Monday, May 19, 2008

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I'm taking a break from my normal postings to share with you the incredible weekend I had. It's not entirely food related, but I hope you enjoy it just the same.

I'm a very lucky individual. I grew up with two parents who loved each other and their children unconditionally. I can remember them trying to make sure they spent weekly quality time with the family. Every Friday night was "Family Night" in our house, and my parents would always come up with new ways to have fun and be together. We'd go bowling or out to dinner, or else we'd stay at home and have "Game Night," which was always a good time. Summers were probably my favorite, though, since it usually meant camping.

We hit a few places over the years, but none were more exciting than Knoebels. Just saying the name takes me back many many years to the fun I had growing up there. We always went with another family who had a daughter my age, and I can remember feeling so mature and grown-up when my parents would let us walk around the park by ourselves. And that's the type of park that Knoebels is. It's family-oriented, small, and meant to feel like you've stepped back in time.

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We went this weekend, taking my nephew, who is a very mature 13, and my niece, who is a 9. This is their second summer there, but they absolutely love it.

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There is no cost of admission. The rides are pay as you go, ranging from 90 cents (seriously!!) to $1.40 for most of the good ones. Or you can buy a "Ride-all-Day" handstamp. This weekend, the cost of the stamp was only $19. And it's not one of those parks that tries to hustle an already captive audience. Picnic lunches are allowed and encouraged. But should you desire a bite to eat, there is no shortage of cheap food options.

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When's the last time you saw a menu with full meals and hot sandwiches this cheap? Hand-formed burgers were only $4, and judging by the delight on both my father's and my nephew's faces, they must be incredibly tasty!

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I can still remember the year my best friend and I finally worked up the courage to go through the haunted house. The campy music and the creepy mannequins were enough to throw us straight into a fear frenzy. I went through it again this year, and it hasn't changed one blessed moment.

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I know many of you aren't anywhere near being close enough to go to Knoebels for the full experience and I don't intend for this post to be an ad campaign for them. Rather, it's moments like these that make me realize just how fun the small pleasures in life can be. Oftentimes, we're so focused on the future that we forget to take time to enjoy the present and remember the past. So even if you don't have the time to take yourself back to those places and events that were so much fun as a child, try to take a few moments to remember just how much you loved them.


NWJR said...

You'll never believe this, but I was talking with friends last night about taking a road trip to Knoebel's (we're only a few hours away).

It's a great place...and the family that owns it works hard to keep it that way. It's the largest free admission/free parking amusement park in the country, and it looks like something completely out of time. It's remarkable.

AND they have one of the best wooden coasters in the Northeast.

It really is a special place. Thanks for reminding me.

Anonymous said...

Wow can I relate to that! We have taken the kids a few times and it is a TOTAL walk down memory lane. The haunted house, the phoenix, the pool (which I never really liked but is still nostalgic), the merry-go-round w/ the golden ring ... I LOVE THAT PLACE!!! I wonder how we never ran into eachother as kids. :-) We should go together sometime.

Unknown said...

This post was enough to make me de-lurk. I'm a friend of one of your coworkers and she got me hooked on your blog about 2 years ago (love it by the way). I live in central pa, but have sadly never been to Knobels. Its safe to say that it is now on the TOP of my summer "go here now" list.

IHeartQuilting said...

I live in Southeastern PA, just north of Philly, and lots of folks I know around here go to Knoebels for camping and have fun. I've never been there but we may have to squeeze in a visit this summer!

Fiber said...

Cornelius - I love it. And I love that other people love it. Figures you would like it, since you're one of my favorite people!

Jillian - I know. As many summers that we spent there, it's surprising we haven't seen each other.

Amy - I'm glad you like 28 Cooks. Which coworker do you know? And yes, you completely need to put Knoebels on your summer list. You'll love it!

Mrs Grim - You most definitely need to make a trip to Knoebels. It's well worth the trip!

Stephanie said...

Hey there...Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness here.

Just wanted to check in and see if you ever got your Blogging by Mail package? I know it was sent, but never got a 'received' message from you.

I'm originally from NW PA, so I've never heard of Knoebels...but I wish I had. Sounds like a fun place!

Heather said...

I remember going to Knoebel's for my first grade class trip. We had a blast! Now that my DD is in first grade, maybe we should have a family visit there. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Anonymous said...

I love those restaurants. Those bring back such good memories.

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