25 June 2008

Micah's Ninth Birthday

We celebrated Micah's 9th birthday in Chillicothe, Ohio at the Milmore's house...Micah's second birthday away from home. We are still not in Kentucky and who knows if we ever will be. Anyway, here are the pictures:

Preliminary events included playing on the new slip n' slide and just hanging out listening to music...oh yeah, and dinner, of course.


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We have been here so long that we have all learned to blend in with the indigenous peoples of southern Ohio.





















The highlight of the party was the food fight. We cooked noodles, oatmeal, and mashed potatoes and it worked out really good. The fight lasted about 4 times as long as I expected it to. Very fun!







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And now for the birthday cake and presents...I went a little crazy and got him about a million Marvel action figures (he thinks he's too good for DC or any other superhero toy maker). He was pretty pumped.





08 June 2008

Monticello

On the way back to Ohio from Colonial Williamsburg we stopped at Monticello. Monticello is the building on the back of our nickel which was "the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia [1]."




Colonial Williamsburg

The first stop on our trip to Colonial Williamsburg, even though unintentional, was at an overpass at exit 39 to Route 34 off of Interstate 64 near Marshall University (that the movie "We Are Marshall" is about). The reason we had to stop was because there was what seemed to be a pretty big car accident as you can see in the second picture below. We had to wait about 45 minutes or so before they got it all cleared out.













When I put the route into my TomTom One, if there are toll roads it will ask me if I would like to avoid them. Even though I didn't know how much the toll was, when the GPS asked me to avoid the toll roads and it only added about 15 minutes and didn't seem that much off course, I answered "YES." Little did I know that it was going to take me winding through the Appalachian Mountains. Anyway, even though we were a little bit annoyed by the choice, it was vindicated when we landed upon a gourgeous waterfall near Gauley Bridge, WV. I think it was called Cathedral Falls though I never remember seeing a sign or anything of that sort. It actually just jumped out at us when going around one of the many hairpin turns. We decided to stop and let the kids get out and play in the water and take some pictures and videos.








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Finally we arrived at Colonial Williamsburg, despite my expert planning! After my brilliant trip planning to avoid toll roads and taking an extra hour to get there, my next blunder was reading that "Automobiles are not permitted in the Historic Area" on the FAQs and assuming that this meant that I had to take the local city bus to get there. So we left our car at the hotel and took the city bus to the visitors' center where we could have just driven to park. On top of that I really didn't know what time it opened and so we arrived about 30 minutes early so no one was there when we got there. Next I went to their automated kiosks to get my pre-paid tickets only to find out that they were already expired! I felt a little like Clark Griswold when he showed up to Wally World in National Lampoon's Vacation.

Needless to say, everything worked out just fine. The place opened up, we got our tickets fixed, and I didn't even have to hold anyone at gunpoint! So that was nice. The first pictures are of Micah getting his rental costume (which was a whopping $20 without the stinking hat which we had to buy for $15) and Nicole and the kids at the entrance.














The first spot to visit was the Governor's Palace. This was the residence of Virginia’s royal governor and where Patrick Henry lived after they ousted Lord Dunmore right before the American Revolution. It also housed Thomas Jefferson who was the second governor of the colony of Virginia after the American revolutionaries ousted the Brits from it. The other pictures are of the garden out back and of the mall out front.

























These pictures were taken just outside the Colonial Williamsburg courthouse with the kids in the stocks where all kids belong!












This is at the Magazine where Micah received training to shoot his rifle as a colonial militiaman.





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The "Drums and Fifes" marches from the Capitol Building down to the Governor's Palace every day at 1pm. Enough to bring a tear to your eye if you've got an ounce of patriotism in you.

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This was a giant dollhouse at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. It was probably about 8 ft x 4 ft x 4 ft. You have to stand next to it to truly appreciate its size.










A picture of a tired soldier sitting on the bench after a long hard day of walking.













At the end of the day we went to the Capitol Building which was "the center of the political and social life of Virginia for most of the 18th century" where the House of Burgesses met. Here the kids were volunteered to play a part in a reinactment of a trial in the General Court.


Trip Home from Nashville

Since we thought that we would be in Kentucky by early May we had booked the flights for Nicole and the kids from Nashville, TN early in 2008. Unfortunately we were still in Ohio so we had to drive 6+ hrs the way back from Nashville.

The first pictures are at the Hermitage which was Andrew Jackson's home. The last picture is his and his wife's gravesite in their garden.
















These last pictures are at Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace national historic site. This includes his boyhood home and birthplace unit just outside of Louisville, KY. The first 5 pictures are of the boyhood home which was nothing really to see except that log cabin which is supposedly very similar to the one in which he lived as a young boy. The last 2 pictures are of the birthplace which consists of a visitor's center and a symbolic cabin of the one in which he was born which is oddly enshrined in a beautiful neo-classical building much like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The second picture shows a closeup of a cicada bug which are prevalent in this area. These are the bugs that make a really loud buzzing noise (you can hear it from the Wikipedia link above).