Adam was scheduled for a conference in May in New Jersey and he asked if I wanted to go along. As we looked at options we decided to make it a family trip and weave our way up and back taking in the sights along the way.
We left on a Tuesday evening after the boys’ swim lessons and made it as far as Chattanooga where we stopped to spend the night. The first hotel we stopped at insisted we would need two rooms for our seven people so we went on to the next one which thankfully didn’t ask how many people we had. It was late and all our younglings were asleep in the van. We were able to park right outside the room and so unloading the sleeping people was pretty easy. We tucked four of them into the bed sleeping cross-wise and settled the other in the sleeping bag on the yoga mat on the floor and went to bed.
The next morning after dining on hotel breakfast (undoubtably one of the boys’ favorite parts of the trip) we loaded up and headed to Knoxville where we visited a used book store and the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.
We drove to Harrisonburg, VA that evening and played a few games of Operation which we had acquired at the book store that afternoon. Adam and the boys watched baseball and the boys snacked on food from the cooler while I went in search of batteries for the game and some italian food for Adam and me. We went to sleep watching The Weather Channel’s episode of strange weather events.
After dropping Adam off for his conference the boys and I drove into New York City to see what we could see. Comic books have given them some familiarity with the city so it was with excitement they recognized the Brooklyn Bridge and The Empire State Building. It was a foggy morning and they were impressed that they couldn’t even see the top of the Empire State Building. I was most impressed by the Holland Tunnel which seemed to go on forever. We hope to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, but it was too cloudy for that. The boys declared they liked New York City because it was very easy to play travel bingo there. Living in Alabaster we don’t often see a taxi and they couldn’t believe how many there were on a single street there. I was quite happy to leave the city and its traffic behind and we headed to the Liberty Science Museum to spend the rest of the afternoon. It was a big place with lots to do. Unfortunately we discovered they closed at 3:00 so we had to find something to do on the rest of the rainy afternoon. We opted for IKEA where there was a play place, though Jack must have had a growth spurt because he was too tall to go in. He was consoled with a free ice cream. We also picked up new Lego magazines from the Lego Store. We picked Adam up from the conference and headed out-of-town since there were no hotels available. We drove towards Hershey Pennsylvania looking for places to eat and stay, but found little until we were almost to Hershey where we finally found one available room after trying three hotels.
We traveled on to Staunton, VA and ate at the Depot downtown. While we waited for a table we walked along the train tracks and over a walking bridge to a park. Our table was ready just as we returned. The next day we visited the Frontier Culture Museum which was fascinating.
Sweeping (or sword fighting) at the African village.
Gabriel and the geese.
Playing horse shoes at the English farm.
Examining freshly made cheese.
Adam and Isaac at the English house.
Visiting the sheep.
The grown geese hissed at us as we passed. One more gosling and our families would match, though I don’t usually hiss at others.
The German house.
Playing double ball at the Native American village
Stephen at the American settlement.
Sebastian liked the little doorway, and the cat on the bed.
Jack and Gabriel at checkers.
We took some time and traveled along the Blue Ridge Parkway part of the way home and spent a final night in Knoxville. It was nice to come home again.
A picture on the Blue Ridge Parkway.