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Hershey and Harrisburg, Family and Friends

We are in my home state, Pensyl-tucky! Hooray!
I am posting a little late because our last show was on Monday :)

The train got in around 5-6pm last Monday--too late to go anywhere, to early to sleep--so I walked around the yard.
There are lots of snail shells here.

On Tuesday I did some cooking, then walked to a farmers market that Brian had mentioned.
To get there, the fastest way (without crossing live tracks) was to
climb up to this overpass and hop over the fence. Aah, the train life.

The market was kind of small, but they had everything...meat, cheeses, breads, canned goods, fresh produce,
flowers and herbs. I have enough bread for myself, but picked up a loaf of rye and a wedge of cheddar
for Rebecca (wardrobe), then got some veggies for myself.

When I bought this Boston Bibb lettuce, the vendor asked if I wanted the flower,
claiming that it's edible. I didn't take it because it looks like a carnation...and it is,
and they're edible, who knew! Not me!

After dropping my goods off at the train, I cleaned up and met my friend Trish and her man Brian for dinner.
Trish and I grew up on the same street; she's been my friend since we were infants!
We went to Brick City Bar & Grille, a trendy place downtown.
I enjoyed the food and REALLY enjoyed catching up with her! It's been too long!

Wednesday and Thursday shows went as normal.
I had a little time to scoot over to Chocolate World for lunch and dessert for the next two weeks, haha.

I may or may not have bought all this candy...

Friday was a one show day. It was rainy and I woke up late and very much enjoyed the extra time in bed.
After a late breakfast the weather cleared. I decided not to go to Hershey Park, having been there many times
before. Instead I hitched a ride with Deuce (drummer) over to Broad Street Market.

Good ol' PA Dutch shopping!
Along with the market staples (home-made/grown meats, cheese, produce, breads),
there was a selection of products that always remind me of home:
Lebanon bologna, scrapple, buckwheat honey, whoopie pies, canned bee pollen, blue birch beer,
chow chow, and more.

Mennonite women rolling pretzels:

I was well-behaved and only got a few grocery items that were needed.
I am traveling overland to Omaha this week, so it wouldn't be good to buy too much.

On Saturday my friend Tara came to the show with her sister Shannon.
We only got to meet up briefly before the show, but I had lots of fun talking Tara's ear off
about the circus. She's really enthusiastic and interested...her excitement made me excited haha!
Great to see you Tara! Next time let's do lunch!

(photo courtesy Shannon)

My friends Sarah and Scott came to a show on Sunday.
Again I only saw them briefly, but even a little time with friends is awesome.
They enjoyed the show, and brought me a HUGE bottle of Big Ben's Blue Birch Beer!
This soda is made by Catawissa Bottling Co., located near my hometown.
The taste brought back all kinds of childhood memories :) Thank you Sarah and Scott!

On Sunday, I got to bring the treats for Slick Sunday!
(Slick Sunday happens when there is no load out on a Sunday)
Lucky me, we were right next to Hershey Park and the Hershey Bake Shoppe!

And on Monday...my parents came to see the show!!!
They came to the train first with ten of their friends.
I got to show everyone my room, and answer questions about the train and the circus.
Uncle John was in the pie car, and was very gracious in allowing me to bring everyone inside,
answering questions and whatnot. Thank you Uncle John!
After that we went to the arena and walked through the animal compound.
Then everyone found their seats, in the section almost right behind me!
It was fun to have a 'cheering section'!

After the show we went to Houlihan's for dinner.
I think everyone had a good time. I really enjoyed having such a large group there,
and was proud to show my workplace to my family and friends :)

As I type this I'm at home.
Melissa (Production) has lent me her car. I'm staying with my family for a day, then driving out to Omaha.
It's a 16-18 hour drive, but that's ok! I've done it before!
It'll be nice change from the train.
And there are only five shows in Omaha! I'm SO excited to try out my new bike!!

This week was great!
In closing, some random photos!

Marks where our flats will be stored.

(photo courtesy Cindy, teacher)

A storm rolling in over the elephant compound at Giant Center.

(photo courtesy Bernadette, elephant handler)

The view from the dressing room this week.
Photo taken a few minutes before our opening day meeting, as people are warming up.