Weekend Wanderings

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Monday once more and it comes on the heels of a full weekend; a part of me feels like I needed another day to just sit around and be a bum, but the other part of me knows I’d have gotten bored before the day was done, ha-ha!

Friday was meant to be rainy and all day the clouds hovered…swollen and heavy with rain that they just wouldn’t let go of…until of course; 5 o’clock rolled around. I had dinner plans with my friend Melissa and so I raced out of the house at 5, rushed home (I drove carefully though…I promise) and quickly changed clothes and was out the door again in a flash!

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Thankfully I didn’t have to go far to get to Regions 117 and we were seated immediately because of my forethought to make a reservation! My sweet friend Melissa (who I was with TWICE this weekend and still didn’t manage to get a picture with…) is eight months pregnant and so at her request, we split some delicious buttermilk biscuits with apple fig jam and pulled pork turnovers…both incredibly tasty! My mouth is watering thinking about those turnovers! I got the pesto alfredo for my meal and every bite was divine – although I couldn’t finish it; too full of turnover, I suppose…

We chatted for a good hour about life before she headed home for the evening. Shortly after she left, some family friends arrived to visit and I spent the next couple hours snuggling a sweet baby and watching Moana with the two older girls… Toddler girls + Moana = magic! Also of note – when a three year old tells you she’ll take your picture; it probably won’t be all that flattering, ha-ha!

 

I woke up absurdly early on Saturday morning – the clock had just moved past 7:00 when I opened my eyes and noticed I had a couple Facebook messages from my younger sister. She’s finally getting into Game of Thrones and was messaging me about the second episode of the fourth season…

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I stayed in the bed for a while “talking” with her before getting up, grabbing a cup of coffee and curling up on my couch to read for a little while. My sweet pup was curled up in a ball on his bed nearby and I enjoyed the quiet and calm of my living room sipping my (first) cup of coffee and leisurely waking up.

I did some general picking up/organizing and walking the dog around – generally just passing the morning doing a whole lot of nothing and after lunch I joined my family for a hike in the National Park. We decided to do the 2.8 mile hike to Mary’s Rock and it was such a good hike; not too hard but still challenging enough to get the blood flowing… As we were driving into the park and rounded a corner, we spotted three black figures at the edge of the road…

Bears! A fairly small mamma bear and two little cubs, just padding their way along the edge of the road and over the rock wall. This is probably the closest bear encounter I’ve had before – which is fine with me – the entire time we were hiking through the woods, I was praying we wouldn’t encounter a bear… I’m sure they’d have thought my Watson was a bite size snack!

Our trail wound up and away from the parking lot and deeper into the forest with each step. The higher we went, the more the path closed in around us and at one point, the path was littered with millipedes here and there – which Watson was not even remotely interested in. He stuck his nose in every nook and cranny, each hole in the dirt was game and every rustle of the brush was a reason to try and bound into the woods after a creature – real or imagined. Watson is getting a little older and I was surprised; he didn’t slow down for a moment…always leading the way and always eager to keep pushing on…

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We stopped about 0.2 miles from the final outcrop to peer over the edge and into the dense treeline below – and my pup marched right to the very edge and peeked over to see the view. The final 0.2 miles was up and over rocks and it became increasingly obvious that the trail had wound out of the middle of the forest and onto the side of the mountain. The view as we rounded the final bend and arrived at Mary’s Rock was more than worth the hike – the valley stretched out below us for miles; the storm clouds hovered over peaks in the distance and everywhere…green and more green…

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After snapping pictures from every possible angle and hearing a rumble of thunder in the distance, we headed back down the mountain – for the most part, Watson led the way! Not surprisingly, the way back down went much faster than the hike up and within thirty minutes, we’d arrived back at the car.

Although I was sweaty and gross…and honestly feel like lycra exercise pants should never be worn to do more than exercise; we agreed that because the weather was so nice and we were so close to Luray, nothing would be better than having dinner on the porch of the Mimslyn Inn! A quick phone call to the Inn and we were okay’d to bring Watson along with us…so long as he behaved and didn’t bother the other diners. Well – he more than behaved and we were able to have a wonderful outdoor meal with the mountains in the distance. I even treated myself with some peanut butter torte…and it was divine!

Watson has a very real case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and so all the way home he was in and out of sleep – each time the car would come to a stop, he’d have to jump up to make sure he didn’t miss seeing anything important. This eventually led to him nodding off while sitting up…and of course, I had to snap a picture!

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I fell asleep pretty quickly on Saturday night and slept like the dead – it was wonderful! After a video chat with my sister on Sunday morning, my parents joined me at the church I’ve been attending – my pastor was especially fired up as he preached on love – which is understandable given the events taking place in Virginia this weekend. One of my favorite bloggers shared her heart on the matter and I couldn’t put it better myself, so check out her quick post and know I agree with every word.

After a delicious lunch at The Green Turtle…where I may or may not have gotten a little impassioned about the fate of Jaime Lannister with our waitress (Game of Thrones problems y’all…), my Mom and I went to a baby shower for my sweet friend Melissa – the same friend I had dinner with on Friday night and somehow managed to get no pictures!

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We popped into a favorite Farmer’s Market on the way home and while I don’t eat tomatoes, I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of how gorgeous they looked all in a row.

I got in some exercise before supper and then watched the Nationals game until it was Game of Thrones time…and then I proceeded to yelp and cheer and try not to fall off my couch in surprise and excitement as I watched the new episode. I thought I’d be too energized to fall asleep after Game of Thrones, but surprisingly…after texting back and forth with some friends about the episode, I crawled into bed and fell asleep immediately!

 

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