Mountain Getaway

Okay, so I decided to take a few minutes out of inordinately busy week at work to blog. I have been going 90 mph at work this week, and in the evenings I've been so sleepy I'm in bed by 9 at the latest, so I'm just now getting around to making time to tell you about our fun mountain getaway!

Bryan and I rented a log home with our friends Hailey and Jason in the mountains of VA, about 20 miles from Front Royal, for a long weekend retreat. Hailey found us a great place to stay, and miraculously, it was even BETTER than the pictures they sent us beforehand!

We arrived on Friday evening and had dinner and chilled. Saturday we headed down to Luray Caverns, and surprisingly Hailey was the only one of us who had ever been there. I expected it to be cold down there, but it wasn't. At all. I thought the caverns were awesome, and I'm glad I finally saw them!

Saturday evening we went out to dinner in a town not too far away (15 miles... that was close for where we were staying). The place was called the Hotel Strasburg, and it was decent... nothing to knock your socks off, but Hailey and I had a nice bottle of wine which made everything excellent. :) After dinner, it was back home for perhaps my favorite part of the trip: GAME NIGHT! Yes!! I love board games, and it's rare I get to play with anyone but Bryan. (And let's be honest, there aren't a lot of board games that are very exciting with just 2 people. Scrabble is our favorite...) We played Cranium and had some of the biggest laughs of the weekend, then played Taboo, then off to bed.

Sunday was the day we planned to go hiking. We first tried this "Bird and Wildlife Viewing Trail" that was really close to our place (maybe 3 miles?). Unfortunately there wasn't much of a hiking trail. What we did find was an old muddy road we thought might be used for hunters, but it was Sunday so we thought we'd be safe. We started our trek up this road and in just a few minutes came upon an old dilapidated bus that appeared to be painted in some psychedelic pattern. The premises immediately around this bus were roped off with some wire. And we were spooked. I think we all were a little worried some banjo-playing maniac was going to come out and chop all our heads off. So we went a little ways further, then decided to find a park with some more defined trails. :)

We ended up at a great little national park on the Shenandoah River. At the entrance to the trails were some campsites, complete with wagons for campers to tote their belongings to their site. I thought it would be fun to get in one and have Bryan pull me. Bryan thought it would be fun to pull me the whole way. And while I felt like a complete idiot when we passed a large family on the trail, I have to say getting a ride wasn't all that bad. :) I did get out to hike up Wildcat Ledge, a .4 mile trail that was basically straight up the side of a mountain. It was a nice view from the top, but... whew, am I out of shape!

Once we got almost back to the car, Bryan decided it was his turn to ride in the cart. I must say I did not like pulling as much as I liked riding.

Sunday evening we relaxed and hung out, played some cards, watched some TV and enjoyed our last hours at River Oak. I could tell Hailey and Jason were getting a little antsy to get home--this was their first time away from their daughter Grace for any length of time besides a few hours! They did great, though, and I think even managed to enjoy themselves a bit. :)

Monday, Hailey and Jason headed out pretty early, and Bryan and I decided we would try to get in one more tourist-y thing before heading home. Looking at the map, there wasn't a whole lot between there and home, but we finally settled on a stop at Montpelier, James Madison's home. I must say, I knew pretty much nothing about Madison besides that he was one of the early presidents, and I learned a lot while we were there. He was a very cool, very intelligent dude! :) They are currently renovating Montpelier, which passed through many hands since James Madison lived there, to its original state. I told Bryan that if I were a carpenter, that is totally the job I'd want to have. I mean, how cool is that to build something back to how it was for our fourth president, the Father of our Constitution? I dig it.

If you'd like to see more of the pictures from our trip, you can check them out here: http://picasaweb.google.com/uvaleg

And finally, home again, where I began a very busy week at work. I must say, I'm really looking forward to Saturday, even if this was just a four-day week!

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