Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PA and VA Vacation

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
Everett, PA

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
Washington, D.C.

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?

Just in case you wanted to know . . . these are the machines you use to go to the loo in space. They have a matching pair for him and her.

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.

This memorial has always been one of my favorites. It is the Lincoln Memorial. The kids where overheating by the time we got here. We walked up the steps, took some pictures and let the kids rest on the marble floor inside.

Lincoln was an interesting character in American history. It feels like home for me walking into this monument.

Museum of Natural History
Washington D.C.

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.

The bone section was my favorite. We started off just checking out skeletons of all different kinds of creatures. You name it and we probably saw it. However, my favorite section was the part to use bones to figure out how people dies and what their lives where like. They found bones from back in Jamestown, Virginia of a boy slave and could map out what his life was probably like and how he died. There was also more modern detective work like you would find on the T.V. show Bones. It was fascinating!

The section with all the animals was pretty cool too. I like this picture of the tiger leaping from above. Many of the animals were positioned around this section in areas that would be their natural habitat. Cool stuff. Or, cool stuffed animals.

In this section where all the dinosaurs and caveman stuff. Yep, they depicted a caveman and cavewoman in there. This area was mostly bones. Again, cool. We saw areas about earthquakes, insects, snakes, you name it . . . . it's there. We didn't get to see the whole museum. That's okay though, next time there will be something else to see.

Museum of American History
Washington D.C.

This is one of the coolest museums EVER!!! It shows all aspects of American history, including Pop culture. This costume of C3P0 was used in the third movie of Star Wars. Seth was so excited to see it! They have all kinds of fun stuff like that there.

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.

These are pieces from the Twin Towers. We where out of time and were being rushed out of the museum at the end of the day so I didn't get to take any more pictures. Sad.
We also saw the original Star Spangled Banner. It's kept in a dark area with low lighting and we were not allowed to take pictures. It's quite impressive in size and worn out. It was a neat thing to see.

Kings Dominion Amusement Park
Doswell, VA

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.

We also rode the carousel together. It's classic. It's a must do.

Seth is not a thrill ride fan. He did however love this El Dorado ride in a car that went up high. I could hear him laughing the whole time. He rode it 4 times.

Snoopy and friends were found in Snoppyland. We rode a few rides here, but the waterworks area was the best part of it.

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.

Philadelphia, PA

Here are Seth, Sam and Gabby with one of the fellas that dress up and walk around the visitor center area.
We headed up to Philly the day after we went to Kings Dominion. The kids were good sports walking around and checking out historic buildings in Liberty Square after dealing with all the head and walking around in Virginia.

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.

Out in front of Independence Hall (the actual name is the Pennsylvania State House) the kids found this water pump and pretended they were pumping water for Nathan. It's kindof a cute picture.

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!

Check out the POOF on my head! Humidity my readers. It's not your friend! Seth took this picture of us when we were in Independence Hall. While in historic Philly we visited Independence Hall, Congress Hall, New Hall Military Museum, Old City Hall, and a building that housed original documents such as the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. If we had been there a day earlier, we would have heard someone dressed in colonial wear reading the Declaration of Independence just as they originally did over 230 years ago.

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!
Harrisburg, PA
We spent that night at Jeff and Judy Kellers (Carp's sister) and then headed back to the farm the next afternoon. We stopped in Harrisburg to visit with Iris Mellott. She was so sweet to let us come visit on such a short notice!
The Herr Farm
Everrett, PA

We spent a couple more days at the farm with Mom Mom and Pop Pop relaxing. The morning after we got there Carp and I let the kids sleep in as long as they wanted. They were so tired!
Nathan worked on a merit badge while we were at the farm so my camera has lots of animal, bird and insect pictures on it. I was with him on a walk when he took this picture down in the secret garden.

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.
It is always a stress to plan and carry out a big vacation with so many people to keep track of. It just is so important to do occasionally. The kids will have these memories forever!


Sherry said...

I LOVE D.C. Fun pictures!!! I bet you guys were melting. Brent just got back 2 weeks ago and he said how hot it was and he LOVES the heat. I just posted our D.C. pictures from a year ago. I could easily live back East but I would miss you...underpants!

Shauna said...

Kellie--Fantastic vacation photos. Thanks for sharing. Your extended family must be so much fun! I love the older grandkids and cousins getting together and enjoying each other's company too. We are starting to see that in our extended family too. Isn't it great?!