Our Big Road Trip to Charleston, West Virginia

There was so much we did over this past weekend that I don’t even know where to begin.

We went on a road trip to Charleston, West Virginia to see my husband’s cousin, his wife, and their son. Just one weekend ago, we drove up to Pennsylvania to hang out with our friends. You can read my posts about the weekend trip to Phillie here and here. Why do we travel so much before we leave? It is just what we seem to end up doing before we leave home for an overseas assignment.

On Saturday morning we drove about 6 hours southwest of Washington, D.C. with one 5-year-old and one 2-year-old. After two movies, one nap (except for the driver, thank goodness), and a bathroom/lunch break, we arrived in Charleston. It was my very first time in West Virginia.

We got there in the evening, so we visited a bit at our hotel and then decided to go out for dinner. We wanted to go somewhere unique to the area, so we went to check out the Capitol Market, which was only a few-minute walk from our hotel, but unfortunately it closed at 5:00 p.m. and we were too late. We walked to a shopping mall which was only 5 minute walk from the hotel and settled to eat at a seafood restaurant. Good thing about this was that I’ve got to go to Gymboree inside the mall after dinner and bought a few things on sale including a straw hat for my older daughter she’s wearing in the photos below.

On Sunday morning, we all went out for a walk. The sky looked like it was about to pour, but we took a chance. We first walked towards the Capitol Market again for the second time. Unfortunately, the market didn’t open until noon on Sunday and we were there too early. It wasn’t meant for us! We walked towards the State Capitol and kids played in the open area. It was great to see that our kids and my husband’s cousin’s son already warmed up to each other especially knowing we didn’t have much time left till we’ll part again.

Bluegrass Kitchen

My husband found Bluegrass Kitchen online and we had lunch there after a walk in the city. It was apparently one of the best restaurants in town. I believe so! We liked the ambience, food and decor. it was great to go with little kids, too. I ordered “Green Egg and Ham” for my older daughter. Yes, just like Dr. Seuss story. My daughter commented that the ham was not green, but she certainly liked it.

Bayer Symphony Sunday 2010

We went to an annual event, Bayer Symphony Sunday 2010, at University of Charleston. They had great food, nice music, and fun craft fair. It looked like the whole city came out to the event. It was quite an American cultural experience to me and I loved it. We bought food at the festival for dinner. It felt like we blended in with the locals. I absolutely love having experiences like this when I travel.

Swiftwater Cafe

Before we hit the road to head home, we decided to have breakfast together at a restaurant as opposed to having breakfast at the hotel. We went to Swiftwater Cafe located only a few blocks away from our hotel. It was my husband’s cousin and his wife’s idea to try some place unique to the city and I felt very fortunate. Traveling with people of similar values definitely makes experiences more interesting and fun! The breakfast we had was pretty good and the prices were hard to beat.

It was wonderful to see our family. This past weekend was nothing but fun and relaxing. You might think “how could you travel so often before a big pack-out?” The truth is, I don’t know! It’s actually healthier for our minds. Since we have prepared for the move little by little over the past month, it wasn’t like we had a ton of stuff to do over the weekend anyways. I’m very happy that we made this trip. West Virginia was lush and beautiful. Even the drive home was entertaining as we drove between the mountains.

It’s time for us to tell our atlas good-bye. It has seen better days… I love looking at maps. We can’t afford to have a GPS, but I think I enjoy maps too much to purchase one.


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