Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jake's 14th birthday

It seems like just yesterday, Brian and I were bringing Jake home from the hospital in a NY taxi...

Now here we are, 14 years later, driving him with 4 of his friends to Lancaster, Pa for an overnight excursion.  (PS--we're not the one's in the buggy)

The drive was so beautiful. (About an hour and 20 from our house).   Everytime I take a trip to Lancaster, I act like I've never seen Amish people before.  There's something about it that feels like I'm stepping back in time.  

For the past year, Jake's dream has been to have breakfast at Shady Maple Smorgasboard in Lancaster.  (Gotta love a guy that has high aspirations!)  Because the breakfast buffet ends at 10am, it made it more convenient for us to just drive up the night before and stay over rather than have everyone meet at our house early on Saturday morning.

I booked two for the boys and one for Brian and I.

This cozy fire in the lobby was what greeted us as we walked in.  I loved this hotel!  

The location was perfect! It was right smack dab in the middle of Amish country.  The view from our hotel window, in fact, was an Amish house with a buggy parked in front.  Look at the contrast between the red convertible car and the buggy behind it.

I ordered pizzas for the boys and after they ate, they went outside to play basketball for a while.  Thankfully, the weather was mild, so no one really needed a jacket.

They then spent the next few hours yucking it up in the pool...

and then spent the rest of the evening hanging out in their room playing strategic board games and eating snacks until around midnight...

                  The next morning, we headed over to Shady Maple for the breakfast extravaganza...

It was impossible to capture the magnitude of food that was available at this buffet.  I took a few pictures but looked like a nerdy tourist doing it.  In addition to the buffet spread, you could have any breakfast thing under the sun made to order...

                                          I think this was a picture of the first round

Evidence of the second...

And onto round 3...(made to order m&m pancakes)  
They all ended their meal with creamsicle slushies

Shady Maple has a ginormous gift shop, so we hobbled  walked downstairs to browse.  The boys had fun looking at all of the knicknack toys and gadgets.

                              Brian found this hilarious bumper sticker that had us all laughing...

On the way home, I couldn't resist taking an illegal action shot of an Amish buggy as we passed by...

Granny drove up from Butler to stay with the girls while we went to Lancaster.  When we got back, she and the girls had everything decorated for our family party...

                        which was, of course, Granny's traditional..."A Mexican Dinner"....

I only chose to keep this picture because it's good of Brian...(what's up with Reilly's evil glare and Jake's awkward tongue?)  

With 14 candles, "it almost looks like the pie is on fire".  (a quote from Reilly)
Jake is the person that made me an official mother...I have a tender spot in my heart for him., and am grateful for these past 14 years we've been able to share together.


  1. Oh how fun! I'm glad Jake's dream has been fulfilled:):) I love Reilly's face in those last pictures . Hehe.

  2. What a GREAT post!
    I CAN NOT BELIEVE he is 14? fantastic!
    The part of this post I love the most (okay just one part that I loved)--- that they played strategic board games at night- not video games.
    NOt that I am totally against video games, but dang, sometimes I think they are taking over the minds of all young men.
    What a great birthday celebration- impressive & fun & wish I could go there!

    Good job mom & dad.
    There is nothing in the world like the joy that comes from seeing our kids do good things, progress, grow & make it through all the tough times that come in the teenage years.