I can turn any event into an all out extravaganza it seems. Take a simple trip to Colonial Williamsburg for a day or two. Once I’m done with it, it becomes a 5-day roadschooling journey with at least 7 additional activities along the way, and you can bet your bottom dollar it will be done for FREE or NEARLY FREE too. Grandmother came along also, officially making this one of our memorable travel parties! All the museums we went to were FREE on our annual family museum pass. This pass cost us $65 per year and in one trip to one museum, it’s paid for! For example, the Virginia Living Museum alone is $17 per adult and $13 per child over age 3. For our party of 6 (2 adults and 4 children – one under age 3) our visit to VLM would have cost $73.…OUCH! That being the average price per museum, and us stopping at 4 museums just this one week, that’s $292 of FREE museum fun. Believe me, our pass is smoking year round! The Beach of course is FREE. When we lived in Hampton Roads our favorite beach was Buckroe Beach, and it still is today! FREE parking, no traffic, no tunnels, no tourist boardwalk that is not always family friendly. JUST a clean beach, sea life (yes, even dolphins jumping), a fenced in playground and a plenty of room to stretch out! Blue Bird Gap Farm, another year round freebie. Williamsburg was at a 75% discount too. You can homeschool on one income and STILL provide your family with wonderful travel adventures! Our next roadschooling week, coming up in November : )
Monday 9/20 - We spent Monday at the Virginia Living Museum . If you have never been to the Virginia Living Museum and you’re heading towards Virginia Beach, you MUST put it on your to-do list. It has wonderful tanks filled with life, hands on sea life exhibits, bat exhibits, skulls, furs, shells etc that the kids can TOUCH and EXPLORE. There is also a walking trail with more wildlife such as foxes, skunks, deer, and mountain lion. In addition, a full aviary, otters, alligators…whew, you get the idea. It’s a facility that is very well done and maintained. After the VLM, we visited with our City Cousins for the evening. All ten kids ripped and roared in the backyard until bedtime : ) We always wish for more time to visit with family, but we take what we can get!
Tuesday – Was our FULL day at Colonial Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg designates four weeks per year as “Home Educators Weeks.” The facility is still open to the general public, however if you homeschool, your entire family can go for less than the average one day adult pass (1 day tickets usually $39 per adult and $20 per student, however during Home Educator Days advanced ticket prices are $7.50 1- day adult pass or $10.50 2-day pass and $5.50 1-day student pass or $8.50 2-day student pass. Another great frugal savings that offers tons of family focused fun!) We did it all, Great Hopes Plantation, Jail, Palace Maze, Military Magazine, Wigmaker, Shoemaker, Silversmith, Printer, Cooper, Apothecary, and Blacksmith, everything that was open! The Williamsburg Home Educator Days are well worth the trip and we’ll hit them again in the Spring. I also had an added thrill of getting together with a new facebook friend and her children while there. The kids got along great and I’m sure we’ll meet up for other homeschooling adventures! Then, just because we left Williamsburg after a full day in no way implies our day was done. We headed back to Hampton Roads where we picked up a few pizzas and spent the evening at Buckroe Beach. We had our pizza picnic and the kids got out the last of their energy at the beach playground before we turned in for the night. We spent the night with another wonderful set of family who has graciously opened up their home to us as well. Even though this couple is busy with work and school, it was nice to squeeze in some fellowship time with them too.
|The classic Williamsburg shot.|
|Naomi enjoying her dinner pizza @ the Beach.|
Wednesday - Our plan was to have a breakfast picnic at the beach for maybe an hour or so. Hahaha, four hours later we realized we needed to hit the road for our other outings. Our animal theme for this trip is the horseshoe crab. Why you may ask? It seems every museum we went to had horseshoe crabs to touch and learn about. Also, to top it all off during our morning at the beach the horseshoe crabs had molted. We filled two grocery bags full of horseshoe crab shells. Two are completely intact with legs, long tail etc ( I feel another lapbook coming on). After we pulled ourselves away from the beach, we landed at Olive Garden. I know, hard work but someone has to do it : ) I wanted to have our nice meal out before I was so tired that I could no longer taste anything. After OG we headed to Norfolk Waterside where we toured the Battleship Wisconsin and the Nauticus Museum. It was amazing and it certainly is on our list to go back too! It was Navy and military history, plus more sea creatures and a submarine that the kids didn’t want to leave. We stayed until 5pm when it closed. Then we did one final push to the Elizabeth River Paddleboat Ferry. Another nice thrill on the cheap side.
|Country folk, loving the beach in the early morning|
|Oh’ HAPPY Day!|
|Jadin, Me (baby Liam in-the-oven & Gabriel helping Grandmother take the picture ;) ,
Naomi and Zion @ the Battleship Wisconsin, Waterside Norfolk.
Thursday – We took our breakfast to Blue Bird Gap Farm. It’s a petting zoo with playground and picnic tables. Back in the day when we lived in Hampton I use to take baby Jadin there. We met up with a friend again and the kids played for several hours. Then we headed towards Richmond and tackled the Virginia Aviation Museum and the Science Museum of Virginia. We landed at my Aunt’s lake house when the day was done.
|A great way for a girl to get around!|
|Naomi and a new friend @ the Science Museum of Virginia.|
|Gabriel and Jadin @ the Aviation Museum.|
Friday - We officially said goodbye to Summer during this 90+-degree-day. The kids swam in the lake, jumped off the dock and drove the boat. My Aunt made wonderful meals all day and I even took an afternoon nap. Yahoo, can we move in now?! : )
|Everyone is looking sleepy after a full day of swimming, boating and eating!!!|
|A playdoh break|
Gabriel by this point, as we all were, as ready to see his daddy. He pulled a Sports Illustrated out of the magazine rack and turning to every page he said “That’s my daddy…that’s my daddy….that’s my daddy!” We got home late Friday night. However, Praise God, we all got a good 9-10 of sleep before heading out to double football games Saturday morning. Both the boys’ football teams tied! After that, and for the rest of our weekend, we rested and had “redbox therapy.” Sunday I was revived and smoked up our printer with some major homeschool printing. I refilled the boys math notebooks, printed out all the pages for their new Dinosaur Creation lapbook and got the next series of letters/activities ready for Naomi’s Lap n’ note. Thank you Jesus for the never ending lifestyle of learning!