There is never a complaint from anyone in my house when we make the suggestion to go back east for vacation. The kids know all our trips back east will include time at Mom Mom an Pop Pop Herr's farm in Pennsylvania, visits to historic sights and fun adventures. So, here's what we did over the 4th of July holiday. (Most of these pictures are NOT on my fb page.)
The Herr Farm
Mom Mom and Pop Pop Herr love company. I sometimes wonder if they ever get a weekend to themselves because there always seems to be a visitor at the farm. True to family tradition, this 4th of July on the farm was packed with people from all over. There where over 70 people for about 4 days over the 4th of July. Where do all those people sleep? Well, there where lots of campers, tents, people in the bunk house out in the barn, the loft area and Akido mats in the garage and of course in the two houses. Families are assigned meals together to feed this massive crew and no one goes hungry.
Hiking up to the rappelling spot.
There are always lots of activities at the farm. Mom Mom decided to do an Easter egg hunt for all the younger grand kids because she never gets to do that at Easter for them. The eggs where filled with MONEY! The kids did Survivor again this year and played lots of games. There where hikes and lots of exploring.
Carp helping Mason at rappelling.
Carp brought his climbing gear and took people rappelling almost everyday. Young and old enjoyed the fun. The fun thing I learned to play this year was corn hole. I think I'm going to get myself one of those games!
Brandon, Heather, Sam, Autumn, Carson and Sadie hanging out by the pool.
The pool is always a treat in the humid, hot heat of summer. It was nice to have so many older grand kids to watch the younger ones. It was also cool to see all these teenage and older grand kids hanging out and chatting so much. They really do get along so well!
It is always a treat to spend time with Carp's family. We all enjoyed the conversation and laughing. It was really fun.
Air and Space Museum
We decided to spend a couple days in Washington D.C. because we heard we could catch the worst heat wave of the year down there. Well, we didn't mean to, but we just happened to tour parts of D.C. when it was extremely hot. Like 105 degrees and humid hot. So the museums were a draw for us. They are air conditioned!
Lanette met up with us and explored Washington D.C. and Philadelphia with our family. We rode the metro in both days. That was an experience in and of itself. I think that's the Apollo 11 space craft behind everyone.
Carson was basically a kid in a candy store at this museum. He had taken a class through UVU called aviation science and pretty much knew what all these space crafts were and information about each of them. He and Nathan eventually went off by themselves for a while so they could explore he museum more in depth. Did I mention how nice and cool the museums where?
The Air and Space Museum is very family friendly. There are sections completely hands on for kids to explore all aspects of space related topics. Here is one that took your weights and transposed it into what you would weigh on different planets. The museum had lots of stuff like this.
That's Capitol Hill behind us. I included this specific picture to illustrate how dry the grass in the national mall was. It was brown everywhere because the heat had been so bad.
The Washington Monument was pretty interesting. Check out the difference in the color of stone about a third of the way up. It probably came from a different quarry.
Next we went to the World War II Monument. It is beautiful. There is a water feature in the middle and 50 individual markers with wreaths surrounding it. Each marker has a state name on it. There is also a beautiful WWII bronze maker inside.
The Vietnam Memorial is surrounded by a beautiful park and had what little green grass we could find in the area. I absolutely love this picture. The reflection of people against all the names of people who lost there lives is quite touching.
Lincoln was an interesting character in American history. It feels like home for me walking into this monument.
This is another kid friendly museum to visit. Oh, and by the way, all the museums and monuments we visited in D.C. were free. They are some that cost money (the Spy Museum for example) but after spending so much on parking and metro fairs, it was not going to happen. They have different levels and sections to the museum so you can check out all types of natural history. We toured a whole area of just stones and gems. It was actually quite beautiful.
Museum of American History
This section of the museum chronologically depicted the wars America has been involved in. It was called the Price of Freedom: Americans at War. There were actual red coats from the British Army and an entire outfit of George Washington. There were camps set up just like in the Civil War and uniforms and propaganda from WWI and WWII. The Korean and Vietnam war had a jeep and helicopter.
Some of the more modern wars or military actions our nation has been involved in were also depicted. This is a replica of a piece of the Berlin Wall. There is a real piece inset in it.
Kings Dominion Amusement Park
This was a pretty impressive amusement park. We split up almost from the beginning. Carp, Carson, Nathan and Lanette started hitting all the rides for insane people and I took those who were left and rode the ride normal people would be attracted to.
Sammy was the only one small enough to enjoy the little kid rides in Kidville. Ironically, she is an adventure seeker and the only reason she was hanging with me was because she wasn't big enough to ride the crazy people rides. She didn't get my genes on this one.
We did a few rides together. This was our ferris wheel ride.
Seth had to pay extra money to drive the go carts on the Thunder Raceway. Carp went as a passenger. Seth driving. Um, yeah.
The Shenandoah Log flume was quite fun. Well, not so much for Gabby. She doesn't like scary ride and this one is considered scary to her. She screamed the entire way. But, if you look real close at Sammy, you can see delight written all over her face.
There was a water park at Kings Dominion. However, we never got there. We did run around in the water works area in Snoopyland. It cooled us off enough to take in some more rides.
All in all, I think Kings Dominion was really fun. The kids really enjoyed themselves even though they were dog tired from walking around in Washington D.C. the two days before.
We got to the visitor center too late to get tickets to tour Independence Hall. They open it up to walk though between 5 and 7 p.m. each night. We just happened to go through when a history fanatic park ranger was there and got a better tour than we would have otherwise.
We were on our way over to Carpenter Hall when I shot this picture. It is just so GREEN in Pennsylvania. I love it!
This was our second attempt to take a peek in Carpenter Hall. We didn't get it! It closed 5 minutes before we got there - and it was only 4 p.m.! Needless to say, I was bummed because it was closed when Carp and I were back there a couple years ago. One of these days, Carpenter Hall. One of these days!
We met up with Kelly Winchester and Mason along with her exchange student from Poland, Eliza and her touring teacher Anya and also with my nephew Brandon. We visited the Liberty Bell a second time that day to get this picture. Afterward we went to south Philly to get cheese steaks. Yum!
Brandon came back up to the farm those last couple days. He and Nate caught some crawfish and cooked them up to eat. I tried them. They were, um, different. We enjoyed spending a little more time with Geneen's girls too.