Poconos 2016

Do you have one of those friends that months, even years might pass and then you see each other and it’s as though no time has gone by at all? Well last year Carlos and I visited my nursing school study partner and her husband in the Poconos. Despite my best intentions I hadn’t texted or emailed since her birthday in January. In May I got a message from my friend, D, inviting us back to the Poconos, this time to join her, her husband, their daughter, son-in-law, 2 grandchildren, and two very close friends of theirs who I have met a number of times. For about a second I almost let work stand in my way, and then I reminded myself of what a great time we had last year. Summer time is here so it was just Carlos and me. Orlando is working steadily now. He was laid off all winter and does not get any paid time off when he works. This is why we do long trips to Mozambique in the winter.

So Carlos and I hit the road to Pennsylvania. I love to travel any way I can, road trips, plane trips, train, you name it! We took our time, stopping whenever we felt like it. I took the longer route toward Albany rather than deal with I84 traffic through Connecticut. We were not pressed for time and it was a beautiful day.

Upon arriving my friend’s daughter showed us to our condo. It was a beautiful two bedroom condo with a screened in porch, open kitchen/living area, nice size bedrooms, and two huge bathrooms.

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Enjoying the cool morning with a cup of coffee on the screened in porch.

While waiting for D and the others I spent time with her daughter Ashley, her husband, their 2 year old son, and 5 month old baby girl. Ashley had just found out she was pregnant right before we saw her in the Poconos last year. I was so happy to finally meet and hold her beautiful daughter.

Soon D and her husband, and their friends arrived and instantly we just fell right back to where we left off almost a year ago. We gabbed and gabbed until we were all too tired to talk anymore.

Each morning Carlos and I would go for walks around Shawnee Village Resort. I didn’t do any running, but I really enjoyed the quality time in the morning with Carlos. I begin marathon training next week so there’s plenty of running to come. We walked and talked, saw deer, turkeys, and bunnies. Then we would pop over to D’s condo where the coffee was always brewing in the morning.

The first day we went on a 10 mile kayak trip down the Delaware River with D’s husband, Ashley, and her husband. It was a gorgeous sunny day perfect for kayaking. The trip took us about 4 hours. I have a sizable blister between my thumb and pointer finger from rowing and sunburned lower legs from the ride, but it was worth it. It was such a spectacular experience. The river was calm and peaceful. We only saw a few people out on the river and two bald eagles. Carlos and I took a double kayak. He jumped out more than a few times to swim. Towards the end our arms were exhausted, but we worked together and made it to the docking area after our friends. Carlos has done a week at a local kayak camp the last two summers. It was really awesome to see his confidence and ability in the kayak and on the river.

The next day we returned to Tree Ventures because D’s friends had not been before and Carlos was dying to climb in the trees. D, her husband, and I decided to offer moral support with our feet firmly planted on the ground. I barely made it through the beginners course last year. Quite honestly I really enjoyed watching all the climbers, mostly my own little daredevil. Because he was on his own he was technically not allowed to go on the more difficult courses. The employee assigned to the yellow course Carlos was on began chatting with me about how well Carlos was moving through the course. I let him know how disappointed Carlos was that he couldn’t tackle the blue or black course. Well it was a quiet day at the place, and the guy arranged for another employee to follow Carlos on the blue course. Carlos was ecstatic! He was patient and thoughtful as he worked he way along the course high in the sky. My legs were wobbly watching him, but he did an incredible job.

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At the end everyone but D’s husband and me zip lined. I had actually been walking around harnessed up with all intentions to zip line, but I left my sneakers in the car. There was a little mix up about who had the keys, and rather than wait for D’s friend to come down from the zip line I offered my zip to Carlos. He was thrilled to get two zips. I zip lined last year and while it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as the tree ropes course there is that moment when you have to jump off the platform that makes my heart sink into my stomach and my legs go all weak. I was just as happy to watch Carlos’ enormous smile as he flew in towards the platform.
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After Tree Ventures we had an afternoon reservation at Escape Poconos. Remember the game Clue? Well this is kind of like a life size version of the game only rather than solving a murder mystery you have to locate the key to get you out of the room by finding a series of clues planted throughout the scenario. We did the Poconos Room which looked like the living room of an old fishing cabin. After the woman gave us all of the instructions we tore up that room in search of clues. We found the key and made it out of the room in 49 minutes. It was such a blast! Teamwork, intelligence, and creativity were all required for success. These Escape rooms are popping up everywhere apparently. I discovered that there is actually one in a nearby town from where I live. I can’t wait to do it again. I highly recommend trying it if there is one nearby.

Carlos and I went out to find an ATM and along the way we couldn’t help but pull over when we saw this rather conspicuous chair on the side of the road overlooking a beautiful view of the area.
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Our last day in PA was a bit grey and overcast. After lounging about all morning, packing, and relaxing, we all decided to head up to Camelback Resort Mountain Adventures for a ride on the mountain coaster. Then we drove up the mountain to watch the crazy adventurous people start their ride on the 4000 ft Soaring Camel Twin Zip Flyers. We all agreed we will definitely maybe do it next year!

 

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View from where the Zip Flyers take off. They end beyond the water park you can see in the distance.

 

We said our goodbyes and hit the road. Since we would be driving through Connecticut during rush hour I opted for lesser traveled back roads. As a result we drove through some really scenic areas including the Barkhamstead Reservoir and the Saville Dam. I swerved right into the parking lot so we could enjoy the beautiful sight. I’m such a sucker for this aspect of road trips. I would rather go slowly home and keep moving along than to sit at a dead stop in traffic on the highway. This was definitely worth the detour!

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3 thoughts on “Poconos 2016

  1. What a great trip! Love that they let Carlos do the Blue course and did the extra work to make him happy but still keep him safe. I’d love to try one of those escape rooms, I have lots of friends who’ve said they’re fun.

  2. Funny, we just drove past Tree Ventures a few days ago on our trip to PA as well. Looks and sounds amazing! Carlos is so agile and athletic (no surprise, really). Sounds like a great trip! Love hearing about you taking “the road less travelled” – such opportunities for spontaneous scenic surprises! 🙂

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