Get Out There

Virginia Is for Everyone!

With so much incredible history and current excitement, it’s hard to know where to go in Virginia. From Colonial Williamsburg and Mount Vernon to Arlington National Cemetery and Monticello, the state is filled with amazing sites we want to visit. The Chesapeake Bay, Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park are all calling out our name! Before we go, we’ll map out all the historic spots we want to see. However, in addition to the traditional places, we want to see a few things slightly more off-kilter!

With the holiday season descending upon us, we want to visit Kidwell Farm at Frying Pan Park. It’s the farm where turkeys that have been pardoned by the president for Thanksgiving live out their lives. Kidwell Farm is a historic working farm, ran like it was in the 1930s so visitors can learn about the history of agriculture. If you are more into meat than poultry, you may be interested in visiting the Isle of Wight County Museum, where the world’s oldest edible ham is displayed along with the world’s largest ham.

While we are looking at things that are the “world’s largest,” we’d like to visit the Rosslyn Metro Escalator. This elevator, located in a busy commuter station, is 207 feet long, one of the largest in the world. It takes almost three minutes to travel all the way up or down. We’re honestly a little nervous about riding it because of its length and steepness, but we just won’t look down! In reviews of the escalator — it’s now famous enough to have reviews — some people report being scared.

We’d like to head from there to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. Not only is it an excellent educational site, but they have traveling shows and exhibits all the time. Frequently, they have live “mermaids” swimming through the aquarium, and that is a sight we are dying to see. From those live mythical creatures, we’ll go to Dinosaur Kingdom II. This delightful tourist trap is a peek into an alternative history of the civil war wherein the Union tried to use dinosaurs as weapons but were eaten instead. From there, we will be hitting a spot from the same creator as Dinosaur Kingdom II, Mark Cline. Mr. Cline created a Styrofoam replica of Stonehenge called Foamhenge. Unlike Stonehenge, you can get close to these monoliths!

From there, we’ll cruise to Alexandria to see the narrowest house in the country. We think spite houses are fascinating. People build tiny houses just to upset someone else or be contrary. The Hollensbury spite house was less motivated by anger and more by annoyance. He was sick of people cutting through a tiny alley by his home, with wagons frequently clipping his house and damaging the brickwork. So, he built a seven-foot wide house to protect his own.

Finally, we are enjoying our road trip and seeing the country, and this week, we’ll be almost visiting a second state.  In Bristol, we are going to walk along State Street. The centerline of the street is the state line. State Street exists in the towns of Bristol, TN, and Bristol, VA. The road is in the downtown area of both towns. Having seen Tennessee from the other side of the street, we will be hitting the road, off to our next adventure!

Banner image: Pres. Reagan pardoning a lively turkey. Image: White House Photography Office

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