Washington DC & Virginia Itinerary

In 2013, our vacation plans called for a week-long trip to Washington DC and Virginia as soon as school ended in May. In retrospect, we should have waited a few days. After picking up our kids directly from school on their last day, we stopped in Charlotte to have dinner with some friends and then drove as far as Durham, NC that night. Colonial Williamsburg was crowded when we arrived around 11:30 the next day (which also happened to  be the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend). By the time we got to DC on Sunday afternoon, everyone was tired and cranky. We learned a very valuable lesson – give our kids at least a day or two to unwind from the school year before going on a week-long trip!

Thankfully a good dinner restored us on Sunday night and we were refreshed by Monday morning. If I had to do it over again, I would’ve pushed everything back by two days, avoiding most of the holiday weekend. Other than that, the trip met our expectations and then some!

Friday

Drive to Durham, NC

Saturday

Colonial Williamsburg

Duke University campus

Colonial Williamsburg – including lunch at Chowning’s Tavern, tours of Rudolf House, Rockefeller House, Tea Room, Magazine, House of Burgesses

Dinner Blue Talon Bistro

Sunday

More Colonial Williamsburg – Governor’s House

Lunch at Trellis

drive to DC

Old Town and Alexandria waterfront

Stayed at Hotel Monaco, now the Alexandrian, Autograph Collection

Monday

Newseum

Dinner at Taverna Cretekou

The U.S. Capitol

Tuesday

The Smithsonian Museums – American History Museum, National Gallery  with one child, Museum of Natural Science – spouse and other child

US Capitol Tour

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Hotel Washington Bar with friend

Wednesday

Spy Museum

Ate at Pi Pizzeria

Annapolis, MD ferry tour

Mt. Vernon

Thursday

Mt. Vernon

Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive to Charlottesville, VA

Dinner – Continental Divide

Friday

Monticello

Home

 


Europe Itinerary – 14 Days and 8 Countries

It was a very ambitious itinerary and I’m happy to say we did it all! The cruise encompassed days 4-11. Detailed posts and pictures soon to follow!

 

14 Days in Europe 

 

Day 1: Arrive in Klagenfurt, Austria

Flight into Venice via Amsterdam, rental car to Klagenfurt, Austria

 

Day 2: Day Trip to Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Poertschach au Worthersee, Austria

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Dinner Klagenfurt

 

Day 3: Drive to Venice

Explore Klagenfurt

Gorizia, Italy

Arrive Venice

Grand Canal Tour

St. Mark’s Square

 

Day 4: Venice and Cruise Embarkation

Frari Church

Embark on Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas

 

Day 5: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Walk the City Walls

Private Tour of Old Town

 

Day 6: Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor

Hike to St. John’s Fortress

Tour of Old Town Kotor

 

Day 7: Day at Sea

Relax!

 

Day 8: Mykonos, Greece

Platis Giolos Beach

Mykonos Town

 

Day 9: Katakolon, Greece

Ancient Olympia

Kremasti Monastery

 

Day 10: Day at Sea

Relax!

 

Day 11: Cruise Debarkation in Venice, Drive to Tuscanny, Cinque-Terre & Genoa

Lucca, Tuscanny, Italy

St. Martin’s Cathedral, Bell Tower and museum

Bike the city walls

Riomaggiore, Cinque-Terre, Italy

Manarola, Cinque-Terre, Italy

Genoa, Italy

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Day 12: Day Trip to Cinque Terre, Italy

Explore Genoa Old Port area near hotel

Park in Levanto for all-day train pass to Cinque Terre

lunch in Corniglia

Hike to Vernazza from Corniglia

Train ride to Monterrosso al Mer

Dinner in Portofino, Italy

 

Eze, France

Day 13 – Day Trip to French Rivera

Eze, France – Old City, lunch and Exotic Gardens

Drive through Monaco

St. Jean Cap-Ferrat – promenade walk

Nice, France – promenade des Anglais, Old town

Genoa, Italy – late (10 pm) dinner

 

Day 14 – Lake Como, Italy

Verenna, Lake Como, Italy – lunch

Ferry to Belagio, Lake Como, Italy

Mestre (mainland Venice) – dinner and hotel

 

 

Day 15 – Flight Home

 

 

 

 

 


Trip Report – West Virginia (and parts of Virginia)

West Virginia is one of the prettiest states. It’s very similar to Arkansas in the fact that the beauty is being outside. There’s no one place to visit in West Virginia as the population is very spread out. The largest city is Charleston with a population of only 51,000 people. We made Beckley, population 15,000, our home base for this Columbus Day weekend trip. To really see the state, prepare to drive around — a lot! But the real beauty is found on the scenic winding roads through coal towns. If you’ve never been, put West Virginia on your bucket list! Please click on the individual links for more pictures and details of the sites we visited.

 

Itinerary for a Weekend in West Virgina 

click here for map

Outside Beckley Miner's Museum, WV

 

Day 1:

Scenic Drive – Abingdon, VA

Exhibition Coal Mine Museum – Beckley

Scenic Drive to Charleston, WV

 

 

Day 2:

The Greenbrier Resort – White Sulphur Springs, WV

The Omni Homestead Resort – Hot Springs, VA

Covington, VA area

Spruce Knob & Seneca Rocks

Blackwater Falls – Davis, WV

 

 

 

Day 3:

New River Gorge Bridge – Fayetteville, WV

Mt. Airy, NC (home of Andy Griffith)


Quebec City, Montreal and Adirondacks Itinerary

Quebec Trip Itinerary – links in process!

The Chateau Frontenac Hotel

Day 1
Arrive Montreal
Drive to Trois-Rivieres, QC via Autoroute 40.
Lunch at Boulangerie Guay, Pont-du-Lac, QC
Our Lady of the Cape Shrine – Trois-Riveres. QC
Chemin du Roy – King’s Highway to Quebec City
Chateau Frontenac and evening walk – Quebec City

Lower Town - Quebec City

Quebec City’s Lower Town and The St. Lawrence River

Day 2
Walking Tour of Old Quebec – the Upper City and the Lower City (includes Dufferin Terrace, Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral of Quebec, Quartier Petit Champlain,  Our Lady of Victory Church)
Musee de la Civilisation – Quebec City
Dinner at Bello – Quebec City
Walk to Plains of Abraham for Quebecois Concert – Quebec City

Montmorency Falls

Day 3
La Citadelle du Quebec – Quebec City
Montmorency Falls

Ile d’Orleans

Lunch at Panache Mobile at vineyard, Vignoble de Saint-Petronille
Ice cream at Chocolaterie de Ile d’Orleans, Saint Francoise, Ile d’Orleans
Dinner at Bistro Sous Le Fort – Quebec City

 

Biosphere at Parc Jean-Drapeau

Day 4
Arrive Montreal driving through Parc Jean Drapeau
Notre-Dame Basilica, Old Montreal
Lunch at Creperie Chez Suzette, Old Montreal
Ponte a Calliere museum, Old Montreal
Dinner at Universel Dejeuner Grillades
Walk up to Mont Royal at dusk – Montreal

Lake Placid, NY

Day 5
Drive to Adirondack Mountains
Veterans Memorial Highway to top of White Face Mountain, Wilmington, NY.
Lunch at The Cottage, Lake Placid
Walk around Main Street Lake Placid and Mirror Lake (2.7 mile loop)
Ferry ride to Charlotte, VT
Waterfront Park, Burlington
Dinner at The Skinny Pancake, Burlington
Arrive Montreal

Musee des Beaux Arts, Montreal

Day 6
Musee des Beaux Arts – Montreal
Chateau Ramezay – Montreal
Lunch at Jardin Nelson, Old Montreal
Leave Montreal