Sunday, May 31, 2015

Zoo Day

We had a great family day on Saturday at the zoo.  It was small zoo but Eli loved every bit of it.  It was just big enough for us to see everything and have a picnic, without being too tired.  His very favorite part was the petting zoo! (Go figure) :)


 "Mom come pet the Wion!"

Bryan's mom has a picture of Bryan drinking from the EXACT lion water fountain at this zoo when he was Eli's age!

North Carolina and Virginia Trip

What a trip we had last month!  My brother was graduating from an intense program in the ARMY and our family came to support him and party with him for a few days!  While we were in NC we took a bit of a roadtrip up to Virginia to see some history sites that Bryan used to teach about.

Please enjoy a million pictures!

We drove from Idaho to Utah then flew the next day to North Carolina. Eli did amazing.

The driving was soo gorgeous.  Most of the driving was on quieter roads like this with huge trees, not busy noisy highways.
First stop was Williamsburg, VA.  It had some amazingly restored buildings from the early colonization period.  The people were dressed in period clothing and had SO much information about the history of Virgina.
This was a church that Thomas Jefferson was required to attend when he was a college student at William And Mary.  It was crazy to imagine where he would have been in this chapel.

This was the Governor's house in Williamsburg (below).
After touring Williamsburg in the morning, we went to Yorktown.  This was an interesting place because there were two battles that took place here.  It was used during the revolutionary war when the British were fighting the French and Colonists in the US. It was also used in the Civil war fighting between the North and South
These were the exact fields the men fought on. It was interesting to think of the cannon booms and sky filled with smoke.

This area was called Surrender Road.  This is where the British finally surrendered to the US, which officially made us free from them.
The British soldiers walked down this exact road with American troops lining the streets.
These were called Redoubts, where the men would form barricades during this part of the Revolutionary War.

The next morning we started off bright and early to see Jamestown, VA.  But first we stopped at a great pancake house (literally a house) and had a delicious breakfast!  Then we were ready to tackle some more sights.  
Jamestown is a reproduction of what the first (successful) settlement in Jamestown would have looked like.  They built a few buildings including the Governor's house and servant quarters.

This man showed us how to shoot the guns that were accurate to the time period.  Very loud, but Eli loved it!

Bryan and Eli tried on the metal helmets and breastplates. What great pictures :) 

There were 3 reproduced ships that were used in the voyage to Jamestown.  Eli turned to Bryan when he saw the ships and said "Dad, do this, ARRGGG"  and squinted one eye.  So great!

We then realized that there was an actual site where Jamestown was, that had a museum and tours.  When my mom and I did our different US History trips back when I was in High School, this place had just been starting to be excavated and wasn't open to the public.  This was a pretty amazing site actually.  They were able to look at the dirt and see the color changes of where these original posts had been set in the ground when they came in 1607.  The were able to map out the entire shape of the fort and the other buildings too.

This is the outline of the first church they built.  They found 4 gravesites of unkown people.  To have been allowed to be buried inside the church, they were usually high officers or governemnt leaders.  This was also the same church John Rolf and Pocahontas were married in.

After a long day in Jamestown we drove along the coast to Roanoke Island.  We didn't have time to play at the beach but couldn't miss an opportunity to see the Atlantic Ocean. 

Roanoke island is where the British first came over to America.  This settlement did not succeed, and when help returned with more food and rations, there was no sign of them.  They had removed their homes and fort walls, and nothing was left. Its still a mystery today what happened to them.  Bryan used to teach about this in his US History classes so he couldn't miss seeing it.

Here is all that was left, just piles of dirt, and marks where the fort had once stood.

My favorite part of Roanoke was the food (leave it to a pregnant lady to say that). While this looks greasy and fried, it was delicious! I tried hush puppies for the first time (two balls on the left) which were amazing, then corn nuggest in the blue bowl, and Eli's favorite- Shrimp!

The next day we drove an hour or so from Doug's house to see the Harper House.  This is the original home that stood during the Civil War.  600 men were treated in this home for wounds and amputations during a 3 day battle right in these fields.This was the battle of Bentonville, which was the last major battle of the Civil War.

While the Harper family was supporting the confederates, they were forced to assist in treating and housing the Union soldiers.  The Harper family had 9 children, and gave up their home to be used as a temporary hospital during this battle.  After the Civil War ended, the Harper family continued to care for the remaining 34 injured Confederates.  Here they buried 9  in unknown graves.

We spent a few days with my family in between seeing sites.  I loved watching Eli interact with my brothers and parents.   

The main reason we came to NC was to see Doug graduate from Special Forces.  He has worked incredibly hard these past two years, and we were all soooo excited to see him complete this huge accomplishment.

After Doug's graduation we spent a fun day at the beach! It was a bit chilly and rainy, but we had a blasts. 
This picture makes me laugh even now. Eli was pretending to call my mom and talk to her on the phone.  He told her all about what he was going to make for dinner and who was invited and what time dinner was! "Nana, friend, mom, dad come dinner.  We have cookies, ice cream, pickles, fish.  6 O'clock"

The USS North Carolina is stationed there and we were able to take a tour.  Usually I wouldn't have been interested in this, but this ship was incredibly massive, and it was crazy to think how many people lived there and worked on it.  We toured through the massive industrial kitchen, the hospital, bunk rooms, officers quarters, and so many more areas.  I definitely got lost (and a little claustrophobic) but it was pretty awesome.  We lost Bryan along the way, but found Doug, and later Laura so we just toured with whoever we found ;)

In the Captain's chair.

Ready to steer this ship!

We stopped at Costco on the way home for some things and Eli was too tired to even hold his head up on my brother's shoulders.

While we went to see one more history site, Eli stayed with my family.  I think he had more fun than we did :)