So it’s been a few month since New Years Eve, but I wanted to go ahead and post a few pictures from that fun night. Some great friends invited us to their country club to do the ball drop again this year with the kids. The nice thing is that it’s from 6:00pm to 9:00pm so we got home and were off the roads before the crazies got out.
This was the same night that I stayed up and watched the first 6 episodes of 24. I’ve never seen the show before, but I was hooked. I couldn’t stop watching and think I was up until about 3:00 am watching (as Brad snored next to me).
THEN, the next night I had the worst nightmare of my life….like the WORST. I screamed, woke Brad up, jumped out of bed and started running for the bedroom door. Brad had to yell at me to get out of it….then I sat on the edge of the bed and sobbed for 10 minutes. It was awful. Apparently, this girl is a chicken. No more 24 for me. :(
Our trip to Washington DC over Thanksgiving break was wonderful. We spent a lot of time walking, exploring, riding, eating and enjoying our way through the city. We arrived Wednesday around noon and started out by walking to the White House. Our hotel was only a few blocks away.
Next, we saw the Washington Monument and walked to the WWII Memorial. See the pillars on the left side of the photo? On each of those it lists a state or country that was involved in the War. There is a large pond in the center that David is standing in front of with fountains. Opposite the Washington Monument is the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
Me and my boy. This photo was taken as we were waiting for the President entourage to ride by. On our way back to the hotel on Wednesday we started hearing helicopters, then we noticed that police men were blocking this one street and not letting any cars by. The security got tighter and tighter as we kept walking, so at a corner we stopped and waited. About 30 minutes later about 40-50 cars rode by including motorcycle cops, police cars, trucks with armed men sitting in the back, several blacked out limos and suburbans (we assume the President was in one of these), more police cars and a few rescue vehicles. It was neat to experience.
My favorite part of our trip was watching the Changing of the Guard and visiting Arlington National Cemetery. We did a lot of things and saw a lot of things including all the Smithsonian Museums, and most of the monuments, but this visit really stands out.
We also walked to the Capital. We had tickets to get a tour of the Capital but I thought our time slot was 10:45. Instead it was 8:20. We missed it. : ( Instead we went to the Library of Congress (where this photo was taken – facing the Capital).
On our last day in DC we rode the Metro to the Pentagon and Pentagon Memorial. This was a very somber memorial and quite emotional to visit. See those bench looking things? Each one represents a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. They are laid out (depending on which direction they are pointing) to represent if the victim was in the building or in the plane. They were also laid out in rows based on the year of birth of the victim. The youngest victim was 3 and was born in 1998. Wow. Beneath each bench was a stream of water that was constantly running. This was a beautiful memorial – especially as you read more about it to learn how it was created to honor the victims.
When we left Washington DC we headed to a Christmas Tree Farm in Hillsville, VA. We drove near the Shenandoah Parkway and decided to hop on rather than ride the interstate. I was disappointed that it cost $15 to ride (when the Blue Ridge Parkway is totally free). The Shenandoah Parkway was definitely beautiful though. Once the Parkway ended it turned into the Blue Ridge Parkway….so we took that to Roanoke, VA and then hopped on a small two lane highway to drive about 60 more miles to Hillsville. We went to this PRECIOUS Christmas Tree Farm to pick out our tree.
Child labor at its best!
For the past few years we have driven to Boone, NC (to Circle C farm) to cut down our Christmas tree. You can read about why we don’t just cut down our tree in Alabama by clicking here. This year we opted to go to a different Christmas Tree farm. We ended up at Reed Island Christmas Tree Farm just outside of Hillsville, VA. This was about the half way point from DC, so it worked.
We loved this farm. It was on the most beautiful piece of land, in a mountain valley with a small river running along the property and provided the most beautiful trees. We met and talked to the owners for a while and found they also have a small band called the Reed Island Rounders and will be in Birmingham in January (we may go hear them). And David made a new friend – the husky named Minnitonka or something like that. We got a fresh wreath for the front door and an ornament from the workshop at the farm.
While we really like the farm we’ve been to in Boone, these trees are so much better. I’m not sure why….the owner doesn’t use pesticides – it’s an all natural/organic farm….maybe that’s why?
This was the first tree we all said we liked and even after walking around for another 10 minutes it ended up being the tree we brought home. The boys there helped wrap it in a sheet and tie it to the trailer grate on the back of the Jeep. It stuck out 1 or more feet on each side, luckily no mailboxes or trees were hit on the way home.
We stood it up in its place at home last night when we got home, but tonight we will decorate it. I’ll try to get some good pictures and post them later.
I am thankful for safe travels we’ve had over the past week and a half (TN, KY, AL, VA and DC).
Side Note: I am not thankful that Brad decided to teach me how to drive his 5 speed Jeep on the interstate. The first hour was fine, the last was stop and go in very heavy traffic. Not cool. I cried. He laughed.
Thankful to be able to spend another weekend traveling with my boys. This time to Washington DC for Thanksgiving (and to see every free museum we can and all the Memorials) and then on to Virginia for our annual Griswold Family Christmas tree hunt…then home on Sunday.
I am thankful for my washing machine and dryer (even if they are 12 years old). Without them a one day turn around between trips would be impossible.
I am thankful for safe travels this weekend….oh, and for my fireplace.
I am thankful for the ability to take road trips. Kentucky – here we come!