A Family Outing: Luray Caverns

The Luray Caverns (near Luray, Virginia) were discovered in 1878, and they are a Registered Natural Landmark. The Friday before Labor Day, we visited the Luray Caverns in Virginia. We attempted to go in 2015 (the same weekend), but the caverns were packed. That time, we drove by and saw the overflow parking lots were filled. So this year we went early and arrived right when the caverns were open. There was already a tour bus there, so we didn’t make it on the first tour, but we did make it on the second! The tours leave every 20 minutes, and each tour does have a guide.

The caverns aren’t super cheap to visit. Right now, the general admission cost is $27 for adults and $14 for children (6-12). If you’re a military family, you can visit your base’s Leisure Travel Services for discounted tickets. If you don’t have tickets when you get there, you have to go through one line to buy the tickets and then a second line to actually get into the caverns, so I’d recommend buying your tickets ahead of time, so you only have to worry about one line. Tickets can be purchased online.

The walkways within the caverns are paved, which was a good thing! The tour is over a mile long (in a loop), so we brought the stroller. I figured Little J would be tired, bored and crabby after 30 minutes or so, and the tour takes about an hour. Parts of the walkway were still bumpy, and there are a lot of hills, but it really wasn’t too bad for the stroller. There are about 70 steps to get down into and then out of the caverns. We had to close up the stroller for that part and carry it.

Tips: Don’t touch anything!!!!! If you touch any of the stalactites or stalagmites, you will get yelled at. You can take as many as photos as you’d like, so that’s a plus! Also, it’s cold in the caverns, so bring a light jacket! And don’t leave your tour guide. They don’t like that.

Your ticket purchase also includes a self-guided tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan museum, and the Luray Valley Museum. I actually really enjoyed the car museum. It had old Cadillacs, Benzs, Fords, and more. I love history, so it was neat to read the plaques and see the vehicles that other generations grew up with.

Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to Luray, and we would do it again. If you’re ever in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, I recommend checking out Luray Caverns.

Have you been to Luray Caverns? If not these caverns, have you been to other caverns? Which ones?

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The Ultimate Coffee Date Link-Up

Okay, I was supposed to post this Saturday, but life got in the way! Jill Conyers from Fitness, Health, and Happiness; Nikki from Grab Your Kicks; and Lynda from Fitnessmomwinecountry are co-hosting the Ultimate Coffee Date the first Saturday of every month.

Anyone can join in! If you’re a blogger, you can link up your post at Jill’s. Not a blogger? Join in by using the comment box at the bottom of this post.

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you how excited and nervous I am about moving to Maryland this summer. Although I’ll miss the friends I’ve made here in Southern Virginia, we’ll be close enough for them to visit if they like. I look forward to meeting new people, and most of all, I can’t wait to have my husband actually living with us!

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you that I ran after dark on Friday night and totally biffed! My mother-in-law is visiting and watched my son for me, while I ran around the neighborhood. There’s a stretch along the road where there’s no sidewalk for some reason…it just randomly disappears for about 10 feet. I didn’t want to run on the road, since there were cars coming, so I ran through the grass/sticks, and tripped right over a tree root! I tore up the knees on my almost brand-new capris, but I think I can turn them into running shorts. A patch of skin is also missing off my right knee, and now the area is infected, yuck.

I thought about putting one of my infected knee photos up, but I think it would gross you out!

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you how addicted I get to shows on Netflix. I’ll binge and watch two or three seasons of something in a row. I’m not alone in this, right? You do it too, don’t you?!

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you I’m thankful for my friends and family. Never take them for granted, because you don’t know how little time you may have with them. Several friends have lost loved ones recently, so this has struck home.

If we were having coffee this morning I would tell you that I’ve been slacking lately with both my diet and exercise. I’m not working as hard as I should and need to stop being lazy! I need to get out of this funk, because warm weather is coming soon; I can’t hide under sweatshirts and hoodies much longer. How do you motivate yourself to be active?

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If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?
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Taking Your Family to the Hospital: How to Take Care of Them in Time of Need


Hospital Bed

When a family member has a medical condition that requires hospitalization, it is a time of stress for the patient as well as the family. However, it is in the best interest of the patient and family to be aware of the patient’s needs and of the care being received, and to make the effort to see that the facility giving the medical attention is not negligent and has the procedures in place to earn the patient’s and family’s trust.

Medical Team Response

Monitor the concern of the emergency or admission medical staff to the patient. Response time for taking vital signs, X-Rays, and any other necessary procedures for an accurate diagnosis should be performed in a timely manner relative to the gravity of the patient’s condition. This is the time to be assertive on behalf of your family member and ask questions to assure yourself and the patient that the diagnosis is reasonable and appropriate.

Patient Care Admission

Once the diagnosis is made and is agreed upon by the patient, family, and medical staff, it is important that the patient gets the proper care upon admission.

Care would consist of continued vital sign monitoring, proper medication at the correct time, surgery if required, and the medical staff notifying the patient’s designated family member of any changes to or concern for the patient’s care.

Family Visitation

When a family member is admitted to the hospital, the primary concern is for them to receive the proper care but also for them to rest and recuperate.

A family visit can lift the patient’s spirits, but it is also an opportunity to check the patient for possible bedsores and to view the care and response of the medical staff assigned to your family member; if it is noted the nursing staff is not as quick to respond to medication requirements or other care required, then this is the time to voice your concern and ask for the situation to be corrected.

In conclusion, the best patient advocate is the designated family member, and they have the right and duty to question medical staff that is in authority for changes to care and any other concerns that arise during the patient’s duration of care. Assertiveness by the family member can avoid malpractice and egregious errors by the medical staff and is one way to feel confident the patient will receive the proper attention and an easier recovery.

Author Bio:

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing about home and family and spending time with her dog, Max. Information credit to Gittens & Associates, lawyers specializing in personal injury law and car accident in Newfoundland.

Note: I was compensated for this posting this sponsored article. Any opinions written above are the author’s and may differ from yours.

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