Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The REST of the trip (TONS of photos!)

Now that I have the Delaware incident blogged and out of my head, I can move onto the rest of the trip....

On Sunday, Corey was in the music show all day, and we had checked out of our hotel because we wanted to stay somewhere different (ahem!, ack). We headed over to Valley Forge for the morning/early afternoon because it was very near by. In fact, the music show we were there for was in the Valley Forge Convention Center.

The kids and I drove over and on the way into the visitor's center there was this tree that just begged for photos to be taken!

Now, on to the park! We watched a video about the winter at Valley Forge, then started on the drive through the park. It was a pretty nice sized area with replicas of the huts, soldiers in uniform, lots to learn and see!

Katie and Noah were "Park Rangers" for the day! See their buttons?

We got to see them fire their guns! Katie and Noah both loved that!


In the park was a beautiful church! George Washington Memorial Chapel. It is an Episcopal Church that actually holds services. They were letting out when we arrived. It was so pretty! Above is a photo of Katie and Noah with a replica of the Liberty Bell called the "Justice" bell, on display at the church.

After we left Valley Forge it was just mid-afternoon, so we went to see a movie. We saw the new Disney version of "A Christmas Carol." It was pretty intense, especially the last "ghost of Christmases yet to come" but the kids fared okay. They have already seen other versions of the movie that make it funny (Mickey's and Muppets) so they knew what to expect. There were several "jump out and grab you" moments and like I said, the last ghost was pretty dark and scary, but I loved that it stuck so closely to the grown up versions of the story. It was very similar to the theatrical/musical version Corey and I saw at the Alliance Theater a few years ago in Atlanta. Very true to the story and serious. It is definitely on my buy list because it is a great classic version to watch at Christmas every year. NONE of the typical Jim Carrey goofiness!!! I would recommend it for kids over 6 who don't scare easily or kids who are familiar with the story and with a parent nearby :)

OKAY THEN...on to the next thing.
Of course, Sunday night was not pleasant. When we left Wilmington we were so completely out of sorts that we didn't know what to do. I just wanted to get OUT of Delaware, so we set the GPS for home. The next cities on our path were Baltimore (not Corey's fav. place..kind of rough) and Washington, DC. So we looked on the map and Corey spotted a town he had stayed in many times before where he knew was a nice place to stay and a nice area. It was Sterling, Virginia. It was 1 1/2 hours at 1am we checked into our room and brought in the sleeping kids. It wasn't really till about that time that Corey and I were even settled down enough from our experience to go to sleep anyway...
Upon waking the next morning, we tried to find something fun we could stop and see on the way home.
We did NOT want our week to end on such a horrible memory.
We looked at the Sterling area...nothing.
We considered Jamestown..but it was 3 hours out of the way. :(
Then we noticed and remembered that had driven around Washington, DC on our way to Sterling.
It was only about 25-30 minutes from Sterling!
We quickly confirmed that all the Smithsonian Museums did not charge admission and we were on our way!
It was a 4 1/2 hour blitz of the capitol! ha ha!
3 museums...Smithsonian Natural History, American History, and Air and Space!
A trip to the top of the Washington Monument for Corey and the kids...
beautiful views of the Lincoln Memorial, Capitol building, Smithsonian Castle, and the White House.
A ride on the carousel on the mall lawn... and a 30 minute scenic tour of various buildings while looking for parking when we arrived. Short, sweet, and a fun way to end the trip!

Corey and Katie eating their hot dogs outside the Air and Space museum.

We had to take this photo for Andy and Bethany!

Lovely views and photo ops!

Museum of American History.

A really cool looking building that turned out to be either the EPA or IRS! ha ha!

Natural History Museum.

It cost us $17 to park for half the day! (up to 1 hr was $8.50, 1-17 hrs was $17, 17-24 hours was $37!) ACK! But, it was worth it. We had a great time and ended the trip on a fun note. We spent the night not too much further down the road than the night before and made the drive all the way home yesterday night...arriving home at 10:30pm!
What an unexpected but FUN week!!!!!
After 7 years we finally got to go on a trip with Corey for work. I know I have posted so many photos of our fun times, but it wasn't ALL lolly-gagging. We spent a good 2 1/2 days sitting in our hotel room in King of Prussia. The mall there turned out to be just too huge and overwhelming to navigate with two young children. So, we did some school work and hung out doing nothing. We spent plenty of time sitting in the car... we barely even got out of the car at all in Pittsburgh while Corey ran into music stores and did the "work" part of the trip. But, I am very thankful that we had this opportunity. We are happy to be home in our own beds and ready to rest off the week!


Andy's Bethy said...

I am so glad you got to go on this trip with him.
Love the picture "for us". Is it a U2? I can't tell from this angle. What museum was that at?
Parking in DC sounds like parking in San Fran - insanely expensive. It always made us want to cry.
I love that you got to see so much of our county's history first hand. So cool!
Also, I love the fall tree pics. I wish we had some fall colors down here...
Glad you are home - see you in a couple weeks!

EmileeHope said...

So glad to hear the rest of the trip went great! DC, how fun! Kevin and I should be there in February and I am excited to go!! (I haven't been since I was a kid, and I don't really remember anything!)

Anonymous said...

Now, that sounds like a perfect tour of D.C. for your dad-lol! I am glad that you had the chance to go to D.C. and that your trip ended on a happier note. Glad that you had a safe trip home with all of the rain, too.

Karen said...

The pictures were great! Glad the kids got to see some of the special "stuff" that is in the museums....

Kellie Paige said...

Awesome trip and pictures, Carrie. I'm sure that's something your kids will never forget. The impromptu trips are always the most fun. Glad you're home safe and sound. It is good to get back to your own bed!!