Road Trip – Things We Did : Natural Bridge

I grew up doing local theater.  From the age of nine I was in this opera house about three days a week May – October.

The theater has a hand-painted proscenium curtain, painted by a Vermont artist, Charles Hardin Andrus, in 1911.

Every show I was in sat guarded by this curtain and when it lifted, a new adventure began.

For years I had no idea what the painting was of . . . but then in college my boyfriend’s car broke down in Natural Bridge, Virginia and I saw this place in person and it is stunning.  Hardin, the artist said it was one of the seven wonders of the world . . . and that Vermont was the eighth, so he he painted Natural Bridge, with Killington, a Vermont mountain, in the background.


On our road trip I got to share Natural Bridge with my boys, and how happy my heart was that they both loved it.  Honestly, pictures do not do it justice, it is magnificent.


Legend is that George Washington carved his initials into the rock, there is a white box around it.  Thomas Jefferson bought 157 acres including Natural Bridge and built a cabin here.  It is a beautiful and historic place.

It was a great stop for all of us, and with your ticket one received entrance into the butterfly exhibit, the indian village and the wax museum . . . so we explored everything!


We loved visiting Natural Bridge, Virginia.

One last note . . .

My favorite blog is Young House Love.  It is the first blog I started following and I am convinced that we would enjoy hanging out with its two authors, Sherry and John.

Well when we arrived home from our Road Trip, I saw this post on their blog . . . we were there around the same time!  Oh my goodness!  Now that would have been my celebrity moment, meeting Sherry, John, and there little Clara . . . almost serendipitous . . .



Roadtrip – Things We Did : Rode in a Horse 'n Buggy

So we have been blogging about our Roadtrip, driving 1500 miles with Cole, and the places we stayed.

We did a lot of driving, including into and through New York City . . .

But we did stop and play along the way.  We believe in the philosophy of “Adventure & Retreat,” so we did a good job of balancing those two joys . .  .

When we saw this sign as we headed out through Amish Country in Pennsylvania, we couldn’t pass it up . . .

Buggy after buggy drove by us on the road.  I told Andrew I wished someone would do a documentary on what it was like to grow up Amish.  He told me he thought someone had . . . got to find out the name of that.

I always think of myself as connected to the Amish . . . because I was an extra in a movie in high school (not a very interesting movie; I am in it for under 1 minute movie called The Wizard of Loneliness).  The movie is not about the Amish, but it stars Lukas Haas, who was in a movie about the Amish, called Witness . . . I digress

We went on a buggy ride.  Colton loved it.

And we enjoyed the Amish countryside at a slower pace . . .

What a lovely road trip.










Summer Week 7 {Road Trip} : Places We Stayed

We did a LOT of driving on our five day road trip. We drove 1500 miles . . . with our two year old.

Here is what our trek looked like

We stayed in three different places, and we LOVED them all . . .

Our first stop was in Coatesville, Pennsylvania where we stayed in a KOA Kabin.

Cole loved it, and loved having his own room.

Our second stay was in Charlottesville, VA, where we rented an apartment from, this is our second time with homeaway and we highly recommend it. It was so nice to have a kitchen and living space. It was very private and had a great back deck.

Here are Andrew and Cole reading . . . loved staying here together.

Our final stop was in Somerset, New Jersey. We decided that since it was just a stopover (from 11:30 pm – 9:00 am) we would go with a hotel. We also decided that it is now easier for us, as a family to have a suite, so we went with Homewood Suites. It was a great place to stay and because of an issue on their part, we stayed there for under $55! So great!

So fun to stay in three different places. And even more wonderful was that our little guy did great in all three.

Summer Week 7 {Road Trip} : Car Rides with Cole

Our little family vacation this summer is a road trip down to Charlottesville, Virginia.  After crunching the numbers and thinking about what would work best for us we decided on a ROAD TRIP!

I was nervous about all those hours in the car for our little guy . . .

Cole is infamous for NOT sleeping on a trip when you want him to.  When we flew to California for Christmas he was up at 3:00 am Eastern Time and did not sleep until we were in a car in California at 8:00 pm (that is 11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, that is 17 hours of not sleeping for an 18 month old).

But thankfully he did sleep . . . almost three hour naps every day he was in the car.

We did prepare for the many hours on the road . . . and it helped.  Our little guy only cried a couple of times (when he was tired and couldn’t sleep) and rarely said “I want to get out!” which he usually says when he is in his car seat.

Here is what we had on hand:

2 Canvas Baskets of books+:

A couple of months ago I put together this canvas basket that we keep in the car by Cole’s car seat.  I love how it contains all the things I love to have in the car for him.  For this trip, we had it along with us, but only used these things at the very end of the trip . . .

We added a whole new canvas basket in front of his seat, so that everything I pulled out was new to him.

Included in the two canvas baskets:

  • Numerous books
    • including 6 library books
    • 4 new little books from my mom
  • 2 Stuffed animals
    • Teddy is always in the car
    • We brought Olivia and a new Olivia book
  • 2 Coloring books
    • we only used one, pulling out a page each time we ate out
  • A new pack of triangular Crayola crayons
    • not necessary, most restaurants gave Cole crayons
    • though they do not roll and that is nice
  • 1 Bulldozer from Uncle Brian
    • actually in that over the seat holder that is always with us I have a number of little toys that Cole can play with any time

A Diaper Bag of surprises:

I also packed this diaper bag with other toys, some that Cole had not seen in a while, some new hand-me-downs and three new things that I bought . . .

Included in Diaper Bag:

  • A hand me down vtech Tote ‘n Go Laptop
    • this was a big hit
    • he is still to little to understand, but he enjoyed it
  • toy truck for outside
    • never used it
  • a ball
  • 3 new things from Target
    • an alphaberry
      • this was a huge hit, he played with it a good deal
      • it plays music that he sang along to
      • he likes finding letters on it
    • a nerf football that was on sale for 89 cents
    • a big bubble stick that he loved
We played with the last two things outside at pitstops and he loved!

In addition we had a cooler with lots of healthy snacks, a diaper changing “station” (a box that is always in the van with diapers, wipes and other possible necessities).  And we did bring our ipads with “shows.”  I thought he would “need” those more, but he did not watch all the new shows and really just liked the first two we showed him, they would have been enough . . . Richard Scary’s Best ABC Video and Mr. Rogers on “Airplanes.”

He was a great traveler, and that made our road trip so much fun!

Summer Week 6 {Art Week} : Local Outdoor Art

Summer in our small town has a new annual tradition . . . emerging outdoor art by local artists.  Art Grows Here formed one year ago and blossomed into a wonderful opportunity to introduce Cole to art.  We decided to scoop Cole up before putting him down to sleep.  And zoomed around to see some art.

Cole loved the experience . . .


We love supporting local artists.

Two of our favorites . . .

Jonathan McAdam

Andrew Bosari

Summer Week 6 {Art Week} : Peabody Essex Museum

This has not been my best week for posting . . .

But our theme weeks are still going strong. For Art Week we visited a nearby museum that I have never been to before,

For the first half of the visit, our two year old was in his stroller as we perused the art from all over the world . . .

And then we went to a wonderful interactive exhibit called “The Ripple Effect” and Cole explored and enjoyed . . .

Loving that as we experienced art, Cole was able to interact with it.

And so fun to find another wonderful place to explore in our area.