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history on the road {our week tagging along with daddy}

We left Sunday to tag along with daddy on a business trip–and decided to make it into a little history lesson or three:). We stopped in Asheville, North Carolina for dinner with my little sister Katie and her man Rama–AND Dru and Asher Collie of Sole Hope…some of my favorite people:)

On Monday–we played at a national forest because Charleston, WV is lacking on the historical sites and family friendly activities…which as you know all was well until Isaac fell in the river:)



On TUESDAY–Rico left at 6:30am for business…and we attempted a peaceful breakfast downstairs courtesy of Embassy Suites. We checked out just before lunch to start what we thought would be an educational day in Charleston, WV…and it was peaceful until Frankie baby pulled the fire alarm in the elevator on the way out. He cried–I laughed…and I don’t think he’ll do it again. No pictures to prove that one…momma had her hands full:).

There is one child-friendly museum in Charleston–so we tried to go…

We had already paid for parking…managed to walk a block with 4 little ones…made it inside–and they told us the museum isn’t opened to the public on Monday or Tuesday…schools only (we didn’t count;)…so we were fresh outta luck. I asked the kind lady behind the desk if there was ANYTHING family friendly or educational to do in Charleston, WV…she thought for awhile–asked around..and gave me directions to McDonalds. Nice:). Alright–so the hubby goes there because he manages insurance for energy, oil and coal companies…so there’s A LOT of coal and coal miners there–but not as much on the family friendly fun side (that we were able to discover anyway!).

Thanks to my handy little iPhone app historical site finder I did find a historical site to visit for the kids! AND it was open and there was a man on duty…BUT he said the porch had just been painted and they weren’t used to having people come by…so we were welcome to look around all we wanted but—that was about it. I pulled some history out of my pocket on this one determined to make this as educational as possible!

SOOOO…if you are ever in Charleston, WV–you can swing by this place and see where George Washington’s doctor’s GRANDSON lived. Alright–so that’s not anything to plan a trip over…BUT it’s history none-the-less:) And my 7 year old son thought it was cool:)

They had the most fun playing in front of the old cabin…

We left to go grab lunch at Blossom’s which is said to be a famous soda in the 50’s. This was by far the highlight of our Charleston pitstops (you could argue a little bit of history…but the kids thought the bar was really cool:)

Grabbed this one on my iPhone…

After the soda shop stop–I called a few places to try and squeeze in one more thing before meeting Rico at 4:30 when his business was over and we’d start South. The waitress had given me an insider tip on a possible place to visit–but when I called it was a casino (once again…nice) and she didn’t have any scoop for child friendly places other than the closed museum either. We spotted a train and a few barges on the river…and that was about all the excitement that came our way. Not as much to do in Charleston I’m afraid. As soon as Rico was done at 4:30–we scooted out of town and headed to Bristol, Virginia as momma had mapped out a day of history for us for Wednesday! After our day struggling to find something to do…I couldn’t WAIT!

We started our Wednesday by heading to Piney Flats, TN–which I HIGHLY recommend! This is BEAUTIFUL country…and we loved the Rocky Mount Living History Museum. We got to see the sheep and learn how the pioneers lived off the land. Everyone was in full pioneer gear, and they even asked us where we were from in such modern, interesting clothing:) The kids kept giggling thinking we REALLY had stepped into 1791!

The sheep on the Cobb land…

Before we stepped back into time–they showed our family a movie to prep us for what it would be like! We had the theatre all to ourselves!

Here’s “Mrs.Cobb” letting us in her home…

Here are Mrs.Cobb’s grandson’s who told us all about when the president came to stay with them while his home was being built, how to write with feather pens, how to make checkers out of corncobs and how to cook…everything from churning butter to making sauerkraut. The kids were jaw dropped over history! (I only had to scold Rico Suave once for making fun of the pioneer’s clothing;)

The Cobb’s nephew took us in the spinning house and taught us how to make yarn on the spinning wheel…

This was really so fun for the kids and it was SUCH a treat after the adventure we had the day earlier struggling to find some history fun. I think we made up for it with the Rocky Mount Living History Museum! If you ever go–pack a lunch and enjoy lunch in the pasture under the trees!

We, however, had lunch in Johnson City, TN at the Crazy Tomato…which I ALSO highly recommend! SO YUMMY!

We needed something sweet afterwards…so we scooted on over to history Jonesborough, Tennessee which has GOT to be THE cutest historic town on the planet. It was so charming!!!

AND if you are ever in Jonesborough–you can trust your sweet tooth can be cured with a good run down the historic streets toooo…(I told the kids they were in for a BIG, FUN, SWEET surprise but they had to run until I said STOP!)


‘Cause you’re at THE…

It’s history people!! According to Boone Magazine…“it was once home to the only lodge in America with its founding documents, its dispensation and its charter, signed by a United States president, Andrew Jackson. Today it is the Old Sweet Shop Restaurant.” AND it was a HIT for my kids!!!

They had EVERY candy imaginable…and EVEN BUGS!

We left with 1.5 pounds of candy. And it was all gone before we got on the interstate:) I’m a good mom like that;). Some times you just gotta let your kids be kids!

BUT before we hit the interstate…we took back roads to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to see David Crockett’s birth site. YES–we were squeezing all kinds of history fun in!

This picture was taken just before Parker attempted to stuff his two little brothers in Davey Crockett’s food storage house…

And this was after…

Here are the boys applying what we learned about bartering with their m&ms:)

THEN our history adventure was over–BUT we got to take in the MOST beautiful countryside on the way to the main road. JUST beautiful!

ALRIGHT…so this is officially my LONGEST post in history!!! I think our next history trip will be to D.C.! Too bad Rico Suave doesn’t have any business in D.C. Now, if you live in or around Charleston, we need your tips on things to do around there! I’m sure there is a goldmine just around the corner we just don’t know about! We love some Tennessee and Virginia…and the mountains in West Virginia were so beautiful too!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Blessings to you all…(holding my breath for another doc visit on Monday…but determined to have an amazing, sweet and fun weekend with my sweet little ones! SO thankful for all He has done and will do in our lives. Trusting Him for each day–no matter what it brings!)


Sarah - November 12, 2011 - 1:29 pm


I have been following your blog for some time and not posted until now.. please know that I am praying for you this weekend… that God gives you HIs peace beyond all understanding…. He always takes our ashes and turns them into His beauty so that He can see his face reflected in ours… We too are adopting from Uganda, our homestudy should be mailed to us next week for a sister and brother 0-6 years and we have 3 children we adopted through foster are, 6,4 and 3. May God bless you mightily and make you soar on eagles wings,


Sarah McKinney - November 12, 2011 - 1:30 pm




Kelli - November 12, 2011 - 3:54 pm

Haven’t had much luck in Charleston either. But- in spring/summer/fall (around 1 hour from Charleston, in Beckley) are 2 things my kiddos have LOVED… (the theatre has a great show called “honey in the rock”- a play about how WV became a state. Very fun and educational.)

Both are seasonal…
Of course there are LOTS of state parks with lots of history (outside charleston).