After 21 months – 640 days – 18,845 miles – 26 States – 41 National & 38 State Parks…..We were back to Virginia Beach! It sure has been an experience of a lifetime. It was nice to spend some time with our daughter Maggie. We had lunch at some of our old favorite spots, did some thrift store hoppin and just plain hangin out with the kid was special. It’s always great to reconnect with friends and former co-workers. Trying to convince a few to retire and join us out here on the road. While we were in town, we also got our medical and dental checkups, got the puppies shot records up to date, so we all are ready to get back out on the road for another grand tour across America. Deb and I lived in Virginia Beach/Chesapeake for over 25 years, but our “home” now has wheels and we have grown accustom to life on the road.
One of our favorite places to visit in Richmond has always been the Hollywood Cemetery. After going to so many unique cemeteries in our travels, it still holds a special place in our hearts. Deb and I have always enjoyed photographing the monuments, headstones and landscape there.
Of course, any visit to Richmond means a “foodie” destination. We met up with Jess & Johnny at Sticky Rice! This vegan friendly place has NEVER disappointed. Be sure to get the Bucket -O-Tots for starters. LOL.
Our stay in Virginia Beach came to an end, we said our goodbyes and headed up to the Washington DC area. Our daughter Jessica lives in Manassas and we found an awesome RV park at Fort Belvoir. It was centrally located for our adventures in and around DC. Ft Belvoir’s RV park is 5 Star.. On the water and abundant wildlife and birds of prey to observe daily.
We hooked up with Jessica and quickly set out on our first Smithsonian visit to the Steven F Udvar – Hazy Center Air & Space museum. Huge displays of aeronautical and space history highlighted by the space shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay which significantly contributed to ending WWII at the cost of over 200, 000 Japanese people in Hiroshima.
Mount Vernon was next on the docket. Perfect time of the year to see many of the spring trees in bloom. The dogwoods and redbuds were on display. It was interesting to see ongoing restoration efforts of the main house and newer structures that showed the contributions of the slaves that were owned by the Washington family.
We did a day trip down to Quantico so we could find the old USMC hospital where Deb was born. The building is still standing and now is a Marine Headquarters, then visited Prince William Forest Park nearby where we had a nice opportunity to walk the dogs.
Always nice to hook up with old shipmates while in the DC area. Lunch in Pentagon city and dinner out in the country near Marshall made me appreciate even more that I NEVER got stationed in the concrete jungle!
We discovered a part of Washington DC we had never been to before. As previously mentioned, we enjoy visiting cemeteries in our travels and the Glenwood Cemetery did not disappoint. We saw the largest display of trumpeting angels here. There were also some other significant mausoleums and monuments that were unique and beautiful.
Second trip to the Smithsonian took us to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Diverse and interesting displays throughout which capped off what we saw and experienced at the civil rights museums in Alabama.
We enjoyed a drive out to the Manassas Battlefield and stopped at many of the places where key events took place and even found a couple of places to let the dogs sniff around. The stone bridge is still one of my favorite spots.
Our last hurrah with Jess and Johnny was a trip to an Escape Room where we successfully “escaped”, had a victory lunch at the Mellow Mushroom, then said our goodbyes to our kids.
One last trip through the DC Mall area to visit some of the iconic destinations which Deb and I have dubbed “Our favorite dead presidents”. A walk past the Vietnam and WWII Memorials, a visit to the Martin Luther King Memorial, a drive by the Air Force Memorial and the US Marine Corps War Memorial made our DC Monument visit complete.
A final stop in Staunton to get some warranty work done on the Black Pearl, we were on our way to the Amish Country in Pennsylvania.