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.
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.
Mina brought her scowl along, of course. She knows how important accessories are.
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.
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.
On the way back, we found a shuffleboard court (court? I dunno.), which fascinated the kids. I think Linus may be a natural.
Here he is checking out the other facilities. You think he keeps that figure without any effort? No way. He’s all about exercise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Halfway dressed for swimming!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The next day was a little warmer, so we went to the zoo.
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.
Naturally we took the train around the zoo. We were the only passengers!
Mina loved the meerkats. I think they loved her too!
We watched this poor man scooping up giraffe poop. Someone has to do it!
And here’s the creator of all of that poop!
A little river hog. We all thought he was very cute.
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.
We stopped for a little snack before we finished our visit. Linus kept dropping cereal on the ground. “For the birds,” he said.
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!
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.
Isn’t the lighting beautiful?
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.
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).
“Do you guys see that alligator?!”
They had a big paleontology section where the kids could play with wagons and structures, and dig for bones.
Look at this full-out run!
Linus found a tractor near Colonial Williamsburg. It’s old, but not exactly period.
One evening we took a long walk through the golf course next to our rental unit.
And on the way back, checked out the HVAC systems.
Back to that play room!
The next morning, we went over to Yorktown. This “beach” is by the river, but it’s still a beach!
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.
The garden just happens to be a in park, so we played while we were there (this is after Mina and I woke up).
We also took a little walk through the woods.
And then… The Virginia Air and Space Musem! And more propellers!
Even Mina got into them.
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!
“Hm. I’d like to see that pilot’s credentials.”
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.
Back at the ranch!
Linus crawled into the shower so he could read in peace.
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?
He still talks about this exhibit!
Mina loved this craft room. I think she wanted to take everything home.
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.