my idea of camping, right there. 
Especially when it's SO COLD -

I was seriously freezing for the majority of the time up there - I could've sworn that I saw snow flurries one morning.

Anyway- when the sun was out in the afternoon the weather wasn't too bad, and we did hit up a little autumn street fest and antique store in a cute little town called Wyalusing one day, and also a Harvest and Wine Festival at the Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock.

The Antique store was really cool- they always feel haunted to me when they're run out of an old, country house...

             Sanford and Son! Ha!

The Harvest and Wine Festival is an annual event hosted by the Rotary Club and has "more than a dozen Pennsylvanian wineries participating plus food, live entertainment, beer tasting, wine accessories, home wine-making supplies, and a wide variety of locally produced baked goods, cheeses, chocolates, maple syrup, honey, art, apparel, jewelry, handcrafted items and much more."


Kathy (where are your sunglasses?!) me, and Lisa.

On our way home from the festival, we stopped at my favorite little bar in Dushore- The Whistle Stop.
Kathy and I have a few good stories from there, back in the day, but I think I'm going to save "those kids of stories" for my future book, hehe. 

We just ordered some food to go and drank a few beers and shots of bourbon while we waited (not Lisa, of course, she was the voluntary DD for the weekend)

I'm note sure what my deal is here... aftertaste? 

Later that same night, we had a terrifying moment back at the cabin before we went back out....

Earlier in the day, I had seen a car driving down the street past the house....  it slowed down, backed up, then stopped for a minute or two and just sat there.
(The street I'm talking about is at least, like, 100 yards away from the house, and you have to be in a certain spot out there to see between some of the pine trees that block the house, and that's exactly where it stopped... in direct view of the house. It was odd)

So, later, after we had dinner and rested for a bit, we were getting ready to go find some redneck bar to hang out at.
Kathy and I went to go wait in the car while Lisa locked up the house, and while we were sitting there I noticed, through the passenger side mirror, headlights driving past the house... then backing up.... then coming down the driveway...

I think the conversation in the car went something like this...

-Carrie- "Shit, dude. I just saw a car start to drive by the house and then back up. I think they're coming down the driveway."

-Kathy- "Shut up. The same one from earlier?"

-Carrie- "Shit, man... I don't know.... They're definitely coming down the driveway, I see the headlights. Omg.. Omg. What do we do?"

-Kathy- "Get out if the car, now!"

And then we both simultaneously screamed at the top of our lungs like little girls and ran inside to tell Lisa what was going on.

By the time we managed to screatch out an explanation, we could see the headlights leaving the driveway and then we just stood around wondering if we had just saved ourselves from being part of some back-woods murder story.

We left a few minutes after waiting to make sure that they weren't coming back, and ended up behind the guys that it must have been in the driveway... I think they were just out spotting for deer- but they should have totally known that our driveway is private property, so it was still weird and scary.

Nothing too exciting happened at the bar we went to... I can't even remember the name of it, but we did listen to this guy talk for a while -

I forget where he was from, but there are a lot of out-of-state guys up there now who all work for the gas companies that are tying to find new sources of natural gas up that way... They do fracking work and they're known as "gasholes" because they spend their nights off at the local bars trying to sweet talk all the girls up there. (It's true- I totally read something about how the crime and STD rates go up significantly in all the towns these guys go to work in for a few months at a time)

That was our last night there, and on our way home the next day we stopped at my other sisters house so I could say hi to her and my brother-in-law, and my neice and nephew (this was after stopping to see Tiffany, but I put those pics in the last post since I was talking about seeing friends)

An hour wasn't enough time with them, so I went back the next day for a bit longer and brought their presents with me. (You can't go a year and a half without seeing your niece and nephew and not bring presents. Common knowledge) 

It still wasn't enough time with them- I need to convince my sister to send them to me for a few weeks in the summer..

                   Gage and Loki

Shaye and Gage, sporting their new Lucha libre masks from Playa del Carmen 

Shaye in her pretty, new, "UnBelizable" dress from San Pedro. 

                 Out for ice cream

                   My monkies <3

Awww, I miss them now!

I only have one more post about my visit to the States left- Philly!
It should be a quick one since I only spent one night there... Will this be a 2-blog kind of day?! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

October 2013... Bucks County, PA!

I finally made it back "home" to Bucks County, PA after the three nights I spent with Heather and Kathy in North Carolina (last post)
I hadn't been home in a year and a half... but it really didn't feel like it was that long.
Why is that?

Anyway, the first people I caught up with - the most important people - were my parents. (And my brother, by default, because he was there, too)

              Kathy with my brother

                 Kathy with my dad

      Me with my dad AND my brother

My mom didn't want her picture taken that day because she wasn't happy with her hair- and I totally forgot to try again a other day..
I don't mean to be an awful daughter...
Public apology- sorry, mama! I love you!

My brother went for a walk with me one day back to our stomping grounds- "the fountain." It's private land, owned by the water company, behind the cornfield in my parents neighborhood- we used to meet up with friends from other surrounding neighborhoods back there, go sledding down the big hill in the winter time, and ice skate on the reservoir when it used to get cold enough to freeze over.

    Pine tree lined path behind the corn

I remember when these trees were SO small!

The fountain from the top of the hill we used to sled down

I forced Kyle to pose for a few selfies with me. What a good brother :)

The path from one side of the reservoir to the other...

            The fountains close-up

         The corn is tall.... Inside joke.

     Always such a rebel, I'll stand where I want!

My parents house. Tons of great memories!

One of my favorite nights home was the night a few of us met up in New Hope, a cute little, artsy town that sits on the banks of the Delaware River. My friend Ali was bartending at a great little bar/nightclub/venue called John and Peter's. .... 

Isn't she rad? I love that girl.
If you ever find yourself in New Hope, PA (super cute touristy town, go visit) you need to stop in and say hi to Ali. Tell her I sent you, she'll love it.

More of the crew- Eric, Kathy getting her boob grabbed by Fiona, Melissa, Rachael, and Ali.
I think there were a few others that didn't make it into the picture- like Cory, a guy that I had met in San Pedro while he was on vacation a few months ago- he lives in Lambertville, NJ, which is right across the bridge from New Hope, and he came over to say hi.

         Kathy, ready to go home

Being pretty with Rachael after a few adult beverages.

Chillin at Kathy's with Eric when we finally made it home.

            We're pretty awesome.

While I was home, I got to meet some of my friends kids for the first time! 

I went to see my friend Kim and met her super adorable baby, Bane, and Rachael brought her super cute kid, Steven over to say hi.

         Baby Bane and little Steven

Bane made gross noises while he was chillin on me.... but I still love him!

Kim cut my messy bangs for me while I was there, too. They looked cute in PA, but all they want to do in Belize is be a frizzy, unmanageable mess.

                        Cute, eh?

My next post is going to be about my visit up to Sullivan County, PA, where my dad has his mountain house, but since I'm talking about meeting children of my friends.... I got to see one of my oldest friends, Tiffany, while I was up that way and meet her kids, too. 
She had her oldest, Jonathan, right after high school, so I knew him when he was a little munchkin, but I met Riley Grace and Patrick for the first time. 

   Me and Kathy with the three of them

                    And with Tiff!!

While I was going through all of the stuff I have packed away at my parents and sisters house, I found Blumps!! He's an awesome stuffed animal that I've had since I was probably 4 or 5 years old, and he got to come out with us a few nights..


Kathy with Blumps, Eric, and our friend Huff, out at a bar in Southampton, PA, called Steam Pub

Me and Kathy with Blumps, somewhere

I spent one afternoon having lunch with one of my cousins (Bobby) and his wife, Patty

 Seriously, ONE cousin out of over 40, made time to see me! No wonder he's one of my favorites ;)

Aaaand I spent an afternoon with Kathy on her lunch break going up to the Shrine of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. I don't know much about the history of it, but it's a cool place to check out.

   I love all the stained glass at this place 

Well.... Other than a few family dinners and a couple of more visits to random bars that I used to drink at, I think that pretty much covers the Bucks County portion of my visit. 

                     We love us

          Oh, that's us with Britton

Ok. So that's it!
In the next post I'll tell you about and share pics from my visit to Sullivan County and time with my sisters.
Then, Philly, Tulum, Corozal, and Costa Rica!