Friday, August 17, 2007
Where to begin?! We started our 2007 mini-vacation by heading out on Thursday morning to VA. Our plan was to go to Mt. Vernon that day but by the time we got going, we realized that we'd have to switch that to Friday to have enough time there.
So here's some quick pictures of our road-warriors, ready to roll!
Our first sight-seeing stop was Arlington National Cemetery. We knew we wouldn't have time to see it all, but our main objective was to visit my husband's father's grave. He died when dh was only a few months old from cancer so this was a very special visit for us. We tried our best to explain to the kids who this was and that Vince's step-dad was in his life from a very young age so that's why he's "Dad" to dh.
Friday was the big Mt. Vernon day. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention our trip to the hotel in Manassas after Arlington. Let’s just say that we saw a lot of territory in N. Va via back roads. Our handy dandy Rand McNally Road Atlas was surely the star of this vacation. But if I had to move to this area, I’d have a GPS device in a heartbeat or I’d never find my way anywhere! We cut through a road called “Burke Lake Road” that rivaled mountain roads we’d been on before. Beautiful views, too.
Mt. Vernon was just beautiful! I had been once before (long ago) but they had recently completed some new exhibit halls and they were much more interactive for the kids than I had expected. The picture of G.W. taking the oath is a wax figure of him and the other two gentlemen, as well as the one with him on a horse. These figures they had recreated of him at different times of his life were outstanding. You really felt like you'd seen him. They were scientifically done by this long process that is too complicated for me to try to explain but you can find out more about them on the History Channel's website. We could have spent a much longer time at Mt. Vernon but the heat was starting to get to us (me!). Oh yes, we did see George's famous false teeth, too! I'll never forget seeing into the bedroom where President Washington died. You could really *feel* the history in this place. We took pictures where-ever we could, but the inside of Mt. Vernon's main house was off-limits to photography.
Sat. night after my wonderful conference day at the Real Learning Conference, we went by the Manassas Battleground site. I wish the visitor's center hadn't closed before we arrived but we did see some interesting landmarks. Stonewall Jackson's statue was impressive, as were all the cannons . Of course, each child wanted to pose with a cannon.