Sunday, September 9, 2012

Last Visitors in Virginia

I had been counting down the days for my family to visit since day 65 and their visit came and went so quickly. My mom, sister and Grammy stayed with me from August 30th to September 7th and we had the best time. They had never been to Virginia or DC so we did a lot of touristy things. I was so excited to pick them up from the airport and finally have some company for a while. We went to panera for dinner and relaxed at home for the night.

The next day I had a very special, surprise visit from Nick! My mom, sister and I spent the day in Fredricksburg antique shopping. We had no idea Nick was coming, until I called him with a question about the printer after we got home. He asked why I needed the printer and I told him we bought tickets for a bus tour in DC for Saturday and needed to print them out... and he asked if I knew if there were more tickets available or if they might sell out. :) I immediately knew something was happening, because why ELSE would he want to know if the tickets would sell out. A couple weeks before my family came, I kept jokingly asking Nick if he could come home for Labor Day because he had a long weekend, but he kept saying he couldn't. I didn't think he really would, but I was hopeful after he asked about the tickets. Later that night, he asked if I wanted to Skype at 8:30 and then I thought for sure he wasn't coming. But around 8:15, there was a knock on the door and it was him! He stayed for the first part of my family's visit (Friday-Tuesday) and it was so nice to be able to spend so much time together after 3 months a part. Only 10 more days until he is home for good!

Lunch in Fredericksburg at Capital Ale House
Minutes after he came home!

Saturday morning we headed to DC and got on our "hop-on hop-off" DC bus tour. It was a really hot and humid day, so we sat on the open deck part of the bus and enjoyed the breeze. We saw all the monuments, memorials, and toured through downtown DC. We  hopped off the bus to walk the steps to Lincoln's Memorial, to see the World War II memorial, and take pictures by the White House. Grammy has had trouble with her back for a very long time and has been through many surgeries because of it. She didn't think she would be able to climb the 98 steps to Lincoln, but she did it! We were so impressed and proud of her. Saturday was an exhausting day for all of us,  but so much fun and completely worth it.


Helping Gram up the steps

The reflecting pool was under construction every time we went to DC
So happy I was able to see if before we moved

Nick was playing with the Zoom Lens he got me for my birthday :)
Top of the White House

Sunday, we visited Mount Vernon, George Washington's Estate. I have been there a few times and love it more every time I see it. My Grammy read the book before she came, so Mount Vernon was on her must see list. We also visited his whiskey distillery.


On Monday, Nick showed my family around base and we shopped at the PX. After two exciting days, we decided to take it easy and relax. My mom and sister made me a birthday cake and we went out to dinner. I opened my gifts from them, and celebrated an early birthday since Nick was home and wasn't going to be there for my actual birthday.

Tuesday was another quiet day. We all slept in and I made lunch before Nick headed back to North Carolina. It was sad to say goodbye, but we were all so happy he was home for so long. We went out in the evening to get out of the house for a while- shopping at TJ Maxx and dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Rach and I at dinner

Wednesday we headed back to DC and went to the American History Museum and the Natural History Museum. I loved the American History Museum-- I think my favorite part was Dorothy's ruby shoes from the Wizard of Oz... and the room full of the inauguration dresses from all the first ladies. Grammy's back wasn't doing too well, so we made sure we rented her a wheelchair and she walked when she wanted to stretch out. She was embarrassed, so we all took turns in it :).

Mom and the Muppets

The Real Kermit

Wizard of Oz Scare Crow

Superman's Outfit

Relaxing after Museums <3

Thursday was my BIRTHDAY! We went to the Marine Corps Museum, shopping and out to dinner at the Charbroil Grill. Then, Fro-yo of course. :) I'm so glad I didn't spend my birthday alone, and so thankful my family was here to celebrate with me.

Rachael and Grammy touching a piece of the World Trade Center from 9/11

Lifting the Marine's Backpack-- she did it so easily 

Blurry, but loved the wheelchair today :)

Birthday Dinner

I was back to an empty house Friday night. I loved having them here with me and I had such a great time. Being a part of the Marine Corps usually means being far from home and away from family, so I really cherished the time I was able to spend with my sister, mom and Grammy. Hopefully another 6 months doesn't go by before I see them again.

Rachael, Mom and Grammy- thank you for coming and thank you for EVERYTHING.

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