Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Maiden Blog

Me and my husband Dale

Going to battle..Captain Tristan with Lieutenants Grace & Dale.

Permission to board the "Susan Constant" mate!

This is what you do to your kids when they don't listen.

I'm just a southern bell ya'll

Tristan & Grace in Williamsburg, VA

Grace & Tristan at the Chattanooga Choo Choo pool

After much insistence from friends (you know who you are!) I've broken down and started this blog. I have to say that the arguments were valid as I'm horrible at keeping a journal and all of those funny statements from my kids have basically dissolved from my memory.

What better way to launch a new blog but right after a successful trip. We just returned from a visit to Colonial Williams burg and Jamestown in Virginia. I decided the kid's spring break was a perfect opportunity for an educational vacation. I loved it...the kids and my patient and loving husband...questionable.

Before we drove up to Virginia, we accompanied Dale to Chattanooga, TN. He had a business meeting Monday morning and thought it would be fun to bring us along. I stress "thought". It actually came out later that he wanted us to "experience" what he goes through each week. Nice, huh? Yes...he's a big meany.

So we loaded up the truck after Church and we're gathering last minute items. I ask Grace if she's got everything she wants to bring with her and she says "no" and turns to run up to her room. In our new house, the entire first floor is basically hardwood, including the stairs. Add some socks and it's a disaster waiting to happen. Grace is wearing socks and takes the stairs and slips. She doesn't catch herself and lands head first into the edge of one of the stairs. She starts to scream and right above her right eye starts to swell immediately. It literally got as big as a golf ball within seconds. Poor kid. We checked for a concussion and put ice on it pronto. (Check out the pictures of her throughout the week...the swelling had gone down but she had a black eye) Dale is still on a mission to take us along so we load up the last minute items and I jump in back with the kids in order to hold an ice pack to Grace's forehead. She's crying in pain. I'm sure you're asking yourself, boy...sounds like a fun getaway! I'm just getting started.

So we drive and drive (about 6 hours) and get there late on Sunday evening (10:30pm) and Dale had been promising the kids a swim in the pool all day during the drive. The pool closes at 11pm but Dale is never one to break a promise, so they changed into their suits immediately and ran over to the building that housed the pool. They came back to the room within 15 minutes soaking wet (no towels left poolside) and freezing. The nice weather we had the last couple of weeks was officially gone. A cold front was approaching and we hadn't even brought jackets. Oops. Dale had to leave by 6am in the morning to pick up a pallet of dry cement and then get to his demo which was over an hour away. Poor guy. The kids and I were going to make a day of hanging out at the hotel. It was a pretty cool hotel. It was the old Chattanooga train station that had been converted into a Holiday Inn. They had converted the actual Chattanooga Choo Choo train rail cars into hotel rooms. We didn't stay in one ourselves...but a lot of train enthusiasts would eat it up. If your kids love's a definite must visit.

The hotel property is huge. It includes the actual grand train station which houses a couple of restaurants, souvenir stores and a huge display of working scaled down trains with a replica of the city of Chattanooga...impressive. Of course we spent some of our time at the pool. Since we didn't have coats and we woke up to actual snow falling in the morning, we couldn't venture off the hotel property too far in fear that we could succumb to hypothermia. We didn't even have shoes for Grace...we had accidentally left them in the truck and the truck was with Dale. So it was flip flops with socks...our tribute to our time in Utah.

Well, Dale finally makes it back to the hotel right before housekeeping is going to kick us out....our hero. We load up and decide to head back to Greenville for a good night's sleep in our own beds and then drive to Virginia the next day. We get home, shower, sleep and all is good in our world.

We start the day off fresh and anew and drive north to Virginia. From where we live now in SC, it's only about 6 and half hours to Williamsburg...not too bad. I'm excited to go as this is the area I grew up in. I have a ton of great memories from Williamsburg and the rest of the Tidewater area. On arrival, we stopped at in old pizza place I ate growing up...Sal's Pizzeria. tastes exactly the same. We checked into our hotel, had a dip in the pool and got ready for our big day in Colonial Williamsburg. My Dad and stepmom, Laura, were able to come down a couple of hours from northern Virginia to spend the day with us too. We toured a lot of the old buildings, the Governors palace, the first Capital...the kids had a blast running through the garden maze at the Governors palace. We ate at one of the old taverns and then stopped at the old bakery and got some goodies like old fashion gingerbread cakes...delish!

One of my favorite places to get dessert is at a place called The Trellis. It's in the historic Williamsburg market on Duke of Gloucester Street. The dessert is called "Death by Chocolate". It's the original and the best! It's a seven layer chocolate piece of heaven. I highly recommend this unbelievable dessert if you're ever in the area.

The next day we took the kids to the Jamestown settlement. Jamestown just celebrated it's 400th anniversary and even had an official visit from Queen Elizabeth of England to honor the day. The kids loved meeting the Indians and exploring all of the outside exhibits and seeing how the Indians lived back then. We got to explore the boats that the English came over on and learned that it took them over a year and a half to finally arrive. We then got to explore the enclosed village with the primitive buildings they lived in and watched one of the "settlers" load and shoot his musket. We then drove over to another area of the park. We went to the glass factory and watched how they blew glass and created bottles back then. It's definitely an art. After this, we drove over to the actual excavation site of Jamestown and explored. A lot of the buildings were located and you could actually walk over them as they had enclosed the areas in suspended glass. We really enjoyed our visit and learned a lot.

Lots more pictures available to view from our adventure at:

I have to admit that this wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. I hope to jazz up my blog sooner than later as I know it's not too exciting at this point. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.