A trip to Virginia had been brewing for awhile. The historic sites! The Presidential homes! The Civil War connection. It was my turn to choose a vacation in 2013 (yes, 2013, you read that correctly), and I wanted to go to Virginia. Jon and I trade off on choosing our big vacation each year; at least that is the intent. So… In 2013, I had dates in March scheduled, and we were researching Virginia airfares, but something was nagging at me.
That something was a little 6 pound kitty named Martini, who had lymphoma. I couldn’t bring myself to fly cross country and leave her at home, knowing that she could decline or die without me by her side. So, I kept procrastinating. The same night, Jon and I came up with the idea to do a road trip to California instead – that way we could be home in a day if we needed to. As it turned out, we said our final goodbyes to our sweet girl before we left for that California trip…
Virginia was again on the docket for 2014 – until Jon’s cousin announced his wedding in Los Angeles. We wanted to make the best use of the flight to California, so we decided to forego Virginia again and do a scenic loop of the Southwest before the wedding. A fabulous choice that I don’t regret, but not Virginia.
I was determined to do Virginia in 2015 – I had been dreaming for three years about all the Presidential mansions and historic homes, about Appomattox Courthouse and other Civil War Battlefields. I started a new job in January – which could have put a wrench in our plans, but fortunately a generous vacation package and some front loaded time meant that I could still do the trip. Finally we were able to make it happen! After we got back from Colorado in August, I set to work planning the trip. We had almost two weeks; our longest vacation to date (by one day)!
I mapped and researched and connected the dots between our various wish list sites, finding the most convenient stopping points, and booking flights, a car, hotel rooms, and a boat tour! I wanted a more leisurely pace than we’d had in Colorado, with two night stays at several of our destination towns. Slowly it began to come together.
We would fly into Baltimore (that was the least expensive) and visit Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Arlington House, Mount Vernon, Shenandoah National Park, Appomattox Courthouse, Monticello, Ash Lawn Highland, Montpelier, the Fredericksburg Battlefield, the Hugh Mercer Apothecary, Mary Ball Washington House, George Washington Birthplace, Stratford Hall, Menokin, Jamestown, Yorktown, and finish off at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Still ambitious, but workable.
Jon decided at the last minute that he wanted to see Gettysburg, so we traded that for Antietam. And oh, by the way, could we possibly fit in some time on the Blue Ridge Parkway?
The next series of vacation posts will be our Virginia Road Trip – October 4 – 16, 2015. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!