Monday, April 30, 2012

Journey to the capital: rain, Monticello, rain, rain, Williamsburg, rain

Last week, my coworkers and I had the pleasure of accompanying a whole herd of fifth graders and parents to our nation's glorious capital city. It was my third trip in three years, and this one was a true delight. Many people don't believe me when I tell them how fun it can be to travel with fifth graders, but it is! Their little brains just sop up everything they see, and I love getting to share our capital with them.

We had a blessedly well-timed day off on Friday (thank you, Lord!) before boarding the buses at 4:45 on Saturday morning.

{Waking at 2:45 AM is certainly not on my short list of favorite things to do.}

The bus trip took a little over 12 hours and seemed to fly by. Lots of folks to talk to, beautiful scenery, and my handy dandy word search book helped with that. 

It rained on and off while we drove, a theme that would repeat itself over and over (and over) during our trip. A little rain won't kill ya, but we sure were glad to see some sunshine later in the week!

After spending the night in Staunton, VA, Monticello was our destination early on Sunday morning. The day was cloudy and sprinkly, but it was never unbearable. Thanks again, Lord! 

{I wish they'd allow pictures inside. The details in the house are spectacular.}

{the branches of a beautiful Linden tree in the front yard}

{misty, foggy day}

{The garden is always my favorite spot to visit here. Look at all the green!}

{wet, wet, wet}

{lovely lookout in the garden}

Monticello is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. You owe it to yourself to see it at least once in your lifetime. And if you go to Monticello without eating lunch at Michie Tavern, you've wasted your trip...might as well just pack it up and go home.

 They boast the best fried chicken I have ever, EVER put in my mouth. Merciful heavens. Enjoying a wonderful meal in a building that was built over 200 years ago is quite an experience.

{fried chicken, stewed tomatoes, black-eyed peas, green beans, mashed potatoes, peach cobbler, and apple cider...I look forward to this tastiness every year!}

Sunday we headed to Colonial Williamsburg. The rain was much heavier this day, so I didn't take my camera out much. I tried to make the few pictures I did take count!

Our guide's name was Yafeu, and he was absolutely fantastic. I know I probably just butchered the spelling of his name, but I'm giving myself a solid B+ for effort. He was a retired Air Force colonel and really, REALLY had a love for history and Williamsburg. We were sad to see him go at the end of the day.

{the joiner...he let one of the boys plane a piece of wood, which was a huge hit}

{apothecary shop...all of these beautiful jars and bottles date back to the colonial times}


{British flags are displayed all over Colonial Williamsburg.}

{These oxen are part of the Rare Breed Project at Williamsburg. They have been bred to have the exact same genes as oxen that were in Williamsburg during the colonial times...incredible. The one on the right decided to take care of some, um, business the very moment our whole group was standing there. See his puddle? The kids got the biggest kick out of that.}

{These sheep are also part of the Rare Breed Project. One boy said that, with all that wet wool, they looked like dirty mops :) }

{What would a visit to Williamsburg be without putting your teacher in the stocks?}

{I was told I looked too happy in the first picture, so this is my best "criminal face". Clearly I need to work on my game face before I take up a life of crime.}

We went on our ghost tour that night, and while it was COLD, there was no rain. Hallelujah! The kids were thoroughly jittery after the ghost tour; mission accomplished :) 

Next stop: Washington, D.C.!


  1. Julie! You are in luck! I am moving to Monticello in a few months. I've rented the place! Just kidding...I'm going to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville but it's close enough. You are welcome to stop by whenever you need a break from your little ones :)


  2. Manda Panda! I had no idea you were moving to VA. I'm so very excited and will certainly be letting you know next time I head that way! What a beautiful area of the world. So good to hear from you and I'm thrilled about your new adventure...thanks for stopping by, friend!


    PS--When I do make it back up that way, see if they'll let you rent out Monticello just for dinner. And see if they'll let us use Martha Jefferson's china and silver and crystal. K? Thanks.

  3. Yes, if you are going to go into the crime biz, you are going to have to get a way more scary face!!! ;) So dumb question, why in the world were your alarms set for those times??? Like really to get up and be a blessing to someone? You are too kind at 3 AM!!

  4. What fun travels, I would go just to eat that plate of food! These kiddos are lucky to have such a fun teacher in their life!

  5. Lauren, I left my car at another teacher's house and I had to meet her at 4:20 in order to be at the school before the buses arrived. Thus, the 2:45 wake-up call...dreadful. I always set the top two alarms and instead of saying "Alarm", I have it set to say "Be a blessing to someone today". It just reminds me to tame my inner grump when I wake up every day :) The bottom two alarms were set to remind me that, yes, it is the middle of the night, but you need to get out of bed. Now.

    Haha, thanks for stopping by and being such a faithful reader!


  6. Elizabeth, you would love Michie Tavern. Such good food, and such a lovely rustic atmosphere. I succeed in being a fun teacher some days...hopefully they make up for all the days when I'm decidedly not fun :)

    Thanks for your sweet comments!



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