Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Trip

The nucleus for the trip was a Family Reunion that Cowboy's mom's family was having in Jackson, TN. We were requested to go, and I thought (as I logically do), "Well, if we're driving ten hours to Jackson, we may as well drive ten more to Richmond, VA." We have friends there, and although I knew my dear friend Martha wouldn't be there, I've wanted Cowboy to see Richmond, and all of the East Coast. Then I thought, "WEll, if we're going to Richmond, DC is only two hours up from there, and then Cowboy and Halle could see DC, and maybe that would help Halle catch up with Social Studies/History in general, or give her a leg up on next year. And, as long as we're going as far as DC, we may as well drive two more hours up and see my College friend Kimberly and her husband Seth, because I want Cowboy to see that area, also." Then, we realized that the date of the Reunion would cause us to do it backwards, which worked as well. So we rented a car, and drove the first day to Columbus, Ohio. This was a long trip. Over 900 miles to Columbus from OKC. But I wanted the first day to be long, so the second day would be shorter, and then maybe we could fit a side trip through Amish Country in Lancaster County. We did. We left at 4:40 am. Before the trip I made Halle a Travel Journal. It had a two page summary for every state we were driving through with a little worksheet about the State at the end. Then there was a page of lined paper for her to write her day's thoughts on, and then I also included an expense sheet, so she could keep track of all of our expenses. Every day had boxes for gas, meals, lodging, miscellaneous. We (I) also packed fruit, sandwiches, snacks (Skittles) and water for the road. Day One was uneventful and long. Day Two took us into Lancaster County, before heading down to Seth and Kimberly's.
There WERE two cuter pics of her, but her eyes were closed... ala Cowboy....
It's so pretty here, isn't it? It was so much fun at Kimberly's. Relaxation, laughter, chatting, laughter, Arts and Crafts for Halle (thus, her favorite stop), laughter, crabs and ... lots of laughter. We went out to the Chesapeake, so they could see it.
Cowboy was hoping for fresh Maryland crabs, and he was NOT disappointed.
Seth, Kimberly's cute husband.
Then with a sad farewell, (and Starbucks to go), we headed on down to DC. We drove through DC and then on out to our First Father's house. Lovely day. Hot, but DUH! it WAS July. (Oh did I mention that we found out on the night of Day Two that the reunions as canceled...?)
Have you ever heard that Civil War soldiers scratched their names into bricks around General Washington's tomb? It's actually a true story, although which names are actually from the Civil War and which ones were carved by copycats is disputable. Mount Vernon was neutral ground during the Civil War.
Cowboy loves to smoke a good cigar. This is a cigar in it's purest form, no?
Although Halle did say she LOVED Mount Vernon, this was probably the picture she was most excited about. Dorothy's ruby slippers at the American History museum.
Yes, we hit the Main Three memorials. I think it gave Cowboy a glimpse into my long days. At one point, I said, "wouldn't you think I'd be in a LOT better shape with all this walking?!" And while he wisely didn't agree to THAT statement, he said, "This is a LOT of walking." (And we didn't do it nearly as long or as much.)
Next day we walked Arlington and then took a tour of the Capitol and the Library of Congress. To say Cowboy was disappointed in the Capitol Tour would be an understatement. I would guess that for 95% of the people that come on the tours I give, that would be the case. But it's pretty.
Then we went down to Richmond, VA where we stayed with the Young's. As luck would have it, poor Joseph, the 23 year old, got stuck with us. But it was a TREAT to see him. We took in Williamsburg,
and then drove over to Jamestown and the Yorktown Surrender field, with a quick sidestep to dip our toes in the James River (Something I've wanted to do for 15 years on tour. It's just not on the schedule...)
Since the Reunion was canceled, we wrangled an invitation from Cowboy's Aunt Debbie, who lives in Knoxville, (home also to his favorite cousin, Dave, and his wife and two children). Also, his Grandpa Curt (WW2 Vet) lives there. It was really nice to see them and have some EXCELLENT smoked ribs for the Fourth, before heading to Jackson to spend the night (in a nasty, scary hotel). Then on home. We had SO hoped to see our bathroom almost completed, but that was a complete disappointment. But the trip was NOT a disappointment. We traveled 3,230 miles in 8 days. Quite a trip. Hopefully, quite a good memory. Time will tell.


  1. You still blog? Who knew?

    What an awesome trip. I hate travel and history, but you made this look really fun and I actually wish I had been with you!

  2. Excellent. You never told me you stayed with some of Cowboy's fam. Love the pic of you. You look great.

  3. I missed my opportunity to meet you in Richmond!

    As a Virginian, I've seen all of where you've just been. How nice to share the experience with Halle. I'd like to do a similar trip out west with my family.