Girls Only Trip - Day 2

Zoe woke up bright and early on Day 2 of our trip. She spent the next 45 minutes trying to wake Maddie up. Once they were both up, the girls immediately put on their bathing suits and went down to the pool.

The immediately returned from the pool, because there was a sign that said one must be age 14 or older to swim in the pool without an adult. We tried to convince them that it would be okay to break those rules - they are really just guidelines. Plus, no one would question how old either of these girls is (they could pass for a small 14). PLUS, no one was in the pool. It was 7am, for goodness sake. AND, both of them are strong swimmers who would be looking out for each other.

But, the girls are rule followers to the core. So, Vicky took off to the pool with them.

I enjoyed a few minutes to myself, but quickly got lonely. I went down to the pool to look for the three of them, but no one was there. I checked the bathroom and the complimentary breakfast area. No luck. I rode the elevator 3 times, checking the room each time. I thought that they may be looking for me and we were passing each other up in the elevator. After another quick check of the pool and the restrooms, I ventured outside to check out the van.

I found them sitting on the patio, eating cherries and grapes for breakfast.

After breakfast, the girls decided that they wanted to swim some more.

Then, it was time to work out in the weight room.

Then, it was time to get their hair done.

Then, it was time to try out all the coffee and tea samples in the room. (I'm proud to say that I taught them well, and they quickly turned their noses up at the powder creamer).

By now, it was 10am, and the girls were ready for something new. Plus, we knew that we had a LONG day ahead of us.

Our next stop was the Seldom Seen Coal Mine. That name just cracks me up. I actually remember going here on a 4th grade field trip. It was a bit tricky to find, and we had to ask a few folks along the way. I was surprised how many people who live and/or work within 5 miles of the place had never heard of it.

Once upon a time, this had been a real, working coal mine. It opened in 1939, and 1963 was it's last year of production. Since then, it has been operating as a tourist attraction. In recent years, it has become a non-profit organization run almost completely by volunteers.

We were very excited to put on our hard hats and go on the underground tour.

We road in an authentic coal car from the visitors' center into the mine.

Our tour guide was PHENOMENAL. He was a descendant of a coal miner family, and shared an incredible amount of information. After a few minutes of total darkness, we were able to view all of the main areas of a coal mine. They displayed authentic equipment that is rarely seen in coal mine tours. We were able to get out of the rail car for a bit (with hardhats on) and experience how coal is mined.

I am not giving this tour justice with my words. I would have to say that this is the single best historical tour that I've been on (next to Monticello) - and, having lived in Washington, D.C. for many years, I have been on quite a few. I am surprised that it is not more widely known about, and saddened that it does not get the attention or funding it needs.

We were certainly not done for the day, but I am done writing for tonight. We squeezed so much into our trip, I'm getting tired just thinking about it!!


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