Jul 7, 2012

Washington D C July 2012 Trip

Motor home loaded and we headed north to Washington D C.   Our first stop was at the KOA in Wade North Carolina. The campsite was nice and large. The kids were happy to get out of the motor home and swim at the pool while we set up camp and cooked. The grown kids just wanted to chill at the site while I cooked.
my foot and the three grown kids
 After a good nights sleep we had breakfast and then started on what we thought would be a four hour trip to Mt Vernon.  The plan was to stop at Mt Vernon and then proceed to our campground in Maryland.  According to my schedule we would be in Maryland before dark and have time to setup camp and prepare for the next day.  Things do not always go as planned. Six hours into our 4 hour drive ( due to bumper to bumper traffic on interstate 95) we got a call from our KOA campground in Maryland.  A terrible storm had went through Virginia, D C, and Maryland and the power was out at the campground.  We would not be able to stay there.  I guess the line of power trucks and portable generators heading north should have a been a clue for us.  Our first thought was where were we going to stay.

Luray Virginia KOA Campground
After several calls to campgrounds we found a KOA in Luray Virginia that had a site available and had not been effected by the storm.  It was a two hour drive over to Luray, now making our 4 hour trip into an 8 hour trip.  However, once we arrived the campsite was nice and we had a super view of the mountains. The kids could not wait to run up and down the hills in front of our site.  The weather was comfortable and we enjoyed sitting outside and watching the full moon rise up over the mountains.  After hearing that Maryland and D C had record breaking temperatures of over 100 we knew this was a blessing to be in the mountains where the weather was cooler. The trade off was a two hour drive to D C.

Arlington National Cemetery
It was just a short drive over to the interstate that took us into Arlington Cemetery on Monday.  We toured the cemetery on the tour bus. The bus makes several stops so we could visit the grave of John F Kennedy, the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and  Robert E Lees house which is called Arlington House.  After a drive through D C we headed back to Luray for the night.

the kids in front of the White House
Matthew front of White House
Our tour of the White House was scheduled for 9:00 AM on Tuesday.  6:00 AM we hit the road and headed to D C .   We parked the cars at Arlington Cemetery and took the metro train into D C.  Poor planning put us walking about a mile to get to the White House but we made it on time.  The White House tour was a little disappointing.  The house was not as grand as we thought it was.  I guess everyone needs to take the tour.  After the tour we headed to the Ronald Reagan building.  The building has a food court on the lower level.  After eating at the food court  we visited the American History museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Air and Space Museum.  Each museum is huge and takes hours to see and very much worth seeing.   After such an early morning and walking in heat of over 100 degrees we all decided to head back to the campground.

The kids (adult children and grandchildren) went to Luray caverns the next morning. The photos were amazing and they had a great time.  After they came back from the caverns we decide to move our camp over to a Yogi Bear Park because the grand kids love all the activities at these parks.  The kids got to enjoy the giant slide , laser tag, the pool and miniature golf.  Yogi Bear parks are as much an amusement park as a camping area.

Finally we had to start heading back to Florida.  We loaded up our camper and traveled across Virginia on Interstate 77.  The mountains were beautiful in Virginia.  In North Carolina we decided to stay at another KOA just off the interstate in Statesville.  It was an older campground and was not as enjoyable as most KOA parks are. The sites were not level and the landscaping had a lot to be desired but it was only for one night.  The final drive home was long but we made it before dark. 

We had a great family time together but all decided to choose a place not so hot next year.

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