Washington, District of Columbia

My little family and I have lived in Northern Virginia for a year and a half now. We suffer from the ever so common attitude of “it is so close that we can see it anytime”. This leads us to weekend drives into the Blue Ridge Mountains, jaunts to Gettysburg, Camping in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a road-tripping to West Virginia, and a ridiculous day-trip to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell just, well, because we could. In October we have a trip to Canada and the New England states planned. Continue reading “Washington, District of Columbia”

2,600 Miles Across America… with a baby in the car.

Three weeks ago, baby and I flew back to Oregon to retrieve my car. Then my mother, my six-month-old baby, and I drove from Oregon to Virginia. It took as a full week and we saw a lot of country. I don’t have anything particularly profound to say about the trip: it was long. It served as a reminded of why I love the west so much. After Denver the landscape became very uneventful and while it started building back into hills and forests by about St. Louis, it didn’t have the grandeur of the west. Still, Kentucky was particularly beautiful. Continue reading “2,600 Miles Across America… with a baby in the car.”

Shenandoah National Park

DSCN3996 Do not go to Shenandoah National Park in March. We learned this a few weeks ago when the feeling of spring had crept into the woods behind our apartment in Virginia and inspired us to seek the tops of the nearest mountains.

Spring, however, had not sprung in Shenandoah. Miniature ice waterfalls frozen in free fall from the cliffs on the roadside and loomed downward menacingly from the tops of the tunnel arches. The trails were snow-lined and mud filled. Simple walking proved difficult by the frozen surface atop the mushy ground. Slip, slide, squish. It may have been fun had my husband not been carrying our six-month-old baby and I with my flat-bottomed sketchers made for sidewalks. Continue reading “Shenandoah National Park”

Gettysburg National Military Park

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In February my husband moved to Virginia for his dream job and a few weeks later I followed by plane with the baby. For our first free weekend we drove the hour or so north to Gettysburg. Much like the Crater Lake post discusses, many people here have never been to Gettysburg despite living so close to it. The land itself, minus it’s history, is rather average for the area: low hills, some trees and nice farm land, a little town that is Gettysburg. But the whole area is dotted with military tributes made of stones and metals. Each dedicated to a unit of our American Civil War.

Canons line the miles long looped auto tour road and houses dot the countryside. People live in this park huge park midst the constant reminders of our nation’s growing pains. Being from Oregon this concept completely baffles me. I was raised within 40 miles or so of the Oregon Trail, but it isn’t active history. We don’t talk about it or take sides over it. It is just there, only not physically in most places. More of a concept. Continue reading “Gettysburg National Military Park”

Crater Lake, Oregon

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Our honeymoon took us on a giant loop from the Oregon Coast down through the California Redwoods, to Sacramento and then Yosemite, and up through Klamath Falls and around Crater Lake, Oregon. My husband and I were both born and raised in Oregon and spent half of our adult lives (separately) in Portland and Seattle. Crater Lake was one of those destinations that was so close that we just sort-of skipped it for grander things. Always intending to do it someday. We knew that life would most likely lead us to the East Coast at the beginning of 2013 so we needed to see it before we left. Continue reading “Crater Lake, Oregon”

Redwoods National Park

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For our honeymoon, my husband and I drove south along Pacific Coast Highway 101 from Manzanita, Oregon, where we were married, to Sacramento, California. On our way we drove through the various Redwoods national and state parks. Sadly, our hiking was limited due to time and my third-trimester-sized stomach. Had we been able, we would have camped out.

Continue reading “Redwoods National Park”