A happy Immichan and her Da-da out on an early evening date.
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Rolled down to D.C. tonight to drop Kyoko off to meet up with her sister Junko at Teasim. I got an Immi for the evening and went over to my best friend Lex’s place in the hood. Alexis is great with kids, and Immi loved hanging out with her. The Immi-chan tried to pull the hoops out of Lex’s ears and was tugging on her red hair a bit.
Lex’s boyfriend John plays in a band called Vagus and he has picked up many bad habits from the road and the mobs of rabid groupies. He wasted no time teaching my daughter how to hold a beer bottle and down a brewsky or two…this photo is totally classic!
Behold A Possessed Budweiser Immi
Imogen was also having fun pulling on John’s hair, come to think of it she enjoys pulling on everybody’s hair!
Immisaurus Rex Wrecking Hair-dos Everywhere
John was really good with Immi too. I think she was thoroughly entertained and liked learning a few bad habits from her would-be rockstar Uncle Jonny!
We hit the road on Friday night and arrived in Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania late that evening. It was Imogen’s first summer vacation and visit to Mt. Gretna, the first time that my Uncle Charlie, Aunt Marla, and Cousin Alisa got to meet Immi. My family there adored Immi and I was so glad that they had some free time and an open space at the cottage next door to their house for us to come and stay. They got the Immster a really soft fluffy white matching bunny, pillow and blanket. Here is a picture of Calvert Cottage, the house we stayed in:
We had lots of fun strolling Immi all over Gretna, she loved looking at all of the trees and would frequently fall asleep in her stroller even though it can be a bit bumpy on the paths there. Some of the local children had built a little Fairy Garden in the forest off of Penn Ave. It had tiny benches, butterflies, gnomes, fairy statues, wind chimes and a book where the kids write to all of the fairies that live there in the garden. Immi liked hanging out there quite a bit.
When we were strolling Immi through the town we found a house that had the funniest sign on the front porch:
You know in those small towns like Mount Gretna you really have to be super careful of “Pickpockets and Loose Women!” NOT. We strolled Imogen all the way across town and down to the the Gretna Roller Rink:
We went to Le Sorelle Porch & Pantry for breakfast in the mornings, and would go down to The Jiggershop to get delicious milk shakes and ice cream sundaes in the evenings. Kyoko has a real sweet tooth for chocolate and ice cream so I think she liked the J-Shop quite a bit.
We had dinner practically every night with the family and sometimes family friends too. It was so nice to hang out, relax, catch up and talk for hours. The Gretna Theater had a bunch of summer productions going on and we could hear them performing in the background because the Theater is just a block down the street from Charlie’s house on Pennsylvania Ave.
We drove to the neighboring town of Lititz, hung out in Cafe Chocolate and at another cafe called Spill The Beans. Kyoko, Immi and I really loved Cafe Chocolate, the owner is an awesome woman and I hope that she opens more Cafes near where we live sometime soon. Her cafe reminded us of some of our favorite coffee houses down in C-Ville. The food at Cafe Chocolate was perfectly portioned, lean and very tasty. If we lived in or near Lititz we would probably hang out there every day, it is just a great place to go and be…it has a very good atmosphere. Since we were in Lititz, I drove by Linden Hall and showed Kyoko where my cousin Alisa went to boarding school.
Alisa took me on a great ride mountain biking over Governor Dick and we all went over to the beach (the lake at Mt. Gretna). Alisa and her friend Katie hammered my Uncle, Dave and I at some serious volleyball…but it was lots of fun, not to mention a good work out. Here is a picture of Immi hanging out on the front porch of my Uncles house the couch/bed made entirely by hand from vines and branches:
Since we were able to stay an extra day or two in Gretna, we decided to hop over another nearby town Annville. We stopped by the Allen Theatre & MJ’s Coffehouse a historic old vintage movie place that has been restored. MJ’s Coffeehouse is attached to the Allen Theatre and has pretty good food, coffee, ice cream and killer popcorn. We had lunch and poked around the town but it was pretty hot that day and Immi didn’t like the theatre much…she probably thought that it was haunted or something.
This is what the houses in Mt. Gretna look like:
This is what the streets in Mt. Gretna look like:
You can check out the unofficial Mt. Gretna Website if you want to learn and see more about what Gretna is like.