For quite a long time after Benjamin was born, we were in a season of STAY. The inevitable adjustment after adding a new member to the family meant that outings were, for me, more about necessity and less about relaxation. When we could be at home, life was easier. :)
And then in late January, our puppies were born, and once again it was more convenient to be at home, able to help with them in whatever way was needed. Late winter and early spring brought plenty of visitors to us--some of whom departed with puppies in hand--but we still weren't venturing too far from home unless necessary. Of course, we did our regular routine of extracurricular activities, but the idea of additional field trips or just-for-fun expeditions seemed stressful. So I didn't do them. :)
That has changed.
During April we began to shift from the phase of A Time to Stay to a new season of A Time to Go. Some of those adventures have already been recorded on the blog: a trip across the mountain to an indoor trampoline park, a much shorter trip to visit my mom in the nursing home, a pre-Mother's Day evening at a park, etc.
One event that has not been blogged about (yet!) was a trip to Roanoke to a science museum there; and while we were there, Jeff got an annual pass for the family that includes admission to many science and children's museums all across the country. Having such a pass is motivating because it encourages us to find other museums that we can visit while this membership is still good; and so because of that, the kids and I and Grandma Fisher found ourselves meandering up interstate 81 last week to visit the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester.
None of us had ever been there before; in fact, despite being born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley and now having lived here again for the past 10 and a half years, I haven't spent much time at all in Winchester. Oh, I had gone to the mall there a handful of times in my childhood and youth; and I've eaten at the Olive Garden there since Harrisonburg doesn't have one (one is coming though, that's the news we hear!). :) But I have never driven much in Winchester or explored the town at all.
The Discovery Museum is located in a section of town that makes me want very much to go back and explore! I loved the old buildings, and there is a pedestrian mall area nearby that looked enticing. But on this trip, our objective was the museum; and our time was delightfully spent there. :)
I took many pictures (anyone surprised by that?) ;-) and will mostly let them speak for themselves. :)
Most of the time I had Benjamin in the Snugli and he was mostly content there, but I had him out for a little while, and he found this wooden-bead-on-tracks activity quite exciting. I loved the reflections. :)
Josiah had made quite a bit of progress on the house he was constructing.
After that, we went to the Olive Garden restaurant that was not far away and enjoyed a scrumptious feast for a late lunch/early dinner; and then we hit the road for home, stopping to see two of the puppies on the way. We arrived home tired but happy, ready for some time at home to recharge, but already thinking ahead to the next time we head out on another expedition. :)