Day 8 – Pennsylvania (Part 2)

We started our day out by taking it easy and hanging out. I finished up some schoolwork because I’m also attempting to do the first 4 weeks of an 8 week term of one of my Bachelors classes while on the road, as I couldn’t take this term off or it would put my financial aid at risk. I worked on getting caught up on our trip blog and Zach watched train and lightning videos and some Spongebob. It was nice to go at a leisurely pace for a morning.

I had planned to take Zach on the New Hope train right above Philly, but when I went to make the reservations online, I found out that they were only running on weekends and it was Thursday. My sister in law told me about the Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad not far from her, so I looked it up and called to make sure they were running on Thursday so made the drive west for a bit to go on his 5th train ride of this trip.

If you live in the area or are visiting and want to ride the Regular Train Ride that is advertised on their site, it will tell you that it only runs on Saturdays and Sundays, but you can still go to the calendar and book for Thursdays, as well. I called ahead to find out what was going on and was told that someone had yet to update the site and that they were open for train rides at noon and 1:30 pm daily.

There were only 6 passengers on the train when we rode it, including Zach and me. I can only assume that they aren’t booked up on Thursdays because the site is confusing by saying it only runs on the weekend. It was nice only having 6 passengers, though. We got our pick of seats and that meant that Zach didn’t have to worry about not getting a window seat.

The ride took us an hour round trip along the Swatara Creek with the conductor giving us narration of the history of the area and the railroad.  It’s an 11 mile round trip and the conductor, engineer and the concession attendant were amazing! They were free to answer questions all along the ride back after the narration had been done.

There’s a cute gift shop inside the circa 1891 station with all sorts of train paraphernalia. On the train is a concession stand so that you can get cold drinks and snacks. Wendell, the concession stand attendant, is a sweet older gentleman that will talk to you about the railroad, anything about trains, and local history.

After we left the railroad, we drove to Philly and stayed with my dear friend, Amy. We had a house of 6 kids (including Zach) for the night and did pizza for dinner, because who doesn’t love pizza? Amy’s yard was lit up like a Christmas tree with fireflies so Zach was in his glory with catching them. He made a little habitat in his jar and then brought them inside to take a video to share. Enjoy….and there’s more pictures below the video.

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