Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | July 4, 2012

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: 2012

It appears that we are developing a family tradition…summer vacation on the east coast with my eldest daughter and her family.

Last year we spent a fun-filled week at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and you can read all about it on my first “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” blog post.

This year, Keith and I flew to Williamsburg, Virginia, for a two-week sojourn at my daughter’s home, with a refreshing two-day trip to Shenandoah National Park sandwiched in the middle of our stay.

The park, established in 1935, is an infant, when compared to the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains, in which the Shenandoah National Park is located. These mountains are the oldest in the world, though not the highest, as they have been worn down over millions of years.

No picture does them justice…..the venerable old Blue Ridge Mountains.

We stayed at the Skyland Resort…Keith and I in the “Franklin” building, and my daughter and family in the “Winchester”.

The view from their deck was spectacular, and we spent the evening watching the sun set, after a relaxing dinner in the Pollock Dining Room, which offers a panorama view of the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy while you dine.

The food and service was quite good, and the menu varied enough to please just about any palate. Our dinner choices were Spicy Red Lentil Cakes, Trout, and Breast of Chicken. All tasty….and breakfast the next morning was excellent!

Bennett, Keith and Momma in the Dining Room for Breakfast.

Keith contemplating the mountain majesty from a rock outcropping below the deck.

After lunch our first day, we hiked the trail to the Stony Man Summit….a nice 1.6 mile trail that just about anyone can manage, through gorgeous forested land carpeted with ferns and wildflowers…

Papa carried Bennett to the summit ~ a huge pile of Boulders with a breathtaking view of the mountains and Shenandoah River Valley, below….

But on the way back, Bennett wanted to trek down the trail on his own…..his very first hike on his own power, and we were there to share it..he was so proud!

The days of our second week in Virginia passed quickly by, after we returned to Williamsburg from the mountains.

The weather was fresh and relatively cool one afternoon, so we decided to drive over to the Jamestown/Scotland Ferry, and take a boat ride across the James River for dinner at the Surrey House Restaurant.

The ferry ride was nice and relaxing. Here we are looking over the side of the viewing tower…

Here is a shot of the viewing tower from where our car was parked on deck…

And here we are approaching the ferry station at Scotland, Virginia, a tiny little port town on the James River, next to the town of Surry.

After the ferry, we took a little drive to the beach at a nearby plantation, so Bennett could work off some energy before we expected him to sit quietly in the restaurant.

We walked the shore, and searched for shells and other treasures. Bennett found his (and every boy’s dream) a big stick to poke, prod and slash with!

Dinner at the Surrey House was most excellent – southern comfort food…I chowed down on crab cakes, hush puppies, spiced apples and collard greens, while Keith made his dinner of a Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and breaded tomatoes, and we headed back to the ferry with full bellies, for the return trip to Jamestown.

I actually find it somewhat miraculous that two families and three generations managed to successfully negotiate 14 days together in the same house – 24/7….attempting to merge sleep and waking schedules, dietary preferences, computer, and relaxation time – especially when one of us was only 18 months old!

But, we did it, with a minimum of hiccups, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

One of my most precious memories is of Keith playing the guitar for Bennett, and him standing there to listen intently, moving to the rhythm of the song, and then taking his own turn strumming and enjoying the harmonic sound……a musician in training?

It was a wonderful vacation, and the days flew happily by as we spent them with this darling little boy who charms his Grammy (and everyone else) with his sweet smile and playful spirit. Can’t wait until we can spend time together again ~ thank goodness for Skype!



  1. Looks like you had a good time. Family is so important!

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