history, cake, and a huge relief!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

 These past few days have been very eventful. On Tuesday my mom and granny were in town - that morning they went through DC and all the monuments while I worked on homework and ran errands, and that afternoon we met at Occoquan, a short drive between DC and Quantico. It was a very pleasant, historic little downtown, sitting on the Potomac river. We had our fun -- looked through all the shops and ate at a little cafe. Here are some pictures from that adventure...or really just cute things they had in the local shops:

Tuesday was also my 20th birthday, so once Marshall was released from TBS for the day we met up at the apartment and headed out to dinner. It was nowhere special or unique, we just went to  the  local Chili's at the shopping center across from our place. It was still good food though. I also got a warm chocolate molten cake dessert... Here you can see Marshall trying to blow out my candle! Once my mom was  satisfied with her pictures I was finally allowed to blow out the candle and get to work. It was delicious! Also, if you can't tell - I'm wearing my new favorite mint shirtdress :)     It was perfect for the weather that day!

Here is our lovely group! It was really nice having family in town, and it was especially nice spending my birthday with family rather than with Netflix... I'm so glad we got to visit with my mom and granny. I know they've done so much traveling the past couple of weeks!

Wednesday we went to Monticello near Charlottesville, as was plan for quite a while. I know my granny was so happy to be there - it is something she has been wanting to do for years, and we all finally made it! It was really cool to be immersed in American history out there - I only wish that Marshall could have made it! But the Marine Corps had to steal him away from us...

It was loads of fun. Here's a cool picture of a sign near the entrance, and a stone bridge..which you don't see much of nowdays. The weather was also beautiful that day as well, as you can tell!

We all got our pictures with Thomas Jefferson :) After all, Monticello is his house - which he planned and built in a period of over 90 years - the last of those years being completed after his passing.

Here is the front and the back of the house.  It was so beautiful inside, but sadly because of the aged furniture, books, etc in there, no photography of any kind was allowed. It's just like at the National Archives, or any other museums like that. They don't want anyone damaging the history. But inside, there were so many books...hundreds...And it was only part of his library, others are housed with private collectors or the Library of Congress. You could tell how aged they were, along with everything else. There was also a lot of French and European influence in the decor because of all of the traveling between the US, France, and Italy as Jefferson was a foreign ambassador for a great deal of time.

 This is awesome. It's a statue of the young Thomas Jefferson..and behind him is the "Carters mountain range," which some recognize as Brown's mountain. I had to look that up since I don't know my geography or local mountain ranges as well as I maybe should..but I just think it's beautiful being able to see the mountains in the distance. Virginia is full of trees and beautiful scenery!

Also on Monticello is the Jefferson's family burial grounds. I think the earliest date we found was in the 1700s, and the latest was a couple of years ago, as the family still uses this site to this day. This is the monument/gravesite of Thomas Jefferson himself, shown above. It was a very real moment.

Yesterday afternoon, us girls went out to eat at Joe's Crab Shack while Marshall was just getting off work on base about to head home and get ready for the next day. It was really good timing - they had a nicer day at the school, going out on a field trip to a battlefield in the area, having a little history and weapons lesson out there. He said it was a pretty cool demonstration, though I don't know all the specifics. We met up again last night while everyone said their goodbyes, as my mom and granny left for North Carolina this morning. After nearly three weeks of traveling for my mom and almost a week for granny, they are definitely done for a while. It was a blessing spending so much time with family so far away from home, though we only wish that Marshall could have been with us more than just those nights. Alas, TBS doesn't like to give him up too easily! Only two and a half months to go :)

This weekend Marshall and I are planning on heading up to Virginia Beach - SO excited :) The first weekend of August we will also be going to Busch Gardens out in Williamsburg with my parents - free tickets for military appreciation until December! The pool schedule got changed around a bit with people moving, and a new person coming in, and now I only do 2 days a week, sometimes 3, as it was earlier in the summer. I am so relieved everything got worked out with the pool, I was getting a little stressed about the schedule along with school and family plans getting worked out. Also - no weekends any more! - so more time with family, or sightseeing in the area before our time here is up.  I can't believe how much closer we are to being done...I know Marshall sure is relieved being past the halfway point. Pretty soon we should hear about his MOS (job assignment) - so fingers crossed we get something that he wanted, preferably back in the South :)

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