We've been gone. We took off on the evening of the 2nd and flew to Williamsburg to see the VA peeps. Kate got her wish to take a horse and buggy ride in Ye Olde Williamsburg. We hit the beach in Yorktown, which is much, much nicer than it was 18 years ago, when I last saw it. Apparently, sometimes good things come from being mowed over by a major storm.
We spent a day in Richmond, dragging the kids around VCU. A mere 18 years after I began college, I can finally afford the sweatshirts, so we got the kids each one. It was extra cute to see my little offspring run through the house of Shafer Street Playhouse (cool historic pic) and leap up on the stage, without any instruction, and begin dancing and playing together up there. In all my days spent laboring on sets, wardrobe, blocking and classes in that space I never once imagined my own kids would frolic on it. It was the best performance I've seen there yet.
We bid the Williamsburg crew a fond adieu and headed northwest to see the Provost and associates group. There we attended a large lawn party, showed the girls where we got married, went to the fire tower (of course), visited Luray caverns (or, as Kate explained it to my mom 'we went to a shop that had a cave in the basement!') and played with lots and lots of 3-D sidewalk chalk.
Finally, we set out for Washington DC to impose upon friends, have lunch with our neighbors Rusty and Jennifer (fancy meeting them there!) and show the girls the Museum of Natural History, the White House, the Washington Monument and, just before flying out, the new Air & Space Museum (my favorite). My recommendation, if you wish to expose your 3 and 5-year-olds to the wonderment and fun of DC and enjoy yourself as well is this - don't. Kate and Sarah were tired and cranky and cold and hungry and simply unable to move at any given moment. We spent a lot of time commenting on the great weather and how much fun we'd be having if we could've ditched the kids. I'm sure they learned a lot.
Where are all the pictures from the mountains? Good question. First, the camera stopped working due to what appeared to be a bad connection between the lens and the SLR. Then Chris came to the rescue with a ton of old lenses he'd gotten from his dad and was more than willing to share with Jeremiah and vacation was saved. For a day. Then, we left those lenses in the back of Margie's car when we headed to the mountains. The only one we had was the fixed telephoto which I really don't get, but Jeremiah managed to take a few at Keith & Ellen's big blowout Labor Day Throw Down. The rest of the week we took a few shots on my phone (see facebook) and we took some photos with my dad's camera (still on his camera) and with a little disposable in DC (some day we'll develop those but who knows if we'll ever scan them.) There were all manner of lovely shots involving adorable children. I wish I could share them here.
We had a great time but were very glad we elected to return home on Friday because we have needed this weekend to recover. Tomorrow, I must head to the airport and fly to Florida for a conference. At Disney. About claims management software. I'll be sure to take lots of photos there...