After Logan graduated from WOBC, we began the mad scramble of marking things off of our “things to do in Virginia.” list. Why we always wait until the last minute to cram everything in is beyond me, but apparently it’s a military thing. Husband gets orders and you suddenly realize all those weekends of sitting around the house were missed opportunities. So since we were short on time, I narrowed it down to my top 5. Two of the things I wanted to do were just too far away and any more time spent in the car just didn’t sound appealing. So I’m keeping those on the list and sharing the 3 places we did get to cross off our list.
First up was a trip to Luray Caverns. It was about a 2 hour drive from Quantico. We got there just in time for lunch and ate at a super cute restaurant called Gathering Grounds. It had gotten good reviews online and it did not disappoint. After refueling, it was off to the caverns!
The tour was guided and just over a mile walk underground. We stayed towards the back because of the kids so we missed a few things but still enjoyed ourselves. The cavern was a first for both Logan and the kids! I did bring an umbrella stroller for Amelia and I’m so glad I did. There are quite a few stairs leading down into the cavern but it was all paved after that.
Outside of the cavern there’s a ton of activities for families to do including panning for gold, a garden maze, and a rope course. Easton opted for the rope course (they had a smaller one for younger kids) and gave it 5 stars!
A few days later it was off to Washington D.C.! D.C. is just a short 45 minute drive north from Quantico. I came here several times as a child and minus the heat and ridiculous amounts of walking, I have fond memories. So you know I was excited to share those same memories with Easton and Amelia despite Logan continually telling me that they would not remember this and that this trip was more for me. I do wish the kids would have been a few years older but things just don’t always work out as planned in the military. So I stuck with just visiting the major monuments.
Everyone was all smiles as we stopped at our first location, the Washington Monument.
We then walked to the World War 2 memorial and then on to the Lincoln Memorial. It was a lot of walking and it was HOT. We kept the kids happy with a box of raisins and their own personal chariot.
As you can tell, the kids really liked the raisins and wanted them in their photo with Abe. Smiles were bleak at this point. Easton did however walk up all the steps with Logan and I was pleasantly surprised when he pointed to a picture of Abraham Lincoln on a t-shirt this week and said he’d seen him (insert childish sticking tongue out at husband). Logan and I also learned that eating an entire box of raisins can cause diarrhea. See, everyone learned something in D.C.!
After a few more miles of walking/sweating, we debated on heading back to the car but I pleaded my case with Logan that you couldn’t come to D.C. and not see the White House! I can’t exactly call this photo frame worthy, but at least they can look back and say they were there! Everyone was so tired, hot, and cranky but I’m glad we made the trip. Hopefully next time we can come back when the weather is better and the kids are a little bit older. There are a ton of museums I’d love to see.
Our last small venture was up to Great Falls National Park! This was just an hour north of Quantico and made for a great half day trip.
We viewed the falls from 3 different viewing locations and then found a shaded spot for our picnic lunch.
After lunch we headed out for a little bit of hiking on one of the many trails they offer.
Everyone enjoyed stretching their legs and the fresh air. Our family is definitely more of the no crowds, outdoorsy type. And the kids got to add a stamp to their National Park passport books!
After our whirlwind week of traveling, it was back to packing and purging in preparation for our move. I think everyone made some memories but I did take a few photos just in case! 😉