Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day Trippin' Part One

The girls and I had an absolutely fabulous day yesterday! We headed out from Richmond to Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia. It's about 3 hours away but the drive is very scenic and rather enjoyable. I appreciated the views more than the girls but every once in awhile Ellie would look away from her movie to tell me about a herd of cows on a hillside. We spent the first half of the day exploring the caverns and the second half driving along the incredibly beautiful Skyline Drive which intersects right through the Shenandoah National Park. Steve and I drove up here when we first moved to Virginia back in 2000. I cannot believe I waited almost 9 years to return. It was breathtaking.

Luray, Virginia at Luray Caverns.
Blue Ridge Mountains in the background

I wasn't too sure what the girls would think about going deep into a cavern filled with stalagmites and stalactites. It would be dark, cold and wet. Ellie usually is up for any type of adventure but Emma can sometimes be on the fence with things that are messy or too nature-ish. I was so pleased that they both LOVED the caverns. I think that after all we have been through the past 16 months, it doesn't really matter too much what we do, so long as we are doing it together. It warms my heart to know what being together means for all of us now. It's a great feeling.

Deep inside the caverns, Emma gives me the thumbs up

We took the children's audio tour and received an interesting education about how the cavern was formed, how very old it is and we also went on a treasure hunt of sorts looking for certain shapes and objects within the rocks. It was a lot of fun and it wasn't cold at all. About 55 degrees but it felt warm not damp. It was wet in spots with water dripping off the rocks and on occasion we would feel a drip on our heads. I could have lived without that happening.

Ellie and me take a seat on some fallen rocks.
Photo by Emma

Listening to the fascinating audio tour.

Toward the end of the tour, we came to the Wishing Well. The Wishing Well is a lagoon that is full of money. Upon first look I thought it was your typical wishing spot and I gave the girls pennies. After taking a closer look I saw there were lots of dollar bills on the bottom of the water. I even spied a $20.00 bill. I then noticed the sign explaining what the wishing well was for. Each year the lagoon is drained and the money collected goes to various charities. There was a list of past charities. The most recent charity was the American Cancer Society. Of course we wanted to add more money to the lagoon in hopes that Pediatric Cancer or some charity close to our heart would be the recipient. The girls each dropped a dollar into the lagoon.

The girls drop their wishing money into the well.
I hope all their wishes are granted.

After we made the long climb out of the cavern we did some shopping and some eating of the all important and necessary summer time day trip sponsor, ice cream. Here are some random photos above ground.

The girls practice their best old lady cane shuffle

Bonnie and Clyde cause havoc in the gift shop.

Emma sports a hot pink miner's hat. I actually contemplated buying this for late night frogging.

Ellie takes in one last view of the mountains before we head on out.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Luray Caverns. It was the perfect day trip. Of course, for me the best part of the day lay before us. We soon would be seeing lots of birds, deer and even a Black bear on our drive through Skyline Drive. Stay tuned...