January 28 – February 5, 2017: Williamsburg, VA

For our winter vacation this year, we contemplated all kinds of warm places. Mexico? Costa Rica? Even Florida, which we’ve always promised ourselves we’d avoid. Then one day, Yen pointed out that all we really need is a place with a decent pool and some things to do during the day. So with that in mind, we booked a short (one hour, twenty minutes) flight down to Richmond, and spent the week in Williamsburg.

As you can see here, Mina and Linus are fine little travelers, and easily settled into our temporary home – once we showed them that we’d brought plenty for toys from home.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Linus is the Chief Supervisor in Charge of Laundry at home, which is not just an honorary title. He knows how to load up the clothes, how to turn on the machine, and how to start it. If we gave him access to detergent – which of course we’ll never do – he could actually handle the whole chore himself. And so he set about making himself comfortable with the equipment in our rental.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Mina brought her scowl along, of course. She knows how important accessories are.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

The property had a nice little playground, which we checked out right away in order to stretch our legs after the flight. Linus really likes it when we go down the slide with him, so I got to stretch out too! And very nearly hit my head.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Mina’s favorite park activity is to climb through tunnels. Unfortunately the tunnel at this part was on an incline, so I had to shove from behind so she could climb. And then she flew down laughing before it started all over again.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

On the way back, we found a shuffleboard court (court? I dunno.), which fascinated the kids. I think Linus may be a natural.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Here he is checking out the other facilities. You think he keeps that figure without any effort? No way. He’s all about exercise.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Our tour of the facilities ended in the play room. They had a terrific little room just full of toys. We found ourselves down there a few times, just to give the kids a break from running around or being stuck in the unit.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Our first outing was to the Army Transportation Museum. Mina in particular was pretty excited to find that all of the signs were down at her level. It turns out that when you design things to work for people in wheelchairs, you end up helping kids too.

US Army Transportation Museum

US Army Transportation Museum

US Army Transportation Museum

Here’s the little peanut all tuckered out. She does this a lot. She just pauses and lies on the floor. I know how she feels.

20170129-DSC_0270

By the way, in case you’re worried about her forehead: she bumped it on the corner of a cabinet back at home. Just a little scratch, but we wanted to protect it and keep it moist to prevent a scar.

20170129-DSC_0312

Yen often regrets that he doesn’t have more photos of Linus at around one year. He was just moving so fast he couldn’t manage it. So he’s taking a lot of photos of our lady so he won’t have the same regret with her.

20170129-DSC_0333

20170129-DSC_0343

Halfway dressed for swimming!

20170129-DSC_0374

I confess: we watched way more TV on this trip than we ever do otherwise. But it was part of relaxing and spending downtime together. Particularly in a small space without the kids’ usual cache of toys.

20170129-DSC_0376

Our second outing was to the Mariners’ Museum. Linus loves it. It’s full of ladders, wheels, propellers, and all of his other favorite things.

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

They also have lots of little interactive exhibits showing how engines work. We took some videos so Linus can watch them at home in the evenings. He likes to watch videos of engines, machines, and kinetic sculptures while he has his milk before bed. My little nerd!

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

This is Mina’s latest little trick: “oh my goodness!” When you say that, she slaps her her hand over her mouth and looks shocked.

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

Linus first got interested in propellors and other things that turn during our last trip to Williamsburg. He is still obsessed. I swear he’s going to be a mechanical engineer.

Mariner's Museum, Newport News

The next day was a little warmer, so we went to the zoo.

Virginia Zoological Park

One of the first things you see when you get past the front gate is this big sculpture. It’s a solid piece of granite, but because it’s floating on a little cushion of water, you can actually turn it.

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

Naturally we took the train around the zoo. We were the only passengers!

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

Mina loved the meerkats. I think they loved her too!

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

We watched this poor man scooping up giraffe poop. Someone has to do it!

Virginia Zoological Park

And here’s the creator of all of that poop!

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

A little river hog. We all thought he was very cute.

Virginia Zoological Park

Can you believe this guy’s horns?! We read that they actually have blood vessels in them. The blood flows down to the ends where it cools, then it comes back and cools his body. It’s a built-in air conditioner.

Virginia Zoological Park

We stopped for a little snack before we finished our visit. Linus kept dropping cereal on the ground. “For the birds,” he said.

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

The zoo has two red pandas – or did. One of them has been missing for a month now. They think that someone must have picked the little guy up. I can see why they’d be tempted. They’re so cute and furry!

Virginia Zoological Park

Virginia Zoological Park

After the zoo, we took another little outing. There’s a free ferry that goes between Jamestown and Scotland, across the James River. It’s about a ten minute trip, which is perfect for Linus’s attention span (Mina’s, not so much). It turned out to be a beautiful little sunset cruise.

Jamestown-Scotland ferry

Jamestown-Scotland ferry

Jamestown-Scotland ferry

Isn’t the lighting beautiful?

Jamestown-Scotland ferry

Jamestown-Scotland ferry

Ah, here’s Mina lounging in the morning. My small angel had some trouble sleeping in the hotel, and she and I spent a few nights watching late-night television. One night she got up at 1:30 and just stayed up. The next time, she sat with me until 4am and then slowly melted onto the pillow next to me. We slept curled up together until 7:30.

20170201-DSC_0791

But who needs sleep? We had a visit to the Virginia Living Museum on the schedule. Mina was very fearless about touching the little sea creatures (not pictured: Linus refusing to touch them).

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

“Do you guys see that alligator?!”

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

They had a big paleontology section where the kids could play with wagons and structures, and dig for bones.

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Look at this full-out run!

Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

Linus found a tractor near Colonial Williamsburg. It’s old, but not exactly period.

Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center

Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center

Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center

Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center

One evening we took a long walk through the golf course next to our rental unit.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

And on the way back, checked out the HVAC systems.

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Back to that play room!

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, Williamsburg

The next morning, we went over to Yorktown. This “beach” is by the river, but it’s still a beach!

Yorktown

Yorktown

Yorktown

Yorktown

We also found a park with a botanical garden. Not terribly exciting in the winter – which is OK, because Mina and I slept in the car for a bit while Linus and Yen checked it out.

20170202-DSC_1149

The garden just happens to be a in park, so we played while we were there (this is after Mina and I woke up).

20170202-DSC_1163

20170202-DSC_1189

We also took a little walk through the woods.

20170202-DSC_1194

20170202-DSC_1201

20170202-DSC_1202

And then… The Virginia Air and Space Musem! And more propellers!

Virginia Air and Space museum

Even Mina got into them.

Virginia Air and Space museum

Here’s Mina next to a cross-section of the ISS. I think both kids understand now that they’re not allowed to be astronauts. They’re staying on Earth where I can see them!

Virginia Air and Space museum

Virginia Air and Space museum

“Hm. I’d like to see that pilot’s credentials.”

Virginia Air and Space museum

It’s a shame I won’t allow them into the space program, because they’d make very cute astronauts! Never mind my head sticking up behind.

Virginia Air and Space museum

Virginia Air and Space museum

Virginia Air and Space museum

Virginia Air and Space museum

Back at the ranch!

20170203-DSC_1297

Linus crawled into the shower so he could read in peace.

20170204-DSC_1311

20170204-DSC_1322

We had a late flight home (5:30), so we stopped off at the Richmond Museum of Science.

By the way, you may have noticed a lot of appearances of this shirt. It’s his absolute favorite. When it finally gets too dirty, we actually have to hide it in the bottom of the basket or he’ll just keep wearing it. I’ve told you he picks out his own outfits, right?

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

He still talks about this exhibit!

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Mina loved this craft room. I think she wanted to take everything home.

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond

And our last stop was to Hollywood Cemetery to see the Confederate memorial, and all of the other major figures buried there. It’s a pretty cemetery.

Hollywood cemetery, Richmond