Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lexington, VA

While we were checking out SVU, we stayed in Lexington, VA. It is a beautiful little town with tons of history and plenty to see.

It was fun to walk down the historic streets of the town and pop in and out of the little stores that lined the paths that have been walked by so many.
We spent some time taking a tour of Stonewall Jackson's home and learning about him. I had heard his name before, but knew nothing about him. You can tell my kids are being raised in the south though because they knew a bit about him before the tour. We had an interesting tour guide (he is a civil war expert, does reenactments, and is an extra in all of the civil war movies like Blue & Gray, North & South, etc.), and at first wondered what we were in for, but he turned out to be wonderful.
We then spent some time walking around the Virginia Military Institute. It is an amazing old campus that serves all of the branches of the military. It was the first state supported military academy, established in 1839. Part of it was burned down during the civil war and had to be rebuilt. The are several pieces of art on the campus that are extremely old, and the chapel is amazing. It reminded me of an older version of the chapel at the Air Force Academy.


 

We also spent some time driving around the campus of Washington and Lee. It was established in 1782, and endowed by Washington himself. Robert E Lee was the president of the university aft the civil war, and his name was added after his death. It has a very reputable law school, and from what everyone says, the students come from VERY wealthy families. The average household income for the parents of the students is $750,000 a year!!!


On our way out of town we stopped at Natural Bridge. This used to be owned by Thomas Jefferson, and he and George Washington used to spend time here relaxing in the beauty and wonder of it. Washington was a bit of a graffitier and left his initials in the stone.


We walked under the bridge and followed the path about 3/4 of a mile. It was a beautiful walk with plenty of neat things to see along the way such as a cave that they used during the civil war for making weapons and a replication of an Indian village that used to be in the area. At the end of the trail was a beautiful little waterfall. It was a very peaceful, easy walk, and we all really enjoyed it.


Our last stop on the way out of Lexington was the Natural Brigde Caverns. We seem to always enjoy exploring caverns. The colors in this one were mainly oranges and greens, which were beautiful. The cool temperature felt so nice after walking around outside for so long. As Rodney and I walked through it we could not help but reminise about the caving adventure we had taken with the Webb family many years ago in Alabama. It brought back some great memories.


We all had a good laugh when they turned out the lights to show us how pitch black a cave is, and there were Cambria's prize shoes glowing in the dark.


Who would have thought that so much to do could be found in Lexington, VA?!?! The good news is that we only scratched the surface, so if Declan ends up picking SVU we will have plenty more to explore!


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