Back in late October of last year, my family and I decided to visit my extended family in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania. My extended family which is most of my mother’s family which includes my grandma, three uncles and my aunt and all their families all live in a city about an hours drive from Philadelphia.
The state in all of it’s glory was actually where I spent almost my whole childhood. I moved to PA when I was two till I was fourteen. This place held a lot of good memories of time spent outside laying tag with my cousins and simply enjoying the passing of the seasons.
Since moving to Florida, I had deeply missed having different seasons and the one I had missed most of all was autumn. So for the first time since moving, we decided to visit our old home state during the best time of year.
Pennsylvania was so spectacular during this season, the farm lands and trees all glow with different autumnal colors and the crisp days were always clear and glorious.
Visiting my family was always exciting, especially since it had been awhile since I had seen some of them and it was great to finally catch up and chat about what had been going on in our lives.
The Tom Cat Cafe
A traditional with my aunt and her family, she told me they went to the cafe often together on the weekends and I was excited to join in with the tradition.
This breakfast cafe, vintage and dark, was filled with antique pictures of Elvis Presley and other famous old punk bands. On the tables, there was lots of Uno cards so you could put your phone down and interact with friends and family.
They specialize in huge pancakes with all sorts of different toppings. I got mine plain with a side of home fries, while my family got pancakes with chocolate chips and peanut butter. After getting a good look at other people’s pancakes, I suddenly wished I had gotten some cooler toppings.
Even without the cool toppings, the food was fantastic and there was no way I could finish even half of the pancake myself, which was good. I really enjoyed the dark vibe of this hipster breakfast cafe and I would definitely be back to have some more pancakes again.
My cousin Marlys and I are very close and we also share a love for social media, (She is a youtuber under the name Marlys Gee) so the first chance we got headed out with out parents to capture some seasonal pictures in the midst of sun down.
The air was cool, almost perfect like air conditioned weather and the sky was clear as ever casting a golden sun on golden leaves. Looking at all the trees and the small pond that I spent so much around when I was younger, I was full of amazement and very grateful for this small park and all of its beauty.
On Top Of The World
After some time at the park, our parents had to head off somewhere to run some errands so my cousin, sister and I decided to get in the car and head off for some adventure.
We headed to this place on top of a small mountain that overlooked the city where teenagers come to smoke week and hang out. We, on the other hand, went to take more photos for Instagram.
Overlooking the city below and beyond to the fields of Pennsylvania, I thought about my love for this state. PA was often thought of for the amount of Amish that lived here but I was thankful for them for owning lots of the farmland and preserving the beauty of this place.
Shocktoberfest is an annual haunted event that had been listed on many magazines and newspapers as one of the best scary places to visit.
Like I mentioned in last week’s post, because I lived in Florida and spent so much time in Halloween Horror Nights. I thought that the haunted houses at the event wouldn’t be that scary or real looking and I would simply have fun spending time with my family. However, what I encounter was one of the scariest things I’ve been through that it was comical.
Our group included my mom, dad, sister, cousin, aunt and two uncles and it was an absolute blast.
The first attraction was a typical haunted house, that feature pitch black rooms and lots of clowns. I held on to my cousin and sister so tight we lost sight of our other family members. From what I was told later, my big and tough uncle was all big and touch until he screamed like a little girl when he encountered a mirror reflecting his own reflection.
The next attraction was a prison that had been overtaken with jailers and/or crazy people. They took us to the area by a big bus that was really dark and scary.
Once we arrived and started the haunted house, or rather prison, it felt like it would never end. We were constantly getting chased in and out of rooms by psychopathic little girls, scary looking guys and it was hilarious.
Towards the end, just as I was exiting the house, I saw a figure fly past me screaming her lungs out which, I discovered quickly, was my mother. A person from the house was chasing her and I nearly fell to to the ground in hysteric laughter as she ran towards an open field to get away from the guy.
After that exciting event, we headed to participate in the zombie run where we got a belt with three flags. We were told we had to run to ensure none of our flags were taken by the “zombies” and we would be “dead” if we were left with no flags but we could steal flags from each other.
By the time the running began, it was nearly two in the morning, it was cold and we were all tired. Yet as I started to feel people surround me, I ran for my life. I didn’t run away afraid of the zombies but more for the people trying to steal flags.
At one point, I saw my uncle fly past me and then a second later I felt a large person ram into me causing me to fall to the ground to discover it was my uncle again falling down next to me. It was funny and painful and as the night wore on he caused my sister to fall down while my other uncle caused my aunt to crash as well.
*(They do make you sign a waiver for this event since it’s prone to have accidents.)
Although I left Shocktoberfest exhausted and with scrapes on my hand, I had so much fun and I couldn’t remember the last time I had laugh that hard. It was a great experience to have with my family and I couldn’t wait to do it again someday.
Even though it had been years since I’ve lived in PA, I looked back on my time there fondly and I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to visit during my favorite time of year.
Thank you for reading! Please be sure to leave a comment about your favorite season and place!