As I mentioned last weekend, we are newly back from our honeymoon. Yes, we did get married nearly 2 years ago, don’t judge, life happens.
We had the pleasure of staying at Massanutten Resort in Virginia. I highly recommend staying there. The staff was always helpful. There were loads of activities. It is probably possible to check in and never leave resort property (unless on a resort field trip) for a week and still not run out of things to do. We only took advantage of the art classes and tried a couple of restaurants; we opted to explore the surrounding area. That didn’t disappoint either.
Our first adventure took us to Luray Caverns. It’s a little on the spendy side of the numerous caverns, but its extras are worth the price. The caverns were amazing. I’d never seen so many stalactites and stalagmites in one place. The guides were a wealth of information as well. Included in the price were a couple of museums; both of which were entertaining.
During the initial drive to the resort and while heading to the caverns, we kept seeing signs for a Skyline Drive. We learned it is a scenic highway through the Shenandoah National Park. The Skyline Drive is around 100 miles long. We tackled the middle bit. The drive includes 75 scenic views and marvelous twisty roads climbing through the mountains.
The pass you purchase to enter the park is valid for a week. We headed back the next day to scout out a waterfall or two. We opted to find the tallest waterfall. We ended up hiking about 8 miles to find this 92 foot high waterfall. It wasn’t a terrible hike, but we weren’t super impressed with the waterfall. It was more of a water trickle.
One of our main reasons for choosing this resort, was its closeness to Washington DC. It was a place we hadn’t visited together. We took one day to drive near the city and then use public transportation to travel through the city. We left at 5am to hopefully avoid the terrible traffic. Our timing worked out fairly well along with the ability to use the HOV lane.
It was bigger than expected.
Our early arrival allowed us to check out the Washington, Lincoln, WWII, Vietnam War, and Korean War memorials before the Smithsonian Museums opened for the day. We also caught a glimpse of the White House.
View from the Lincoln Memorial
Our goal was three of the 13 Smithsonian Museums. We began with the Air and Space Museum. It did not disappoint. I finally got to see the Spirit of St. Louis! Sadly, we missed seeing the USS Enterprise by a few days.
Our second museum for the day was the Natural History Museum. On our walk between museums, we strolled through the Sculpture Garden. The Natural History Museum was educational.
We decided to take a break from museums and see the White House. Unfortunately, on our trek back to the museums, we got caught in a massive downpour and decided that we were done for the day. We didn’t make it to our third museum. I have a feeling we will be visiting Washington DC again and staying a little closer to explore our nation’s capital in more depth.
I somehow stumbled across a glorious find in a nearby town. We went off to explore a camera museum and a church with some amazing stained glass windows. Both were fairly impressive. I now wish I had taken photos in the camera museum, but I didn’t. The town also had some fun art instalations around town. This one was in front of the library.
Our last big adventure for the trip was to visit Monticello. I love visiting historic home and seeing how people lived. I’m always a little jealous of the gorgeous homes until I remember the toilets are outside and showers weren’t a daily habit. Not to mention the lack of electricity. Thomas Jefferson’s home and grounds were enjoyable. Unfortunately, a thunderstorm rolled in and the outside tours were cancelled for the afternoon. A light drizzle doesn’t bother us much and we still tramped all around the grounds.