Sunday, August 27, 2017

Historic Alexandria, VA Waterfront

We wanted to go for a walk this weekend, so we drove five miles to the Historic Alexandria Waterfront.  Generally, it was a beautiful and relaxing walk.  The restaurants and shops looked delicious and inviting.   While standing by the pier, we saw a group of about 20 huge catfish and several large carp all converge and start open their mouths of the water.  Each fish was about 2.5 to 3 feet long and they were all really, really fat.

This is a World War II submarine propeller.

If you look closely, you can see a lot of large catfish in the water.

We liked the name of this boat: 'Knight Passage'

This is a cobble stone road we drove on near the waterfront.

Unfortunately, there was a fair amount of trash floating on the water.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Lexington, VA and Virginia Military Institute

On our way home, after the Natural Bridge, we stopped in Lexington for lunch. Keith wanted to see how close the Virginia Military Institute was, and it was just a few minutes away, so we drove over. Luckily, we had perfect timing, because we walked up right when the cadets were doing drills. They must be starting their school year already. You can see them in the distance. The whole school is built like a castle. Every person we saw had a certain uniform and a role to fill. 

Notice this hall has 'Stonewall Jackson' carved right over the doorway, and a statue nearby. 

I thought this was cool: the admissions building is an old house. 

Notice Carson's new t-shirt.

Very neat to see the cadets in action. 

Natural Bridge, VA

On our way home, we stopped at Natural Bridge. This is a little display right before we got on the trail down to the bridge. After the picture was taken, I heard a couple of girls laughing about 'blah blah slaveowners!' That's all it's about now, I guess. There's an Indian in the picture because the Monacan Indian Tribe used to live on this land and they thought the bridge was sacred. 

This is what you see when you get to the bottom of the stairs. 

This is me looking straight up, and Tucker is bending over. 

Poster in the visitor's center showing an old picture of the area, you can see the bridge on the left. 

A mockup of the Indian settlement. 

Savannah is unhappy that these animals had to die......

Catawba, VA

We  went to dinner at the Homeplace restaurant in Catawba, VA, which is only about a 10 minute drive into the hills from where Dixie Caverns was. 

If you look closely, you'll see the flagpole with the confederate flag. Saw lots of these flags everywhere and lots of streets and buildings and areas or parks are named Washington, Jefferson, Madison, or Jackson, etc. 

The Homeplace restaurant is inside an old 1903 farmhouse, and this is the backyard. 

Super good food. Alot like the Amish family style restaurant we went to in PA. Very good fried chicken and biscuits. The corn and beans don't look that special, but they were salted and spiced up really yummy. 

Eating inside an actual old farmhouse was really neat too. 

Waiting for our table in a porch swing wasn't so bad. :)

Roanoke and Salem, VA

We have been wanting to check out Roanoke for a while now, so we finally went there this last weekend. This was a farmer's market they have downtown. We bought some raw honey from a man who lives in Catawba, VA. 

This is some honeycomb we tried eating; it's from a jar of honey we bought at this farmer's market. The honey is very good, but the honeycomb was just tasteless wax; not that great to eat. Now we know. 

This was inside a science museum nearby. Just the lobby, we decided not to buy tickets.

This is the Roanoke Star, erected in 1949. 

It has a great overlook deck with a great view.

Next, we went to Dixie Caverns. Virginia has hundreds of these caverns because of a faultline that lies right through this area, and it shifted bigtime a long time ago, creating all these cavities with water and minerals. 

This formation is supposed to look like a turkey or chicken bent over. 

It was a small tour group, about 20 people, and the tour was not too long. The most interesting part to me was being able to see the original point of discovery of this cavern. You can look up and see daylight through a small opening and that was where a boy and his dogs found these caverns. Lots of water still dripping all throughout the caves.