Lancaster, Pennsylvannia

After dropping my wife off at the airport we decided to do a little more exploring. We were actually on a mission to find some Amish pieces to bring home. We decided to head to Lancaster, PA, which has one of the largest Amish populations in the area. DSC02290

While we were in Lancaster doing some looking around we met a friendly lady who told us to go check out the Red Caboose Motel and possibly meet Caleb or John Schmucker from Amish Mafia. We just missed Caleb, but John was out with a buggy, so I was able to meet him and get a picture when he came back. DSC02354

Me hitching up to the buggy. John said,”Oh look we have a new horse!”DSC02371 DSC02379 DSC02388IMG_8111










Me and John Schmucker.



Me and the carved Indian, just because he is cool.IMG_8112

The side of the restaurant.


IMG_8110Amish made deck chairs

Philly Trip 2015 Day 13

Today was the first day I ventured away from home. I was finally starting to feel a little bit more human. I had to go for a check up with Dr. Diecidue. He had all his residents check me out and I passed with flying color. I want to thank all the Drs in his office who assisted in the surgery and follow up care.

Me with the crew
Me with the crew

This is about all the excitement I could handle today so we went back to the apartment. I did have my first “real” food, Taco Bell!! Woo hoo! It was so much better than all the soup, jello, and pudding.

Philly Trip 2015 Day 9

First day post-op and I get to come home, well to our temporary home. They gave me a lot of fun medicine and ice packs and sent me on my way. I didn’t have any adverse reactions to the surgery so I was free to go on my way.

Me, 1 day post-op, not too bad looking if I do say so myself.
Me, 1 day post-op, not too bad looking if I do say so myself.

This is what  looked like 1 day post op, I needed ice packs and lots of them to keep the swelling down.  Heidi 2 was needed to hold the ice packs in place so they didn’t fall. Today was soup through syringes which isn’t as yummy but it still did the job.

Philly Trip 2015 Day 8 Surgery Day!

Today is D-Day or in my case S-Day! Surgery Day!

We were up and at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. for the surgery. Once again they lost my paperwork. Luckily I am friends on Facebook with one of my drs and she saw me posting from pre-op and she knew I was in the hospital when no one else could find me. So she sent a crew down to pre-op to get me and bring me up.

Me and Lori waiting in Pre-op
Me and Lori waiting in Pre-op. Like my pimp yellow socks?

Surgery was a success! The Drs were all fantastic and I would like to thank each and every one of them. Dr. Grunwald said I was one of the easiest FOP patients that he had put under. Dr. Crowe was there next to me the entire time he was working on me. Dr Crowe has been there whenever I called and she is an awesome FOP dentist. The oral surgeon was Dr. Diecidue and his crew. There were so many awesome Drs in the room, I can’t even begin to name them all.

They kept me in the hospital overnight and my fantastic wife Lori stayed with me and took care of me all night long. She barely slept a wink because they were constantly coming in and out. I don’t trust regular people to understand how to take care of an FOP patient because they aren’t exposed to them and they don’t know how easy we are to injure.

Best thing is they saved 6 teeth and I made it through with flying colors!

Philly Trip 2015 Day 7

Last day before surgery and we went to meet with Dr. Zvi Grunwald the anesthesiologist. He has worked on the most FOP patients over any other dr.  If you ever need to have surgery and need to go under anesthesia he is the man, he knows how to do it better than anyone. He is on of the main reasons we drive to Philadelphia to have my surgery.

Dr Zvi Grunwald, Me, his associate and my wife Lori.
Dr Zvi, Me, his associate and my wife Lori.

Then since I didn’t know when I would be able to eat steak I decided I wanted to have steak one last time. So we went to the Longhorn Steakhouse, yes we came all the way to Philadelphia and we ate at a Texas stye steakhouse. It was out of the city, so we knew I wouldn’t have too much of a problem getting into the restaurant. A typical problem in the city is that most places have a small step in the front, which is impossible for me to get in, or there is a ramp but it is in the back.

Lori and I
Lori and I

There is an neat looking ship in the port next to the restaurant. It is the SS United States. It is a luxury liner built in 1952 and was one of the fastest passenger ships made at the time.

SS United States
SS United States

We headed back to the apartment for the final night before surgery, dum, dum, dum…

Can you spot the Nick?
There’s the Nick!!

This is what happens when the crazy Mahler kids try to lighten the mood and relieve a little bit of pre-surgery stress. We play hide the Nick. These sheets were pretty good camoflauge.

Philly Trip 2015 Day 6

Today was a pretty laid back day while I prepared for surgery. My wife had to work so that limited what we could do, we didn’t want to leave her out of the fun.  So we watched TV and I worked on my website to get everything prepared for the few days I wouldn’t feel very well and wouldn’t be able to do much. We ordered dinner for pickup from a great place called Marathon on the Square, my sister walked down the street to pick it up. Great place for both burgers and breakfast, they serve it at all hours. While she was out she took a good picture of the condo where we were staying.

Front of our building
Front of our building
Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square

One great thing about staying in this location is that there are so many things to do and so many places to pick up a meal. A lot of the residents of this area pick up food and either dine on their outside patio or take it to eat in the park. The park has tons of benches and seating. Plus this area is centrally located, you can get to so many places with just a short walk or cab ride.

Philly Trip 2015 Day 5

Today is the day my wife joined us. We got to see the lovely Philadelphia airport. We also made a stop at the grocery store to stock up on groceries and buy food I would get to eat for the first days after my surgery. We stocked up on Jello and pudding and soup. 🙂

Philadelphia City Hall

Before we picked up my wife we drove around City Hall because it was on our way. It is one of the largest city buildings in the country and world.

Philly Trip 2015 Day 4

First full day in Philadelphia and time for some preop testing. We went to Thomas Jefferson Testing center so they could do all the test and labs required before I could have my surgery. I have to say the valet people were excellent, they were very helpful and made sure my sister had help getting me in and out and treated our car well. We were at the testing center for over four hours, they lost me. We heard them in the hallway discussing how they had lost the paperwork, good thing was some of their rooms had recliners so I was able to sit down the entire time.

Then we went out and explored the city a little bit, it was dark so we didn’t see too much but we got to know the city a little bit.

City Hall in the background
City Hall in the background

Philly Trip 2015 Day 3

Today we left Pittsburgh, we wanted to try and see a little bit more of the Pennsylvania countryside and Gettysburg. My sister has a love of history and our grandmother was born on Lincoln’s birthday so we grew up surrounded by him and his legacy and the war. Gramma is a Daughter of the American Revolution member.

Gettysburg National Military Park

We didn’t get to spend much time at the battlefield but we did stop by the visitor center.

Me and Mr. Lincoln
Me and Mr. Lincoln

We also wanted to visit with Mr. Lincoln. He didn’t have too much to say!

Gettysburg Address

And of course we had to stop in the gift shop to add to our souvenir collection.

After all this excitement we headed on to Philadephia to meet up with the lovely host and her husband who were helping us with our extended stay. Hosts for Hospitals was a lifesaver for this long trip. We made it in to Philadelphia and after finding the place and unpacking our massive amount of baggage started to settle in. We attempted to head to a popular local pizza place right off Rittenhouse square which is where we stayed. But after trying to cross the street we decided my scooter was not going to be be to traverse the sidewalks of Philadelphia so we called for delivery and stayed in for the evening and relaxed after 3 days of driving.