Thursday, September 27, 2012


Every year the maple tree in our front yard puts on this amazing show of brilliant colors.  This morning when I walked out I saw the first glimpse of that show....

Pretty soon the entire tree will be covered in oranges and reds that even a box of crayons would be jealous of!!! 

While out there this morning I also saw this fella....

That would be one ginormous spider!  EEK.  I'll have Mark do something with him when he gets home! 

Yes the temperatures are coming down and the leaves are starting to turn....must be fall in Virginia :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Love

Mark...the Birthday Boy

This weekend we spent some time with good friends and celebrated three birthdays. Friday we spent most of the night out on the deck feeding mosquitoes and catching up with our friends.    Sunday my son and my mother-in-law turned another year older and today Mark does the same.  Since they all have birthdays right here close together celebrated them all with one big dinner.  Can someone say super-awesome?  Other than that it was a pretty chill weekend.  I had big plans to paint our front door and fix some freezer meals but those things some how just didn't happen.  I always have next weekend.....right?     :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Playing in the Garden

With the weather changing from sticky hot to cool and comfortable I can get back out in the yard and back to playing in the dirt.  And this year we have the new fence so it's nice to sit on the deck and take it all in.  Since it's Friday I'm sure we'll be spending the evening sipping wine and counting the mosquito bites :)

We've spent the last two weekends away so were staying close to home this weekend.  But still lots of things planned!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Colonial Beach

While exploring the Northern Neck region this last weekend, Mark and I made a stop in Colonial Beach.  Located on the Potomac the town itself started as a get-a-way for people living in Washington D.C.  I think the draw today is that you can enjoy the sandy beaches and still feel like you are in a small hometown.  Residents get around town on golf carts and there seemed to be a church on every corner. 

Not knowing what we would find in the town we had made arrangements to stay at Breakers Bed and Breakfast.  Along with The Tides Inn, Breakers is a cute spot to stop and spend a night.  There were a few other small hotels/motels in the area but even with the summer fading the area was busy with tourists coming and going, so I'm glad we made prior arrangements. This particular B & B is just down the street from High Tides Restaurant and The Black Pearl Tiki Bar :)  Can you guess where we had dinner and stopped to listen to the band play?

Breakers Bed and Breakfast

This baby was in our bathroom :)

Our room

Wine is served on the porch at 5 o'clock

Tides Inn just across the street from The Breakers

Food and Music just two short blocks away

We could sit on the front porch and hear the music playing from down the street.  The breeze off the water mixed with the music and the wine left out on the porch chilling made for a more relaxed Momma....and since we had Emma I needed all the help relaxing I could get.  Terrible 2s....need I say more?

On the deck at High Tide Restaurant

There is a pier for fishing, a half dozen or so other restaurants near by a gourmet food shop to grab a few goodies and everything is within walking distance.  If your willing to go for a short drive there are two wineries, Oak Crest and Ingleside, to tour and do tastings.  We've been to both....I blogged about them here.  There is also George Washington's Birthplace and Robert E. Lee's Birthplace available nearby to tour.  Of course Westmoreland State park is also just a short drive south of here.  Plenty to do and lots of beautiful Virginia to see.

I'll just park myself here please :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Westmoreland State Park

Last year, while on a little excursion, Mark and I found Westmoreland State Park.  But at the time the area had just been hit by a hurricane and the park was closed to visitors.  I have had it in my head since then to go back and visit.  This last weekend turned out to be the perfect time to return. 

The park has all the usual things you would expect to find at one of Virginia's State Parks.  Camping, cabins, hiking trails, a visitor center, a playground for the little ones.  But this park also has two beachy areas, paddle boat rentals and views of the Potomac River that are just knock your socks off. 

To visit the park you pay only $4.  We started our visit with a driving tour.  We figured our best bet was to get Emma out of the car and moving fast so the first thing we did was hike to Fossil Beach.  This is said to be a good spot to look for shark teeth.  We didn't find any....but we really were not looking hard either.

This trail leads to Fossil Beach

Views of the cliffs

The far end of the beach

The trail to get down wasn't longer than a mile.  At some points it was pretty steap but Mark could manage easily carrying Emma.  There weren't more than 20-30 other visitors down here so it was a peaceful spot to just stop and relax.

Before heading back we checked out the boardwalk

From the boardwalk

Still lots of trees down from last year's hurricane

Back up at the trail head is the visitor center

A short trip to the other end of the park and you come to the picnic/fishing area.  There is a swimming pool (open during the summer only) and a shop to buy bait and a few supplies.

You can rent the paddle boats and kayaks here

Yes that is a nest on top of the gazebo

One of the cabins

What I don't like about the cabins in the State Parks is that they require you stay a minimum of two nights.  We tend to only do two nights if we can get off early on Friday because of travel time.  It seems a waste since some of the cabins go empty...but at least for us it gives us a reason to try somewhere new. 

I really enjoyed the park over all.  Next time we'll make sure that Emma is in the mood to walk (she wanted carried the entire time).  There were still plenty of other trails we didn't get to hike.  Until next time....happy travels folks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Fun

Over the weekend our little blog turned 1 year old!!!  And to celebrate we did what we love to do....we went exploring another part of Virginia :)  This time we ended up in Colonial Beach.  We hit up Westmoreland State park first and stayed over night at The Breakers.  It was a great weekend get away.  I'll post more on the weekend excurtions during the week.  In the mean time....happy Monday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Northern Virginia's Wine Country

As I said before....if you suddenly find yourself with a lot of free time on your country is not such a bad place to be.  Since the Tough Mudder Race, we were supposed to run, got cancelled on Sunday we decided on an alternate plan.  As we travelled back into Virginia from Maryland we stopped at three wineries.  Mark and I had hit on on Saturday before meeting up with our friends.  So four new wineries to add to our winery list :)

First stop on Saturday was at Hiddencroft Vineyards.  This beautiful stop came with a tasting house and a barn.  We arrived later in the day and close to their time to close.  I was a little scared they would rush us through just to get us out.  But they had music playing in the barn and they were staying open a little late :)  We came away with a bottle of Grandma's Love Potion, Cherry and Dutchman's Creek. 

Through here to the tasting house

The tasting house

Due to the race being cancelled and everyone being in a foul mood we decieded to open the wine we bought Saturday very early on Sunday morning (think 12:30 am kinda early)....that led to three empty bottles and me skipping the tasting at the first two stops on Sunday....hahaha.  I still had a good time!

The first stop along Highway 9 on Sunday was at Loudoun Valley Vineyards.

We bought a bottle of the Dynasty

Stop number two was at 8 Chains North.  Close to a couple farms and tucked off the highway just a bit this place was really nice. 

Our mess of a crew

Now that is a patio

Lots of seating areas with a Moracan theme going on

Our final stop along Highway 9 was at the Hunter's Run Wine Barn.  The owners of this winery are two sisters from Ireland.  There is a pub feel to the place with lots of Irish decorating going on.  Very cute and very cozy. 

Upstairs loft for little ones to play. 

The day was pretty awesome despite the fact we didn't get to run our race.  We could either get a refund or transfer to another site to race.  We're all switching to the Virginia Beach Race in 2013.  A few more photos from the day to finish this posting off.

And no....I hadn't drank too much!