Friday, November 11, 2011

Virginia Fun

The Jackson crew took a needed, quick, fast mini-vacation to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
This is our cheerful kiddos at the beginning of the trip. Little did they know that they would be in the car for 8+ hours. Yeah! This cheerfulness didn't last long.
Vaughn got a shot of me telling the kids, for the umpteenth time, that we still had several hours to go. Halfway to Virginia Beach we had some car trouble, so we stopped in Roanoke, VA at an Auto Zone and had to get the battery checked. 45 minutes later, and a new battery, we were on the road again. Thank goodness we didn't break down in the middle of nowhere. That is usually our luck, but we were spared the adventure of being stranded, and I was okay with that. We saw several funny town names, Troutville, Fisherville, you would think they ran out of names and just started adding "ville" to anything that sounded good. HA HA HA. I loved it!
After many long hours we finally got through the cut-throat traffic of Richmond, VA, and into Virginia Beach and this cool tunnel. That evening we ate at the closest place available to us, Denny's, and then crashed in our lovely motel room. AHHH! It was nice to sleep.
We were up early the next day. When you only have a few days to have a vacation, you get your butt out of bed and head sight seeing. We headed down to the pier to see the battleship Wisconsin. They had a chalk wall, that anyone could write on, which was for the boys and girls in the armed forces. I am a BIG patriot, and I take any opportunity to tell our soldiers how much they are appreciated.
Here is the ship, well...part of it.
They retired the battleship Wisconsin after several tours and now it is a floating museum. It was enormous. I was shocked that something that huge could float. Tyson loved the BIG guns that were attached all around the decks.
The chains were as big as Taryn. Sheeze! Had to be big to hold down that BIG ship!
I always have loved listening to my grandpa's stories about WWII and how he was in a battleship on route to the Philippines. Looking at this ship in person, made all those stories come to life.
Just totally awesome looking.
There were all kinds of plaques around the pier surrounding the battleship, telling about the many parts of the ship. Tyson really liked hearing about the "Quad 40 Mount" guns and how it took several guys to arm, shoot and reload them.
Here is a picture of the guns. My dad would have thought they were cool. I was amazed.
"Wisconsin Square" is what they call the place where the battleship is settled.
Nice family photo.
Since we were by the sea, there were tons of mermaids all around as decorations. Taryn thought they were pretty and wanted to get pictures by all of them.
Another mermaid.
My three angels. They tried to lift the 3000 pound anchor of the "Wisconsin". Look at the strain in those cheeks.
Tyson and Taryn left trying to lift it and decided to lay on the anchor and bask in the sun.
My two sweethearts and a mermaid.
Taryn loved the mermaids. She found this one in a little lunch shop. It was made out of styrofoam.
"I am the king of the world!"
They had a lot of ships in the harbor that they were dismantling or fixing, we couldn't ever tell.
Next, we headed to the beach. Tyson can't remember living on St. Maarten for 2 years, and Taryn has never seen the beach, so when they got there they begged to wade in the water.
They were so excited to put their toes in the sand and surf.Photo by the beach.
And here is the two munchkins before the crash of the waves. See the oncoming took Taryn out!
You can't see it from this picture, but she was soaked. The wave took her feet from under her and she face planted it into the sand and sea water. I thought she would freak out, but it was just the opposite. She loved it. She was covered in sand and didn't care. She wanted to keep playing, even though the water was cold.
Still playing in the cold water and loving every minute of it.
They didn't want to leave and it was hard to make them. We have decided that we need to come back to Virginia Beach when it is warm and let them play all day in the sand and surf. I know they would love it. Since Taryn completely soaked and sanded her only jacket, we had to find a Target to purchase a new one. We then went to McDonald's for some needed lunch. The kids love McDonald's but we don't go very often, so it is a treat when they get to go. They savored every minute of it. That night was dinner at the Macaroni Grill, which is always delicious. After we had stuffed ourselves, it was time to sleep. We had crammed so much into the past two days and we still had one to go.
Early Wednesday Morning we stumbled onto this man made hill and park called "Mount Trashmore." It was literately a landfill that they had turned into a park. OH Heavens!
This was the hill and people were running up and down it, walking around it and working out on its six sets of stairs.
On the top it actually had a nice view for a landfill.
The kids running on top of the landfill, Mount Trashmore.
Nice view from the top.
Dad and daughter, too cute!
There was this amazing park for the kids to play on and since I knew we had a long drive ahead of us, I let them play for a good hour on all the fun playground equipment.
My two loves!!!
King of the hill.
This is my favorite picture. It is times like this that we cherish. Our year has been full of many ups and downs and this vacation was an escape from all of that. It was so nice to just be a family without all of life's interference. The long 8 hour drive wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be, but waking up for school the next morning after getting home at midnight wasn't pretty.