Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day

We celebrated Labor Day today. Some family came up to the campground and we spent time together there. It was a nice, relaxing day. The kids took advantage of the fishing pond.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Skyline Drive-Shenandoah National Park

Today, we kidnapped Mom for the day and went up to Skyline Drive. She lives nearby and has been here many times.

You know how when you live somewhere, you don't get around to seeing the really cool places in your backyard? Well Skyline Drive was one of those places for me when I lived in the Shenandoah Valley. I saw some parts of it, but that was just driving through it to get somewhere. I can't believe I missed this:
Going here was sort of like visiting the land of Oz where there are lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Except this was more of a mountain lions, copperheads and bears, oh my kind of place! Yes, this is what we were told to expect seeing while visiting this gorgeous place. Scary and neat all at the same time.
Except our version ended up being more like:
MushroomsButterflies and
Baby deer, oh my!
Yeah, I know...we thought we were going to have a Crocodile Hunter experience and it ended up being more like Dora the Explorer. Without the really cool Spanish lesson that is.

The scariest part of our trip was when I realized my child had crossed the road and was on some rocks. I immediately think to myself, "Where is their father!?!" Oh yeah, there he is TAKING PICTURES of it. Well, I am not one to be outdone in the picture taking category, so I had to join in and snap away myself. And I'm so glad I did because I caught this:

And then I decided, this is really cool. My children are being one with nature. They are not one of those nature deprived kids that I keep reading books about. This is what makes this trip so cool, that they can do this! (Austin at the bottom, Auburn half way up the rocks,crazy person all the way at the top) And look at the pride and joy on their little faces. This is one of those memory making, confidence building experiences. This will stretch them and this will make them better people. And I was in the moment, enjoying it fully...when I hear Mom yell, "Watch out for copper heads". "Are you looking for the copper heads?" And I returned to my normally neurotic self and yelled at them to come down NOW. Don't feel too bad for them though, because they found other rocks to climb on, copper head free rocks and I know because I climbed up and checked it out personally.

At Big Meadows, we got out and went to the visitor's center and looked around. There are some neat displays there. We then went down the Dark Hollows Falls trail to see the waterfall. On the way:
The falls are 70' and are gorgeous. Well worth the hike. Even if I did hike in flip flops. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either. Silly Florida girl forgets all land is not flat so flip flops are not an all purpose shoe for every state. Still it was worth it to see this:
Just gorgeous!I'm thinking by the ache in my bum tonight that I may have to call in sick tomorrow. Do you think my company that is coming up to the campground to visit us will mind if I lie by the pool all day while they make their own food and wash up the dishes afterwards? Or will they tell me to suffer the natural consequences of my actions with some dignity and high five me for hiking even if it was going to hurt really bad later? Yeah, I'm guessing I'm delusional on both counts.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chesapeake Bay to Front Royal VA

Yesterday we drove from Chesapeake Bay over to Front Royal VA. We are staying at the Skyline Ranch Resort. It rained all day yesterday and all day today so we haven't done much exploring yet.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Virginia Air and Space Center

First thing this morning Austin informed me that we haven't been "out" this whole week. Unless Wal-Mart counts, which normally with him, it does. Well, no ...we haven't been "out" this week because he had drama camp. So we went "out" today.
We went to the Virginia Air and Space Center, which was an awesome museum.
Here Nathan and Austin made paper planes and flew them. Austin thought this was one of the neatest things there, because he loves paper planes. The first time they flew them, their planes landed right on top of each other. Then Nathan flew one through the opening in the wall, and Austin followed by getting two through the hoops.
We went into a flight simulator and a shuttle simulator. This was one of our favorite things there, a full size commercial plane, where Nathan was the pilot.

At one point we lost track of Austin. As I took this picture, I noticed he was down below-at the Jelly Belly candy display. Yes, not only were there awesome planes here, but also free candy.

We couldn't believe how many planes they fit inside this building. They had a wide variety also.

We would definitely visit this place again! On the way home, we stopped at Wawa's and Nathan and Austin were able to try their food for the first time. They gave it two thumbs up.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hansel and Gretel

All week long, Austin and Lauren participated in a drama camp through Missoula Children's Theatre. On Friday and Saturday night they put on the play Hansel and Gretel. Austin was a camper in the play.
Lauren was Gretchen/Gretel. They both did a wonderful job!
I think they both enjoyed it very much and we loved watching them perform.

If you are not familiar with the Missoula Children's Theatre, I highly recommend them. They were professional and super with the kids. If we are in the same area as them again, we will definitely look into doing another one of their camps.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Crabbing and Fishing

We made good use of the fishing dock today. First, Daryl caught a crab on his fishing line. He brought it back to our sites so we could see it.

Then he and the kids went down to do some fishing together. Auburn with her well trained puppy:

Joshua looking at a worm, which he didn't like:

And look who caught a fish:

The kids are gearing up for their Theatre Camp performance, which is tomorrow and Saturday. We have spent the nights playing sports so far, from football to badminton to ping pong. It has been a great way to spend time together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's a Rough Life

This is the view from our campsite. Which is just a short walk then from this:

Where we can do this:
And this:

Hang out with friends:

Later on, catch a game of football:

And have fun until you drop:

It truly is a good life we are living right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Williamsburg VA and Happy Birthday to Diana

Today we drove over to Williamsburg. It was my spa buddy friend's birthday today too. I *did* offer to do a spa day for her also, but she wants to wait until she turns 40. And since she has another decade or so, it'll be a bit before we get another spa day I guess. ;->

How many people does it take to figure out a map? (and a sneaky way to show off my nephew Josh and the birthday girl Diana)

We somehow got the girls to dress in costume, which made my day. I think they looked adorable, although I'm sure adorable is the last thing they want to look at this age. The dog is our new puppy, Ace.Somebody else would not wear a costume. Or at least a colonial costume. LOL But enough about us. This is what we really came here for:
As much as I loved the buildings in Williamsburg, this is what made it great to me-the people.

George Washington, who gave a very inspiring speech to the troops:
And because nothing can upstage nature:
We will most likely return at least one more day to see more of the shops and the craftsmen in them.