We were up before the sun one more time to continue our way northeast. The drive from Louisville to Gaithersburg, MD was going to be our longest day so we wanted to get on the road as soon as possible! Before we knew it, we were crossing another state off our list as we made our way into West Virginia. This welcome center was a delight - I know it's easy to keep trucking on the road when you are trying to get somewhere, but
#Protip: Stop at the Welcome Centers. They are filled with friendly people, fun facts about the state, clean restrooms and awesome photo ops! This stops usually take around 20 minutes and are a great way to get out, stretch your legs, and learn something new. Bonus for places like WV that give our darling souvenirs, too!
In no time, we made our way to Charleston for our planned stop to tour the Capitol and eat lunch. I should note that we don't plan our routes around capitols, it just happened that on this trip, we hit one each day!
The entrance is a stunning Vietnam Memorial that honors more than 10,000 West Virginians who lost their lives during the war.
Then as you curve around the walkway, you are greeted by the most beautiful golden dome atop a stunning historic structure.
We were just blown away by it's beauty... and also just like to take pictures.
Sadly, the Capitol is undergoing some upkeep so we didn't get to explore; HOWEVER, we lucked out because they have an amazing FREE museum as part of the complex where we (unexpectedly) spent the next two hours ...by the end we all wanted to be from West Virginia.
(Just kidding, Texas).
Seriously, if you are anywhere near the city of Charleston, take the time to come and explore. This place was filled with so.much.history... West Virginia is old y'all... and so many cool things happened here! In Tennessee we learned about Davey Crockett and in WV, we read all about Daniel Boone. We learned about Native Americans, how WV became the 35th state, how to operate a telephone, and work in a grocery store and a soda shop. Bravo, WV... bravo.
The kids LOVED this little fact. They had a display dedicated to "the dressed fleas"... two tiny insects that were part of a real life flea circus... Emmy wanted to know how in the world they got dressed!
We actually had to cut our time short because we still had 4 hours to drive before our final stop of the day. Please note: I wanted to take at least 7 of those quilts home.
We filled up Myrtle with gas and our tummies with pbjs and were back on the road. All the driving was so much more easy to take with these as our views. There was really no way to get a proper picture, but the highways in the NE are lined with miles and miles of trees. Gorgeous isn't even the right word to describe it.
After a couple of hours, we finally crossed into Maryland and while this particular Welcome Center didn't have a cute state sign to pose beside...
they more than made up for it with this...
Maryland's welcome game is strong. We all voted to just build a house right there and send for the cats.
The next two hours were filled with lots of snacks, some random questions, reading, singing, and frantic texts back and forth between Jenn and I. Ryan couldn't drive fast enough, and then.... we FINALLY pulled into the quaintest driveway for the cutest #casainthecountry and had the most DARLING welcome crew ever.
Please note: Gracie was totally happy to see us before she was asked to take a picture.
Also note... we didn't care who was crying because we had wine and each other in PERSON! The next WEEK was going to be amazing....
I so hope you'll stick around to read about those adventures next...
We5AmeriKings: Day Three