After Carowinds, my main task as the matriarch of the family was to get a whole lot of laundry done so we could road trip our way to Connecticut with a stop along the way in Washington D.C. Lucky for me, my sister-in-law let me have the run of her washer and dryer so though I was up late taking care of business, I was very grateful! Tuesday, July 22nd's plan (Chris's birthday by the way) was to get our family from Gastonia, North Carolina to Washington D.C. I think that was a 7 hour drive for us! We had talked about seeing some caverns but had not really planned it or made it a priority. As the kids began to get really bored in the car... (about 4:00) they let us know how important it was that we visit some caverns. We had some brochures and I had my iPhone but all the caverns were too far away to make a tour by closing. That said, I had been playing with the YELP app on my phone and using it to find restaurants as we drove through towns, when I came up with the brilliant idea of using it to search for caverns based on my current location... we were in Virginia. And then it was like the stars were aligned and the angels were singing... My search on caverns brings up a place about 30miles away. I call them and find out the last tour is at 5:00 and we calculate we can be there by about 4:45! And did I mention, it was right off the highway in the direction we happened to be travelling? It was amazing. And that is how we found Dixie Caverns.
From their website: Would you believe a dog was the first one in the hole at the top of the hill... followed by several inquisitive farm boys — that was in 1920. And in 1923, Dixie Caverns was open to the public. There have been many changes over the years in lighting and passageways, but the beauty of this cavern has entertained thousands from then `til now. Dixie Caverns is open for tours 363 days a year.
Because the caverns were promoted to be very damp and wet with lots of slippery steps, Chris and I didn't think it would be safe to take Isaac on the tour. Even if it was safe, there was no guarantee he might start crying or something and then we would be stuck and ruin the tour for everyone... so I decided to hang back in the car with the baby and let the big kids go on the tour with Dad. Chris confirmed we made the right choice later.
I'm glad Chris was able to take these pictures. Our kids have never been to any caverns before so you can imagine they thought this was pretty awesome! This stop ended up being so perfect for our family because they were just getting really cooped up in the car, we made the very last tour, and the caverns were on the small side so the tour was only 45min... which was perfect for our kids and our travel schedule. Isn't it awesome when things work out so beautifully?