Mom, Carol, Andrew, and I enjoyed a great trip to Virginia. We got to spend a day at Busch Gardens Europe (Florida’s park has an African theme) and ride the terrifying Sheikra . . . I mean, Griffon. We got to see some shows, go on some 4-D rides, go to a beer tasting, and see some of the gardens. Crowds were fairly light and the lines for most of the rides were short. Thanks very much to Mom for the tickets to everything we would go to.
We spent a cold rainy day at the Yorktown National Battlefield. We saw a film, went through the exhibits, and attended a talk out on the battlements where we learned about the siege and battles of the final major battle of the American Revolution, resulting in the surrender of General Cornwallis to General Washington. We learned that although there was some fighting and a lot of shells fired back and forth, it was more of a strategic victory after Cornwallis was cornered in Yorktown without supplies and no way of escape since the British navy, which was supposed to pick up Cornwallis, had been defeated by the French navy just a few miles away. Carol got a CD so that we could go on a narrated driving tour of different sites in the area.
We spent the next couple of days touring Colonial Williamsburg. After dinner we visited Dr. Chris Strawberries and Andrew got to play Star Wars Risk with Chris’ son, Hance.
On the last full day we visited the Jamestowne Settlement, a recreation of the first permanent British settlement in North America. Although most of the original settlers would die and the settlement was abandoned after about 60 years, it literally planted the seeds of American success, introducing tobacco farming to Virginia. They built a nice museum there last year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the settlement. We didn’t have time to go into the national park, but we did stop to see the glassblowing shop there, located near the ruins of a historic glassblowing works. They were making small green pitchers, so I bought one they had made earlier (you can’t get fresh ones because they have to cool off slowly or they will crack).
On Thursday we drove to Washington to stay with Joe and Sandy. We pretty much invaded their house, but they were great hosts and both Sandy and Joe made excellent food (Uncle Joe cooks breakfast) and did a great job of showing us around. We visited Arlington Cemetery and watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and also a wreath-laying ceremony. It was too rainy to stay for long. The cherry blossom festival was in full swing in Washington, and even though it was overcast, it was impressive visiting at this time of year. The pictures don’t show how pretty all of those pink blossoms are. There were tons of people walking around and taking pictures. We saw a V-22 Osprey flying around the city with its giant propellers in the vertical helicopter position. We rode in the next day on Metro and took in every monument we could. Andrew finished his Junior Ranger workbook and was sworn in at the end of the day and given a badge.
Thanks to Mom for such a jam-packed trip!