Monday, August 27, 2012

Back Blog: Vacation 2011

*This is poorly done and just thrown together, but the reason I'm so late getting it up is b/c the amount of pictures we had was so overwhelming!  The problem is, I  am already forgetting some of the details :/  I'm going to regret not putting the effort into doing this well, but at least it's up*
We don't do vacations until everyone is back in school.  Yeah, homeschooling is awesome!  ;)  But I got to thinking about our family vacation coming up (squeal!) and realized that I didn't even post about our vacay last year!
Last summer was a record breaker here in East Texas.  We had many consecutive days over 100 degrees.  Everything that was once green died.  Our sweet bunny died.  And I almost died because my children could NOT play outside and I wasn't about to try to brave the pool with five kiddos, one being a newbie.  We normally like to head to the beach.  All things beachy are on sale in September and the beaches are still warm but not crowded.  However, with all that heat even the sand in between our toes and the ocean breeze didn't tempt us.  We wanted to see GREEN and cool off!!!!!
One of our role models is Joel Salatin.  He is a farmer, author and advocate for multi variety farming.  If you have watched Food Inc. (please tell me you have!!!) then you've seen him.  He's the one petting the pig ;)  We have read almost all of his books (OK, I've read one and Billy has read almost all of the rest).  We were looking at his website and were reading about his "lunatic tours."  He has an open book policy.  Anyone can come to his farm at any time and walk around.  It's about accountability.  Anyway, we were looking at the dates and they coincided with when Billy was wanting to take off.  So, we booked one.  For us and my parents.  We rented and 12 passenger van.  Loaded everyone in and drove 20+ hours to Swoop, Virginia.  Ah, just the word Virginia makes me feel cooler.  The Shenandoah Valley was exactly what we needed!!!

It was a long drive but we made the most of it and had lots of fun in the hotel pools!  Until Molly Beth almost drowned.  She really almost did so we are truly thankful that she was able to make it to the edge. 

We could tell when we got to Virginia!  BEautiful! If I could pick where we lived, it would probably be Virginia.

It was rainy and cold, but we were giddy with excitement....well, Billy and I anyway. ;)

The moment I saw him walking up in his yellow slicker (one we'd seen him in so many YouTube videos in, I got star struck!!!).  Ha!  Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds!  We were all bundled up and loaded up into a hayride through his property to listen to him talk to us about his non-industrial food production oasis.

Billy would have been very tempted to stay if he had asked him to ;)

Then we loaded up and drove a little ways back for our kid destination.  Dollywood!  It was wonderful!!!!!  There wasn't hardly anyone there and the weather couldn't have been any better.

While we were there we stayed in an awesome cabin!  There was a great game room downstairs that the kids thought was the highlight of the trip...well, almost.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture of it!

The next day we took it easy.  We cooked up our Polyface food for breakfast and went to a fun little carnival type place.  The kiddos loved the go carts!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I couldn't pass it up!  Haha!

All good things must come to an end.  We packed up, said goodbye to the beautiful view and cooler temperatures and headed back home.  We had to get creative to keep the kidletts happy for MORE driving, but we made it and it was worth it!  We loved getting to see Joel and how his farm works in person.  We enjoyed Dollywood so much that we will most certainly go back!  And all the time in the car made for some really great memories!  Now we are almost ready for Vacation 2012!!!!!!!! :D


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