Dec 122011

This past weekend, we did a quick trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to get some holiday shopping completed and get into the holiday spirit. It turned out to be a great trip—just what I needed, really—though it was not without a few bumps.

Things started with an early breakfast at home on Saturday morning, which quickly deteriorated into a holiday gift-buying panic. We had intentionally left a chunk of the shopping for this trip, but suddenly lamented that we’d left too much to possibly finish. But, once we inventoried what we had, and made a list for what we didn’t, we realized it wasn’t too bad. A bit behind schedule, we headed on our way!

Since we were behind schedule, we opted to start with lunch (soup, salad, and bread sticks FTW). Bellies full, we hit the Rockvale Outlets with a vengeance. Within a few hours, we’d gotten most of the scheduled shopping completed! Satisfied we’d be able to complete things on Sunday (and since it was getting late), we headed to check in at the Hilton Garden Inn. (I’d won a free night certificate via their Facebook page, which is part of what precipitated this trip.)

I believe they put us in an upgraded room at the hotel, since we had a vaulted ceiling (they appear to only have four such rooms). The room was nice, the staff super-friendly, and of course, we couldn’t beat the price. A quick change, and we were off to dinner!

We went to Lemon Grass Thai, as it’s extremely convenient, and we’d enjoyed it before. The food was still great (Gina had a noodle soup, I opted for a chicken and shrimp with cashew special) … the service, however, was atrocious. I’ve never had a waiter apologize so many times (bringing stuff late, forgetting stuff). The topper, however, was the end of the meal: We were running a little early. I paid the check, and went to use the restroom before leaving, while Gina remained at the table sipping the last of her ginger tea. The waiter came by, asked if she was leaving, she said she was just waiting for me. He then informed her that if she was leaving, he had to take her tea. Ugh!

Whatever. We chalked it up to him being the owner’s son or something (he was clearly a kid), and the food was still really good… we may just not return. It was (and is), however, extremely convenient to our next stop: the American Music Theatre, where we saw the 2011 Christmas Show. Good way to get into the Christmas spirit: outstanding musicians, good singers, decent dancers. They threaded a plot through part of it, got a little preachy at times, but it was basically just two hours of well-done, enjoyable Christmas music!

On Sunday, we made a Target stop for more gifts, hit Five Guys for lunch, then returned to the Rockvale Outlets. This time we split up, shopping for each other. After, we headed home for a snackish dinner and some Christmas specials on the tube. Overall, a fun and relaxing little trip!

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