Virginia

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:ย 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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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

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