Friday, April 4, 2008

Vacation to Virginia

I didnt post before we left, but on March 29, we left for Virginia to stay with my aunt for the weekend. We left around 1 am or so, headed for Martinsville, VA. The kids slept most of the way, but every now and then one of them would pop up and start talking and then pass right back out. Layla was the first one to do it, and she says, "Where's Blake?" I said "He's right next to you". Her response? "Oh, I didnt know he was coming". LOL! Where did she think he was staying?
Anyway, here is our vacation, in photos. Lots of photos.
When we were driving through North Carolina (Welcome, NC, to be exact), we spotted a sign that said "Richard Childress Racing Museum". So we decided, why not? Blake loves Nascar and so does Layla. It was basically a shrine to Dale Earnhardt. It was neat though. Here are the kids infront of one of his cars. See the shorts? Yea, it was 40°. And raining. Oops. Im sure we looked like yankees (no offense to anyone from the north!). Or maybe Floridians unprepared for the cold!

Ever seen a stuffed (as in taxidermy) polar bear? Neither had I. Here you go. They had an area that was about hunting and nature and all that. There were photos of him with some of the wild game he has killed, who knew you could hunt rhino?

The kids infront of a smashed #7 car. They had a video playing of the wreck that totaled this car. There was piles of grass and dirt inside of the car.

Not too much later, we arrived in Martinsville. This is the bottom of my aunt & uncles property, looking up to the house.

And now, the view from the top. Let me show you around...

Heading down to the pond...

Rounding the turn...

Gotta pause to check it out! And toss in a rock...

The pond... They said it's usually clear. We could see towards the back where it's starting to clear up.

Another angle...

Swinging on the back porch...

This is the little cabin. The man they bought the property from had found this, moved it, and re-assembled it here.

Blake checking out the 3rd bunk...

We were semi-prepared for the cold. I had a sweater, the kids sweat-shirt style jackets, and Mike a hoodie. It was 36° when we woke up Sunday morning. Luckally, my aunt loaned us some real jackets. We had debated going up to Roanoke, but decided not to. Turns out, it snowed in Roanoke that day, so had we went, the kids and I would have seen snow for the first time! Oh well. We headed out to go find Fairy Stone State Park. But, we made a pit stop at the Family Dollar to get some gloves and hats. Clearance baby! On the way to the park, we saw signs saying Philpott Dam. So we decided to stop by.

It was FREEZING!! It was drizzling just a bit, and icy as hell! We pulled out of the dam and saw signs for Philpott Lake. Beautiful view! Can you imagine this when all the leaves are changing?

Ok, so we get back in the car, numb faces and all. We stop at another Family Dollar for some scarves. Im sure we looked like total tourists, but I dont care, it kept our faces warm!
Pulling into Fairy Stone State Park, we spot 3 deer. The kids thought that was pretty cool!
Anyway, here we are, wrapped up like eskimos.

Heading up the trail...

We walked up and down the hills. Turns out we ended up on the trail ranked strenuous! Oops. Well, the trail stopped here for us. It kept going, but the kids were getting tired, and with my luck, one of them would have fell in this little creek.

We trekked our way back, Mike having to carry Layla most of the way. Pulling out of the park, more deer!

Our biggest and most nerve wracking adventure of the day happened next. We headed to Stuart, VA, looking for the Fairy Stone Museum (turns out it was in Martinsville, found that out Monday). Couldnt find it, so we stopped for lunch and started to head back. We had wanted to hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so we figured, why not? Well, we are driving along, up in the mountain. Ears popping. We round one bend, and there is a pretty big plunge on the side of me. Did I mention that I am terrified of hights? We keep going, and we realize, holy crap, we are going WAY up. And then, the white out. Fog, clouds, whatever it was, you coudlnt see a thing. Tight turn after tight turn. Nothing but air on the side of me, with a puny metal guard rail. Blake is talking about falling and crashing (thanks buddy!) and Im all tense and leaning forward. Mike is even nervous. We finally see a little wayside, so we pull over at Lovers Leap. (We looked it up later and we were at 3,300 feet up there). Breathe, you're okay. Mike happens to look up at the metal sign and see that there are icecicles hanging from it! We checked out the temp and it was 32°! Get me off this mountain! Hights+white out+sharp turns+possibly icy roads=get me the hell down! So we roll the window down and watch and listen and wait for no cars. And we turn around and head back down. Thank god!
day we decided to check out some other racing museums and possibly the Fairy Stone Museum (still hadnt figured out it was behind us!). So we headed back to Stuart. On the way we went looking for 1 of 2 covered bridges in the area. Took some driving, but we found it! The Bob White Covered Bridge, built in 1921. There was another, but we thought we had to go back up that mountain, and it was not good enough weather for that! Turns out, we didnt have to. Bummer. But maybe next time.

Heading out of there, we spotted a cemetary on the side of the road. Now we saw a few dotted here and there. Most next to a house or atleast surrounded by fence. This one was alone. No fence, no house next to it (behind it a ways, but there were woods in between).

The 2 big ones above were from the 1960's. The small one on the left was a baby. 1924-1924. Below, the one on the left is from the 1930's and the one to the right was 1913 I believe,

Next stop, the Wood Brothers Race Museum.

After heading back into Martinsville, we thought we would try and check out the Speedway. The Goody's Cool Orange race was that Sunday. As we pull in, what do we see? The truck and trailer of one of Blake's favorite drivers! It was the only one left. Mike got out and asked the driver if we could get out and get photos infront of it, and he said yes. Blake was so excited! And so was Layla.

We pulled around and asked if we could go inside the speedway. Once again, yes!

We got out on the track and there was melted tire rubber everywhere. As you can see above, the kids started picking up "treasures". The ended up with pockets full of lug nuts, tire rubber, valve stem caps, bolts and even a pair of gloves!

This one, lonely gas tank was out. I dont know what is with her face! LOL!

Here they are with their goodies!

Here is a shot of all 4 of us.

We had fun, it was good seeing family. We didnt want to leave, but, alas, we must.
Did you know mountains have hairballs? According to my kids they do. Up and down the roads, all we heard was "hairball! hairball! hairball!" What does a hairball look like you ask? Behold, the Hairball:

My last photo is one of some of my favorite scenery from up there. Old, weathered, forgotten barns and houses. They were everywhere up there! Here is one from the road leaving Martinsville.

I hope you enjoyed looking at my photos and reading about our vacation!


so A"MUSE"D said...

fantastic pictures Wendy. Looks like a great trip. I love the one of the kids heading down the trail, great picture.

Treighsie said...

Those are great pictures!!! It looks like a lot of fun!

bahama97 said...

Awesome photos, Wendy! Glad you guys had fun!

Katrina said...

Those are wonderful photos. What a fantastic trip, that mountain road sounds a bit hair raising though.


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