visiting luray caverns (and eating at the biggest picnic table ever)!!

 i LOVE checking things off our d.c. bucket list- i feel like we are making stellar progress after a little lull amidst the cold winter weather. luray caverns has been on my list to see since we arrived, so we were thrilled when they gave us tickets to visit! it officially gave us the excuse to make the drive through the shenandoah valley- talk about pretty. virginia knows pretty. i can't even imagine how much better it would've been in the fall! it made me miss those pretty utah mountains...
 cold! coldcoldcoldcold. it was so cold. 
i didn't want to carry coats (it's 60 gloriously humid degrees inside!), so we jetted from our car in the 9 degree temps into the gift shops while we waited for our group to gather. gift shops!! delight!
we went in a tour through the caves, and other than jude being loud, it was really fun to learn as we walked. also, we told jude batman lived there, so he spent most of his time yelling, "BATMAN!? YOU HOME!?"  :)

sidenote: i said this last night on instagram, but growing out kid bangs will be the death of me. we've been at this since SEPTEMBER! WHY WON'T THEY GROW FASTER!? everyday i try to bribe elle to let me cut bangs again. it's not working. her hair is so soft and straight and whips they just stick STRAIGHT UP! bangs. darn you.
 ^^ that reflection is on point! this is dream lake- the biggest of the lakes inside the caverns (even though it isn't deep... although it appears deep?). so cool! 
the story of how the caverns were discovered in the late 1800's is really cool (this little blurb sums it up great). 

my favorite part of the day was when our guide turned off all the lights... talk about PITCH BLACK. literally, you couldn't see your hand directly in front of your face! (jude was not a fan.)
the kind souls around us donated pennies for the kids to throw in the wishing well (lazy mom also left her wallet in the car = no coins), and we even got to hear the great stalactite organ play! such a great place- i'm so glad we were able to check it out!!
when it was time to go, we were starving. thanks to yelp, we found blue wing frog (yes, legit name). not only was everything homemade (including their breads, catsup, mustard, desserts, and most everything you could think of) but they're also home to the biggest picnic table ever (at least by my standards. i'm not sure how anything could be bigger- i could hardly get on it)! i hate that pictures don't do justice. it literally was up to my shoulders.
my chicken salad sandwich was YUMMY! the kids shared a grilled cheese, and mike had a ham & cheese sandwich, along with 2 bottled-something drinks, and we got a slice of cake. because the owner talked us into WAY more food than we actually needed:) he was very convincing! he told us about him, his wife, and their story, as well as the story of the restaurant, name, and that table! basically we spent far too much on food, but it was valentines weekend, so we figured it was a romantic "picnic" dinner as a family:)  totally worth the adventure for sure.
thanks for the day, virginia!

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