Up, Up and… Right Back Down Again




This past weekend we went to the Constitution Day celebration at the James Madison mansion.  Having an opportunity to take in so much of the United States’ early history is one of the things that I really look forward to living here in Virginia. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is also just down the road from our new home.


We took a tour of the house… here’s Dolly Madison’s cellar kitchen (no pies in sight.)


Enjoyed the grounds…


And best of all, Eli and I got to take a short ride in a tethered hot air balloon.


He was so excited as he has long wanted to fly (as in with his own wings) and this is the closest he’s come yet to what that would feel like. I was impressed by the amount of patience he showed waiting our turn in the long line.


Unfortunately he was too short to see over the side of the basket, but there were toe-hold windows for climbing into the basket that he could use to look out. I didn’t feel it would be safe to pick him up during our ride. Amazingly he didn’t complain at all.


Mid-flight selfie.

The fire that heats the air inside the balloon is surprisingly loud.


It really freaked Zoe out and she stayed below and a good distance away with my husband.


Completely enamored with the balloon by the end of the evening though she cried when they brought it down to pack it up.


The evening brought fireworks… a first for both of the kids. Eli has always been so sensitive to sound we have avoided fireworks displays but he begged to see this one. We so enjoyed watching his amazement and delight… the boy is growing up! Zoe did pretty well too with a lot of cuddling and reassurance.



  1. Susan Sellers said,

    September 22, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Karen, Dolly Madison I my ancestor, my sister has her china. I wonder if she used it in that kitchen? Loved the photos! Miss you all, Love Gramma Susan

  2. Maysem said,

    October 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Eli has gotten so big! Or is it the ‘big boy’ haircut? 😉 Looks like you all had a great time. How do you like it in Virginia so far?

    • October 15, 2014 at 11:25 am

      It’s the big boy haircut… it instantly added 2 years to my little guy! I kinda wish I could turn back the clock and keep him looking like a preschooler. If I feel this way now what is it going to be like when he is 16? We are really liking Virginia. It’s a big change, but I think it will be a great place for the kids to grow up, and I’m loving having 4 seasons again.

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