Once again we made a fall trip to Norfolk, but for 2013 we timed it so we'd be there for Thanksgiving. But this year instead of driving we opted for flying. Considering the gas, motels and meals for the drive, the price wasn't much different.

We got into Norfolk late Wednesday afternoon and went right to the motel. But Thursday we went with Cheryl to Michael, Chelsea and David's home. This is Grandma Cheryl and David.

Michael, David and Dave
Jackie and David reading.

Jackie and David reading.

We were all going out for dinner, so David had to put on pants and shoes. (The rest of us had already done so.)

David's Shoes

Afternoon snacks at Cheryl and Martin's Home

On Friday we all went over to Cheryl and Martins's for supper. Martin did the outdoor grilling. But we were early enough to have a few afternoon snacks.

David liked to walk around the yard, although Great Grandpa stayed close so he didn't fall on the concrete.

Big and Little David
David's Phone

And there was time for playing.

"How come everyone has a cell phone and all I get is a land line?"

After supper we discovered David loves to get a ride in Cheryl and Martin's desk chair from their computer room.

Hitching A Ride

Michael and David

The next day we made an excursion to Historic Jamestown. Michael, Chelsea and David drove, picking us up at our motel which was on their way. Before taking the tour we had a picnic lunch. Jackie and Chelsea set up the table while Michael and David played in the leaves.

The visitors center is new since our last visit over 10 years ago. Inside are historical displays and a theatre for lectures and films. We just caught the end of a talk on Bald Eagles in the area. Afterward the speaker took us outside where we could see an eagle nest which was being 'refurbished' by a mating pair. By now they may have eggs.

Jamestown Visitor Center
Jamestown Church

After walking to the historic section the first thing that catches your eye is this old Jamestown church. It was built by later settlers but is over, and uses part of, the original settlers church.

There are re enactors on the grounds to explain things. This gentleman with Michael, David and Chelsea told us about the church and the cemetary behind it.

Michael, David and Chelsea with Re-enactor
Captain John Smith

This statue is of Captain John Smith, one of the leaders of earlier settlers.

And of course with Captain Smith there must be a statue of Pocahontas. The statue is copper with the usual green oxide color. But her hands are bright and shiny. David and Michael weren't the first to strike this pose.

Pocahontas Statue
Wild Deer at Jamestown

On our walk back to the car we came across these deer. While wild, they seem acclimated to tourists in the area.

The weather wasn't always as pleasant as during our Jamestown trip. A couple of mornings this fountain at our motel was left running overnight and by morning had icicles and more ice in the pool.

Icy Fountain
Shore Bird and Norfolk Botanical Garden

But even though it was cool we went to the Norfolk Botanical Garden. The freezes the nights before had taken their toll on some plants and flowers but it didn't deter the wildlife. I think this is a heron.

We walked through parts of the garden we haven't seen before, including this bridge. Those lights on it are part of the annual Christmas light display. We took that tour after Thanksgiving.

Botanical Garden Bridge

Chelsea and Cheryl Cooking

Thanksgiving dinner this year was at Chelsea and Michael's. Chelsea and Cheryl are finishing up the cooking.

And Little David, Michael and Big David played on the living room floor.

David, Michael and David
Friends and Relatives

Also joining us were Jason, Chelsea's mother Tina and her friend Bubba.

It was hard to get a picture of everyone around the table. But we all were there, ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Dinner

We'd planned to visit Yorktown, site of the final battle of the Revolutionary War, on Friday but the weather was cold and windy. And most of the Yorktown sights are outdoors.

Instead we went to the Virginia Air and Space Museum in Hampton.

Virginia Air and Space Museum
Space Capsule

Starting on the ground level, one of the first things to see is the Apollo 12 command module.

Nearby is a mural, depicting the history of air and space travel.

Space Mural
Astronaut Jackie

And near the mural is "Astronaut Jackie".

On the second level is an Air Force F4 Phantom. The F4 was also used by the Marine Corp and the Air Force. And hanging just above it to the right is a two seat American/Grumman "Yankee" personal airplane. It's similar to a four seat American/Grumman "Tiger" that I used to fly.

F4 _Phantom Fighter
F16 Fighter

From a viewpoint on the third level is this F-16 "Fighting Falcon" leading an earlier propeller driven P39 "Airacobra".

And finally up one more level to the roof. No exhibits but a great view of the Hampton private boat harbor. That's Norfolk and Virginia Beach on the distant horizon.

Hampton Harbor

Martin's Birthday

Saturday, the 30th, we went out for dinner to celebrate Martin's birthday. Afterward we went to the Volz home for gifts and cards.

Martin modeled his new hat. Very Tyrolean!

Martin's New Hat

Norfolk Amtrak Station

Sunday Jackie and I went to downtown Norfolk to ride the Tide, the new light rail and see Fort Norfolk. We started at the Tide station near the new Norfolk Amtrak station. The station was officially opened the next day. The station is beautiful, much better than the Amtrak station here in Houston.

The Tide runs through downtown and west to Fort Norfolk. The old fort is now owned by the Army Corp of Engineers, which has a large office building right next door to the historic fort.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Fort Norfolk
F16 Fighter

This passageway is the entrance to the fort through the earth bunkers that surround the buildings.

The buildings are well kept and used for classes and talks about the history of the fort. It was built in 1794 to protect the shipyards and terminals in the river.

Fort Norfolk Buildings
Fort Norfolk Guns

These are examples of the armament at the fort. The Gosport Ship Yard up river to the left in the photo was the home of the Confederate ship Virginia, also called the Merrimac, during the Civil War.

But today the river is quite peaceful, especially on the weekends. These Canadian Geese didn't seem to mind us walking right up to them.

Fort Norfolk Ducks

Chelsea, David and Michael

Soon our vacation came to an end with one last visit with Chelsea, David and Michael.

Jackie took time to read a book with David. That book on the floor is one that Jackie made for Michael when he was David's age.

Jackie and David Reading a Book
Chelsea and David Reading a Cellphone

Chelsea and David looking at pictures on her cell phone. David loves to 'swipe' from one image to the next.

David almost looked sad to see us go. But don't frown; we're already starting to plan for our next trip to Norfolk.

Little David

The flight home was almost uneventful, if you don't count getting up at 3:30am to catch our 7:15am flight. It was a great two weeks and we're looking forward to going back, once the weather up there gets a little warmer.