Monday, July 2, 2007

What a trip!

I have been home from Virginia for a week now and I can't believe how fast the time went! I just realized last night that I hadn't posted an update yet so I guess I better.

I left June 20th and flew in to Baltimore Maryland. We went straight to our hotel in DC where we had a restaurant right there although I guess they weren't expecting us cuz it took over an hour to get our food. But the food was good. So bunch of us had to RUSH to get ready for our concert that night at the DC temple visitors center.

The place we performed was HUGE. We were not expecting a big auditorium but there it was. There wasn't a big turn out either. I was a bit sad about that. We sang well considering we were all going on about 4 hrs sleep and it was 8pm. The DC temple was so pretty at night. I saw fireflies!!!!! Those were WAY awesome!

After we sang we took a night drive through DC. It was so neat! The new Air Force monument looks like 3 jets taking off in to the night sky. Looks pretty cool. We got back to our hotel around 11pm.

We woke bright and early the next day(Thursday) to head to
see the changing of the guard at
Arlington Cemetery.
That was a neat experience.

You could see the years of walking the same exact paths. To see how
much they respect and honor this
mission to protect the unknown soldier who represents every soldier that has ever died for our country.
That was huge. We saw Kennedy's grave and the eternal flame.

We next went to see DC and the Smithsonians in the daylight.I went to the Air and Space and the Native American museums. Just that took up all the time we had.

Then we drove to Williamsburg Virginia to our hotel there. We changed our clothes and freshened up a bit and then went on a cruise of the Chesapeake Bay on a schooner. That was alot of fun. We we out there for nearly 3 hours and sang and talked about past tours and things that have happened over the years. We sang for Bob our choir Pres who was not able to be with us. 3 weeks ago he suffered a severe brain aneurysm and nearly died. He should not have lived but he is fighting it tooth and nail and will make a complete recovery if he continues to do as well as he is now. Anyway the cruise was nice and relaxing and a great way to start our our tour of Virginia. We watched the sunset and then went for ice cream after we docked. We got back around 11. I went in the lobby with a few others and played dice.

We were back on the bus at 8am
on Friday and headed back into
Yorktown to see a reenactment
camp and farm of the colonial
soldiers at the time of the
Revolutionary War.

That was WAY cool! They were pretty smart back in those days. Did better then I think we would now days. Here are some pics and descriptions of them.





I will post all of my pics on like a yahoo photos page or something. There are a ton of interesting things I saw. Ok so I went to try and pick a few and there were too many! So I just put a couple here and I will create a page like I did for Ryan.

Here is the farm at the same place.The first is a smoke house for smoking meat and drying herbs. The 2nd is where they dried tobacco. This was their cash crop.

We next went to Fort Monroe. That was neat to see and existing and still functioning fort from over 300 years ago.
It is, I think the guy said, 6 miles around. It is completely surrounded by a moat.

Here is a 3D map of the fort.
It was so interesting to see how small of an area families lived in those casemates. I was running out of battery so I didn't take as many pics as I wanted to of this place. When I get some from others I will post those too.

We next went to see
a couple light houses.

After that we went to Virginia Beach! I wish we could have stayed there all night. All the street performers came out at 9 and thats when the boobs of the group wanted to leave. I want to go back there.

There were these
funny signs up all over....
No vulgar language
is allowed to be used
at Virginia Beach!
If you are heard by
law enforcement
you get a ticket!

Saturday, earlier then any of the other days we found ourselves inhaling breakfast and heading to the bus half asleep for probably the longest day since our flight. We started at the Jamestown Settlement.

There was another outdoor recreation of what a settlement may have looked like. They learned allot from the Indians and followed their ways to survive.

They were also commanded by the King to NOT settle anywhere near Indians so they settled in really crappy land that basically could not grow anything. We next saw real replicas of the 3 ships that brought the first settlers (mostly men) to the East Coast. They fit the crew and about 54 men on these boats (go see the pics to see how much space they had to live in) They began to try and farm the land. It wasn't easy. Soon they found that tobacco grew REALLY well so they grew it and dried it and traded it with the Indians for food they grew and they also sold it to Briton for the Crown to sell. After the King was satisfied that the colony was going to survive women who wanted rich men to wed sailed across. Life was not what they expected and not many survived at first. The original settlement was found in 94.
They recreated it at this place. It was neat to see the evolution of the buildings when they realized there was enough wood to go around. Soon Jamestown grew and teh Revolution began. A new central city was begun so it could be bigger and more protected. Williamsburg.

We went there next. Colonial Williamsburg was SO neat!!!! Each building was either an original or a new building but looked authentic. There were museums and reenactments, shops where you could buy things from that time period. It was really fun. After we spent a good 4 hours touring there it was time to grab a bite to eat and get ready for our concert. We sang in the Bruton Parish. It is the oldest chapel that is still in use in the US. They still meet every Sunday. Those that were with us but not part of the choir went around the town promoting the concert. Every seat was filled and we gave our best performance ever. It was SOOOOOOO AWESOME! The chapel was lit by candlelight so that was even cooler. We lingered and talked to the audience and finally made our way back to the hotel. I asked Joe (he is in the choir and was the one who arranged the whole tour) if he could pretty please ask the staff at the the hotel to allow us to have a private pool time after hours when we got back. (the pool closes at 10 and we got home at 10 til) He wasn't sure they would be accommodating but said he would. They let us!!!! We had a BLAST!! I didn't bring my camera in. I wish I had. I don't think anyone did. We had so much fun!

Sunday was bittersweet. We were glad to have the craziness over but it was sad to have it be done. 5 days is a short time to be together like that. I like the week long trips but oh well. Next time. On our way back to Maryland we went back to DC to see the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial up close and the Smithsonians again. Once at the Memorial we all gathered and decided to ask a security guard if there was a place we could sing the Battle Hymn. Usually you have to jump though a ton of hoops and red tape but he said sure! Just be below the marble steps. So we did and it was SOOOOOOOOO awesome!

Those of us that chose to go back to the museums went. I was one of them. I went with a few others to the Art Museum. On our way there we saw a giant map of the US being made from Legos!!! That was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

In the museum I saw so many wonderful paintings. Some that looked so real you could swear you could touch the real image. It was neat to see art from centuries before and how differently life was for them. We got lost in there.

Then we went to the Natural History Museum and had the most expensive lunch EVER! I got a fruit cup and water. Over $7!!!!!!! The museum was awesome though. I can't wait to take our kids to this part of our country. Maybe in 4 or 5 yrs. Wait til Ry will appreciate it.

At 3pm our time was up and off we went to the airport. A few of us stopped at a Mexican place in the airport for lunch. That was fun. We met a dentist from Arizona on his way to New York. He was at the BIG table all alone and then we all surrounded him. It was pretty funny but he was a good sport about it. Then we headed home.

It was a great trip and I am SOOOOOOOO glad I got to go. I learned alot and remembered alot too. It was great to sing for people who appreciated what we brought to them. That made it special.


Anonymous said...

that is soooooo not fair! you got to see a reanactment! (I hope i spelled that right) I love history especially all that stuff that you saw!!!!! ohhh! ahhh! well next time you go you should take ME with you
love always and forever your litlle sister,