I'm only going to have a little to say tonight. I want to spend more time sorting through my pictures before I share our experience. For now I can tell you that if you are ever in western Pennsylvania, be sure to check out Lake Pymatuning. The cabin was the nicest out of the four parks we have visited. This was also our longest stay ever, four nights. The mattress in the room my husband and I shared was awful, but that's the price you pay for dirt-cheap accommodations. That was our little bit of 'roughing it'.
In my opinion, traveling off-season is definitely one of the highlights in our homeschooling lifestyle. However, I'm starting to think we'll need to take the boys on a 'real' vacation during the traditional time of year. Several of the places we visited were not running all of their attractions this late in the season. The boys complained a couple times that 'nothing is EVER open' when we visit. We reminded them that that was the trade off we had made to not have to deal with crowds. They weren't 100% sold on that line of reasoning. But when they were playing on the flight simulators at the science museum and didn't have to wait for it to be their turn, we tried to remind them what it would be like to wait for other kids to be finished and then to only be able to take a quick turn before someone else came along. They doubt it's as bad a we say, so we might just have to let them experience it to really make them understand.
But that's a lesson for another day.