My family is originally from Canada. We had moved down to New Jersey the summary of 1996 which turned into my senior year of high school, and we have been here ever since. Each year my mom’s side of the family has a reunion that in years past have been difficult to attend due to college, work, etc. But the last few years since my daughter Hanna has been born I have wanted to make sure she gets to spend time with that side of the family we don’t get to see too often.
We made the 8 hour trip up to Ottawa and did some local sightseeing. Some of the places I hadn’t been to since I was a kid. My wife even treated me to a visit to my favorite museum as a kid the Natural History museum with all the dinosaurs. It seemed smaller than I remember, but really took me back and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Our trip to Canada was only for a few days over a weekend before we had to head back home for work. We attended the family BBQ and had a great time seeing everyone again. Hanna loved playing in the sand at the lake and really enjoyed all her cousins that are all about the same age.
Before we knew it the reunion was over and it was time to start heading home. My wife and I had taken a few extra days off so we didn’t have to rush back home. My parents weren’t so lucky and had to get up early on Monday to make the trip back to Jersey. We decided to go a little slower and cut through New York state and check out the finger lake regions. If you like small local wineries this is a great place to check out and visit for a few days. Now being the kind of penny collector I am I always have an ulterior motive for going to certain places and this was no exception. In Auburn, NY there was a Bass Pro Shop which is a chain of stores I have never been to. On previous trips elsewhere in the country I have checked out Cabela’s Sporting Goods stores which seem to be very similar, and there was supposed to be a penny machine here.
This place was amazing. Now I’m not a hunter or fisherman by any means but I could have spent the entire day in this store. They had everything from clothing, hot sauces, food, Barbecue equipment, boats, stuffed animals and even a huge fish tank. I’m not sure if you can try out the fishing equipment in the tank, but Hanna was mesmerized by the huge fish in the tank. We didn’t spend the whole day but at least an hour or two just wandering around. This place was so big I wasn’t sure if I had missed where the penny machine was and had almost given up. I did pick up a few small items to buy (some crazy Moonshine hot sauce was one item) and as I was going through the checkout line I saw the machine in the distance by the exit.
I took my usual picture of the machine and pressed the pennies while Hanna watched. I’m hoping one of these days she actually asks to try to use the machine. That would be a dream come true to a crazy collector such as myself. Anyways, the 4 designs pressed very nicely: Bass Pro Shop logo, Bass Pro Shop Fish, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Friends of the Montezuma.
As far as I know these Bass Pro Shops don’t exist in Jersey but I’ll have to look that up online later. We left and headed to our hotel near the south end of Cayuga Lake near Ithaca, NY. Trying to make our short vacation last as long as possible we enjoyed some room service and enjoyed some family time together. In the morning our trip back home was only a few hours which wasn’t too bad. Overall it was a nice way to get away from work and spend some time with family, and hunt for some new pennies.