We have long wanted to do a road trip up the eastern seaboard, so we finally got our wish! We packed quite a bit into two weeks, so here goes...
We left after church on Sunday and headed to Savannah, Georgia, which is about a five hour drive from here. We decided to bring our tent and camp for several reasons: to save money, to save time and to have fun! We brought along two fans since we would be camping in the South during the summer, but unfortunately one of them broke. So we shared one little fan the first night in 90 degree weather. I would say that was the most miserable night, but we survived :)
Somehow we managed to fit everything in there! Brendan thought it great fun to pile up all the pillows and make a fort in the backseat.
The next day, we spent the whole time in the car on our way to Washington D.C. We ended up camping about 40 minutes south of D.C. in Virginia. The kids did pretty well in the car. We brought a DVD series of cartoons about the Revolutionary War so they could have a little background for our stop in Boston. The rest of the time they stayed occupied with books and gameboys, and eating, of course.
Daddy doing morning Bible reading with the kids before heading into D.C.
We parked in Arlington National Cemetery and walked over the bridge into the city. We did a lot of walking that day, but the weather was a beautiful 75 degrees and overcast, so it was wonderful.
View of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial. Shortly after this, Kylie decided to trip and fall down the Lincoln Memorial steps and cut her lip open. A few hours later, Brendan tripped on the escalator in the Ronald Reagan building and cut open his leg. And then about an hour after that, Mackenzie got hit in the mouth by her brother and split her lip open. Donathan and I escaped unharmed.
Playing on the grassy area in front of the Washington Monument where we ate our lunch. Kylie got upset with the ants that were stealing the crumbs from her sandwich.
The White House
Kylie wanted to see those police horses up close all day, and when we finally got our chance, she was fast asleep!
The next day we spent driving again on our way to Boston. This was a reeeeally long day. I think we arrived past 9 o'clock. And during this particular drive, Kylie spent about an hour screaming her head off. But after lunch, she was back to normal, thankfully. We also drove through the Bronx in New York; that was quite the experience. I've been to Manhattan, but this was like a whole other world! Well, we survived and made it to Hamilton, MA, where Donathan's cousin and her family are. They arranged for us to stay in a dorm on the college campus where they live, so we got real showers and beds for a couple of nights and got to visit with family, which was great!
Donathan doing daddy duty :)
The next day Ashley and two of her kids took us on the train into Boston where we visited the U.S.S. Constitution and the Freedom Trail and the kids got to ride on the subway as well.
As long as I've known Donathan, he has always wanted to go to the U.S.S. Constitution and he finally got his wish!! He was in nautical heaven.
We spent the rest of the day on the Freedom Trail.
Paul Revere's home
Had to get this pic as this is Brendan and Kylie's favorite food. (no, I don't feed my kids the Kraft version!)
This cracked me up. You can tell which way Boston leans politically!
Republicans only get the footprints:
Either this Redcoat was playing his part well, or he was the rudest Bostonian we met!
Kylie taking a nap on the subway
The next day, we made our way to our final destination: Boothbay Harbor, ME. We were blessed to be invited to spend some time at the Hazelton cottage with Whit, Kristin and Hudson. It was absolutely beautiful and we had such a great time.
View from the cottage
The Hazelton cottage
Hangin' out in Boothbay Harbor
We went into town for pizza one night and the kids (big and small) spent hours making and flying paper airplanes. It's really the simple things that are best.
We went the aquarium, which, although small, was great fun, especially the touch tank.
This is some rare lobster that is half blue/half red. I believe it is something like 1 in 30 million.
Mackenzie next to a giant lobster.
Evening Bible reading time
Boat ride into town for ice cream
The famous ice cream shop!
Donathan and Whit took the kids one day to play and Kristin and I got to go to a little town for lunch and looking at the shops.
Boat ride to Burnt Island for a look at the little light house, picnic lunch and watching the pursuit sailboat race.
Donna and Donathan
Enjoying the view on Burnt Island
I really don't think Donathan could have been any happier. Well, maybe if he was on one of those boats...
On a hike in Porter's Preserve. Kylie's favorite part was spotting the trees that had paint on them to mark the trail.
Our last full day there, Whit instructed us in the art of elf house construction. We had so much fun creating these. (I think our kids were inspired to play in our backyard a little more, after the hot, humid, buggy weather leaves of course.)
Donathan constructing his first elf house
Donathan's house. He then upgraded to a larger property.
Donathan's second house had extensive grounds and landscaping. No surprise there :)
Campfire at Donathan's elf house
Brendan's tree house
Whit's first elf house
Whit's modern elf house, inspired by Frank Loyd Wright
Mackenzie and Mommy's cottage house
Brendan building his first house
Kylie made a special friend while we were there. Philip's family was renting the cottage next door. They only spent a few hours together, but they hit it off!
The funny thing is we had been looking forward to the cool weather in Maine for months, and then only got one cool night. There was some crazy heat wave that came through and the last couple of days, it was as hot as Florida! Although I don't have pictures, we do have video that proves we all jumped in that FREEZING cold water, which helped a little to cool us down :)
It was really hard to leave Maine. We so enjoyed just relaxing and playing and soaking in the beauty.
We were hoping to stop in New York City on the way back, but with Hurricane Earl on the way, we had to get moving. By the time we got to Virginia, we hadn't experienced a rain drop, so we decided to squeeze one more thing in before coming home. We took a detour and stopped in Williamsburg, VA. I have great memories of a road trip I took with my family 24 years ago and we stopped here as well. I'm sure this picture will look familiar to my family!
Colonial Williamsburg is a town that still operates as it did in 1770. The houses and shops are original or restored and not only are the workers in period dress, they actually have professions that produce items just as they did over 200 years ago. We got to see the gunsmith, weaver, shoemaker, coffe house proprieter, blacksmith, etc. Unfortunately, my camera switched to it's internal memory, so I thought I ran out of space and only have a few pics. At the end of the day, we got to watch General Lafayette give a speech to the militia, after which they fired their muskets and cannons. Fun times.
The next day we had to make it from Virginia back home. That was the most grueling part of the whole trip. I think it was a good 14 hours of driving and we didn't get here 'til about 1:30am and had church the next morning, but it was well worth it.
So there you have it. Two weeks of craziness in a nutshell. I would do it again in a heartbeat. (Really, there were only a few times I wanted to pull my hair out.)