Friday, May 30, 2014

Luray Virginia & Washington DC

Over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend the Hubs and I decided to visit my cousins in Virginia and get lost in their part of the world. They live in Newport News, Va that's part of the Hampton Roads area. This is my second trip to Newport News and it's so calm and quiet here. No honking, no traffic, or road rage. Definitely the complete opposite of Miami for sure. Our first day in Virginia we went out and did a little shopping while my little cousins were in school. After school, we picked them up and took them to lunch at one of their favorite burger joints. They say that this place is always packed and they very rarely get to eat here, so we thought we'd check it out! Their menu was ahhhhmaaaazzziiiiinggg!!! They had a menu of 40 different milkshakes, how can I choose just one?!

  After lunch we continued shopping and then went home to rest and catch up. The next day we were off to Luray, VA to explore the Luray Caverns. This place is incredible! 
 The Luray Caverns was originally called Luray Cave. It is a large commercial cave just west of Luray, VA and has drawn in may visitor since it's discovery in 1878.  The temperature inside the caverns is about 54 °F (12 °C).

 The cavern is yellow, brown or red because of water, chemicals and minerals. The new stalactites growing from the old, and made of hard carbonates that had already once been used, are usually white as snow though often pink or amber-colored. Several stalactites exceed 5 feet (1.5 m) in length.

There is a spring of water called Dream Lake that has an almost mirror like appearance. Stalactites are reflected in the water making them appear to be stalagmites. This illusion is often so convincing that people are unable to see the real bottom. It looks quite deep, as the stalactites are higher above the water, but at its deepest point the water is only around 20 inches deep. The lake is connected to a spring that continues deeper into the caverns. 
Can you see the reflection in the water?
This place was by far one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

After the Caverns we walked over to Car & Carriage Caravan Museum. Here we went back in time and got to see some oldies. Here are a few of my favorites.

This place will take you back in history. There were cars, bikes, carriages, rolls royce, bugattis, cadillacs, way back from the 1700's. Lots of cool stuff to see.

Next Stop... The Garden Maze
 This was by far my favorite from this trip. As a kid and even now as an adult I remember reading or hearing about garden mazes, but somehow thought that they only existed in movies and books. And I got to experience it. As you go through the maze you have to find your way to each goal box. At each goal you stamp your card and receive a clue to your next goal.

Final Stop...Luray Valley Museum
At this museum you get to step back in time and discover the history of the Shenandoah Valley. At the log Stonyman building you will see items from the 1920s. Check out the Hamburg Regular School, the area's first school for African American children. 

 It's crazy to think that they used small chalkboards to write down their notes and lessons.
Other than that they're classrooms are very similar to the classrooms today.

Neon Shoe Lovers

This place had beautiful scenery of the mountains, and lots of green land.
This view is breathtaking.

We ended the day having dinner at Speakeasy Restaurant and Bar at the Mimslyn Inn
This laid back cozy bar/restaurant features pictures of Charlie Chaplin and other famous people, they play live music, and the food is reasonably priced.

If you're ever in Virginia a trip up to Luray Caverns and Attractions is a must see and do!
Best of all, all the attractions are included with your admission to the Caverns.

Day 3~ Exploring DC

We were so exhausted from our trip to the Caverns that we got a late start on our drive to DC the next day. By the time we got there we were only able to visit a few museums and monuments. The little that the Hubs did see he loved and can not wait to go back.  Here are a few of the pictures we were able to take while in DC.

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