We arrived in Myrtle Beach Thursday night and after a bit of school work Friday morning we decided it was time for a break. We headed out to play miniature golf, where Hunter beat us all, helped out by THREE holes in one! We then went to the beach where the boys built sand castles and collected sea shells. They even went into the water which was pretty cold. Later Bruce took the boys out to play laser tag for the first time and had a blast! We spent the evening doing a bit of shopping at the outlet mall and had some ice cream. I don't know if we needed Ice Cream since it is supposed to get into the mid thirties tonight but.... Tomorrow we're planning on leaving for Atlanta, GA but there sure is a lot to do here. We'll have to come back someday.
Well of course being the aviator in the family, no trip to the east coast would be complete without a trip to Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers Memorial and First Flight Museum. We stayed at a nice campground on Roanoke Island, once home to the Lost Roanoke Colony. While at the museum we attended a short lecture on the events leading up to the first powered flight, which was quite interesting. There were replicas of the Wright Flier and one of their early gliders. Outside on the grounds you can see monuments which mark the take off and landing points of the first four flights. We also walked to the top of the hill upon which the Wright Brothers Memorial stands. (It's a long way!) There is a great view of the beach, the museum grounds and First Flight Airport. There are some pictures of the boys climbing on and around a life size replica of the First Flight.
We spent Tuesday in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Virginia. The workers there all dress in period clothing, and the town is very much the same as it would have been at that time. We went into many of the stores and shops and the boys were interested in seeing and playing with the toys that entertained the children of the 18th Century. In Jamestown we visited the first settlement museum, which had a good movie that explained the whole history of the Jamestown settlement and the Powhatan Indians. There is a Powhatan Indian village and a re-creation of the fort. They also have copies of the ships that the colonists came over on. In the evening we drove down to the North Carolina coast to Kitty Hawk.
We decided to take another shot at the Skyline drive today since the weather was so poor two days ago. It was a bit rainy in the morning but by noon it had cleared up nicely and we headed off to drive the middle section of the parkway. We drove from Luray to Elkton about 35 miles. We saw several deer along the way and one beautiful view after another. We tried to take some pictures but as you can imagine they just don't do it justice. We (the boys) did some rock climbing along the way and Jedi seemed to enjoy the fresh mountain air as well.
This morning we drove back to New Market arriving just in time for Trick or Treating in the campground and a costume contest. Hunter won third place in the contest and both boys got way too much junk! Jedi was a big help, passing out the candy.
This morning we got going as early as possible, dropped Jedi at a kennel, and headed to Washington DC. We drove on the northern one third of the Skyline Drive, which is a road through the Shenandoah National Park. It follows the crests of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles. Unfortunately today it was very foggy and so the visibility from the mountain tops was not good. Very pretty fall colors though. When we got to the Washington area, we started off at Arlington Cemetery where we walked for awhile just to get an idea of the scope of the place. It's huge! The white tombstones go on for what seems like forever. We saw the Kennedy grave site among others. We traveled over the Memorial bridge to the Lincoln Memorial, there is a really good view down the Mall to Capitol Hill from the front steps. We went to the White House, the Washington Monument and the Capitol building. We drove around the Capitol City and saw the Smithsonian Museums and monuments, but we just didn't plan well enough time-wise and we will have to come back to visit these in more detail later. We stayed in Arlington for the night and had some Greek food! YUM!
Our drive to the Luray Caverns was the most picturesque by far. I now understand why people drive from all over just to tour this countryside. The winding road up the mountains full of beautiful fall colors is well worth the trip. We spent 90 minutes in the caverns during a self guided audio tour with rangers around to help answer any questions. They were discovered over 100 years ago and are the largest in the Eastern United States. There was also an auto museum where the boys enjoyed seeing cars, bikes and carriages built in the 1800 and 1900's. The highlight of this field trip though was a scavenger hunt that they did in a real maze of trees 7 feet high! Go figure :-\
Suzanne and the boys went on a walking tour of New Market, VA today. The tour is led by an educator who is very well versed on the history of the local area and points out the historic homes and famous sites in the town. She wears period clothing as she walks you around town, at one point even singing an old southern song. The Battle of New Market was a battle fought on May 15, 1864, within about 5 miles from here during The Valley Campaigns of 1864 in the American Civil War.