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Washington DC

On our second foray into D.C. we were accompanied by my cousin, Dan. We met him at his house and he cooked us a splendid breakfast! He works at the State Department and had a parking space downtown so this time we got a personal chauffeur. Coming back on a Tuesday was less crowded since, theoretically, people should be back at work although there were still tour buses full of people.

Our good friends, Rebecca and Jonathan, in Seattle had given the kids a National Park passport book that we have stamped when we visit a National Park, Forest or Monument. I think with this one trip we nearly filled an entire section! It’s a fun way to record all the national places we visit so hopefully the kids will be reminded of them when they get older.

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Memorial Day

This whole weekend we have been remembering the sacrifices made by our military men and women to help keep us free. A terrible, necessary sacrifice. My own cousin is off somewhere, doing who knows what to ensure our freedom. I hope he is safe.

Today we had a BBQ at my cousin Dan’s house and I got to meet his lovely new wife and her two children, and to see his 3 kids again, whom I hadn’t seen in 4 years!

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National Museum of the Marine Corps

This morning we joined our wonderful relatives, who recommended today’s outing, and ventured to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, a fantastically designed museum about 5 minutes from our spot in Prince William Forest. As we walked into the grand entry hall, a round circular room made of marble, and decorated with photos, period quotes, hanging airplanes and realistic vignettes — we were all in awe at the amount of detail displayed in each of them.

We spent about 10 minutes walking around before entering the main gallery, which wound it’s way around in a circular fashion, showcasing the role of the Marines throughout the decades.

One of the first exhibits you encounter is an overview of the Marine Corps, where you hear from Marines and their perspectives on the Corps — the training they endure, and what it truly means to work as a team. Next to the hanging obstacle course…obstacles…was a small indoor firing range, which is one of the few things you need to pay for, as everything else is free.

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Prince William National Forest

Moving slightly further north in Virginia we found a place to stay near my relatives in Springfield. This is the beginning of the Memorial Weekend, which for the north signifies the start of camping season, made for a little difficulty securing a reservation. But we were able to get the last full hookup site in Prince William Forest for a lot less money than the Cherry Hill Park in Maryland.

We’ve been dealing with some minor annoyances with our toad lately that hopefully a tune up will fix. It has been impossible to find a reputable mechanic that could check her out on short notice without keeping her over the weekend. But we were able to get an appointment for first thing Friday morning with my cousin’s mechanic in Springfield so hopefully everything will be taken care of.

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Yorktown Battlefield

We made it to Virginia, our 8th state. We are staying at the Williamsburg Thousand Trails park which seems to be nice so far and the people are friendly.

The kids and I took a field trip today to Yorktown National Park to learn about the battle there during the Revolutionary War.

This week there have been some terrible storm systems passing through the nation. The tornado damage in Oklahoma and the midwest was just devastating. We only experienced rain from that. For us, the cloud cover was a blessing because it made the 80+ degree heat and humidity nearly tolerable while walking the battlefields. I cannot imagine what the conditions would have been like in 1781. Oh, and the bugs…!