After five glorious months as digital nomads in southeast Asia and Australia we spent two weeks transiting the US from Asia to Europe.
We landed in Los Angeles from a pretty awesome but also kind of weird Hong Kong Airlines business class flight from Hong Kong.
But the reality was that we had flown half way around the world for a dance recital. And that dance recital was happening in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
So we hopped in a rental car and made our way to Palmyra, Pennsylvania where Lisa’s brother and parents live.
Palmyra and Hershey are neighboring towns in central Pennsylvania.
It’s about a 2-hour drive from Washington, DC to Palmyra/Hershey.
Since we were leaving for Berlin from Philadelphia at the end of our 2-week stint in the US we booked a one-way rental from DC to the Philadelphia airport.
Then we made the drive up US Route 15 that we had made countless times before to visit Lisa’s family.
Where to Stay
In the past when we visited Lisa’s family – especially over the Christmas holidays – we booked a homestay on booking.com or AirBnB.
But this time it was high season for Hershey Park. So everything was super-expensive…and we would be in the area for 5 nights.
So we decided to stay with Lisa’s parent.
We figured that since we would be dragging them to Europe with us for a couple of weeks it would be good practice!
Did You Really Fly Halfway Around the World for a Dance Recital?!?!
Yep. We did.
When we launched as digital nomads Lisa had one requirement: she would be at her niece/goddaughter’s dance recital.
And so we were.
Our niece is an amazing dancer with natural talent, grace and fluidity. She’s constantly throwing poses like this just for fun.
A few years ago she even took me under her wing and taught me first and second positions…or at least she TRIED to (and as you can see, she is a tough taskmaster!):
But mostly Lisa just loves her niece/goddaughter. A lot.
There is nothing Lisa wouldn’t do for her. Nothing.
When we arrived and walked in the door the two of them hugged for like 5 minutes!
The two are so close that it came as no surprise when we picked her niece up from school the next day and she was wearing a sweatshirt from Lisa’s alma mater.
And for Some Little League Baseball!
Lisa’s brother and his wife have a son, too.
And our nephew is freaking amazing.
Smartest kid you’ll ever meet. Like me, he’s a history buff. Especially military history. He and I went to the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg last year. We thought it was awesome.
He was as into Star Wars as I am…for a while. But sadly he seems to have cooled on it, saying he grew out of it.
But that does NOT make me a dork, and I have photographic evidence from a text exchange with him to prove it!!!
Now our nephew is now all about baseball where he specializes in first base.
Which makes sense given that he grew approximately a foot since the last time we saw him.
He was playing in TWO little league tournaments during our visit, so we were psyched for some baseball too!
The Dance Recital!
The big day arrived and it was time to watch our niece dance at the historic Hershey Theater!
She had 11 dances in the recital. ELEVEN!!!
See! Totally worth flying 17,000 miles for!!!! That’s VALUE, baby!
We settled in for the show. The Hershey, Pennsylvania Theater is gorgeous historic theater and a great place for a dance recital!
She was featured in one number where she performs an amazing leap onto another dancer’s back:
Then had a solo dance before the little ones joined her.
Later she did unplugged tap.
She was amazing. ELEVEN TIMES!
And earned a spotlight curtain call.
After the show we all got to tell her how proud we are.
Lisa loved it so much that she went the recital again the next evening.
There was plenty of baseball, too.
Our nephew plays on both a travel as well as a civic team. Lisa’s brother manages the civic team and pulls first base coach duties on the travel team.
We got to see our nephew make some amazing defensive stretch plays at first base. His height really is an advantage there.
And caught him on video grinding out this RBI ground ball.
I got to see 3 of the 4 games he played that weekend. And I was exhausted just from watching!
Oh, to be 12 again!
Hanging out in Palmyra, Pennsylvania
Since joining Lisa’s family I have learned to golf, bowl and shoot – all very popular activities in central Pennsylvania.
And I really enjoy two of the three!
Bowling hurts my thumb… but even so I still bowled with Lisa in Chiang Mai. She bowled well there. I hurt my thumb.
We didn’t get a chance to golf in Palmyra. But one afternoon we did have a family bar-b-que.
Where, naturally, target practice broke out.
I have become a pretty decent marksman over the past few years, much to my own surprise.
And I was pinging the hell out of aluminum squirrel targets!
Lisa griped a bit about the scope being off when her first few shots missed the mark. But before long she was pinging away herself.
Work and Play
Finally, being a digital nomad means work gets mixed in with play.
That was definitely the case in Palmyra. Literally.
We went to the local municipal pool twice to keep up with our swimming exercise regimen.
We were using the new Saucey Chic Weekender Tote Bag that Lisa designed and had sourced when we were living in Asia as our pool bag.
We suddenly realized: WAIT, this setting would make for some PERFECT lifestyle product photos!
So we took a bunch.
And have used them to market the bag on Amazon. Please check it out:
Bottom Line Hershey and Palmyra, Pennsylvania
Lisa really missed her family when we were in Asia. A lot.
So it was really, really good to spend plenty of time reconnecting with them.
And we got to see some amazing dancing and some awesome baseball.
Although she was sad to leave, that sadness was greatly mitigated by the fact that we had convinced her parents to join us for our first two weeks as digital nomads in Europe.
So we packed up our one-way rental car, put Lisa’s parents in the back seat and took off on the adventure of a lifetime…until we got a flat tire on the way to the airport. But that’s a story for another post!