Thursday, March 22, 2012

Virginia Recap Part 1

Our little trip to Virgina was two weeks ago. We saw quite a bit in about 3 days. I'll do my best to share the highlights, but as you know, my travel recaps tend to be a bit long-winded. I try not to leave anything out! 

The whole point of driving to Ashland, Virgina, was to tag along with my husband who is the assistant coach of a boys soccer team. Our friend, John, is the head coach, and his wife, Heather, is one of my oldest friends. We piled our stuff into one rental car, and they piled their stuff into another rental car, along with their 3 kids, under the age of 4. Road trip! 

Here's the breakdown: 2 cars, 4 days, 3 soccer games, 4 adults, 3 children, 1 hotel suite. Yes, that's right. We all roomed together. It was an adventure to remember! This was not a trip for catching up on sleep, but we sure had a lot of laughs and made a lot of memories. As usual, when Heather and I get together, it is guaranteed that there will be tons of laughing. And a few mishaps. And more laughing.

John and Andrew did their coaching thing, and we watched one of the three games. It was muddy. It wasn't as warm as we thought it would be. It was crowded. There wasn't anywhere for the kids to play. Needless to say, it wasn't the greatest morning. 
But the kids were troopers, we made it through, and the team won that game!

On to some fun stuff. A Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World was located right across form our hotel. Truth be told, I've never set food inside one of these manly-nature-outdoorsy stores before. Hunting, camping and "roughing it" are not really my type of thing. But, the store was enormous, filled with interesting displays, a cool elevator, a giant fish tank, bears and other (deceased) animals on display, a "shooting range" and game area, a general store, furniture, and more than I could have imagined being for sale in there. 

Tacoma and Kash, testing out the ATV's. 

The best part was getting to hang out with this little sweetie pie! Emerson is such a good baby girl. Look at that smile and her adorable outfit! I loved holding her. 

On Saturday, Andrew and I ventured off to explore Richmond. The sun was bright, not a cloud in the sky, a perfect afternoon for walking around and site seeing. 

I instantly liked the character of this part of the city, and it's cobble stone streets. 

And knitted tree trunk cozies? There's a new craft. Not sure how that would work. Or why.

What is it about ivy growing wildly on a wall that's so beautiful to me? Anyone else drawn to it?
We followed the James River Park and trails. It was a really great walking path along the river, under bridges, through a tunnel, winding along the railroad. Very pretty.

It actually led us right near the Virginia Holocaust Museum. We decided to take the tour and were transported to an unimaginable time in history. The museum strives to provide guests with an interactive experience through life size replicas, such as an actual hiding place, cattle cars, concentration camps and video and written accounts of survivors. It was extremely overwhelming and difficult to see their faces, read their stories and envision the absolute torture that millions of people suffered and endured. People like us. People with families and children. People that were persecuted, tormented and disposed of. I was reminded how much evil is in the world, how sinful mankind is and the depths of depravity of which people are capable of. How desperately we need a Savior and how merciful our God is! I was in tears when we left.

We walked outside, reflecting and talking about what we just saw. It definitely cast a sadness on the afternoon. We continued our site seeing, with a greater sense of gratitude and thankfulness to God.

Later on, we found a little restaurant called City Dogs, where they serve all kinds of "fancy" hot dogs. Andrew and I were intrigued by the menu. 
We ordered corn dog bites, Andrew got the Philly dog with peppers and onions, and I got the Southwest dog with jalapenos, guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips. That's right, I proved my ability to take on the jalapeno. Until I bit into one that made my throat burn and my face sweat. Lesson learned.  

My handsome date. He's even hotter than those jalapenos! (cue bad joke drum beat)

There's still a little more of our trip to share, but I'll save that for another post. I think I crammed enough information and photos into one for now! Extra points for you if you're reading this. Stay tuned for the rest!

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