We woke up early (and cold) in our tent on Friday, April 6.  It was my 9th soloversary (I like to remember the anniversary of quitting my job and starting my own law firm; it’s also my late maternal grandfather’s birthday), and we had a very difficult-to-book ranger-led canoe trip scheduled for 10am.  But first, we ran to the restroom and to check the inside of my parked car, our youngest following behind nervously. The reason we were interested in the inside of my car at sunrise at…

We arrived at historic Jamestown as soon as it opened on Thursday morning, exploring the glasshouse and fort buildings before going to the archaearium and visitor center (taking in a 360-degree film there–best NPS movie theater I’ve seen!), where I added a cancellation to my NPS passport book. The guide walked us through the area where the first church stood–its floor has recently been removed to allow for archeologists to dig below it and discover even more history.  We stood there several minutes, listening to the guide and…

On Tuesday of spring break 2018, we awoke in downtown Richmond and arrived just after 9am at Tredegar Iron Works to see the national park service visitor’s center, so the children could get yet another junior ranger badge whilst we toured where the CSS Virginia (FKA the “USS Merrimack”) was built, along with a whole bunch of cannons for the Civil War. The children (especially the boy) loved putting on Union and Confederate uniforms in the kids’ “dress up” section of the museum and learning about (plus climbing…

We’d barely finished our “Easter eggs Benedict” and put away the chocolate wrappers littering the den area rug when the 5 of us loaded up in my car to head up I-85 north for a Spring Break road trip of national parks in Virginia and the Carolinas. We were still in Gwinnett County, GA when we hit our first patch of traffic, but from what I saw on FaceBook, driving north from Atlanta instead of south toward the Gulf was an infinitely better experience (it was fine the…

We arose at 4:20am, quickly donned winter coats, and headed out for the winding uphill climb to Haleakala Observatory. We parked the car at 5:30am and walked to the observation tower; it was 20-something degrees outside and windy, but we were determined to experience the famous Haleakala sunrise. Unfortunately, the dense cloud cover prevented our seeing quite the sunrise I’ve heard about and seen in pictures, but it was still a worthwhile experience and the first time I’ve seen the sun rise with a bunch of eager strangers…