Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Family Business

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we were wanting to do some family day trips this summer. Partly because I'm always on the lookout for new material, but mostly because we just need to do some family stuff to reconnect after a loooong year of having nowhere near enough family time.

Yesterday we did one of the things on my list and took a drive down to Green Bank, WV to see the Green Bank Telescope. It's the largest steerable radio telescope in the world and it's just a couple hours south of us. We tend to be pretty geeky, nerdy folks, so this was pretty much the perfect thing for us to go investigate.

It was a really fantastic day. We had a great time investigating all of the exhibits at the observatory and loved the tour. Sadly, we weren't able to get any pictures up close of the telescope because digital cameras mess with the radio waves and can ruin years of work. Those scientist-types tend to frown upon that. And since we don't want to upset the folks who are going to be our ambassadors to the aliens, we figured it was good to turn off our camera when we were asked. However, Jason was able to snap a few pictures of the telescope an the kids (you can click to embiggen any of these pics):

Waiting for lunch at NRAO
The kids trying to look at Jason for a pic
The GBT (Great Big Thing, according to the tour guide)
What made the day even more entertaining was that when we finished at NRAO, we decided to check out a few other attractions in the southern part of the state. So we took a terrifying gravel road up to the top of Spruce Knob, which is the highest point in WV:

Proof that we have a car that can drive us to high places
It was pouring down the rain and it was cold and there was absolutely no view because of all of the fog, but we just laughed. On our drive down the mountain, we found a place that had a spectacular view of the countryside:

This is one you should embiggen.

Me and the hubs
We finally made it off of the mountain and decided that it was time to head home. Except that along the way, we drove past Seneca Rocks and decided that we needed to make one last stop on our whirlwind tour of southern WV. This is a place we hope to return to for real so we can do some hiking. Because it. was. gorgeous:

The rock face
Behind Jason, I was picking some wild blackberries. Nom.
After that, we really did head home, but it was a wonderful day. I was reminded once again of what a beautiful state I live in and also just how much I enjoy spending time with my family. They are funny, clever, creative, interesting people and it was fantastic to unplug for a minute and enjoy a day together. I am thankful for all of the beauty in my life.

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What is something that you love about where you live? Do you have any vacations planned for this summer?



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