Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I know that some of you (Hi, Mom!) have been waiting for a Luray Caverns post. Never one to let down my readers, I will present to you The Tale of the Way Coolest Adventure in the Way Coolest and Most Bad Ass Place Ever!

Notice how eager and excited Team Stimey—or Team Surly, as I sometimes call them—looks in this photo. Please take note of my vise-like grip on two of them. Don't we look happy and relaxed?

We were Alex was smart enough to pack us a picnic lunch before our million-hour drive to the caverns. Unfortunately, we sat down to have our picnic near some Boy Scouts. I'm treading on thin ice even bringing this up here because Alex and I have a very serious issue when it comes to the Boy Scouts. This is not something you want to mention to him if you are a visitor to my home.

I wish this photo more adequately captured the look on his face. Surly indeed.

I think part of the surly was also because Alex was convinced that we were embarking on a super-lame trip. He thought the caverns were going to be dumb and, I quote, "Fifty dollars we'll never see again." He changed his tune almost immediately once we went down in the caverns.

I took about a million photos, but they all kind of look like this:

But that's pretty cool, don't you think?

If you haven't scrolled down to the next photo yet, wait a minute. Let me ask you a question first. If you had a child who tends to wander away from you and you were going into a dank underground cave, what would you dress him in?

Would it be camouflage?

I think that just may be my favorite photo of all time. What on earth was I thinking, buying Jack, of all people, a camouflage sweatshirt?

You don't have to make reservations to go to Luray Caverns, and kids five and under are free. Plus, if you take your Giant card, your second adult ticket is half price. There are signs posted that say that tours happen every five to 20 minutes, but there were no guide-led tours when we were there. Everyone who paid for a ticket gets a self-guided audio tour.

And if your child, who didn't pay for a ticket, looks hopeful enough and you kinda beg, they will give you an audio player for him too.

He wore it for about three minutes. Eventually Alex and I both had extra audio players around our necks. Alex listened to the adult version of the tour. Sam and I listened to the kid version. It was fascinating.

But mostly we just looked around in awe.

There were many, many people in the caverns the day we went, but sometimes we were almost alone in a corridor or a room. The place is HUGE. It takes about an hour to walk through the caverns.

Of course, one of the things the kid audio tour tells you about is the "ghost" of Luray Caverns. That ghost is a white column. But Sam didn't know that when he told Quinn about it. Quinn immediately decided he wanted to go home.

"Is there a ghost? Is there a ghost?" he kept asking.

"No, sweetie, there's not," I would say.

"But, Mom! The thing says there's a ghost!" Sam would insist.

And then we were right back to, "Is there a ghost? Is there a ghost? I wanna go home."

And so on.

I have to say, Luray Caverns was way cool. Alex agrees that it was way cool. Other than a little nervousness about there maybe being a ghost, my kids thought it was way cool. You should go.

It's kind of a trip to think about caverns like that just existing under the ground. The formations that water and rock can create are phenomenal. The natural world is pretty incredible.

It was a good end to Ology Week at Camp Stimey.


  1. Great pictures! I love that place! My daughter (4 at the time) had a meltdown in the big maze next door, but the day as a whole was a success. Go Team Stimey.

  2. Yay!!! And, good luck with the boy scout problem. (I linked over to your other article.) I hate it when Jason and I are divided on issues that there really is no compromise. Sometimes there clearly is a winner and a loser. Not too cool. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

  3. On the Boy Scouts: Luckily, my husband and I are in agreement on this one. No Boy Scouts for our son...Certainly not when his most-beloved uncle actually did volunteer work for Lambda Legal during the Supreme Court hearings. It's a no-brainer for us.

    But it's not for our friends, and this has often raised issues there. I don't begrudge anyone their own decision on this point, but my feelings are VERY strong (I once referred to the Scouts as a hate group on an email list and got, um, a significant reaction), and that makes people uncomfortable.

    It's definitely hard.

    What's not hard is how cute your kids are, and how awesome you guys are for all the stuff you're doing with them.

    But yeah. Camouflage for Jack? Maybe not your finest Moment in Logic. ;-)

  4. Luray Caverns was the one thing I wish I had a chance to get to before I moved out of Virgina. It looks so cool.

  5. The camouflage photo is awesome! It actually took me a while to find him!

  6. That picture of Jack in camouflage made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Once I found Jack that is.

    On a side note, Joseph talked about wanting to join the scouts for a while so I told him I wouldn't NOT allow him to join but I did want to let him know their policy on gay scouts and leaders. His reaction was "That's so dumb. Why do they care who people love? I don't want to be a Boy Scout anymore." Probably one of my proudest parenting moments.

  7. O.M.G. Camouflage??? Helloooooo, Stimey???? I spewed water on my husband's computer when I saw that. (Ahem, we won't tell him, though; it'll be our little secret, k?)

    Thankful we don't have to deal with the scouting issue yet. Kinda doubting we will, but you never know.

  8. We're very much on the fence about Boy Scouts here too.

    And Jack in camo? Bahahahaha!

  9. Looks fantastic! We plan to go there in August!

  10. Wow, beautiful! To think we never went when we lived in the DC area.

    Next time, get Jack a camouflage glow-in-the-dark shirt!

  11. The camouflage picture made me laugh out loud. It's a good thing I'm alone in the office.

    Caves are cool. Take them to the catacombs in Paris - there are skulls and bones down there.

  12. That camo picture is awesome!

  13. Jack totally blends into the wall in that picture, crazy! I don't think I'm quite up to taking my kids there yet...maybe in a few years. It sounds cool though! Thanks for making me think about the Boy Scout issue- I knew about their policies, but hadn't really thought about the direct impact on my (or my son's life). I think I'm with you on this one...

  14. Holy crap, when I first glimpsed at that photo of the little guy in campflage, I DIDN'T SEE HIM. That eas FREAKY.

    As for scouts, haven't we already started Team Stimey? What's wrong with starting our own "Scouting"? Team Stimey Rocks!!! We loved being Stimey Rangers for a day!

    Hey, we can make up patches and everything. I have an embroidery machine (we could even learn how to work it!)

  15. Oh, it takes FOREVER to get there, doesn't it?!?! I made the mistake of letting DH talk me into going there one year right after I'd had the flu. He swore it would only be an hour in the car to get there. Over two hours and about fifteen 'You're Almost There!' signs later, I was pooped already.

    DH and I have the exact same disagreement about Boy Scouts. It makes me sick thinking about him being in it, but DH was a scout, loved it, and wants to be a Dungeonmaster or whatever they are. I am trying to be open minded and convince myself that change happens best from within, so maybe it would be better if we were in it. I'm hoping that with karate and maybe an instrument soon he won't be interested, anyway. Josie would rather die than be a GS, so it was never an issue, thankfully. GS isn't as cool as BS (haha) anyway; I remember a lot of sewing and crap from my very brief foray into it.


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