Cape Cod, Massachusetts

I was born in Massachusetts and lived there until I was almost 14. Coming back to my birth state was really fun. Our first stop was Cape Cod where my family used to go for vacations in the summertime.

While visiting Cape Cod we got to visit with some friends and family. My aunt Jackie came to see us a few times. The first time she brought her 2 boys (who are not so little anymore!), and Jake & I joined them for a deep sea fishing trip.

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I would say I enjoyed it, and I did until the seasickness kicked in. Oh boy, I was so glad when we finally made it back to land! Anyway, it was fun for awhile and we caught lots of fish!

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Plymouth is not far from Cape Cod so we went to see the famous Plymouth Rock. I remember going there on a field trip when I was a kid and I seem to remember the rock being bigger than it is now. I also seem to remember being able to stand on it. I think that it was eroding too much so they had to enclose it so people can’t stand on it anymore, and now it looks so small!

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Plymouth Rock – you can just barely make out the year 1620 engraved on it.

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The rock is enclosed under those columns.

Jackie met us there for dinner. I had some wicked good lobstah and started working on trying to get my Boston accent back. 😉

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While at the cape we also got to visit with Robert & Trudy a couple of times. They used to come to see us in Fernandina Beach, but since we moved away we haven’t seen them in a long time. It was wonderful to catch up with them when they visited us at our campsite.

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We met up with them again another evening in the town of Dennis where Trudy lives. She and Robert treated us to a fabulous dinner where I had some more wicked good lobstah.

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And then Trudy gave us a tour of the town of Dennis which was so beautiful!

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Scargo Tower in Dennis

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View from Scargo Tower

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View from Scargo Tower

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We also had the chance to visit a childhood friend who lived across the street from us in MA. Jessica suggested we meet at Gillette Stadium to see Patriot Place. If you know Chris, you know that this would be the LAST place he would want to go. 😉 He is a die-hard NY Jets fan and according to Chris Jets fans absolutely do not like the Patriots. In fact, when we got married he made it a house rule that I cannot be a Patriots fan, lol! Anyway, he shocked us and went along with the idea to meet Jessica and her daughter Olivia at Patriot Place.

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Notice the photo bomber in the background with the thumbs-down gesture.

We stayed at Scusset Beach State Park right near the town of Sandwich. This park was lots of fun since it had the beach on one side and the canal on the other.

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I especially loved the 7 miles of paved bike trail along the canal! I rode one day down to the end and back, and another day I broke out my rollerblades that I haven’t used in quite awhile. I didn’t go quite as far with the rollerblades. There are some beautiful bridges to see along the bike trail.

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The canal was also pretty at night during a full moon and seeing the lights across the water.

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Fat Cat loved this site since she found lots of chipmunks.

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Fat Cat thinks she’s the queen of the RV!

We had a great time visiting friends and family while we were in Cape Cod. Next we moved to my childhood hometown of Billerica where we had lots more fun times with friends and family. Stay tuned for that next.

Categories: Massachusetts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quick Visits to 4 States

My purpose for keeping this blog is so that we have a journal of all of the places that we have visited in our travels. Visiting the northeast means we’re passing through several states quickly, unlike when we travel out west and it takes so long just to get from one state to the next. I feel like I just don’t have enough to say about some of these places to justify an entire post, but I don’t want to forget about this part of our trip either. So this post is just a place to record what we did in 4 states where we did not spend much time.

Delaware

After a very busy week in Washington D.C. we spent a weekend relaxing at Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. We didn’t do anything else in DE except just rest and enjoy the state park. Our site backed up to Lums Pond which looked more like a lake to me. We had a fishing dock behind us and Jake & I took the kayak out on the lake pond.

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This was the perfect spot to rest after such a busy few days in DC.

New Jersey

We actually spent a week in New Jersey, but did not get out much during the week. Besides the fact that the weather wasn’t that great, we needed some downtime for work and school. I know it may look like we’re always on vacation, but in reality we have real-life stuff to do during the week. This was the week after we took time off work to visit D.C. so it was nice to just get back into a “normal” routine, whatever that means. 😉

Once the weekend rolled around we had a nice sunny day and decided to go check out one of the boardwalks along the Jersey Shore. We walked along the boardwalk in Ocean City, the kids got to ride one ride (because the rides are not cheap), they played for a bit in an arcade and then had some ice cream.

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This store reminds me of a certain Fat Cat, also known as Bad Kitty.

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After NJ, we spent some time in Pennsylvania and New York which I already blogged about previously.

Connecticut

After NY, we had a quick stop in Mystic, CT. Are you old enough to remember the Julia Roberts movie Mystic Pizza? I thought it was fun to eat at that pizza place even though the movie was not really filmed there.

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The town of Mystic is super cute!

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Rhode Island

I saved the best for last. After CT, we had another quick stop in Narragansett, RI where we stayed at a beautiful state park called Fishermen’s Memorial State Park. I loved Rhode Island, especially the Cliff Walk! We went to Newport to hike along the Cliff Walk that I had heard about from some other Fulltime Families. This was gorgeous and made me excited to eventually get to Maine where I think we’ll see lots more beautiful ocean views over rocky cliffs.

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This is called Forty Steps and is where we started our hike.

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Newport, RI is known for some really extravagant mansions. You can see some of them along this Cliff Walk. I was thankful to have such a beautiful day to see this.

That wraps up my recap of our quick visits to these 4 states. On to Massachusetts next.

Categories: Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

NYC – Times Square and Central Park

We started our second day in New York City at Times Square. Let’s just say this was over-the-top on crowds and noise. It was quite overwhelming with all the noise, lights and signs, crowds and countless people trying to sell us tickets to whatever (bus tours, shows, bike rentals, you name it!)

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I loved seeing the Times Square Ball with 2018 on top. We will definitely be remembering this sight when we watch the ball drop again this New Year’s Eve.

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We stopped in the M&Ms store which was enormous!

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Once we had our fill of the over-stimulation of lights and noise, we started to head toward Central Park for a taste of nature in the midst of the city chaos. On the way we stopped to pick up some lunch at the Original Soup Man. We are huge Seinfeld fans and this was the restaurant that inspired the famed “Soup Nazi” episode.

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“No Soup for You!”

We brought our soup lunches over to Central Park (the soup was delicious by the way), and enjoyed several hours meandering around the park. Who knew that it could literally take days to explore Central Park? That place is huge! And such an oasis in the middle of a noisy, crowded city.

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There are 21 playgrounds within Central Park. We managed to hit several of them, but definitely not all 21.

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The Strawberry Fields section was a memorial to John Lennon. I love oldies music like The Beatles so I enjoyed visiting this area.

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There were lots of areas to just sit and relax.

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When the boys were little we read a book about a sled dog hero in Alaska named Balto. At the end of the story it mentioned that there is a statue to honor Balto in Central Park. I forgot all about that until we came upon the statue as we walked around.

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Balto, the sled dog hero

After we roamed around Central Park for several hours we headed back into Times Square to find some dinner, but first we wanted to see a couple more iconic buildings.

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Empire State Building

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Macy’s on 34th Street

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One more glimpse of the New Year’s Times Square Ball

While visiting New York we stayed at a county park called Croton Point in Croton-on-Hudson. This park was really nice and didn’t feel like we were so close to a city.

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Spacious campsite with lots of room to sit outside when Chris’s family visited

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Beautiful sunsets over the Hudson River

The best part about the campground was that the train into NYC was just outside the entrance to the park making it very easy to travel into the city. The train took us right into Grand Central Station which was an experience in itself.

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Grand Central Station

From Grand Central you can catch a subway to pretty much anywhere you need to go in NYC. Like I mentioned in my first post about NYC, New Yorkers were surprisingly helpful to us in figuring out where we needed to go and which subways to take. One person even got on a subway with us, then let us know when we got to the right stop and kept reminding us which one to catch next. I suppose not all New Yorkers are nearly as nice and patient, but in our experience everyone was super nice to us.

I love to leave an area on such a high note, having made such incredible memories. That’s how it was when we left New York. It beat all of my expectations and now I look forward to visiting again someday.

One last surprise from our time in NY actually happened after we left. Chris’s cousin Bob who lives close to where we stayed in New York never had a chance to get together with us while we were there. He was Facebook messaging with me on the morning we left NY and asking me where we were headed. I didn’t really think it mattered since we were leaving NY and not going to be so close to him anymore, but I answered his questions anyway. Once we got set up at our next campground in Connecticut he showed up to surprise us and we had a wonderful rest of the day catching up with him. We haven’t seen him since our wedding day almost 18 years ago!

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Chris with his cousin Bob

Categories: New York | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NYC – Statue of Liberty and 9/11 Memorial

One of the nice things about traveling is not only visiting some amazing places, but also seeing family and friends that we don’t get to see very often. Chris is originally from New York and still has several family members there, but he hadn’t been back there since before I knew him. We had a wonderful visit with his sister Laurie and her husband Steve and also our nephew Ryan who has really grown up!

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It was so nice to catch up with all of them. The boys enjoyed playing some games one afternoon with Laurie and Ryan.

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We also got to visit with Johnnie, a man that was like a father to Chris when he was growing up. We surprised him one afternoon showing up unannounced. It took him a few minutes to realize who we were, but once he recognized Chris his whole face lit up and he had tears in his eyes. What a sweet man and I’m so glad we were able to see him while we were in New York.

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Anyway, if you know me you know I’m not a fan of cities. Visiting New York City has never been high on my bucket list. I was pleasantly surprised to find out just how much fun it is to visit NYC. I had a common misconception that New Yorkers were rude and unfriendly. I could not have been more wrong! We found them to be so helpful and friendly, even going out of their way to help us navigate the subway system or find our way around town.

We spent 2 days exploring the city. This post will cover our first day when we visited the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial. Several months ago I learned that Crown Access tours to the Statue of Liberty sell out way in advance so I reserved these tickets back in January. Do you know how hard it is to decide in January which day and time in May we would like to visit Lady Liberty? I prayed about it, asking God to help me pick just the right day when the weather would be nice the week were planning to go. And you know what? The date/time I picked just so happened to be the most beautiful weather we had during a week that rained most days. Needless to say I was very thankful for answered prayers.

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The tour included a boat ride over to Liberty Island where we could visit the statue museum, walk around the grounds listening to an audio tour and climb up inside the statue not only to the pedestal, but all the way up to the crown. This was so cool!

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View of NYC skyline from the statue pedestal

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Inside the statue getting ready to climb up to the crown

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Inside the crown

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View from inside the crown

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Another view from inside the crown

The Statue of Liberty is part of the National Park Service so there were a couple of park rangers at the crown to answer questions. As we started back down they made sure we noticed that we could see the eyes, nose and mouth inside the statue.

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Can you see the face of Lady Liberty?

A little bit of information if you plan to do this: it is 354 steps in a tight, enclosed area to climb up to the crown. Children must be at least 48 inches tall and cannot be carried. We booked our tickets at this website: Statue of Liberty Tickets.

After we came back down we toured the museum that had many displays explaining the process of building the statue.

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Then we walked around the grounds a bit before catching the boat that would take us to the next stop on the tour: Ellis Island.

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Here we learned about the process that immigrants went through after landing in NYC.

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The immigrants had to declare their destination and we were surprised to see our hometown of Fernandina, Florida made one of the lists.

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View of NYC from Ellis Island

I am so glad we took this tour, it ended up being one of the highlights of our visit to NYC.

Later we walked over to see the 9/11 Memorial. This was a beautiful tribute to so many lives lost, and brought back a lot of memories of that day back in 2001. Our kids were not born yet, but we told them all about what we were doing that morning when we first heard the news. How sobering to come to the spot where this occurred.

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There are 2 of these memorials, one for each of the Twin Towers. The names of all the victims are engraved along the sides and the interior is a continuous fountain, like a fountain of tears falling into the hole in the ground.

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I don’t really know what to say about this or how to describe it. It was such a sad time in our nation’s history and it was very emotional.

We had a very busy week in New York, between visiting with family and sightseeing. I have one more post about our 2nd day in the city when we visited Times Square and Central Park. Stay tuned for more on that later.

Categories: New York | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Amish Country and Chocolate World

We enjoyed 3 great weeks in Pennsylvania! The first week we spent in Lancaster, also known as Amish Country. As soon as we pulled into town we started to see horses and buggies on the roads. I was completely fascinated by this and the Amish way of life. It was like stepping back in time but with a strange 21st century feel since there were also many cars on the road. I found myself actually being afraid that the horse and buggy carts would get hit by a car. It’s hard to describe but it literally was like being in a town where the 19th and 21st centuries exist side-by-side.

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An Amish cart even rode through our campground one day selling homemade goodies. We purchased some chocolate chip cookies and fresh-squeezed lemonade that were delicious!

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I know the picture above is a little fuzzy. I took it as they rode by our site. When we purchased some goodies from the man he told me he doesn’t mind that I took a picture of them riding by, but they don’t believe in having their picture taken where you can recognize their face. I really wish I could have talked with him and his family and learned more about their lifestyle, but they really seemed to value their privacy and do not want to be exploited by tourists.

It was fun to spend time with another Fulltime Family while we were in PA. We met the Bauman family over 2 years ago and have been able to meet up with them a few times since then. We met them for a field trip to Lapp Valley Farm one day.

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Gorgeous peacock roaming around the farm

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I had no idea that Pennsylvania was so beautiful!

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The boys enjoyed playing with their friend Austin a few times and were excited for him to join us when we visited Dutch Wonderland. This amusement park was connected to our campground. We happened to be there for opening weekend and spent a Saturday enjoying that park.

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From Lancaster we moved on to Hershey and stayed at the Thousand Trails park there. Thousand Trails parks do not reserve specific sites in advance, but all sites are first-come-first-served. I was very happy to snag this awesome site right next to the pond the day we got there, and we were visited by a family of geese several times during our stay.

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Aren’t they so cute??

Of course our main purpose for visiting Hershey was to visit Chocolate World and Hershey Park. Chocolate World has a free ride tour that was interesting, although it went too fast to really be able to fully absorb what they were teaching. On the ride you learn the process that goes into making a Hershey candy bar. At the end of the ride you get a free candy bar and then enter a store with an overwhelming amount of Hershey candy, including my favorite Reese’s.

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Milton Hershey

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We got a good deal on 2-day tickets to Hersheypark which included a 2.5 hour preview the night before our first visit. We had a blast riding all the thrill rides at this park!

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Jesse just reached the Twizzler line which meant he was tall enough to ride everything!

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Chris and Jake at the end of Fahrenheit

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Jake and I were on this ride near the back row — it was scary!

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All of us agree that the ride behind us was our favorite — it’s called Great Bear

We got to meet up with the Bauman family one more time to visit Troegs Brewery. They had delicious food including a cheese fondue that was so yummy! And we tried a few different beers that were really good.

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The adult’s table

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The kid’s table

We had such a wonderful time visiting Pennsylvania! Next up, we headed to New York City. Stay tuned…

 

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Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms and More

On our last evening in DC we walked around the Tidal Basin where there is the highest concentration of Cherry Blossoms that were in full bloom. Cherry Blossoms are a big thing in DC, they even have a Cherry Blossom festival every spring.

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There are several memorials to check out as you make your way around the Tidal Basin. The first one we came to was the Jefferson Memorial.

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Jefferson Memorial

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Thomas Jefferson

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As we continued walking around the loop we noticed that in some areas there were so many cherry blossoms it looked like snow!

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Next we arrived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Eleanor Roosevelt

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More cherry blossoms

Continuing on we arrived at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

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Martin Luther King, Jr

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And more cherry blossoms

After making our way completely around the Tidal Basin and visiting all of those memorials we were back out at the Reflecting Pool where we had been a couple of days earlier. This time we were there in the evening when everything was lit up really pretty.

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Lincoln Memorial across the Reflecting Pool

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World War II Memorial at night

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Representing Florida!

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Washington Monument lit up at night

We ended our time in Washington D.C. on such a high note by spending this time viewing the cherry blossoms and seeing DC lit up at night. After 3 full days of exploring the city we were completely exhausted, but so grateful for all that we got to see and experience.

If you missed my first two posts on DC you can see them here: Washington D.C. Memorials and Arlington and Washington D.C. Capitol and Museums.

Also, another Fulltime Family blogged about their time in DC that I found extremely helpful in planning our time there. If you would like some tips on visiting, I would recommend reading her posts starting here: Barry Good Times.

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Washington D.C. Capitol and Museums

One of the highlights of our time in DC was visiting the Capitol building.

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A few months before our trip I contacted our congressman’s office to schedule some tours. They set up our own personalized tour of the Capitol building by an intern working for their office. While talking with the intern during our tour we realized that his parents live in the same area of Florida where we used to live and he was also homeschooled! Not only that but I recognized his mom’s name when he mentioned it. We have over 20 mutual friends on Facebook so I knew her name sounded familiar. It turns out she’s friends with lots of my other homeschool mom friends back in Fernandina. Small world!

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Anyway, we really enjoyed our tour! The rotunda which is the large room under the big dome you see on the outside of the building was really beautiful on the inside. There were famous paintings surrounding the room featuring our nation’s early history.

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Ceiling of the rotunda.

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Old Supreme Court Chamber used from 1810-1860.

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Memorial honoring the heroes of Flight 93 on 9/11/2001.

The absolute best part of our Capitol tour was getting the chance to sit in the House Gallery which is the room you see on TV where the state representatives argue about political stuff. Unfortunately we could not take any phones or cameras in the there, in fact the security to get in there was very extensive (including those full-body scanners they use at airports). It was worth it though to get to sit in and watch and listen to some representatives argue about a budget amendment. I can’t say the subject matter was all that interesting, and I honestly did not recognize any of the people in the room, but it was still really cool to sit in and watch that nonetheless.

In addition to the Capitol, we also visited Ford’s Theater where President Lincoln was assassinated. The museum was very well done and had many exhibits about Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and the Civil War.

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After touring the museum, we were able to sit in the theater to listen to a ranger talk about the events of the night of the assassination.

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Theater box where President Lincoln was sitting the night he was shot.

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Peterson House where he was taken after being shot where he later died the next morning.

We also visited the National Archives museum but unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures there either. We saw the original documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was very cool to see those original documents, even though the writing was quite faded and difficult to read.

Lastly we visited the new Museum of the Bible. The children’s area was really fun!

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Jesse pretending he is Samson knocking over the pillars.

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Jake doing the same thing.

There were a lot of arcade style games with Biblical themes that the kids loved playing.

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While they played in there I wandered around some more of the museum. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there and I didn’t get to see much of the museum, but I did like the Amazing Grace exhibit featuring the history of the writer of the famous hymn, John Newton.

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The museum had 6 floors and I only had time to explore one. I guess that means we’ll have to go back again someday.

Also, we never had a chance to make it to any of the Smithsonian museums. I didn’t realize there was so much to see and do in DC and I clearly did not plan on enough time there. What my friends at Ditching Suburbia taught me is that we should not leave an area with regrets of what we did not see. It’s impossible to see it all, and it’s always nice to have a reason to return. We definitely left many reasons to return to see more of DC!

I will have one more post about our time in DC to share pictures of the cherry blossoms. We coincidentally timed our visit perfectly so that we were able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom! Stay tuned for that post next.

Categories: Washington DC | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Washington D.C. Memorials and Arlington

We had an amazing time exploring Washington D.C. I will need to write about it in more than one post, otherwise this would be too long.

We stayed at Cherry Hill RV Park in College Park, Maryland. This was the perfect place for us to stay because we didn’t have to drive the truck anywhere! The campground offers daily sightseeing information sessions to help you learn how to get around DC. The Metro bus stops right at the campground and takes you to the Metro station where you can take the train right into DC. We got Metro cards from the campground and were able to re-load them at any station.

Our first day we took the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery. Before going there we did a lesson on the history of Arlington. I learned about this lesson from another Fulltime Family and you can download it for free here: Arlington Activities. This study was so helpful to us in preparing for our time visiting Arlington.

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Arlington National Cemetery is beautiful and sobering all at the same time. It is a sea of gravestones as far as you can see. It’s incredible to think that each one of these represents someone that sacrificed for our freedom. Someone that doesn’t even know me, yet I get to enjoy freedom thanks to each of these remarkable people. To say I’m grateful would be such an understatement.

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Freedom is definitely not free.

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If you look closely in the picture below on the left-hand side you can see horses pulling a casket to a funeral. Arlington averages over 20 funerals each weekday!

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We got to watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We learned about this in the lesson we did, and I found it so interesting how much goes into ensuring that this tomb is properly guarded and respected by soldiers that must pass a very strict process to be able to participate in this.

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

We also visited John F. Kennedy’s gravesite where an eternal flame glows, although you can’t see the flame in the picture below (it really was there!)

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My favorite quote from John F. Kennedy.

After visiting the cemetery, we walked across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to see the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool and several other memorials.

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Korean War Memorial

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Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial

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Reflecting Pool looking back at the Lincoln Memorial

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World War II Memorial and Washington Monument

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World War II Memorial

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Lastly we walked over to see the White House. It was amazing how crowded this area was! I’m glad we got this picture with no one else in it, well except for that secret service agent behind us.

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Our first day in DC was so incredible and exhausting. We walked over 20,000 steps that day. We really appreciated the campground hot tub that night!

Categories: Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Williamsburg, Virginia

We spent 2 weeks in Williamsburg, VA and it was still not enough time. There is so much to see and do in that area! We stayed at a Thousand Trails park which usually means we are sure to meet up with other Fulltime Families, which of course we did. The park was awesome with an indoor pool and hot tub that we enjoyed on more than one occasion. We also enjoyed mini golf and Jesse loved playing basketball with Chris just about every evening.

We wanted to visit Busch Gardens along with all of the historical areas so I was thankful to find a combined ticket that gave us access to Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg for a week. We spent Easter weekend at Busch Gardens. That park is so much fun and has so many thrill rides! I can’t take a lot of pictures while I’m riding roller coasters all day so you’ll just have to use your imagination, but trust me, the thrill factor at that park is high! Here is a picture when we were riding the train taking a temporary break from roller coasters. See the tall tower in the distance? I’ll tell you a story about that shortly.

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I always like to take a break when the guys ride bumper cars… that ride gives me a headache.

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Here’s a funny story about that tall tower… it’s called the Mach Tower and it’s one of those rides where you are on a rotating tower that goes really high, giving you really awesome views of the park, then suddenly drops you. Typically I would ride anything like that, but Chris would not. Neither Jake nor Jesse would ride it with me either. I didn’t want to ride it alone so I figured I would be skipping that one. Suddenly Chris decides he wants to ride it. I honestly didn’t believe him because it goes really high, and if you know Chris, he does NOT do well with heights. Anyway, he said he wants to do it so I decided to go with him. Neither kid was willing to go, so they were going to wait for us and watch. The ride started to go up, and really hadn’t gotten very far and I started feeling very panicky. I did not want to go any higher but we had just started and I couldn’t stop the ride. Strangely though, the ride suddenly stopped and came back down. They announced that they had to re-check everyone’s seat. When the ride attendant came around to me I told her I want to get off. They let me off and Chris got off the ride with me. Our kids were wondering what was going on, and why did they stop the ride and let us off? Of course that’s not why they stopped the ride, but I took that as my opportunity to get off because I was seriously panicking about it. Anyway, a few hours later we met up with another Fulltime Family and I suddenly changed my mind and wanted to try it again. Their teenage daughter who is willing to ride anything was happy to go along so she, Chris & I all went together. This time they did not stop the ride and I was not able to chicken out. I went to the top and inside I was pretty panicky the whole time. Chris kept talking to me, asking me if we were at the top yet, and I couldn’t answer him. I literally could not speak, I was so scared! The drop itself didn’t bother me at all, but being up so high really scared me. Funny, since Chris is the one that normally has an issue with heights! 🙂

Anyway we had so much fun exploring this park with our friends, and the kids loved riding this with their friend Dean. I love their faces in this picture!

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The following weekend our good friends from Fernandina came up to stay with us and explore Colonial Williamsburg. We spent 2 days exploring that historic town. It’s kind of overwhelming when you first get there. The whole town is set up like a town in the 1700s and it takes a long time to absorb it all. We were glad to go back a second day once we had a better idea of what we wanted to see.

The people in the town all dress up in colonial costumes. I guess Jesse and I don’t quite match this guy with our 2018 dress code. 😉

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This was a replica of the governor’s palace where Thomas Jefferson once lived.

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We sat in the church pew that belonged to George Washington.

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And Charlie and Emma sat across from us in Thomas Jefferson’s pew.

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We explored many homes in the town.

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Check out the calf’s head in the center of the table. The tour guide said that it was typical lunch fare in those days.

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Charlie and Jake got to participate in a mock trial in the courthouse.

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Colonial Williamsburg was a really interesting town to visit, but it can be overwhelming with so much to see. If you have a chance to visit, I would recommend allowing plenty of time to fully explore the town and have a chance to talk with the colonial townspeople to really get a feel for the history.

After 2 days in Colonial Williamsburg we went to visit Historic Jamestowne. We started with a living history talk by “John Rolfe” from the 1600s. He married Pocahontas in 1614 which ended the hostilities between the early American colonists and the Powhatan Indians. His talk was so interesting and gave us so much historical perspective before we ventured out to explore the grounds.

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Please ignore Charlie’s bunny ears over Jake’s head! 🙂 

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Pocahontas

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Ken & Kelli — we love these two!

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We’re thankful they’ll travel to meet up with us on the road.

So many of the early settlers died of starvation. It was so interesting to hear the history of the “gentlemen” from England. They did not think they should have to work or get their hands dirty, so they did not do anything to find food to eat. So many starved to death rather than hunt or fish for food. Pocahontas was kind to them and brought them food, but it wasn’t until they learned how to work the land that they were able to learn to sustain themselves.

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I just love learning history and visiting these historical places. After Williamsburg we moved on to Washington D.C. where we learned even more about this beautiful country that we call home. I took way too many pictures there and it will take some time to sort them out. In the meantime, please enjoy this beautiful picture of our precious kitty courtesy of Emma.

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Categories: Virginia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Carolina Beaches

After we left Florida we started traveling up the east coast stopping at beaches in both South and North Carolina. This is not new territory for us since Chris and I both lived in Charlotte, NC for many years, in fact that is where we met!

Our first stop was Myrtle Beach, SC and that is a place that we have been to many times. I remember going there when I graduated high school and then several times over the years after that until we moved to Florida. Considering Chris and I haven’t been there since the year 2000 though, it almost seemed new to us.

We took the kids to Broadway at the Beach one evening. It was still the off-season so not very busy, but still fun to show them where we used to hang out in a previous life.

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Chris and I celebrated our birthdays there that week, and since it’s not too far from Charlotte my parents came to visit too. I can’t remember the last time I saw my parents on my birthday so that was a real treat!

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Mini golf at Ocean Lakes Family Campground with the Grands.

Mom and I had one really nice and warm day on the beach while Dad and Chris played golf.

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Looking at this picture of Jake, I realize how much he has grown up. He looks so serious in this picture. I can’t help but stare at him lately and wonder where my little boy went. I wonder if other moms of boys go through this? I see him changing into a man before my eyes and I have to admit it makes me a little sad. I’m happy to watch him mature into a wonderful young man, but also sad that he’s not a little boy anymore. At least I have other pictures that still show his younger side, like this one:

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And this one…

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That last picture is from our next stop along the Carolina Coast. That was at Cape Hatteras KOA which is on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That was actually new to us! We had never been to the Outer Banks even though we lived in NC. We were there during the off-season and it was quite cold! It barely got out of the 40s that week, but we enjoyed our stay anyway, having the park pretty much all to ourselves.

The ocean was on one side of the campground and the sound on the other where we saw a gorgeous sunset.

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Jake took Fat Cat for a walk on the beach one day — I can tell you she did NOT enjoy that!

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We visited the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse which was the prettiest lighthouse I have ever seen! I’m not sure if they just painted it, but it really was beautiful!

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Lastly we visited Kitty Hawk, NC and visited the Wright Brother’s National Memorial.

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We really enjoyed our time visiting these beaches along the Carolina Coast, although I wish it could have been a little warmer. Next we moved on to Williamsburg, Virginia. Stay tuned to read about that.

 

Categories: North Carolina, South Carolina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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