Pinewood DC 2023

September 2023
The 8th grade takes on Washington DC! Read more
  • 17footprints
  • 1countries
  • 6days
  • 233photos
  • 25videos
  • 5.7kmiles
  • 4.9kmiles
  • Day 1

    It Begins!!!!

    September 17, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    Travel day has arrived! Everyone was on time, great job parents! The most exciting thing this morning was the robot that makes coffee and tea. 🙂 I was told that I absolutely must try the matcha latte.

    Boarding the flight they said the WiFi might not work.

    We are excited for a great week!
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  • Day 1

    Fun While Flying

    September 17, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    There was quite a commotion in the seats behind me. Turns out, there was an intense game of cards going on. I love that we ask our students to bring cards and games to play when there is down time. 😁

    We left about 25 minutes late, but are still due into Charlotte close to on time. Right now, they are estimating 5:14pm local instead of 5:07pm. Not bad.
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  • Day 1

    We Made it to Charlotte!

    September 17, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

    The flight out was uneventful, but we’ve had a whirlwind transfer with just under 20 minutes to make it to our connecting gate. Though we hustled, we were met with a delay for our flight to Norfolk. There is nothing like, “hurry up and wait.” 😉 But no worries, our resilient 8th graders are handling it with smiles! 😅

    In the midst of the rush, I found a Pet Relief station in the terminal - a little surprise that brought smiles to our faces. It’s a reminder to find joy in the little things, even when plans don’t go as expected!

    We can’t wait to finally arrive in Virginia and head to a well-deserved dinner!
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  • Day 1


    September 17, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 73 °F

    We’ve just touched down in Norfolk and are ready to be done with flying today. Despite initial predictions of a longer flight due to weather and encountering a few bumps along the way, we were pleased to find it wasn’t too bad and even arrived a bit sooner than anticipated! 😁

    The Norfolk airport is clean and very nice. I have never been to this airport. I am impressed.

    We have our bags and are on the bus heading to Williamsburg for dinner.
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  • Day 1

    Sal’s by Victor Italian Restaurant

    September 17, 2023 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 68 °F

    We finally made it to our much-anticipated dinner at Sal’s by Victor Italian Restaurant, a place renowned for its delightful dishes. Yes, the name is also a mouthful. 🤣

    Some might argue that everything tastes better when you’re hungry, but having enjoyed Sal’s many times over the years, I can vouch for its excellence! Tonight, Sal’s did not disappoint. The food was truly amazing, a feast fitting our travel weary but high spirited group. 🍝

    Before we finished up, it was a rousing birthday song for Nox! 🎂

    After dinner, we settled into our hotel and got the kids into their rooms. While the phrase “off to bed” was used, we’re realistic - with their bodies still on California time, we suspect there might be more than a few conversations and laughs echoing through the halls before sleep claims the children. 😊

    Tomorrow, we have a late morning start with breakfast at 7:45 am, then off to historic Jamestown. It promises to be a day rich with learning and exploration!
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  • Day 2

    Day 2: Greetings from Historic Jamestown

    September 18, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 66 °F

    Yes, that is the old-timey spelling. 😁

    Our second day began with a lesson in glassblowing at Jamestown, giving us a glimpse into the craft that dates back centuries. The day continued with an tour of the first permanent English settlement in North America, a place brimming with history and tales of the past.

    As we wandered through the settlement, we learned about when and why the English settled there, their way of life, their relationships with the local Indian Tribes, and we toured a typical Algonquian encampment. A notable highlight was learning about a fascinating contraption used to secure babies to their mothers' backs while they worked, a detail that particularly caused a buzz in my group!

    A voyage into maritime history awaited us as we visited replicas of the three legendary English vessels - the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. Stepping aboard the Susan Constant, we were amazed at how cramped the conditions aboard the ship were.

    We concluded our tour with a musket firing demonstration, a sound that reverberated much louder than the kids expected. There were quite a few students that jumped when it went off!

    An FYI, at Jamestown and Williamsburg, we were split into two groups. We did mix them up a bit halfway through the day, but I was only able to get pictures of my group. I am working on getting pictures from the other half and will add pictures when I get them. 🙂

    FindPenguins limits each post to 20 photos and 2 videos. In our Facebook Group there are more pictures.
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  • Day 2

    Lunch at Shields Tavern

    September 18, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 68 °F

    Today, we found ourselves stepping back in time as we entered the historic Shields Tavern for lunch. Established in 1705 after the Capitol of Virginia was moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg, this storied tavern became a hub of activity where locals would gather to dine, socialize, and conduct business, offering a warm haven for travelers seeking rest and nourishment. Today, we were those travelers!

    As we settled in, we were greeted with a hearty meal that mirrored the traditions of a bygone era - turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, and a generous serving of green veggies. Rest assured, all dietary preferences were catered to with the utmost care. 😁

    We learned that Dinner was the big meal of the day that was served in the early afternoon. Supper is the meal eaten at night. It is a lighter meal, many times with just leftovers from dinner. Growing up in Boston, I already knew this. My vocabulary flex for the week. 🤣

    Adding a sweet note to our experience, we were pleasantly surprised to find a slice of cake awaiting us at our seats. I couldn't help but suggest to the kids that this is a tradition we might just have to adopt back home. 😉
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  • Day 2

    Colonial Williamsburg

    September 18, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    After Shields Tavern, our historical exploration of Colonial Williamsburg continued. Here's a little history nugget for you - as I mentioned, it was the capital of Virginia beginning in 1705, when it moved from Jamestown.

    Apparently, Jamestown burned down a lot both from attacks and carelessness. Also, it was not the favorite spot of the governor at the time. The College of William and Mary lured the Virginia General Assembly to Williamsburg, where it stayed the capitol until Thomas Jefferson moved it to Richmond in 1780. Williamsburg was to easily attacked by sea, whereas, Richmond could be better defended from the British during the Revolutionary War.

    Our afternoon was a blend of education and exploration. Despite the heat, the enthusiasm remained high as we embarked on a walking journey. From the opulence and grandeur of the governor’s mansion to the matters of state at the Capitol building, our guide had a story to tell at every stop.

    We stepped further back in time with visits to various craft houses including the silversmith, the barber/wig maker, the silversmith, and the shoemaker, where artisans dressed in period garb engaged us with tales and demonstrations of their crafts, bringing the history of the colony to life right before our eyes. A high point was the stocks and the jail. We stood in the cell where Blackbeard’s crew awaited their trial. Another bit of excitement happened with my group. The Marquis de La Fayette trotted by on his horse, Ajax, talked with us a bit and let us pet Ajax.

    As our time in Williamsburg drew to a close, we found our heads full of knowledge and our legs needing a rest. We now head to a much-anticipated BBQ dinner, where we'll power up for a mini-golf adventure later tonight.

    FindPenguins limits each post to 20 photos and 2 videos. In our Facebook Group there are more pictures.
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  • Day 2

    Day 2: Mini Golf & Pool Time, and Packin

    September 18, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    After a tasty BBQ dinner, we spiced up the evening with a round of mini-golf at Pirates Cove, a new addition to our itinerary courtesy of Mrs. Bates. It a hit, with the students thoroughly enjoying the friendly competition and a chance to unwind. Sometimes you just need unstructured bonding time! ⛳

    After getting back to the hotel, we gave the kids some much-needed pool time, letting them enjoy some free time with their friends. It's a wonderful sight, seeing them splash around and laugh. This is a great group. 🙂

    When pool time was over, we ushered them off to their rooms to pack and get some sleep. I know that is a bit of a pipe dream this early in the trip, but one can hope.

    Tomorrow calls for an early rise, with a long drive to Monticello on the horizon. At least it will give the kids extra time to sleep. 😁

    Signing off for the day from Williamsburg. Good night!

    FindPenguins limits each post to 20 photos and 2 videos. In our Facebook Group there are more pictures.
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  • Day 3


    September 19, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    This morning we got up early, checked out of our hotel, said goodbye to Williamsburg, and embarked on a journey to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, our third President and principal author of the Declaration of Independence. Set atop a picturesque hill in Charlottesville, Virginia. As we learned from our guide, Monticello means “little mountain” in Italian.

    Once again, the students were divided into two groups. I will work on getting pictures from the other group. Once inside, we were able to explore Jefferson’s rooms filled with inventions, keepsakes, and knick/knacks. He liked gadgets. Our guide described him as our hoarding founding father. 😁

    We saw the bed that he passed away in on July 4th, 1826. The same day our second president, John Adams passed. We learned that James Monroe, our 5th president, passed on July 4th, 1831. So, three of our first five presidents passed on Independence Day. An interesting anecdote.

    Outside, we saw the beautifully preserved gardens and grounds. It was a beautiful morning and the view from the top was spectacular. We hiked down the mountain, passed Jefferson’s grave, to the bus. It was a nice hike on a beautiful day!

    FindPenguins limits each post to 20 photos and 2 videos. In our Facebook Group there are more pictures.
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