Courtney Space visited Hersheypark and Chocolate World for the first time this week.
There may also be a trip to Gettysburg for the 15-year-old and her family members.
For at least the next couple of days, though, the Georgia teenager will be busy competing with her teammates on the softball diamonds that make up the Veterans' Memorial Park Complex.
Space is a catcher/first baseman for the Georgia Ice, a girls' 16-and-under traveling team that is competing in the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Eastern Nationals.
The event, which began on Thursday and concludes Sunday, features 58 teams and more than 700 players from 15 states and the District of Columbia.
The Eastern Nationals is the 12th tournament for the Ice this year. The players have spent countless hours together at bat, in the field, hanging around hotels and motels and visiting attractions.
"The girls on the team are like my family," Space said. "It's fun being around them. Two years ago, we went to Indiana, so either that trip (or) this one is the longest one we've taken."
Head coach Lee Crocker said that the Ice, whose players are from the Atlanta area, is a true travel team.
"We play a lot," Crocker said. "The tournament is why we're here. Having said that, it's been more than about just ball on this trip. We've had some people go to Gettysburg, we had a couple of families stop in Washington, D.C., on the way up, and we had a couple of families go to New York City and come back down here."
The Ice split their two games on Thursday losing 8-3 to a team from Ohio before scoring a 9-0, five-inning victory over the Attitude. Ice pitcher Reese Rogers recorded a perfect game in the second contest.
The Attitude is comprised of 14 players from York County.
The local team didn't have a good game against the Ice, but the Attitude has enjoyed a great deal of success over the years.
"We finished second in ASA states for the second straight year," Attitude head coach Steve Gould said. "No one had ever finished second in back-to-back states before. We did not bring our best game today, but give them (the Ice) credit. They beat us, and they won with class."
Gould has a daughter (Taylor) on the team, but she isn't the only reason that he got into coaching.
"I do NCAA umpiring, and I love the women's fastpitch game," he said. "The girls on our team can put the biggest smile on your face by the way they compete. The parents kid me that I have 12 or 13 daughters."
Gould's players and parents also enjoy their time away from ball.
"When we were out in Canton, we went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," he said. "We go out to dinner together, and when we have an early game, I'll buy breakfast for the entire team. We'll set up a buffet in the back of my truck."
Tina Sanders and her cell phone were almost inseparable on Thursday afternoon.
Sanders is the tournament director for the Eastern Nationals.
A thunderstorm blew through the complex around 3 p.m. Thursday and made the fields unplayable -- at least temporarily. Sanders switched from taking scores over the phone to checking on the progress of the work crews who were getting the fields back in shape.
"We never mention the 'R' word during tournaments," Sanders said earlier in the day before the rain arrived.
Having a schedule altered by rain and having to answer emails (Sanders had 984 of them heading into the tournament) are the most difficult parts of her job. The Lebanon Catholic High School graduate has been involved with ASA Pennsylvania for 10 years.
"I played softball in high school, although it was just intramurals then," she said. "After that, I played ASA softball forever."
Asked what keeps her coming back each year to run tournaments, Sanders said: "I do it for them" as she pointed to the crowd of coaches and players who had taken shelter from the storm in the pavilion which sits between Bob Hoffman Stadium and Sertoma Field.
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com or 505-5407.