Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JULY!!!! Our Lilies are blooming now... So gorgeous!!! Here is one of my many favorites! Meet DIZZY.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Awesome Trip to Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia/Tennessee

Williamsburg, Virginia 9/21/13
George and I put 1964 miles on our Prius (averaging about 55 mpg) from September 20-29, 2013.  We drove to Williamsburg, VA, visited around that area for 3 days/4 nights;  then drove to Fredericksburg and to the Great Falls of the Potomac before heading to Fallingwaters,  West VA  for 2 nights.  We then visited Cunningham Falls State Park and Antietam  (both in Maryland);  then,  we visited Harper's Ferry in West Virginia before entering Skyline Drive in Virginia. We spent the night of 9/26 at Skyland Resort on Skyline Drive. We left the next morning for the Peaks of Otter area (off of the Blue Ridge Parkway) --enjoying Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway along the way;  Spent two nights in that area --while enjoying more of the Blue Ridge Parkway,  Peaks of Otter, and Fallingwater Cascades (a hiking trail off of the parkway). Then on the 29th---we headed home!!!!! Whew!!!!!  Got all of that?????? We accomplished ALOT in those days!

Both George and I took over 1500 photos EACH---so you'll be seeing more specifics from our trip in the next few months.    Today,  I just picked out one photo from most of the areas we visited... Many of you are on Facebook and followed us along the way --since both George and I posted a photo each morning and each evening.

Be sure to enlarge the photos for bigger pictures.  The photo above is one of our favorite parts of our visits to Williamsburg, getting to hear and see the Fife and Drums.   I love hearing them as they march down the street.   I also got to do some Family History while here --but that will be another blog post!!

Lighthouse at Fort Monroe,  Virginia,  9/22/13
We visited Fort Monroe while there --and saw this gorgeous lighthouse.   This is the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse,  in operation since 1802. This is the oldest operating lighthouse on the entire Chesapeake Bay.

Schooner Alliance --Yorktown, Virginia,  9/22/13
This was the ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT of our entire trip.  We took a romantic evening sunset cruise on the Schooner Alliance at Yorktown, Virginia.  I have never been on a sailboat (tall ship) before ---and loved it!!!  The wind was perfect for sailing ---and there was an awesome sunset...  WOW---what a treat!!!!  We loved it.

Berkeley Plantation on the James River on Scenic Highway 5 in Virginia,  9/23/13
We drove on Scenic Highway 5 along the James River and visited the Westover Church and the Berkeley Plantation.  Berkeley is the birthplace of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (Benjamin Harrison) and of a United States President, William Henry Harrison.  This was a magnificent plantation --and our tour guide was excellent.  The home was beautiful ---but the grounds were even more gorgeous... I took this photo on the grounds --facing the James River.

George at Lee's Hill in Fredericksburg, Virginia,  9/24/13
We visited the Historic Fredericksburg Battlefield on 9/24.  George has so much knowledge about the Civil War --so I was lucky to have a built-in-tour-guide.  George's hero is Robert E. Lee---so I took the picture above of George standing beside a photo of Robert E. Lee.  We were at Lee's Hill (called Telegraph Hill in 1862).  This was Lee's headquarters --where he and the other members of the Confederate high command watched the Battle of Fredericksburg unfold in 1862.

I decided that I would love to have that beautiful old home,  Chatham,  in Fredericksburg, Virginia,  9/24/13
Also,  while in Fredericksburg,  we visited Chatham. This gorgeous home was built by William Fitzhugh between 1768 and 1771.  This home was used as the Union headquarters during the war.  A hospital was also established at Chatham to treat casualties from battle.

Us at the Great Falls of the Potomac, Virginia,  9/24/13
Next,  we visited the Virginia side of the Great Falls of the Potomac.  We both have always heard about this fantastic place ---so you can imagine how much we enjoyed seeing it in person.  This is an area you have to see in person... This as another huge HIGHLIGHT for us this trip.

Our picnic area next to the lake at Cunningham Falls State Park, Maryland, 9/25/13
We visited Cunningham Falls State Park in Maryland---searching for a waterfall... WELL---Fall is not the best time to see water at waterfalls.  We did have a nice hike that day and the state park is gorgeous.  BUT--the waterfall was only a trickle!   However,  we enjoyed hiking in the park --and even enjoyed a picnic by the lake.  The Fall Colors there were fabulous!

Sweet little Fawn at Antietam, Maryland,  9/25/13
We then visited  Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland.    This was another huge HIGHLIGHT of our trip.  Antietam is a gorgeous area --but knowing what happened there in 1862 was sobering.   Antietam is known as the bloodiest one-day battle of the American Civil War.   Just walking in that area is a sad experience... Both George and I were full of emotions that day.

Today though,  life is good in that area ---so I'll feature this sweet little fawn who was paying no attention to me ---but enjoying some dinner.   It was ironic, in the place where 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in 1862,  that on the day we were there,  it was a beautiful and sunny and filled with life, evidenced by this little fawn.

Jefferson Rock at Harpers Ferry,  West Virginia,  9/26/13
Next,  we visited Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.  There's alot of history about Harpers Ferry but most people know it  as the place where John Brown came believing that he could free the slaves.  He wanted to raid the armory, but got trapped in the Engine House (now known as John Brown's fort) ---but was captured when U.S. Marines stormed the building.  He was  brought to trial and then hanged in 1859.  Even though he didn't win his conquest,  he brought attention to the issue of slavery ---which  headed the country toward the civil war.

The picture above was taken on the top of a hill above Harpers Ferry at a big rock,  called Jefferson Rock.   Thomas Jefferson stood on that rock in October of 1783.  Harpers Ferry is where the Shenandoah River and the Potomac River converge.  Jefferson was impressed with this area and rock formations ---just like George and I were.

Us on Skyline Drive,  Virginia,  9/26/13
After leaving Harpers Ferry,  we drove on the entire Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park and then on the Blue Ridge Parkway ---all the way to Roanoke, Virginia,  over 3 days (9/26 - 9/28).   We love this long drive ---and managed to stop at most every overlook and take photos.

George at Rock Point Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia,  9/27/13
We love rock formations ---and VIEWS of the mountains and/or valleys below.  Isn't this a gorgeous area?

Fallingwater Cascades,  off of the Blue Ridge Parkway,  Virginia, 9/28/13
We took a nice hike to Fallingwater Cascades on 9/28.  There wasn't much water coming over the falls --but George managed to get a pretty good picture of one of several drops.

Us at the Peaks of Otter, Virginia, 9/28/13
This photo was taken on our visit to the Peaks of Otter,  along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Don't you love the red tree above our heads????  We saw more Fall colors on this trip than we thought we would, considering that it wasn't October yet!!!  We also saw lots and lots of gorgeous wildflowers,  but that will be another blog post!

Well---that's our trip --in a nutshell.  We had a great time ---and I'm sure I'll share many many more photos with you in the upcoming months.

Hope you had a great September... I cannot believe that it is OCTOBER already.  My mother's birthday was yesterday --and if she were still alive,  she would have been 113 years old.   My Dad's birthday is tomorrow ---and if he were still alive,  he would be 124 years old now...  Daddy died in 1969 and Mom died in 1991.  I miss them both so much!

I tried to read your blog posts --but ran out of time most days!  SO---if I missed something really important that you want me to see,  please tell me to check those posts... Thanks!!!

Have a great Wednesday!  Be sure to check out my Photo Blog today for another photo from this wonderful trip.  Click HERE.