I planned to include some excerpts from my old October 2001 journal this fall. That year was hectic because we had to do lots of traveling immediately after we moved to our new home due to Dad’s military work. To us children at the time it was a lot of fun. I took some time to write a detailed description of our first few days at Ft. Monroe (I was 11 at the time). I brought along my little blue calligraphy pen and jotted away…it was such fun!

Our Trip To Williamsburg

Day 1 – Today we went to Wellington, AL. We visited our grandparents and great-grandparents. Alabama lost to Tennessee in the football game. Went for a walk. Traveled some more. At 2:30 in the morning we got to a motel.

Oh, that first entry….It reminds me that I’m glad Alabama had a big win against Tennessee this year! 😉

Day 2 – Even though we only had 7 hours of sleep and a fair-sized breakfast, we were ready to leave again. There were cirrus and contrail clouds in the sky. It was a warm, beautiful day. We stopped at Arby’s. Then we left again. After a long while, we made it to Virginia. Stratus cumulus, cirrus, and contrail clouds deck the blue skies which hang above the auburn, red, and gold tree tops. Lovely iridescence also occurs. As we neared the James River, the sky around the water shone down lovely colors of sunset.

They checked Mom and Dad’s ID cards (they didn’t need to check mine). When we got to the guest house, which was a duplex, there was a small front porch with a blue – painted wood floor. It also had a glider and a coffee table. Inside there was a small living room with a pull-out sofa and tv. There were two windows (three counting the door). Next was a long hall with a high ceiling and an attic. The first turn to the right was a bed room. It had a tv, dresser, and nightstand. It had two windows, which, like the living room, had dark blue curtains. The second turn to the right was a large bathroom (you can guess what color the shower curtains were).

There were two sinks and a large closet. There was one, small, window which had a short skirt-like curtain which had an interesting dark, oriental floral print. Straight forward was a kitchen. It had a table, refrigerator, microwave, stove, sink, tv, and a pull-out sofa (also a washer and dryer). There were two windows (three counting the back door) with blue & white-checked curtains. The walls throughout the house were a light, creamy, beige color. It was quite nice. But I couldn’t help but remember that we had left our large house at Marion, our pets, and many of our belongings – we would, in fact, be separated from them for two weeks. We went out to eat at Applebees. Rachel and I slept in the kitchen.

“Only had 7 hours of sleep” – that makes me laugh now. I was also entirely too obsessed with adding commas.

The Seawall

Day 3 – I woke up to Rachel shoving my arm saying: “Amanda! Amanda! Would you like a doughnut-hole?” We ate doughnut-holes and talked for awhile. Momma and Rachel went for a run by the moat. Rachel told me about it, and I couldn’t wait! It was beautiful! The afternoon sun shone on the water. For awhile, Abigail lagged behind. “Come, come, come!” I said to Mary, who I almost tripped over. We went to the PX, noticing the newspaper that said, “CIA given order to kill bin Laden”. I believe, whether we’ve experienced it now or not yet, that America shall always know that while you are dealing with one thing, you are fighting another. In the PX, we grabbed pamphlets about different areas of Virginia. We bought “102 Dalmatians” to watch at home. Mom promised to buy Abby and Mary candy if they were good. They picked out M&Ms. We all 4 got a Snickers bar. We sat on a bench (after the “extra” M&Ms container was brought back) and ate our candy.

“Amanda, you can have this.” said Abigail, handing me her empty candy container. “Oh, thank you.” I said, agreeing to use it for specimens, placed it in the grocery bag. We went to a quiet playground for awhile. Then we went to the Sea Wall. The water was clear and beautiful. The waves lapped the algae shore. We examined the “NO SWIMMING, WADING, BOATING: ONLY SUNBATHING ALLOWED.” sign.

“Look at those steps – may we go there?” I asked, not realizing there were bars guarding the aged stairs. “No, you may not!” said Momma. Joseph and Abigail pleaded to go there, but Momma said it was almost time to go home. I noticed that Joe and Abby ran to the steps. I notified Momma and ran after them. By the time Momma and I both got there, Joe and Abby had climbed through the bars and were walking down the stairs! Just then a fire truck drove by – the fireman watched them climb out.

As we walked home, we first passed the East Gate. Walking through the Old building was neat. Even though the building at the North Gate was smaller than the building at the East Gate, it was still quite interesting. As we came to the Moat Walk on the bridge, the water bottle in the grocery bag fell into the road. I grabbed it before a car hit it. Because I was holding the bag and there was enough trouble already, I was blamed for it. About 2 seconds later, it fell out again! This time I was determined to prove I was not the cause of the “mysterious falling bottle”. Sure enough, there was a hold in the bag.

As I lowered the bag to rearrange every thing, the orange empty M&M can slipped out through one of the holes. Before I could grab it, it bounced off the side-walk, through the fence, off the cement ledge, and splash! It landed in the Moat, which was more than 4 feet below the fence. It was bound to happen sooner of later.

“People will think someone littered!” said Momma, watching it float away. “It was an accident!” I said. “I know.” said Momma. I was embarrassed to see the orange speck floating away in the beautiful water – but it was funny at the same time. We went to the Millers’ house after supper.

The Millers are military family friends of ours. Oh, and that who/whom thing drives me crazy. One little irritating thing about language….

The Casemate Museum

Day 3 – Today we couldn’t wait for the next adventure. When Momma announced we were going to the Casemate Museum, we were excited. At the museum, we learned alot about the Civil War. Then we came to the gift shop. There was so much to look at and to buy. I collect spoons from different places. I saw spoons in the gift shop. Momma asked me if I wanted one. I looked at all the spoons. One was a small silver spoon with a cannon on it. One was a small silver spoon with an emblem on it that said “FORT MONROE”. One was a small gold spoon with an emblem on it that said “FORT MONROE”. One was a large gold spoon with an emblem that said “FORT MONROE”. I chose the small gold spoon. We went to the Millers’ house to play.


Today we went to Yorktown. We went to the theater there. We saw many different displays. Then we went outside to observe the Revolutionary War tents. It was so neat! We learned that six soldiers would sleep in one tent, that the doctor had to cure more diseases than wounds, and that the general’s tent was the largest and warmest. The meals consisted of salt pork, beans, and rice. After that, we went back inside for another look around. We saw swords.

What I would have mentioned next was that the American swords were the heaviest, the British swords were the second heaviest and the French swords were the lightest. We ended up touring Busch Gardens, Colonial Willamsburg, Jamestown, the Airforce Museum and the petting zoo. It was great.

I found my old nature journals, by the way. I hope to scan them in and share some of the old paintings and sketches.



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