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Another long traveling today, but again, the weather was gorgeous.  This time, we headed north through Shenandoah National Park.  The views were again breathtaking.  I can post pictures, but you really just have to be there…

You really just have to be here…  so gorgeous…  have I mentioned that I love mountains?!?!

Can’t tell if we’re trying to escape or just to send greetings…  lol

We made a couple of random stops, just to stretch our legs.  At one point, we did hike straight down another mountain and then back up again.  I’m really not sure why vertical hikes appeal to us so much, but they are definitely good exercise.

(that’s the non-steep part)

So Dad tells these great stories about how when he was a kid and they went out west with his family and his grandparents, they would go through these tunnels and there would be these big tunnels with all these signs telling people not to honk while they were in them.  And Grandpa Wilson would always honk, and if he wasn’t driving, he would reach across from wherever he was and honk anyway.  And of course that really upset Grandma Wilson, who was always a big stickler for the rules (I come by it honestly).

Even though there weren’t any signs telling us not to honk, honking still gave us a fine feeling of rebellion.  There are over twenty tunnels on the parkway, although only one on today’s drive, sadly.

Eventually, we made it to Winchester, Virginia, to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.  I wish we had had more time there, because it actually looked really interesting.  The museum actually includes a museum, a historical house, and extensive gardens.  As it was, we only had time to go through the gardens.  There were about 10 acres of formal gardens, and they were beautiful.  Basically, they were lots of little gardens all connected by arbors, walkways and arches through tall hedges…  the place reeked of magic.

You can even almost feel it through the pictures.

We’re looking for magic…

I actually think we could recreate these gardens at our house, if we had about a million bricks.

Aren’t these trees amazing??

So what I want is for someone to build me a beautiful brick patio with a fountain and this garden house…  it’s all tile floors with doors that open straight out onto the patio…  how fun would it be to host parties there?

Trees are one of my favorite parts of creation.

More magical walkways…

We just like these columns leading to the cows!!

The vegetables were just starting to come up, but they were all planted in these cool patterns.

Believe it or not, Mom’s camera died before we could get to the lower gardens, which is sad, because they were amazing, too.  A gigantic Chinese garden, complete with an entire forest of bamboo behind the stone wall (Mary Rose says bamboo isn’t invasive, it’s just misunderstood…) and a beautiful water garden with all sorts of waterfalls and fountains.  It was definitely a stop worth making.

Tonight and tomorrow night we are in Hagerstown, Maryland.  Tomorrow’s plan is to hit up Gettysburg (that’s in Pennsylvania, Zack!) and then Seth is going to meet us for supper!!

Actually, I’m pretty sure we’re going to have leftover pizza.  We chose some random local pizza joint tonight and ordered three larges since we were all starved.  We actually have a minifridge in the hotel room so we figured we could stow what we didn’t eat.  Yeah, literally, it was about thirty pounds of pizza.  For once, I’m not exaggerating…  craziness.

So we’re thinking leftover pizza for supper tomorrow night, and then maybe we can take Seth out for ice cream!

If anyone wants to join, let me know.  ;-)  Until tomorrow!

(21:19)

Sarah E. McCafferty

May 2010
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it’s in the past