Saturday, August 17, 2013


The battle of Yorktown was next on our list.  This is the first battlefield that the kids had visited.  I am glad.  The earthworks at Yorktown are the largest I have seen.  They are much larger than a lot of the Civil War earthworks.

They had countries flags around the battle area so you could more easily follow who was fighting where.

Ashley got to help in a canon demonstration.  She was the Captain.

Inspecting the troops

A recreation of the camp

Williamsburg Part 2

We spread out our visit at Williamsburg over 3 days. Here are some more shots of Williamsburg....
The Governor's Palace

Who I got to hang out with all week...pretty handsome looking group!

Who knew the Governor kept guns in the foyer...I didn't!

Hanging out in the garden maze

I thought this weaver was the most fascinating shop we visited.  He had such a breadth of knowledge on the dying, the weaving, the type of wool they used.  Learned so much....

The kids got to help water the flowers at the garden

Learning how rifles are made


Joe and I visited Jamestown on our first summer vacation together the year after we were married.  It had changed significantly since then.  Originally the belief was that the majority of the settlement was in the James River.  However, in the late 1990's/early 2000's they had a renown archaeologist come and look at it and realized that it wasn't in the River.  So they have started excavating the original settlement. 
The glass blower outside of the Jamestown settlement.  The settlers were trying to find something they could export and one of the first things they tried was glass.

Built where the original buildings were based on the excavations

Some of the dig taking place

They had some building next to the settlement that were not as old.  These houses were after the settlement was there.  There is one named the "Ambler house".  Joe's maternal grandparents are Ambler.  We are pretty sure they are related somehow.

A picture of the Ambler house ruins

Near the original settlement is a living history museum where they have recreated the ships and the fort.

Jamestown was one of Nathan's favorite places on the trip partly because of the ships.


Joe and I had both been to Williamsburg when we were kids and remembered enjoying it.  We decided that we would actually get the tickets to take the kids in the buildings and do the tours this time.  (Which neither of us did when we were kids.)  It was worth it.  The tour guides have a wealth of information and we all learned something.

They had a working plantation just outside of the town

We really enjoyed the living history aspect

Joe in his element...the armory
A small group of the total guns that were in the armory

Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake Bay

Our family vacation this summer was to Virginia.  We had a condo near Williamsburg and were able to visit Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown.  It was a history heavy trip but everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

A distant view of Norfolk Naval Base as we drove into Virginia Beach is just blue sky.  The jets were doing maneuvers at Virginia Beach and I tried to get a picture of them.  Unfortunately I just ended up with about 50 pictures of blue sky.

Virginia Beach....they had a beautiful boardwalk

We stumbled onto this museum.  It had wood carvings of all kinds of birds.

All hand carved

Just a few of the ducks that they had on display

We took a tour of the naval base but couldn't take many pictures of the actual ships due to security.  This is an aircraft carrier.  We actually drove right by it and other vessels...battleships, subs, etc.

You can't visit Virginia Beach and not go across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  It was still scary.  I thought maybe it was just scary the first time I went across it because I was a kid.  I was wrong.

New Smyrna Beach 2013

Joe and I were super blessed to be able to sit on the beach for a week in June.  We were at our favorite beach...New Smyrna Beach in Florida.  This beach holds lots of memories for us.  Our first visit was with Joe's family the summer before we were engaged.  We've spent many family vacations with extended family on both sides.  This is the first time it was just the two of us.   All we had to worry about was the tide reaching our chairs.  A glimpse of heaven....

John's Baptism

Two weeks ago we had the extreme blessing having another one of our kids make the decision to be baptized. Both sets of grandparents were able to attend which was also a huge blessing.  Here are some pictures of John's day.....
John sharing his testimony

John and his best friend were baptized on the same day

Afterwards Nathan found a frog

The boys enjoying the pond afterwards