Monday, September 21, 2015

Where is Summer Going?

Another fun weekend had by all. 
We started Friday evening with catching a play a local theater and just kept it gong from there.  The play was 9-5 The Musical and the performers did a great job of entertaining the audience.  Sadly this was the last weekend to catch it.  Otherwise I would recommend you take the time to see it. 
Bright and early Saturday morning we headed to Richmond for The Color Run.  This was Christy and Emma's first time taking part in the race and both did a great job.  After cleaning up for the race (yes it all washed off) we went to Jumpology for a birthday party.  Emma had a blast and I have a new idea for a mid-week work out!  Saturday night we got some work done around the house in time to relax by the fire and finally catch our breath.
Sunday morning I was up early to train for a half marathon.  8.5 mile logged by 10am.  The race is near the end of October so I have to stay on track!  Sunday afternoon we got back out on the Appomattox River with Eco Trek Adventures.  A few hours of kayaking on the water had us whipped for the day. 
Like I said last week, we are trying to squeeze everything out of this summer that we can!  You can already feel a change in the temps (honestly it feels pretty awesome) and the days are growing shorter.  Before long I'll be pulling my long sleeves out of the attic. 
No pictures during the I got just a couple at the very end while they were taking their bows. 
It really does seem like the happiest 5K on the plannet

This was the only time she held still the entire visit.


Eco Trek Adventures in Prince George

The one and only bald eagle we saw....can you see him?

Christy stayed in front the entire time...that's what young arms can do for you

This week is filled with dance lessons, birthday celebrations (4 birthdays in one week), appointments and packing for a camping trip.  I'm already worn out just thinking about it. 
Tell me about your weekend.  Where did you go?  If it was in Virginia...maybe it's some place I've never been.  I would love to hear about it. 

Friday, September 18, 2015


I don't know about you but for us it's just been one of those weeks!  Still getting the hang of taking a little one to school every morning, started back to training for an up coming half marathon, and the little one started dance classes again this week.  Lots of activity to keep us buzzing.  Not that the weekends are time to slow down...not by any means.  Last weekend we visited a local county fair, toured wineries with friends in Charlottesville and went kayaking on the Appomattox. 

The fair in Dinwiddie County

Staying past dark always seemed more fun to me than the daylight

Fireworks at the fair

Keswick Winery

Keswick winery

Castle Hill Cider

The view from Castle Hill Cider

Gardens at Jefferson Vineyards

The view from Jefferson Vineyards

Kayaking with a friend on the Appomattox

He didn't stay there long

Relaxing in the shade

The kayaking outfitters in Prince George County

See what I mean about a busy weekend?  And this weekend will give last weekend a run for it's money.  Tonight we are seeing a play at Lee Playhouse.  Tomorrow we are running in the Color Run 5K then attending a birthday party for one of Emma's friends.  Sunday we are back out on the Appomattox kayaking again.  Can you tell we are trying to soak up the last rays of the summer?  Somewhere in there I need to find time for laundry and yard work.  We'll find a way I'm sure.  We aren't the Busy Bryants for nothing. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Caledon State Park

I have a personal goal of visiting all of the Virginia State Parks.  I'm pretty sure I've shared that goal with you guys...haven't I?  Either way...we found ourselves with a free day a couple Sundays ago and decided to make it a family event.  I had been eyeing this park, thinking it was close enough to go just for an afternoon and not feel like we drove more than we picnicked or hiked.  I was right. 

The parks one and only picnic shelter

The park is just east of the city of Fredricksburg, in King George County.  For us that meant a trek up I 95 and then a short drive east.  Most of this was pleasant enough but we did hit one snag on the way up.  I'll get to that a bit later.  The trails are a mixture of single path/dirt trails and some road size/gravel covered trails.  I'm more of the single path but we wanted to see water so gravel it was.

Hampstead Road Trail
Potomac Overlook

The park is right on the Potomac so you get some amazing views. We were told you can also see bald eagles.  None were out while we were there but a few boaters gave us a show.

Visitor's Center

Playground area

Fern Hollow Trail

The park offers programs like sunset kayaking, 5/10K races in the park, a wine festival along with the usual hiking, fishing and biking. 

On the way there my sister, who was in a separate car, had a little bit of a problem.  She got a nail in the sidewall of her tire.  We were close enough to Fredricksburg that we got off of interstate and headed north or Route 1 until we found the closest tire store.  Before no time she was all fixed up and we were back on our way. 


Fun park to visit for the day...plenty of hiking and other things to keep you busy.  If you are like us then you might want to visit some local wineries.  Oak Crest would be the closest (Google Map said 5.9 miles away) with Ingleside (18.4 miles away) and Potomac Point (about 40 miles away).   
If you live in Virginia I hope you are enjoying the milder weather.  I know I am!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Back to School

The Back to School Tree
Last week the parents of Virginia sighed a collective sigh as our children went back to school.  I of course decorated for the event while my children reacted in their own ways.  I have one that went off to college a couple weeks back and couldn't be happier.  I have another one that is starting into her Junior Year of high school and really just can't wait to be a senior.  And then we have the little one...she started kindergarten!  Oh where does the time go?  She was excited, I was nervous and the teacher has no idea what she is in for :-) 

According to the little one, the first day was WONDERFUL!  Lets see how long it lasts.  We finished off her first day of school with a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant.  Are we the only people that decorate and celebrate the first day of school?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Henricus Park

I spent an afternoon hiking at Henricus Park this week...the leaves are already starting to change!  I usually stay on the main trail but this particular day I ventured off just a bit. 

I startled a deer near this bridge and he made it across and through the woods before I could realize what it was.

Sometimes it's just the simple afternoon walks that allow us to take a break from the usual hum drum of life.  Enough of a break to allow us to face the REST of the week :-) The days are growing shorter and the temperatures are cooling every so slowly.  I'm trying to enjoy it for all it's worth!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Crabtree Falls

When people talk about hikes in Virginia, Crabtree Falls is one that always gets mentioned. And now I know why.  It was on my "to do" list for a couple years and we can finally say we've done it.  While in Nelson County a couple weekends back we took advantage of an opportunity and visited the falls.  There are a few ways to hike this trail-short, medium and long are the best ways to describe it.  We did the short hike which consisted of up to the top of the falls and then back down.  The mile markers stopped at 1.7 so 3.4 for a round trip.  The long hike involves hiking to Spy Rock and is 13+ miles. 

You can see in the pictures that railing is provided along some of the trail.  Also along the trail are signs warning hikers to stay on the trail.  Many hikers have been injured or actually died because they ventured off the trail (into the falls) and fell. You can see that some of the rocks in the water are covered with a green algae...that is SLIPPERY.  Even with all the signs about staying out of the water we saw a few people beyond the man even had his child with him.  A week after our visit a friend sent me an article about another person falling to their death.  So people....STAY OUT!   


We made it!

At the top!

At mile post 1.7 you reach a somewhat level area that is spread out enough for people to stop and take a break before either continuing on or going back down.  I have to admit I was hoping for fewer people so that we could just relax and enjoy the view...but everyone seemed to have the same idea so the top was dense with people.  It was a weekend with gorgeous weather so maybe during the week would work better if you wanted some seclusion.
We took a few minutes to enjoy the view here and refueled before heading down.  Going down took half the time :-) We choose this opportunity to come because we didn't have the 5 year old...and I'm so thankful.  We did see some young children out hiking but some were being carried too...and no doubt our smallest wouldn't have made it (she isn't not a fan of long walks or hiking).  If your kids are troopers and like hiking go for it, just keep them on the trail. 
 Like I said at the beginning of the post I can see why this hike is so popular.  Great views, waterfalls, hiking that isn't too difficult but still gives you a work out...what isn't to love.  I think this would be a fun one to come back to in the fall and when the youngest can tolerate longer hikes.