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…

Rather than fly home to Atlanta and then go to Philly the next day, we changed our flight “home” to go straight to Philadelphia, landing at midnight on Friday night (thanks to a delay at JFK), June 16.  Why end a vacation with another vacation?  In a word, Bono. I’d seen U2 four times, the first being via a road trip to Memphis in 1997 (with Jim Bob, incidentally, the guy whose family was in Paris with ours in the last series of posts), and the last being…