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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not exactly the Vacation we had planned...

but that is what Serendipity means isn't it?
When you plan a vacation during hurricane season, Boston would seem to be one of the safest destinations to choose. Not this year.
We have been studying early American history for a year and I wanted to take the kids to see the Mayflower, Plimoth Plantation, and the Freedom Trail in Boston. I had been waiting to make this trip after Simon and Jed came home, but since China has taken 3 months longer than we had expected to approve us, it seemed like a perfect time to move from Pilgrims to the Revolution. We had a week between Narnia and beginning Wizard of Oz, so we decided to visit my sister, Cher, in Massachusetts, who Dominic and Rosie have not yet met.
Katrina, is living in Winchester Virginia this year doing a pharmacy residency so we planned to spend one night with her while waiting for Hurricane Irene to pass. On our drive North we began to hear of the devastation she was causing and I began to think about Plan B. As each day passed we kept hoping that my sister would get her power and water back on. As each evening came and that hadn't happened we searched the internet for alternate things to do.
Washington is a fun place to visit and if your kids are as familiar with National Treasure as mine are, the first place everyone wanted to visit was the National Archives to see the real Declaration of Independence. While there we also visit the Smithsonian's Natural History and American History Museum.

The next day we hung out with George Washington and his family at Mt Vernon

and took a special tour (with only our family) into the basement and to see the ice tunnel shown the movie National Treasure 2. The museum there is terrific ! I am pretty sure we covered at least as much American history on this trip as the one I had planned. We'll read a couple of biographies and visit Williamsburg and begin Westward Expansion so that we can get to the Civil War while Katrina is still in Virginia.

Winchester is filled with orchards so we spent a day at one, picking peaches and raspberries and eating some of their home baked goods.

On the way home we toured Luray Cavern, which is the largest in the Shenandoah Valley.

Although hot and steamy outside , it is a cool 57 degrees in there, year round.

I am sure we would all agree that the most laughs on this trip were provided by the Virginia Safari Park, just south of Lexington (where we were the only family in the movie theater, watching Spy Kids, in cushy reclining seats the night before). As soon as we bought the animal food and drove through the gates we were sourrounded by animals trying to get in our windows.

Dominic won the award for being able to feed the camels, without them stealing his bucket ( Nellie lost that one, Rosie and Andy abstained.)

I controlled the window switches, so Jerry got and occasional surprise.

The llamas were the sweetest. We were careful to keep our windows up near the zebras, bison, and long horned somethings, as we had been instructed. An ostrich got pretty mad at me as I was closing Andy's widow, but fortunately my window was up when he spit at me (as it was the whole trip, I am Not an animal person).

A giraffe was kind enough to pose with the kids.

Even the petting zoo held some surprising animal encounters.

And just incase we never get around to studying science this year, we stopped at Gray's Fossil museum in Kingsport, TN, which of course was full of preposterous guesses about the ages of the things they found, but it was still fun to try put bone fragments together. We'll head to the Creation Museum sometime this year to hear the truth.

So, it wasn't what we had planned, but we had a blast and now it is Great To Be Back Home !


Anonymous said...

This sounds like so much fun! We visited DCAt the beginning of the summer while at my cousin's wedding. We wnt to go back soon! I'm sorry we missed Narnia. I am wondering if you anything about Harvest Moon festival. I'd like to get something on the calendar if you think anything will be planned. Thanks, Janet

The Kenworthy's said...

Oh how these made me laugh! Can't wait to take one of these trips when the kids get a bit older... looks like so much fun!

Sarah said...

Sounds like an amazing trip... even if nothing went as planned :)