Went to Steamtown NHS in Scranton, PA on Saturday.
Anna rode in a real steam-powered train and was very impressed.
I’ve wanted to visit Scranton for a long time. I love the TV series “The Office,” which supposedly took place in Scranton, PA. Judging from the TV show I’ve always thought that Scranton was this little town that ran out of steam in the second half of last century—like many other Pennsylvanian towns we’ve visited—after coal/steel/railway related jobs died out or moved away. I had imagined that Scranton was kind of a heavily-laundered version of Detroit—shrunk to a town’s size, bleached to lily white. I’ve even wanted to buy a shirt that read “Scranton” or “Dunder Mifflin” just so that I can show it off to my friends who also love “The Office.”
But I was wrong. The town turned out to be very likable. It has a Jesuit college with a beautiful campus on a hill on one side of town; it has an upscale downtown area with classic-looking, well-maintained, marble buildings and public greens.
On our way home we saw a road-side sign for a bed-n-breakfast, and thought we could spend a night there and go home on Sunday instead. So we ended up staying there, in Milford, PA, a quaint little town on the PA/NJ border. There is a pond in front of the hotel, and sitting on the deck watching the reflections in the water is just as fun as watching Anna running around the house.
The owner of the bed-and-breakfast also has a farm next to it, so Anna saw, for the first time in her life, live chickens.
The house was built in 1940 but very well maintained. It sits in the middle of acres of woods and grassland, and miles away from nearest town and traffic.
Had dinner at a local diner. Anna’s first time in a diner, and she didn’t mind all those wall decorations. Forget about McD. Diners are the quintessential American restaurants.
Early Sunday morning. Breakfast at the, well, bed-and-breakfast. Anna is pointing at a group of free-roaming geese in the yard.
Then some boat-paddling in the pond to work off those calories from breakfast.
And Anna got to ride a horse. No, not a pony. A real, full-size horse. And unlike her previous pony-rides, there was no one else waiting to ride the horse this time. So she rode, and rode, and rode, until finally she said, “I want to come down now.”
When she was riding I chatted with a few people on the farm. It turned out that one of them was a lawyer-turned-horse-trainer. One more career option for me, I guess, if law doesn’t work out.
So that was the weekend. This weekend, to the beach!