Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Vacation Part II ~ What We Did in Virginia

On our recent vacation we went to Philadelphia, Pennyslvania (which you can read about in the previous post) and to Virginia. My kids have been to Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. several times. Northern Virginia is where my husband and I were raised so we have several relatives still in the area. We usually stay with my Father and Stepmother when we visit there. This time we decided to only stay a short time in the Washington, D.C. area and see something new in another area. If you want to know some great things to do in D.C., you can read my past posts here, here, and here.

This year we did more of what the locals do. We went shopping at a very large mall and visited the American Girl Place (doll store). My daughter saved money for months to take to American Girl Place. She had poured over AG doll catalogs and watched many YouTube videos about visiting the store. To say she had done her research was an understatement. She took her two dolls, Grace and Rebecca, with her. We started by touring the store and then went to the AG cafe and had a lovely, albeit pricey, lunch. There was plenty of pink for Little Red Riding Hood.

After lunch, we went to the AG salon and had Grace's ears pierced and Rebecca's hair done. I can't believe there is such a store in existence! Little Red Riding Hood was in heaven. I am glad we don't have a store near us. This is definitely a place that should be a rare special occasion (at least to my frugal way of thinking). Lastly, Little Red Riding Hood made her selections with the money she had been saving for so long. She mostly already knew what she was buying, but there was a lot of window shopping. 

Tom Sawyer and DH spent their time at the mall at the Lego Store, spending Tom Sawyer's saved money and had a nice lunch in a "guys" restaurant. A "guys" restaurant serves really big slices of pizza and lots of soda, I am told.

We also spent a day at the local wave pool. The kids loved it. They had never been to a wave pool before. The pool also had tall slides and the kids had a great time on them. They didn't even mind the 15 minute lines between each trip down the slide.

I didn't want to carry in the camera so this picture is borrowed from the Internet.
Apparently they have a dog day ~ how cool is that!
On our way home through Virginia we stopped at Luray Caverns. The kids had been through a small cavern system close to home a few years ago. Luray is much bigger and more impressive. We will be studying caves when we start school, so this was an early field trip. It was also my birthday, so I really wanted to do something fun to break up our seven hour drive home. The caverns were as beautiful as I remembered them from childhood and our tour guide was great.

43 feels pretty good!

Dad, Tom Sawyer, and Little Red Riding Hood listening to the stalacpipe organ. It makes stalactites sing by gently tapping them throughout three acres of the caverns.  

Here is a quick video on YouTube that shows you the Luray Caverns. It was a wonderful tour and a perfect ending to our vacation.

Now it is time to reorganize my house, paint the baseboards and trim all the same color white, get rid of anything that doesn't work, and finish planning next school year. I have a lot to do in the next approximately three weeks (I haven't formally decided when we are starting back to school). The kids also want to hold a yard sale to make money for dance classes, camp outside once, and put off fireworks. We also plan on seeing a few $1 movies at the movie kids camp. They are also earning money for dance by working for Grandma this summer. Lastly, they each have a sleepover lined up. However, we are mostly embracing large spaces of free time and a loose schedule.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Fun trip! I totally understand the American Girl reaction. We have a local store and it's not actually always a good thing to have it 15 minutes from our house. The caves look like fun. Missouri has tons of caves and I grew up going on tours, but we've yet to ever take Amber to one. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I love the caves! I want to take my kids to some caverns in our state and have been trying to find out if any are wheelchair accessible for Mason. Looks like you had a great time!

  3. Wow! I also can't believe you can have a dolls ears pierced!!
    Love the cave photos and as always it's nice to see a photo of you also!

  4. The caverns look SO cool! Although I've been in caves made from rocks falling, I've never been in ones formed with water or other means.

  5. Your pictures are great. I am glad that someone else's child does her "research" before going on trips--our youngest becomes nervewrecking when it is something she wants to do! Yes, lady, 43 DOES look good!! Blessings to you!! As always, I'm enjoying my "visit!!"

  6. That last comment was from me, Belinda (, btw, not my youngest, Savannah. She took over my blogspot account!!