Bitter Sweet….

 I love this time of the year when the days go on and on and on. It is always light and you have an extra sense of energy to keep going. This time of the year is also the official ‘travelling’ time. The past weekend was a long weekend, Monday being a holiday and all, so we decided to meet up with my sister-in-law’s family. They live in Boston, and even though we feel that the distance between India and here is huge, sometimes cities within the USA pose a much bigger problem. Every year we scrounge and save all our vacation for that coveted India trip, that the local travelling gets shot. Anyways, they hadn’t met Little A in close to a year, so we decided to meet up midway. The place was New Holland, Pennsylvania.

I have to dedicate a paragraph this utmost gorgeous city. We rented a 3 bedroom house and it was located in the most beautiful, lush green farms. There was a horse training course being the house, and it was full working farm. With beautiful flowers, a kid’s play area, an area with goats it was a perfect set up for one relaxing weekend. This place is located in the Amish settlements and to be there and observe their self sufficiency was an experience in itself. They grow their own food, make their own clothes, practice bartering and it is just so quiet and peaceful out there. Here are some pictures of the absolute beauty…

Our first day was spent mostly on just enjoying the day. We stayed at the house mostly, with everyone gathered around Little A constantly asking him to say this, do that….while he quickly learnt who to use for what things. The little manipulator that he is, he would constantly ‘complain’ about ‘Thatha’ (granddad) by saying “Thatha noo, thatha noo”(followed by shaking his head noo) if thatha tries to tease him or carry him, but at the same time, if he wants something on the computer or needs to be carried out he would run straight to him. He enjoyed the slide outside, and with the help of his cousins and aunt he would climb up and slide down (we did miss his athimber!!!). Nothing was more precious that day than his cute laughter!!

We took a drive to a nearby farm to get some ice-cream however the farm store had closed, however we did have one of the most interesting experiences of our trip. While we were walking there and looking at the dairy farm (I am still debating my feeling over the cows being tied in, though I argued with Ajit last night on why it is okay) we saw Mr. Peacock….YESS!!! A real one…I screamed like a kid, because I love that bird. With all our shouting Little A started going ‘Peacock, Peacock…’ non-stop. He offered the bird his cracker which I thought was mighty cute. Little A enjoyed the bird sighting and after we did enough screaming and shouting and scared the bird away, we headed back home.

Now let us come to the title of the Blog. As many of you would know Hershey is famous for its chocolates and originally our idea was to meet at Hershey and do the chocolate factory tour etc. New Holland is about 40 minutes from Hershey, PA. Ajit and I debated all the time whether or not to take Little A, since he cannot have any. Anyways on Sunday, the second day of our stay we did head out to Hershey and I had taken all the backup I could- Little A- friendly Oreo type cookies, chocolate chip cookies and chocolates and hoped for the best. The tour was fun, a 9 minute ride through the various stages of the chocolate making process. We were seated in a car like thing that moved us to the various stations. There were cows singing at occasional points which was Little A all bright eyed and giggly and he was in awe. Halfway through the tour, seeing all the Kit Kat’s, Crunches and Kisses being boxed I got all teary –eyed. I just could not swallow, because the thought that my excited little minion would not be able to eat any it made it BITTER for me. Ajit noticed in time and gave the reassuring hug that he always does to help me get through those kinds of moments. At the end of the tour was a cow with a Camera and we posed for our group picture and purchased it too-…Little A all bug eyed!!

People were hurrying up and down loading up on the chocolates and cookies and it made it all the more harder for me. But there was something that turned this moment over for me. I noticed this huge heart shaped balloon on the counter and I ran to Ajit, as I normally do who was buying chocolates for the others and asked him to find out if they would sell that balloon. And luckily they DID. It was $1. I think the best buck we ever spent. The meeting of the balloon and Little A was….wait for it….LEGENDARY!!! LOL..(Those who watch how I met your mother would get this reference). The pictures speak for it. He could not stop giggling and laughing. He would watch it in awe as I let it go up and he would fall backwards laughing. He did circles, he jumped, and he hopped all in joy of that balloon. I thought at that moment that maybe the best thing I can teach him is these simple pleasures in life, and that chocolate is not everything. I do know it is easier said than done (since I at one point felt chocolate is everything …:):))…but I feel a happy life is nothing but a lot of simple yet happy memories strung together. The $1 experience made it SWEET for me!!

We continued with the rest of the day with a visit to Adventure world – with mini golf, bumper boats which was just too much fun and go karting. The evening came to an end with a meeting with a college friend of Ajit and his wife. Little A did good with them and though the menu hunting for Little A proved hard we could come up with something for him to eat, and even then half of that ended on the floor. 

 All in all a wonderful and perfect trip- family time is the best and that is what this trip was about. BITTER-SWEET is what it was all about, and I think it is what everything is about. I see him and try my best to see things that I can provide to make him happy…the taste of the chocolate is but for a minute, but I am sure all of you would like the know the balloon made it safely home and is still a source of some mighty cute laughter!!!!!

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