Tuesday, July 31, 2012

High Bridge Trail State Park

Saturday we crossed another State Park off of our list of sites to see.  We visited and biked a portion of The High Bridge Trail Park in central Virginia.  To say exactly where this park is located is a somewhat lengthy chore...it's located along 31 miles of abandoned railways in Nottoway County, Cumberland County, Prince Edward County and Farmville.  Donated to the state by Norfolk Southern Railway, the old railway is now a trail for hiking, biking and horseback riding.  The main draw to this park is the High Bridge.  Crossing over the Appomattox River, the bridge takes you up over the tree tops for a view that is just awesome!  I could have just stayed out on the bridge for hours (too bad I didn't bring a lunch along).

The Bridge

The view

The Bridge

The view

The Bridge

The View

Between the magnitude of the bridge and the view that it offers I can't tell you what had me more excited. The trail leading up to the bridge was not difficult (unless you were pulling a toddler and carrying a back pack) and along the trail we come across at least two park bathrooms.  There are a number of places to get on the trail but parking is only at select spots.  We jumped on the trail in Rice and planned on biking down as far as Farmville...this was approximately 8 miles.  We knew we would have to bike back so that was as far as we were willing to commit with all the kids along with us.  We took along at least two bottles of water each for the trip and being such a hot day the water gone at least a mile before we made it back to our bus (Mark's vehicle).  We made it to the put in at Farmville and you could see the out skirts of town.  I have to admit I wanted to go a bit further to see what was along the trail closer to town.  I was hoping there were a couple places to grab a bite to eat or something to drink.  But we decided to turn back and make our way back towards the bridge. 

Emma getting packed up to go

One of the 'bathrooms'....really an overgrown outhouse....but it's better than a tree

Crossing Rt. 460

A portion of the trail.  It was all pretty flat and easy

Captain Morgan perhaps?

Small bridge heading into Farmville

Christy about 3 miles from the finish...and really it was a struggle to get
her to the end thought I might have to drag her!

Loading up on water

A family picture :)

My mini stud muffin...hahaha

It was a really fun adventure but a word of advise....don't start your trip at noon....on a really...Really...REALLY hot day and expect that someone won't object.  Do remember to take lots of water or something to drink and take bug spray and sun block (not a lot of shade from mid-morning until evening). 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Love

We really tried to outdo ourselves this time.  We jammed more in this weekend than we have in a long time.  But hey if we didn't then the universe would feel off balance.  I won't get into all the details of what we had going on but I will share a few of the pics from our adventures.

We biked an 8 mile stretch of the High Bridge Trail
State Park

Then we turned around and biked back to our bus

Everyone having breakfast and watching
the Olympics....they are a big deal at our house!

Buster got a bath :-)

The girls even got a new fan

We managed to sneak in dinner with some friends Friday night (we had ice cream for dinner) and I made 8 mini loaves of zucchini bread for the biking adventure.    After biking 16 miles on Saturday we spent most of Sunday chilling around the house and working on a few "to-do" projects for the house.  Nice weekend all around!  Hope yours was as well.  Now to start the week of....ready....set....GO!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

And They're OFF!

There is something exciting about the announcer broadcasting "The horses are in the starting gate"...."And they're off!"  The crowd suddenly goes from calm and collected to screaming and jumping around like a bunch of monkeys from the zoo.  Is it because they have money on a certain horse and are cheering them on?  Maybe just joining in to cheer on a favorite horse?  Could be the alcohol being served at the race :)  Either way this last Saturday was the 15th running of the Virginia Derby.  What?  You didn't know there was a derby other than the Kentucky Derby?  Well yeah!  It's ok....I didn't know Virginia had one either until around the first of this year.  But once I found out I scoped out the date and put it on the calendar! 

Pre race trot around the field???

For our first year attending the Virginia Derby, Mother Nature paid a little trick on us and decided to drop buckets of water on us....isn't she sweet???  But we didn't let it hold us back too much.  The Derby is held at Colonial Downs in New Kent County.  They have several options on how to actually watch the race.  And each options comes with a different price tag, ranging from $5 right on up to $135.  They have indoor options, out door options and 'Hoot on the Hill' options.  We decided on tale gating at the 'Hill' with the Hooters girls :)  For one price everyone legally in your vehicle can get in to watch the race.  So not a bad option for us and our friends that wanted to go.  And yes they do have A Fancy Hat contest.  Next year I will be rocking my own FANCY HAT.  I am sure it will have a wine theme! 

She braved the rain to show off that....hat

One of the jumbo trons

There were 8 races before the BIG race.  If you opt to do the 'Hoot on the Hill' they have a tent set up for placing your bets, a couple jumbo tron screens to help see the races, a band plays pre race (unless it's raining buckets) and then they have a tent set up for the Hooters Girls.  Lots of fun all the way around! 

Emma dancing with he girls

Emma dancing with anyone that will dance...

The rain was a bummer but by race time it had stopped and the races went on without a hitch.  It did leave us with a muddy mess but we knew it would all wash off and we proceeded to have a good time anyway.  I am glad however we took a canopy :)

My sister Tessa and her hubby Marty...they were troopers to put up with the
kids and the mud!

The official winner of the 2012 Virginia Derby and the $600,000 was Silver Max.  He and his rider did a great job!  And they all had the crowd whipped into a frenzy!  I was glad to have experienced it with our family and some friends. 

The Virginia Derby-1 1/2 mile course

Emma was having a 'moment' and her foot
made contact with my torso.  HMPH!
Next year I would still go with the tail gating but I would get there a little earlier.  I would also have a nice talk with Mother Nature and see if I couldn't work out some agreement with her to not have it rain that day or have it 100 degrees.  I'm sure she is a reasonable entity.  Right?!?!?!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Well Color Me Rad

Saturday was certainly a busy day for the Busy Bryants.  We started our morning off with a 5K.  And not just any 5K....but a super, awesome, and definitely colorful 5K.  The Color Me Rad race has you starting off in a white shirt and by the end you look like a hot mess....but in a good way!  By running through color stations you little by little get covered in a natural colored powder.  Sounds a little crazy I know but sooooo much fun :) 

See how nice and clean we look....and see how all 5000 people look....now wait just a minute cause the colors are about to start flying. 

I didn't actually take pictures while running in the race for fear of ruining my phone/camera.  But the idea is...run, go through a color station, run, go through another color station, run some more, go through another color station.  At each station you get a new color.  And then at the end you are given a bag of colored powder and you get to join the color party that happens about every 10 minutes and toss your color....it's really a lot of fun.  A bit dusty...but gorgeous.  This was one of the more family friendly races I've done as well.  Lots of kids, strollers, Mommies and Daddies.  I think it's my new favorite :) 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Love

Another weekend full of new adventures tucked under our belts!  A new 5K (and a new favorite) and our first horse race! 


Giddy up Little Dogie!

Great weekend all the way around.  Fun with family and friends Saturday and relaxing on Sunday.  I'll post more on the fun from both events this week....I PROMISE!  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation Love

We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  Well physically we are back but mentally I think we're still on vacation.  Before we left I told you about the place we would be visiting...but even seeing pictures and hearing about the place I wasn't prepared for just how nice a place it was!  I'll post more on it this week but just a few shots to get the week started :)

Like most vacations, we are so glad to be home....more so this time since we came home from one trip to really just turn around and go on another.  We really missed home.  Glad to be back in good old Virginia! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Are we there yet???

Well we are finally at the start of the weekend.  And the Busy Bryants are coming to the start of another adventure!  This time we are taking our bus and heading out of the state....seems we just did that for some reason ;-)  Anyway....Tomorrow we all board up and head east to the great state of Tennessee.  We're joining 3 other families and staying in a king size home right on a river.  I am super excited!  The other families have been before and came home raving about it so now I am just like a kid wanting to know....ARE WE THERE YET?  You can take a virtual tour of the house here.  I am pretty sure that like our last vacation I will be MIA....sorry folks but adventures take a lot of work!  Until then some pretty pictures from our 4th of July celebration.

I made this cake like I made this one....yummy!

Hope everyone has a great weekend and in case I really do end up MIA then have a great week!  Do something fun...go have an adventure!