Apples on Parade – Winchester

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday May 19, 2014 Under Claire, Good Eats/Not So Good Eats, Homeschool, Kid's Corner

World's Largest Apple

1557577_10202921609015927_3712239658793744621_nEvery time we go somewhere that has themed statues around town , Claire wants to go see them all.  For example, the Outerbanks has horses and New Bern has Bears. We never seem to have time to search them out. Today was a down day, Cobey wanted to work on his online class so I thought it was the perfect chance. We set out this morning to find the 14 apples in Winchester. We accomplished the goal several hours later with a stop at Target and lunch in between.  Who knew driving around town searching for apples could make you so tired. I am glad we had the best driver and tour guide- Sue Selznick. Now that is DIAMOND service.

We had lunch at Piccadilly Public House which was scrumptious. I had the Martha Washington Salad with Shrimp. Clare had a crab cake sandwich and black bean soup. She did not care for the black bean soup but I love she is trying new foods. Sue had a burger and fried pickles. They had several gluten free options.

We love the Pineapple one because it reminds of us of how we always feel in Winchester- Welcome! Here is a link to the all. The number 6 one is missing. It blew away in a storm.

Welcome Pineapple

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Another Adventure Begins- Virginia Renaissance Faire

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Monday May 19, 2014 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

And The Adventure Begins It has been so long since I have been on here that I could not remember my password. I am so behind and have so many great places to share from the last few months. I hope I can catch up.

For my mom’s sake, I will try to blog as we go along for this trip. She does not like when we are gone this long. I have said we will be gone till we run out of clean underwear or June 2 whichever comes first.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries We drove to my dear friend- Sue Selznick’s house today. We stopped at the Virginia Renaissance Faire on the way. We got a later start than planned and only had about two and half hours before they closed. This was not enough time. We watched five shows and ate chocolate covered strawberries and cheesecake on a stick. Everything is taste better on a stick. Cobey loved the Sword Fighting 101. Both kids said they did not know there was so much to sword fighting. They decided it was a real sport. Cobey wants to read more about it.  Claire’s favorite shows were Klass Klowne and Mad Mechanicals. Klass Klowne is an acrobatic danger show. Brady Wegener is a great performer and lots of fun. We all enjoyed Mad Mechanicals who present Shakespeare in “a fun and irreverent way that everyone can relate to.”  They do a lot of improv and audience participation. I was  hoping they come to NC but they said they didn’t. The only show we did not care for is The Pyrates Royale. Claire said it was too much singing. It was a fun taste and now we can’t wait till we go to the one in Charlotte.


Klass Klowne

On the drive we listened to Lamplighter’s Theater production of Titus: Comrade of the Cross. It was a full of suspense and drama and a story set in the time of Jesus.  Both the kids enjoyed it.


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Woodrow Wilson Library, The Frontier Museum and More

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Friday Oct 11, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel

Woodrow Wilson Library The Hanna family and I had a two day field trip to Staunton, Va.  We started with the Woodrow Wilson house. This is the home were he was born and the tour focus on what early life would have looked like in the home. We then went through the museum. They had a great scavenger hunt with four different levels. They were well put together and age appropriate. I highly recommend if you have kids. We then went to the Trinity Episcopal Church. This is a must see if you are in the area. It has beautiful breathe-taking stained glass windows including twelve from Tiffany Studios. I took a few photos but they do not do the place justice. The kids asked to go back to the church the next day. After the church, we went rode the free trolley. It is the public transportation for the town so it had colorful passengers. It is not guided so you don’t get the history of this beautiful town but you did get a nice overview and interesting ride.

Golf Cart

English CottageThe next morning we went to The Frontier Museum. The kids were excited because we rented golf carts. I am glad we ended up getting the carts because of time restraints. This is a very unique museum and I can’t wait to go back. It shows the home life of immigrants before they moved to the area and after. They have an African village, English cottage, Irish home, German home.  They then have a Native American village and American homes. They do an excellent job of showing how the different cultures blended together in the pioneer home. They have guides in each home and tons of hands on activities for the house. We spent three hours and we fell in love with this place. I can’t wait to go back.


We had lunch on the grounds and then went to the Shakespeare Center for a tour. They have a reproduction of the Blackfriars Playhouse. It was informative and interesting and we are looking forward to going back for a show. The only disappointing part was we did not get to spend much time in the theatre and did not get to take photos. After the tour, we walked thru downtown. We stopped and went inside a beautiful bank. While we were looking at the architecture, one of the tellers called us over and showed the kids the new 100 dollar bill. Cobey knew all about it and she let him hold the bill for a photo. We then walked back to the church for a second visit.

German Cottage

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Virginia Safari Park

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Aug 11, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel, Zoo

IMG_0482On the way home, we stopped at Virginia Safari Park. It is a lot like Lazy 5 Ranch in North Carolina. I have done the wagon at Lazy 5 Ranch but not driven my car thru.  The animals coming right up to the car made me a little nervous and there were times that I thought they would not never move out of the way. We had to roll up the windows at times to get them out of the car. Included in admission is  a really nice guide of all the animals and information about them. Also included in the price is a part where you walk around and see some animal. In this area, they have a place where you can feed giraffes and birds.  It was fun and everyone should drive thru a zoo at least once their life.

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Great Day in Shenandoah Valley with Friends

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Thursday Aug 8, 2013 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel


Lunch at Caverns I had a fabulous day with our friends the Selznick’s. We started out at Shenandoah Caverns. We had a great tour guide. They have great stories and names of the formations. The kids liked seeing the bacon, pancakes, the Capital Dome and wedding couple. The guide was great at turning on and off the lights for effect and overall a great tour. After the tour we had lunch at the on site cafe. It was simple food but everyone seemed to enjoy it. The really enjoyed the soda that is bottled there. I brought snacks for myself; it was  not gluten free friendly. We went to see the store front windows which were interesting but not spectacular. We then went down the hill to the America’s on Parade museum. It has floats that were in Inaugural Parades and other big parades. The floats were fantastic and the kids enjoyed getting on some.  The last stop was the Yellow Barn which is basically shopping and we could have skipped that. All of that is included in one ticket price and well worth the money.

We then went to the Route 55 Chip factory. The kids loved sampling all the chips and they have windows were you can see the chip making process. The last stop was a covered bridge right down the street which ended up being the highlight of the day because we let the kids get in the river with their clothes on. They had a blast. It was another great day in Virginia.

River under Covered Bridge

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Maymount and the Confederate White House

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday Feb 27, 2013 Under Civil War Sites, Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Travel, Uncategorized

MaymountWe took a one day trip to Richmond to go to Maymount. I had never heard of it but found it when I was searching for possible trips for the time period we are studying in history. The house was the home of James and Sallie Dooley and was built in the early 1890s. We had a guided tour of the mansion that was very interesting. We learned about the life of the servants and the Dooley’s in the house. The house is beautifully furnished and most of the furnishings were the Dooley’s.

After the tour, we went to the nature center which was part of the property. There is a fee to enter and honestly there is not too much. I would skip it unless you have time and money to waste. We then spent a little over and hour exploring the grounds at a quick pass. I would love to go back in the spring because I am sure it is quite beautiful then. They have an Italian Garden, Japanese Garden and animals to see. You could spend a day touring the house and enjoying the gardens and animals. I hope to back in the Spring.

I was then out voted and we went to the Confederate White House and the Museum of the Confederacy. The tour was very interesting with great stories about Jefferson Davis’ children. The kids loved the story about the toy canon that actually fired and about Davis going to talk to one of the gangs in the area. After the tour, the kids did the audio tour of the Museum of the Confederacy. The museum is small but interesting and I highly recommend the audio tour. The kids got much more out of it because of the audio. They have a kid’s version.





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Fort Lee and Home

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Friday Jul 1, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Military Museums, Travel

On the way home, I wanted to make one stop. I had been wanting to see my friend- Sherry Womack’s picture at the Women’s Museum at Fort Lee. I did  not know it was a wonderful painting. It is a great piece of art called Have Stethoscope will Travel by Stewart Wavell-Smith. The photo to left its not great. It is such a tender side of war. She was the first female physician’s assistant to accompany special forces into a combat zone.  I love the piece!! I hate that the dvd was broken so I did not get to see her movie.

The other surprise was how great this little museum was. The kids loved dressing up in uniforms and carrying around the guns. They have exhibits that do a great job of telling you the history of women in the military.

We also went next door to the Quartermaster Museum. This is another great museum with some fun exhibits.  They have a program like junior rangers where you answer the questions and get a surprise. We did not have time to complete it but it looked great. Both of these museums are worth your time!

Last night we stayed downtown Baltimore at a Home 2 Suites by Hilton. It is the newest chain by Hilton. The check-in, check-out and valet staff were friendly and helpful. They were some of the best on our trip. The hotel is decorated very modern and hip. It was a nice change of scenery. Your room includes full fridge, microwave and dishes. There is no parking so you have to find a place on street or valet park. Valet is $25 a night standard for a city. The breakfast is not outstanding. We got down to breakfast about ten minutes before the end and there was not much left. There was no fresh fruit which is strange for continental. There were only three cereals to choose from, a muffin with eggs you toast, some breads, instant grits and yogurt. The strangest part was we had to go to the front desk to get milk for Claire’s  cereal. I felt they were rationing the milk out. The rest of the stay was great and I would try it again.

We have been in twelve states, eleven National Parks, ten hotels and two bed and breakfast in eighteen days. I learned I need more cash for tolls, New Jersey has crazy drivers, Massachusetts does not believe in marked lanes and Maine and Vermont are beautiful. It has been an awesome journey but I am glad to be home.

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