Sunday, July 31, 2016

Blackwater State Park - West Virginia Day 1

Kind of at the last minute, we decided to spend this week in the mountains of West Virginia.  I found a little house to rent near Davis, WV and it is perfect for us!  It has three bedrooms, a hot tub and we could even bring the dogs! It's been very relaxing so far.
Our first morning, we had a bit of a slow morning and then we drove over to Blackwater State park to see the falls.  It was a very easy hike down a few big sets of stairs to the viewing area for the falls.  After we enjoyed ourselves watching the falls, we had lunch at the snack bar and then drove over to another viewing area.  We spent another hour or so driving around and then ended up at the Nature Center and a pond.  We found a path up over an old train trestle and enjoyed a nice hike through the woods and wild flowers.  We even found some wild blueberries!!

We headed back to the house for some hot tub time and dinner.  It's so nice to have a house and a kitchen.  It makes meal times so easy. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Icebergs at the National Building Museum

 We visited the Summer exhibit at the National Building Museum today.  It's become a yearly tradition and we've been every summer since we moved here - it's only our third summer but in Army life - that's a tradition!  We visited the big Maze two years ago and the ball pit Beach last summer.

This was very different from either of the other two exhibits.  As you walk into the icebergs, you truly feel immersed.  Everything is blue, quiet and cool - an extreme difference from 100 degree loud city outside.  We arrived just at the right time - around 1:30.  There were very few people in the museum and we even managed to find street parking only about a block away.  (We are two for two in the past two visits into the district.  I anticipate never being able to find a parking spot again.) The kids immediately raced off into the sea of icebergs and found that you could climb all the way to the top of one and look down into the blue sea beneath.  It was surreal to feel like you were underwater looking up!  I climbed up to the top and joined them - it was an incredible landscape above the "water".  We quickly realized that there were slides out of the iceberg that landed you in an open area filled with large pillows.  The kids wasted no time piling them all up together and jumping into them.  I think that they weren't the first ones to do that, judging from the remnants of an exploded pillow on the floor!

After we had relaxed in the piles of pillows for a while, we climbed up two sets of stairs to the third floor to get a birds' eye view of the icebergs.  It was fascinating to see the exhibit from above.  It looked like a fishtank!  After we climbed back downstairs, we visited the kids' building area.  It's always a fun place to hang out for a while.  We had to finish our visit with cookies from the cafe and it was a good thing too!  We got caught in bad traffic for about an hour because of a huge accident.  Everyone would have been pretty hungry without a snack!!

All in all - a great day and totally worth the price of admission.  I love that we are so close to the city.  It's so easy to get in and out - usually! - and the kids and I love exploring!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Capitol Hill Gardens

We finished up at the Postal Museum in a little less than two hours and decided that we were hungry but didn't want to go home.  We fed the meter again, had lunch across the street and then walked through the gardens between Union Station and the Capitol.   It was a beautiful day - a little hot but very nice and we had fun throwing pennies in the fountain.  We ended up walking all the way around the Capitol building - which is really big and on a hill. Everyone was pretty tired and hot by the time we got back to the car!
We didn't have time to take a tour of the Capitol - something to save for next time!!!