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Vacation-Planning time!

Posted May 29 2013 6:37am

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I guess I could call this post What I did on my summer vacation (last year).  I’m writing it now because I’m not quite sure what we should do this year! Joshua’s last day of school is Friday, Sophie’s already out, and vacation time fast approacheth. Every year, we pretty much go on vacation to the same place: my parents’ house in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Because it’s free, my mom cooks, and they offer Grandma & Grandpa child care! Plus, there’s tons to do around there, and it’s gorgeous. Pictured above is Natural Bridge, which is…a natural bridge.  (Which was once owned by Thomas Jefferson!) An amazing stone bridge that just naturally occurred. And, is actually used as a real bridge as well. I’ve been there twice as an adult, and once or twice as a child, and it never fails to absolutely bowl me over. My kids loved it, too. It’s somewhere you REALLY need to see in your lifetime. Put it on your bucket list!
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There’s quite a lot to see at Natural Bridge and a nice long trail to follow. My kids were OBSESSED with the map.

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There’s also a creek that runs right alongside the trail at Natural Bridge, and the trail leads to a waterfall. When we were almost to the falls, we saw an honest-to-goodness REAL live baby otter! It was sooo awesome! We were seriously giddy over it. We love watching the otters at our local children’s museum, and to see a real one was just amazing!

There are also a few other attractions at Natural Bridge. The folks at the Lexington & Rockbridge County Visitors Center gave me two free tickets because I am  a super famous blogger (seriously, tweet about where you are going on vacation and see what happens!), and we paid for the kids’ admission.  We loved the butterfly house they have there, and they also have a fun toy museum, which was really more fun for Bobby and I than for the kids  because it had all sorts of toys we had when we were young. (I wouldn’t pay for the toy museum on its own, but as part of the package deal it was cool.) There are also some caverns nearby you can take a tour in, and it’s pretty fantastic. It’s the second time I’ve taken the tour through there, and the first time was pre-claustrophobia so I did enjoy it more the first time. But it was still neat and I am glad we took the kids! They really liked it a lot. I couldn’t get any decent photos inside the caverns with my phone camera, but here is an awesome one another visitor took on Flickr.

Finally, we had one more local adventure in Rockbridge County. The Virginia Safari Park !! This is a park where you drive through and buy buckets of food and wild, exotic animals come up to you car window and eat from your bucket or hand. WHAT? I was skeptical, nervous, and OK – scared. But we ended up LOVING it! Adults and kids alike – we thought it was the coolest thing we’d ever done!

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Joshua feeding a….something. A llama, I think!

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Sophie feeding a flippin’ ZEBRA!!

The camels totally stole our feed buckets. But it was still REALLY cool. Also, one of the camels ate the ENTIRE bucket. Like, the food inside and then the actual BUCKET! Dag, yo!
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So, that’s the fun we had on our vacation LAST year. But unlike Emily, I don’t enjoy planning vacations, so I am not sure what side adventures we will take on our mountain vacation THIS year. But I know whatever we do, it will be fun! How could you not have fun with this crew?

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Where are YOU vacationing with the family this summer? I could use some ideas!

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