Monday, April 09, 2012

On the road

Our vacation has been good so far! We are the kind of planners where we have one definite thing we want to do, and then explore the area or wait until we get somewhere to decide what else we might do. With 2 kids, swimming in the pool is mandatory every day!

Saturday was our long day in the car, but we got to Berkley, WV about 4:00. The boys loved the suite because they had a tv to themselves, and Cartoon Network (we don't have that at home)!  We swam twice, before and after dinner, to reward the kids for being awesome in the car. The Easter Bunny came to our hotel room, too, both hiding eggs and leaving some candy and little toys for the kids.

Sunday we had breakfast at Cracker Barrel, and it always pays to chat up the locals. We told a man we were going to do the coal mine tour, which he said was a great idea for the kids. Then he told us about the New River Gorge, which had the longest arch suspension bridge in the US/Western Hemisphere (there's apparently one in Japan and possibly one in Canada which is now longer). We decided to take that detour on the way out of town. It was really gorgeous!

The coal mine was really interesting. We all liked it - except Charlie. Apparently he's not much for dark underground passageways. Our tour guide was a former miner himself, and there was only one other couple on our tour, so he paid special attention to the boys. Especially Roman, as he is the age where they would begin to apprentice boys in the mine.

After the gorge, we drove the 3-4 hours to Charlottesville. Arrived around 5pm and decided to just order pizza to the room as we were all a little grumpy from the car ride (and stopping no less than 3 times for Charlie to use the bathroom). We swam again, of course!

Charlie is a little hotel expert now, telling us what he likes and doesn't like. He would spend the whole day in the room if he could. As long as we continue to have cable channels we don't at home, Roman is happy to do whatever we ask. Today we are heading out to Monticello and find somewhere for the kids to RUN! There is a glass-making shop in town that looks interesting, we thought the boys might like a hands-on experience after touring the home. And a special stop at Jefferson's Vineyards for some wine for Doug and I.  Tomorrow, before we head out to Richmond, we may do one more thing here - I didn't realize the home of James & Dolley Madison was near here as well.  While fully restored, they are still working on tracking down furniture. But there is also some archaeological digging going on that people can watch, which would be sweet.

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