Back in April my cousin Michelle invited us to their new (and gorgeous!) home in Virginia for a family reunion! My husband and I had already visited them back in January for her 30th birthday party at their new house, but we were very excited to go back especially with the whole clan (minus my cousin Gaby, who couldn’t join us this time 🙁 ).
My cousin seems to live close to all the best places in the area! So during this trip we went to a couple wineries, Washington DC, National Harbor in Maryland, Old Town in Alexandria, and Georgetown in DC!
Stone Tower Winery, Virginia
On our first official day there, Michelle and her boyfriend Che, took us to Stone Tower Winery. The route was quite scenic and hilly. In the winery, we found ourselves a nice little area under a tree to enjoy our picnic. At some point it started pouring but Michelle found us the best spot inside the tasting area right next to the performer. We danced, we laughed, we enjoyed lots of wonderful wine and had the most memorable time as a little family of 15 people. 😉 This was also the day when my dear son had the nerve to tell me “Mommy, auntie (Michelle) is cuter than you!” 😯 🙄 😆 He’s been in love with her since he was 1… he’ll be 4 in a few weeks.
We took the metro to get to DC. We walked around the National Mall area and had lunch and lots of ice cream (the heat this day was brutal, not that I need an excuse for ice cream, but a hot day seems like a reasonable one 😉 !). At some point my son was eating a SpongeBob popsicle and accidentally dropped it. He cried so much thinking that SpongeBob had died. 🙁 It took a while to help him get over that and understand that it was only a popsicle… no life involve whatsoever.
We didn’t visit the monuments since we had already seen them and the heat was too harsh to drag the children around from monument to monument. We only visited the National Air and Space Museum. The boys had fun with the interactive exhibits and we all had a nice rest from the heat.
Paradise Springs Winery, VA
Our day at this winery was ideal. We went on a Monday so everything was very quiet, not too many people, plus the boys had the entire lawn for them to play. However, at some point we moved indoors to escape the heat. The boys were sweating too much and needed a break. We loved the lawn and trees of this winery. There was a beautiful green scenery everywhere you looked.
4th of July
We celebrated Independence Day at my cousin’s house with a BBQ, pool, motorcycle rides and fireworks! 🙂 The boys were thrilled to get a short motorcycle ride with Che… my mom was excited too and joined them in their ride 😆 ! They loved going down hill, because they felt “ticklish” on their bellies! 😆
National Harbor in Maryland
This place is so full of surprises and things to do. Our first stop was at the Carousel. I was surprised to see how cheap the rides were. For only $7 you could get unlimited carousel rides. My son got 10! That would have been $25 in Boston. So I was super excited to find out their prices! 🙂
Our next stop was at the Capital Wheel, from which we got great panoramic views of the harbor and river. At the Harbor we also visited: the Awakening Sculpture (a giant man buried in sand), Peeps and Company store (a fun store to visit with kids), and public art and statues. My brother and his family traveled back to Boston on that day, so they only joined us for half of the day.
Old Town in Alexandria
I fell in love with this place from the moment we arrived. I loved everything about it, from the narrow charming houses to the gas lamps on the buildings… the waterfront area and the many restaurants and boutiques. This town is very quaint and definitely a must-see. We had the best dinner at the Fish Market.
On our last day of the trip, we went to Georgetown. Here we took a boat tour along the Potomac River with live narration from the Captain. We saw national monuments and famous landmarks, such as: the Washington monument, The Pentagon, Watergate complex, Kennedy Center, Jefferson Memorial, etc. Then we relaxed a bit at a local restaurant, did a little shopping in the downtown area and had dinner at Bodega.
Meanwhile, the boys went to a ball game at the Nationals Park (Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves).
It was so nice to reconnect and share this week with my close maternal family, like in the good old days. I really cherish the time spent with family and good friends… so this week was definitely special to me. I feel very grateful with my beautiful cousin Michelle and her other half, Che, for planning this memorable reunion and welcoming us into their beautiful home! 🙂