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Vance Family Vacation

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S: Nathan and Nathalie Vance Vacation 2012

FC: Virginia Vacation Fall 2012

1: ROAD TO VIRGINIA | We had the best intentions of getting out the door and headed to Virginia by 7am but it ended up being almost 11 am before we actually left Southern Indiana. First, packing the van up took a while and then we had an episode of "Poopey Diaper Overfloweth". Our beloved Eli had to get a bath. So after the impromptu bath, we get in the van and breathe a sigh of relief - "Finally on our way!". Right out of the driveway, Mom turns on the radio, hits the button for the CD player only to hear "beep,beep,beep". So we stop at Jack's Auto (since they had just worked on the engine the day before) in hopes that it is an easy fix. After 30 minutes of looking for the easy fix, Dad decides that it will take too long to work out the problem and we get on the road. But we had not eaten breakfast because we were all packing up things, gathering last minute necessities and thinking we'll be leaving soon. So we stop at Chick-fil-A for breakfast at 10:30am and Mom and Noah run inside to use the potty one last time before we do actually get on the interstate to drive more than 20 minutes. Feeding two boys a chicken biscuit and part of a breakfast burrito is not the easiest thing to do when you have to fit your rear end down between a gigantic bag of snack foods and 2 large captains chairs holding car seats. Dad, Noah and Eli heard plenty of "ERRRR" and "Hurrrumphh" during this whole process of Mom planting herself down in the floor of the van. One can only imagine the clean-up after feeding a 17-month-old a biscuit that likes to crumble everywhere.... It only took about 2 hours for Noah to start asking how long it would be until we got there. We had to keep telling him, "Noah, its going to take all day to get there". His reply was, "Daddy, its taking too long to get to vacation". Then Daddy would say, "we are on vacation, we just have to drive to where we're staying". Noah then says, "No, Daddy, its not vacation! Its taking too long to get to vacation. I want to be at vacation right now!" Eli's contribution was making poopy diapers every few hours so we would have to stop and change his diaper, thus making the trip last even longer. Thank God for DVD players!

4: Luray Caverns | Saturday, we made our first excursion out to see the sights. After about an hour of driving we arrived at Luray Caverns.

5: Dream Lake

6: Luray Caverns, discovered in 1878, covers more than 3 acres. It has become the most popular cave in Eastern America. The tour takes about an hour to complete.

7: Our tour guide's definitions: Stalactites: formations that hold tight to the ceiling. Stalagmites: formations that might one day reach the ceiling

8: Dayton, Virginia | Sunday morning, Mom and Aunt Alisha attended service at the Christ Gospel in Dayton. Even though most of their church members were in VA Beach to see Rev. Hicks, there was still a wonderful worship service and we got to hear Rev. Prell teach on salting our speech and spreading grace. After the service, we stopped for a quick shopping trip then brought barbeque back to the room for lunch. Then off to GO CARTS!

10: MONTICELLO | Estate of President | THOMAS JEFFERSON | The views from the house and garden made it very clear why someone would build their home up there. The flower and vegetable gardens were spectacular. Two little boys were throughly exhausted by the end of the visit and slept most of the drive back.

11: Monday: Visiting a site with such historical significance to our nation's history was very exciting. We learned a lot about the estate and more about Thomas Jefferson as a man. Our day wouldn't have been complete without the $17 lunch buffet of fried chicken with sides. (ROFL)

12: Beautiful Flowers | Intricate Woodwork

13: Interesting Facts: Every brick was made on-site. It took 10 years to build the estate, partly due to TJ changing design after returning from France. This is the back view of the house. These walk ways were part of a water collection system designed by TJ.

16: Tuesday, we enjoyed invigorating hiking that offered some spectacular views of the countryside. The hiking trail was on the ridge near the resort so it was just a short drive up to the trail head. The weather was perfect for hiking and since the trail was easy, we all enjoyed the fresh air and views. Noah wanted to be the leader of the group but soon was holding Mom and Aunt Alisha behind. When we came to the rockiest part of the trail, we stopped for a snack of trail mix ;) and then walked back down. Another beautiful day of vacation.

18: Wednesday: last day of vacation in Virginia. We went to the petting zoo at the resort then to the Shenandoah Heritage market in Dayton. It was a fun and relaxed day.

20: We had some beautiful scenery to look at on the way home. Much of it was impossible to capture while driving in the car and to stop for each breathtaking view would have made the drive twice as long.

21: Scenes from our drive back home

23: Two little boys were quite tired from a busy vacation so this is the view from the front seat after being on the road for a while. Thankfully, they both fell asleep and got in pretty good naps on the way home. They were quite energetic when we got home and wouldn't stop running around for at least an hour.

24: I was snapping pictures left and right, can you tell?

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