Personal, Travel

Our First Family Vacation 2017

Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I was not compensated in any way for my post. I purchased all experiences and items mentioned with my own money.

Back in April of this year, we took our first-ever family vacation. Most families go to places like Florida, Hawaii, or anywhere else that is warm. We ended up going to Pennsylvania. Sure it’s only one state above us beings we live in Delaware but it was still a vacation nonetheless.

So why Pennsylvania? Well for many reasons. As a little girl, I remember taking trips up that way to Lancaster and places nearby to visit Amish friends of my grandparents and for yearly family reunions. My husband also happened to travel there with his family for vacations and whatnot. So we agreed it’d be the perfect spot to take our kids. Typically, after we arrived, we realized we could have treated the kids to a private charter, similar to those offered by Jettly, which would have really improved the experience! Oh well, still plenty of time to do that in the future.

Where We Stayed

The girls part of the hotel room. Spoiled much? πŸ˜›

We ended up staying at the Eden Resort in Lancaster. My husband had stayed here before with family and knew it would be a relaxing place for all of us. Sure enough, he was right. Our stay was perfect. The king-size bed we slept on felt like a cloud. We had fun swimming at the indoor pool and it was nice for our girls to meet other kids their age to talk to and play with. Housekeeping was on point. The room service was amazing. We ordered dinner one night to be sent to our room from Garfield’s and the food was DELICIOUS. We also had breakfast brought to our room one morning and it was yummy. Both of my girls say their favorite part about the time we spent here was the indoor pool. Of course, right? πŸ˜› I enjoyed the all-around experience. I’m happy to say that any future stays in the Lancaster area will be spent at Eden Resort. πŸ˜€

What We Did

Day 1 – April 17th, 2017

We left home around 9 and headed for Pennsylvania. We made one stop beforehand which was to Helen’s Sausage House in Smyrna, Delaware. I had heard great things over the years about them but had not had the chance to try them out. My husband wanted to change that, so that morning we grabbed a couple of sausage sandwiches, and OH MY GOD! They were sooo good. After we ate, we drove towards Lancaster and arrived around 11:30’ish.

Although it was rainy, the Lancaster landscape still looked beautiful.

Before we got to the hotel, we had to kill some time. Check-in there was at 3 PM so we made a few stops beforehand.

First, we stopped at Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf & Maze in Ronks, PA. I had only played mini golf one other time in my life, so it was an experience having to learn the ropes all over again. They have 2 different courses to choose from: Waterfall or Pirate Ship. We chose the Waterfall. We spent a good hour and a half here at the very least. There were several other small groups there playing both courses. We all did pretty well. It was interesting teaching our 5 year old how to play. She’ll learn in due time. It was worth what we paid for. They also have a maze that kids (or adults) can go into but we didn’t get the chance to try that out. Everyone was tired and wanted to sit. Haha. Maybe next time.


After we left there, we went to Park City Center which is a shopping mall in Lancaster, PA. Our youngest has been wanting to experience Build A Bear, so we stopped in there and let her pick out what she wanted. She was happy to FINALLY have the chance to experience it. We also grabbed lunch while we were here and checked out a few other places. We had a spur-of-the-moment idea to go see the Beauty and the Beast movie at a theater nearby but when we got there, all tickets had been sold out.

By that time, it was close to check-in time for us, so we headed back towards the hotel. We ended up going out to eat around dinner time but stayed in for the rest of the night.

Day 2 – April 18th, 2017

This day was all about trains. Our family has a general love for them so it ended up being a fun-filled day for all of us. First, we visited the Strasburg Rail Road in Ronks, PA, and rode on the train. We grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby place and ended up going to visit the Railroad Museum right across the street. It was an amazing experience being able to see trains from the 1800’s up until now. Of course, hours of walking leads to cranky kids, so we ended up checking out the Choo Choo Barn (which is right down the road from both the Strasburg Rail Road and Railroad Museum) before heading back to the hotel for the night. This was also the night we ordered in dinner. We wanted to visit the pool but it was closed for maintenance. πŸ™

Day 3 – April 19th, 2017

It was nice waking up on this day to a scrumptiously delicious breakfast that was delivered to our room. I had French Toast and Sausage. Nom nom. We ended up going to Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA. It’s supposed to be the biggest one on the East Coast, so I wanted to go and see what it was all about. It was a rainy and dreary day, so it was great that we ended up somewhere indoors for a few hours. We walked around, walked through the Aquarium area, looked at merchandise, got some pictures here and there, ate lunch at the place inside, fed the fishies, and ended up buying a few things. Would I go back? Probably not. That evening we decided to use the indoor pool at the hotel being it was finally open. It wasn’t too crowded which to me was a good thing.

Day 4 – April 20th, 2017

On this day we ended up going to the Indian Echo Caverns, Soda Jerk Diner, Hershey’s Chocolate World, and the Hershey Park Zoo. The caverns were breathtaking. Never had I experienced one before, so I wanted to mark it off my bucket list. Surprisingly both of my girls loved it too. Just make sure if you ever visit that you bring a light jacket. It can get a little cold down there. We had lunch at the Soda Jerk Diner which was good. Beings Hershey, PA was right down the road, we just headed that way and ended up at Hershey’s Chocolate World. Who doesn’t love chocolate, right? We watched the 4D movie they offer, did the free tour, and made sure to pick up some souvenirs before leaving. We had some time to kill and everyone wanted to do more, so we headed over to the zoo. It’s part of Hershey Park but at the time they were closed, so the zoo was the only option. We saw a variety of different animals. It was a great family experience. After we finished here, we finally headed back to the hotel. Because it was our last night, we decided to grab something to eat and then head to the pool. I finished off my night by sitting in the jacuzzi for a little bit. It was much needed.

Day 5 – April 21st, 2017

We got up early to pack up everything and were gone by 10 AM although check-out is 11 AM. I didn’t want to leave. I honestly teared up at the thought of having to. Who wants to go on vacation to get away from everything and everyone only to have to come home to it? It was nice being away from Delaware for 5 days. We stopped into the Disney store and Harley Davidson store before finally heading back to Delaware. Although our time at Eden Resort had come to a close, it didn’t mean our vacation was officially over. We stopped at the Christiana Mall in Christiana, DE, grabbed a bite to eat there, and finally saw Beauty and the Beast in 3D. πŸ˜€ Then we headed home and reality sunk in. πŸ™

Places We Ate At

  • CiCi’s
  • Red Robin
  • Golden Corral
  • Soda Jerk Diner
  • Garfield’s
  • Arthur’s Terrace


What We Drove

Hubby had the idea of renting a car for vacation so that everyone would be comfortable and so that we weren’t putting out so much money in gas. His truck is a gas guzzler. Not going to lie. Plus there’s no space really.

We ended up renting a vehicle from Enterprise. We were given a 2016 Hyundai Sonata Eco-Sport and let me just say this… I fell in love. If we ever get a new car, it’s going to be a Sonata. Smooth ride, easy on gas, and everyone was comfortable. Plus we all liked the features.

Overall Thoughts

I think it’s obvious to say that I had a great time and I still wish I didn’t have to come home. We are already planning for our 2018 vacation and have ideas of places to visit in mind. Yes, we’ll be going back to PA. Yes, we’ll be staying at Eden Resort. Where we end up will be saved for a post I write sometime in 2018. Hehe.

Have you ever vacationed in PA? If so, what was your favorite place? What other places do you recommend we visit?


Candid Mama


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