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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Last Trip of the Summer, part one: Luray Caverns

Summer is winding down
and I have to say, I am glad.

I think the kids are ready to go back to school,
see their friends and have more structure to their day.
I am certainly ready for more structure to *my* day.
But just watch: in a couple of months I will be complaining
about the rushing here and there to practices and games
and we will all be craving these unstructured days once again.
I guess the grass is always greener!

Last week, we went on the last trip of summer.
Kate actually didn't go because she was in her second (and last) week of summer camp.
But, the boys and I went with friends on a great big BOY trip!
Jennifer, Effy and I took seven boys to Luray Caverns and then to Massanutten.
We had a blast. The boys all got along and had so much fun.

Here's a few pictures from the Luray Caverns part of our trip:

The boys: Campbell, Trey, Jonathan, Ben, Trevor, Chris and Connor in the front.

A beautiful part of the Cavern. The bottom part is actually a reflection of the top- there is a little pool of water in there. This photo doesn't do it justice as the illusion was just magnificent.

Chris pointing something out to Campbell on the audio tour. There were two tours via audio- one geared to adults and one geared to children. The children's tour had a nice "scavenger" style in which the kids were told to look for certain things. I used the kids' tour because the information was still there but in a much more entertaining way.

Here are the boys sitting in front of the Great Stalacpipe Organ in the Cathedral of the Cavern. According to Luray's information, this is the world's largest musical instrument. Stalactites covering 3.5 acres produce the melodious sounds when tapped by special rubber mallets. This organ took 36 years to research and develop. I can't possibly do it justice in this description but the music was fantastic. The boys, from left to right: Chris, Campbell, Ben, Trey, Jonathan, Trevor and Connor.

My buddies and fellow moms, Jennifer and Effy!

A few tips if you find yourself in the area and wish to tour Luray:

1-It wasn't as cool as I expected. Jeans and a short sleeve top would have been more than adequate. The literature says the caverns are steadily in the upper 50's but it felt quite a bit warmer than that. The lights may raise the temperature by a good five to ten degrees.

2- Good pictures require a good quality camera, and photos of the cavern itself come out better if you don't use a flash.

3-The garden maze is fun for kids and a good way to work off some energy after listening to the tour and taking in all the new information.

4- There is an antique car museum there are well, which we did not do. It is included in the cost of the Caverns. The maze, however, is an additional cost. Parking is free.


Ginaagain said...

You are such a cool mom! You have really been busy and I bet the kids will remember this as one of their best summers.

jen@odbt said...

Thanks for the tips. This is one place we haven't been yet...maybe next summer when they can appreciate it more.