We began with the too-short Denver-Dulles redeye, and relaxed in the Red Carpet Club in Washington. It was Andrew's first visit to the RCC (a dubious distinction).
Andrew and Daddy read the Wall Street Journal
Mommy and Andrew catch up on sleep they missed on the redeye.
On the prop plane to CHO
We visited Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. (You totally thought I had that quote about Albemarle County off the top of my head, didn't you?)
Striking a pose with TJ
Ruby enjoyed cuddling with Andrew
Daddy and Andrew catch some shut-eye... in the Wiggle Room at church
After church, we ventured out for some Carolina-style barbecue at Blue Ridge Pig, which was, appropriately, decorated with pigs.
Sammy hangin' with the piggies.
Andrew enjoyed chewing on the pigs even though he can't have pork yet.
After lunch, we drove up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in the views and try out a hike on the short-but-steep trail to Humpback Rocks.
Andrew tried the "back" position in the Ergo for the first time.
A storm rolled in.
We sort of got stormed off of the trail. It was raining pretty steadily by the time we got back to the cars. Andrew got stormed off his first peak! So exciting, these milestones.
Back at home, I was challenged to a Matching Game duel. I believe the words of both Sammy and Noah were, "I can beat you at Matching Game later!" I played 4-year-old Noah pretty much no-mercy, all-out, and we tied.
Noah thought he was going to beat me.
Then it was Sammy's turn. Between all of his trash talk, and the way that Noah had nearly bested me, I figured I better play him tough. And I beat the pants off of him. Ah well.
Andrew was an excited spectator.
Noah built a colorful castle of blocks.
Travis, Andrew, Amy, Ruby, Anna Grace, Noah, Sammy, Mary Kathryn, and Ben.
The next day, Travis and I tried out Ben's backyard climbing wall. Andrew supervised as safety officer.
I did so well!!...
...and then I fell.
Travis took a flight on the rope swing.
Sammy showed us how it's done on the overhang. Barefoot.
Travis tries a bouldering traverse.
Then it was time to say goodbye to the kids, who were off to enjoy a last trip to the pool before school started.
We drove over to Shenandoah National Park to take a cruise on Skyline Drive. We stopped at an early turnoff to nurse with a view.
Then as we were driving along, Travis happened to glance into one of the parking areas along the way. He yelled, BEAR! and slammed on the brakes. This time we had time to get our camera!
To finish off the day and the trip, we took a short hike on a segment of the Appalachian Trail. Hopefully someday we'll be back on a through-hike!