Category Archives: Trips

Visit to the US Capitol

Yesterday, after a business meeting I had in DC wrapped up, I decided to stop for a detour on my way to the airport.  I was able to take a tour of the US Capitol building and it was highly educational!

The tour was very well organized.  You pick up a ticket in the Capitol Visitor’s Center and fortunately, I was just in time for the very next tour.

looking down into the main foyer – full size model of the statue Freedom that sits atop the dome

It started with a short video, “Out of Many, One” that gives a historical overview of the building.  Then, we split up into tour groups.  Each of us in the group wore audio headsets that allowed our tour guide to speak directly to us and only us.

What a great way to do this!

We started the tour in the Rotunda, where we learned about the room itself, the artwork in the room – along the walls and in the center of the dome, and the statues. 

Apotheosis of Washington
Frieze of American History 
Paintings in the rotunda. This one was commissioned by Congress in 1837 and is the “Baptism of Pocahontas”
Abraham Lincoln statue 

The tour then moved to the National Statuary Hall to learn about all the statues throughout the building.   This room used to be the original House chamber.  The history behind the statues is interesting – each state was allowed to donate two statues of anyone they wanted, so long as the person was deceased.  And, statues could be made of marble or bronze.  

I think my favorite statue of all the ones I saw was this one of King Kamehameha I in the Visitor’s Center.  It weighs over 6 tons!

King Kamehameha I

After the National Statuary Hall, we visited the Capitol Crypt, which was built to be the final resting place of Thomas Jefferson.  He died well before it was finished.  The columns and archways provide support for the Rotunda and Dome above. 

All-in-all, the tour lasted about 30 minutes. It was so well worth the time! I learned so much and I highly recommend a visit.

I have so many more pictures and details in my online album that you can check out!


From North Carolina to Florida

On Sunday, July 14th, Kaleya and I took our next travel journey during our vacation and made our way down to Florida. We left bright and early (6 am) to start our trip.

On the way down through NC and SC to get to I-95, we drove through several small towns. If I’d had time, I would have particularly liked to have stopped in Bennettsville, SC. I drove right past the county courthouse.

Marlboro County Courthouse – photo from Wikipedia

After getting onto I-95, I unfortunately hit several spots of hard rain, but the rest of the trip to Jacksonville was fine. I wanted to stop in Savannah to take Kaleya to the Juliette Gordon Lowe birthplace since she joined the GIrl Scouts this year, but the Savannah area was one that was struck by heavy rain so I nixed that.

I’ve only been to Jacksonville once before, back at least 10 years ago when Kalonji had a Navy culinary school to attend in St. Augustine.  In Jacksonville, I stopped to visit with cousins of mine whom I’d never met and I spent the night with a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in 14 years!  On the way into town, I crossed a beautiful bridge, the Dames Point Bridge.

Dames Point Bridge

My cousin is an avid photographer and of course he snapped some pics of us.  He also has a lot of family photos so we talked about the family and we went through some of the pictures.  He and his wife were so nice – they treated Kaleya and I to lunch – and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I have some info now to send them on how they can work on their family tree and archive their pictures.

Cousin Chris shows us her garden
with cousins Lawrence and Oliver
Cousin Oliver looks over family photos


After visiting with them, I went over to my friend’s house and rested up. Of course we had to take a group pic of her with her two kids!

my friend Nicole and her kids

Then, Monday morning we departed on the road again to get down to Spring Hill, FL where my Mommy lives. On the way down, my cousin warned me that Highway 301 was a speed trap and sure enough it was. I saw no less than 6 Sheriff cars pulling people over. There is even a sign to warn you – I thought that was hilarious! But, apparently, Lawty has many years of history with the AAA as a speed trap area.

speed trap sign. photo not mine, but from

I heeded all speed limit signs and made it down to Spring Hill w/o incident. Yeah!

w/ my Mommy!


Over the course of these two days we traveled 543 miles (ignore the blip at the top – a location artifact from Google Latitude)

543 miles traveled

More pictures from the trip can be found here.

Visit to the Sciquarium

The vacation adventures continued on Saturday, July 13th when Kaleya and I visited the Greensboro Science Center Zoo, Museum and Aquarium.  I visited with my aunt and cousin – as well as a friend and her daughter. We had a wonderful time!!!

The Aquarium part of the center, the “Sciquarium,” has only been open a few weeks and is a major draw for traffic right now. It took us awhile to find a parking space but it was well worth it. We started in the Sciquarium and then did the Zoo and other parts.  Who knew you could pet a stingray? I don’t think I’d ever seen a swimming cat before. And the penguins were just freakin’ adorable!

Taneya & Kaleya pose
Anaconda snake
Kaleya & E with an alligator

We were able to see tigers and tortoises as well.

Tortoises getting fed
Tiger looks like it’s coming for her doesn’t it?

At the end of the day, we were next to a park and my cousin wanted to go check out the paddle boats. She had fond memories of one of my now deceased aunts, Ella, having taken her out in the paddle boats and spending hours just enjoying the peace and quiet. Sure enough, we all ended up on the paddle boats on this day. I didn’t see that one coming! At first I was hesitant to get in the boat – questioning its ability to hold us all, but of course it did. Once on the boat, I settled in and just enjoyed being on the lake. I could definitely do that again.

view from the paddle boat

All in all, a great, but exhausting day. It was great to hang out with my family and friend. 🙂 More pics can be found here.

Nostalgia on Steroids

Day 5 of our vacation (Friday July 12th) was dedicated to some family history.  Each year growing up, my parents moved a lot and as a result, I lived in a different place each year from K-5 and I went to a different school each year also. We were living in Greensboro, so since I was going to be in town visiting my father, I decided to document each house/apartment and document each school.  Then, I will create a page on my Genealogy Blog for each year and document where we lived, where I went to school and any other notable memories from each year. I can’t wait!

Now, knowing where we lived took some extraction from my parents. 🙂 It has been 27 years since they first moved to Greensboro. They pegged the locations of our homes, and I remembered all my schools. I then plotted them all on a Google Map.

map of all my homes and schools in Greensboro from 1980-1985.

After plotting them on the map, I set out to go from place to place. While I didn’t get the exact locations of some of our residences, I feel my quest was quite an accomplishment. I am looking forward to creating my pages.

Then, after doing my city escapade, I had a chance to meet a cousin of mine that I’ve never met. He is a physician and practices in downtown Greensboro so I went by and we chatted for about 30 minutes. His mom just turned 100 years old.  He is actually a double cousin of mine, as his parents are both related to me. I was glad I was able to meet him.

I had a busy but productive day. Kaleya just came along for the ride and enjoyed the evening watching Disney shows.  Another great day down.



A Day Off and a Day Out

To continue the posts re our vacation, we took Wednesday off as a leisure day.  After two days on the road, we definitely needed it! Didn’t leave the house until dinner time. 🙂  On Thursday however, we hit the streets again – with a visit to the Greensboro Public Library and a visit to the Greensboro Children’s Museum.

I wanted to go to the public library so that I could see what they had in their genealogy collection.  Given the volunteer work I do for the NCGenWeb Project, I wanted to take a look at their resources. I also wanted to pull a few obituaries from the local newspaper.  Fortunately, they have digital microfilm machines but unfortunately, I quickly tired of scrolling through newspapers. So, I didn’t get as many as I’d originally planned.

digital microfilm machines at the Greensboro Public Library

Their monograph collection is good so I browsed and found some books that I didn’t know existed and identified a few follow-up tasks. Kaleya was a trooper while there and watched Netflix while I was busy working away.

part of the genealogy collection

After the public library, we jaunted across the street and went to the Greensboro Children’s Museum – that was great! It is basically a big play area with all kinds of scenarios in place – a train depot, a plane, a campground, a firetruck, racing car, wall climbing, post office, health clinic, construction zone, television news station and more. It was great fun!

in front of the Greensboro Children’s Museum
in the big red chair
Kaleya “drives” the train
Kaleya going aboard the plane
Kaleya cooks!
Receptionist Kaleya
successful operation!


We then topped the afternoon off with frozen yogurt from Sweet Frog.

Sweet Frog frozen yogurt.

What a great day! Only a few of our pictures are in this post – the rest can be viewed here.