via Siesta Keys
In my 51 years, my family and I have been to some of the most interested places. We’ve climbed Dunns River Falls and watched sunset in Negril, Jamaica, swam in the Cayman Islands while staying at Seven Miles beach resort, toured amazing theme parks in Orlando, California and New Jersey, and gone whale watching in Alaska.
This journal is focused however, on some of the interesting places we have visited that are off the beaten tracks, Places like Jaws beach, and the Gay Head Light house which is operated by the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in Martha’s Vineyard. The Luray Caverns which is located in the Shenandoah valley, west of the Appalachian mountains in Luray, Virginia. The Everglades in Florida, the Seatuck Wildlife refuge in New York and many more.
The Virginia Safari Park is a 180 acres drive through zoo, located in Natural Bridge, Virginia. It features many exotic animals from zebras, tigers, ligers ( half lion half tiger) to white Rhinos, to penguins and have species that are native to Africa, South America as well as the United States. It is important to note that the animals at the Safari are all rescues, and are not in any encampment (except for the white rhinos, which are being raised in an effort to slow their extinction.
Our family has been to this safari many times, but we keep coming back. the first time we did the tour from our car, which was really exciting but messy. The animals are very friendly and they walk right up to the car for food. It was at that time that we learned that llamas are “spitters”. They spit when they feel threatened, frightened or just being greedy . The camels are also very aggressive, they will put their head in the cars and take anything they can retrieve, including your purse (lol). From that time forward, we take the wagon ride which is presented as a tour.
The kids look forward to visiting the Virginia Safari every time we visit Virginia and so will you.
On August 13, 2018, my family an visited the Luray Caverns (1.5 miles of underground caves) and the museum while staying at the Massanutten Family resort.
It was a wonderful experience. To enter this magnificent cave which was first discovered on August 13, 1878 ( exactly 140 years before I visited), we had to go down 60 flight of stairs. Once we finished our descent. We found ourselves in one of the most breathtaking places ever.
The 1.5 mile path curves downward for half of the way until we got to the Dream Lake, a natural lake of about 1 1/2 feet which reflects the ceiling and therefore resembles an under water city. Further along the path we pass the Saracen Tent, named because of the way the stalactites and stalacmites form this magnificent tent on the cave wall. There is also Pluto’s Ghost, which got its name from an scary looking formation resembling a ghost in a sheet, that can be seen at various angles in the 60 foot ravine. My favorite was the Stalacpipe Organ, that was was made and assembled inside the cave, and which has played at many weddings that were performed inside the cavern.
The trek through the cave can be completed in one to one and a half of an hour. Then visitors can enjoy three museums on the compound that are included in the fee. My family chose to visit the Car and Carriage Museum, where we were awed by some lovely cars that were used by early Americans including the Stanley Steamer.
This summer and every summer for the last five years, I have joined the Pines on their one week family vacation. Martha’s Vineyard is a lovely Island that is untouched by modernization, but for the nature and clean beach lovers, you can rent a beautiful cottage and enjoy the cool waters of the ocean. Play golf at one of a few venues. Visit an historical light house or enjoy one of the many nature hikes.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton