Friday, October 7, 2016

Yorktown

Before we left Virginia we decided we had to try a pancake house.  There seemed to be one on every corner and a few on every street.  It must really be a THING there, so we googled which one was the "best" and hit one up for breakfast our last day.    It was awesome--- so many breakfast items on the menu.  And since breakfast is my kids favorite meal and IHOP is basically their favorite restaurant, they were in heaven.  Especially since Grandpa ordered them each a hot chocolate.  With whip cream.  Oh boy.
 
 
We went to Yorktown and toured the museum and battlefield. 


There was another musket demonstration and the boys got to hold one and see how heavy they are.




There was a soldiers camp replica where the kids got to play in tents and learn about tools and medicines.




There is a drive you can take around the battlefield with stopping points, so since it was a gorgeous day we drove through some of it. 

And then ran through it.



It was a very interesting trip and made McKay excited about someday joining the army.  When we got home he played like this for several days.

Heaven help us!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Busch Gardens

We spent 2 days at the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg.  The first day was freezing!  It was kind of nice though because there was almost no one else there and no lines for anything.  Busch Gardens is kind of like a mix between Epcot, Sea World, and Magic Mountain.  There are huge roller coasters, animals, and the park is broken up into countries.  We started in England, which was exciting for Hunter because we are taking him to England next summer. 

Our first order of business was to get some hot chocolate.  It was so cold we almost considered leaving. 
Almost. 
In Ireland we went on the Europe in the Air ride, which is like Soaring over California at Disneyland.  We loved it and went several times since there were no lines.

 
We also saw an incredible Irish show that was like a musical version of River dance.  McKay really wanted to meet the stars after the show, and they were nice enough to take a picture with him.
 
We loved that there were animals all over the park.  We got to see all sorts of reptiles and birds including eagles, owls, and hawks.


There was even a wolf show with a trained wolf!   Never seen that before.





France was probably my favorite country.  It was so charming and had beautiful flowers everywhere.  We also ate some delicious crepes and I bought a small paining of the Seine river in one of the cute shops.
 
 
It also had a crazy roller coaster!  I went on it once and was DONE.  And I love roller coasters.  Hunter and my Dad went on it again and again though!
 

 
 
On the bridge between Ireland and Scotland.

 
 
In Scotland we got to see the famous Busch Clydesdales.  Here are the horseshoes demonstrating the difference between a pony, a horse, and a Clydesdale's feet.


They're so pretty but so BIG.  I can't imagine trying to mount one!
 
 
Germany was fun and had some great rides.  We ate yummy sausages and saw a musical about a beer brewing competition.  I guess that's what you get when you visit a theme park owned by a beer company.  =0



Italy was my least favorite country.  No exciting food to speak of and not as beautiful as the rest of the park.  It did have some fun rides though, and a whole section of the rides are devoted to Leonardo DaVinci's inventions which is pretty clever.

 
Tempesto was a pretty crazy roller coaster that goes backwards and upside down.  We did it a few times.
Pompeii was  really fun boat ride that has been there since I was a kid.  It's still great!

 
We missed Jason but he's not a fan of theme parks like the rest of us. 
 He had his own fun riding around in the LAPD Swat helicopter...... that's HIS idea of an fun ride.  I guess it worked out for both of us. =)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Williamsburg

For spring break the boys and I met my parents in Williamsburg, Virginia to explore the colonial living history town.  Jason was supposed to come, but he ended up getting sent to LA to train with the LAPD SWAT team the same week.  (Bummer for me, but it was like Disneyland for him. =)
 
We flew into Richmond and then spent a week in Williamsburg-- a trip that my sister and I had done with my mother when we were kids and never forgot.  I couldn't wait for my boys to experience it and maybe learn a little history in the process.
 
We started at the Visitor's center and then walked through an old farm on our way to the Revolutionary city.  It was fun to walk through the gardens and slave quarters and enjoy the gorgeous weather.





We spent a few days exploring the colonial town, looking through old home where the founding father's dined and made plans.

All the workers were dressed up and even spoke the way colonists did.  The boys thought it was so cool!



 
Outside the courthouse the boys couldn't resist putting themselves in the stocks.


 
The Capitol building:

The museum was very interesting and had a wonderful little café where we enjoyed lunch, but the boys were only interested in a few things so we didn't spend more than an hour in there.  Guns were on the top of McKay's list.



 
McKay also enjoyed visiting the Gunsmith's shop where he learned how the guns and ammo were made back in colonial times.


 
My little soldiers were VERY interested in the weapons of the day.

One day my parents were wiped out and Hunter felt sick, so I took McKay and Ash to the Governor's palace by myself.

They really like the way the walls are decorated!
The house was lovely but the boys didn't like having to walk delicately through the fancy house without running or touching things.  Luckily there were large gardens and even a boxwood maze to play in.




During the week we ate dinner at a few themed Taverns.  I remembered Shields Tavern from my youth, so we decided to go back--- it was ok.  Not like I remembered, but the décor was fun.


We also saw a few of the evening shows.  Our favorite was a comedy variety show, where the actors were just plain wacky.

 
 
I also signed the boys and I up for a soldier training camp.  We learned how to march and follow orders and got yelled at a lot.  It was hard to take pictures because I wasn't supposed to move out of place, but I snuck a few.

Not only did we participate, but we got to see a musket demonstration and the drummer spoke about his job and why it was the highest paid and most important position in the army.  It was fun and informative, but I was glad when it was over.


 
We are always traveling on McKay's birthday because it's always during Spring Break, but he never seems to mind.  I got the hotel to make this special sign to greet us when we came down for breakfast in the morning.

We went to Dunkin Donuts and brought Donuts and hot chocolate back to our room, and then Grandma and Grandpa gave him a card with some spending money.

Which he promptly used to buy a toy gun.
That night we went to another tavern for dinner, Christiana Campbells, where George Washington frequently ate.    It was probably our favorite meal and had delicious spoon bread.
 


Christiana Campbell even came by to wish McKay a happy Natal Day (birthday) and gave him a special hand written card.

Earlier in the day my Dad and I had found a grocery store and bought an ice cream cake since he's a crazy child and doesn't like regular cake.  He was pretty happy with his birthday.

 
While in the area we also spend a day at Historic Jamestown, where the first settlement, ships, and Powatan Indian village replicas are. 
 

 

First we visited the Jamestown fort. 



The houses were furnished and quite detailed.
 
 
There was even armor for the boys to try on.


We also got to explore two ships which were very kid friendly-- they were allowed to touch everything and even climb in the bunks.







 
Last was the Indian village, where again, everything was very kid friendly and detailed.  There were games for the kids to play and they could even help carve out a canoe with oyster shells if they have the patience.  (Mine did not.)
 



It was another gorgeous day and we really loved visiting Virginia in the spring!