Chestnut Ridge, I think, is one of the prettiest parks in Erie County. I’ve been there a few times with hubby, my sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law, or some combination thereof, and always had a blast walking in the serene setting. There are tall trees, stunning vistas, and broad lawns to enjoy… and there are always plenty of people enjoying them.
This past weekend, I was there taking in the breathtaking winter beauty with hubby, Peanut, and some new friends: Zan of I Choose Buffalo and her new husband (!!!), Paul. Zan and Paul got married on Thursday and decided that they most wanted to spend their first Saturday as a married couple hanging out with us nerds. (Psst – Read Zan’s post about our walk here.)
(They are the cutest couple ever, yes?)
I first found Zan’s blog, I Choose Buffalo, when we were contemplating our move. Zan lived in D.C. and decided that she wanted to move to Buffalo, where Paul grew up. She started her blog while still living in D.C. and planning her move, and now that they are here (Zan and Paul moved up to Buffalo about a month before our family did) she writes about cool experiences she’s had in the area, and shares interesting articles about the city and the region. Zan and I connected through blog comments and Twitter and we’ve had a few “friend dates” since I moved up here. She had met hubby briefly, but this weekend was the first time we got to meet Paul. We had such a great time hanging out with this terrific couple, and hope to spend more time getting to know them.
(Thanks to Zan for the family photo!)
Our first stop was the sledding hill, where we spent a few minutes watching some big kids ride their toboggans. Chestnut Ridge is one of the best sledding spots around! Can’t wait to take Peanut back when she’s a bit older.
From there, we strolled into the woods a short ways. The main road – where I’d hoped to walk – was closed because the park was hosting a winter festival and they were using it for open air rides to see Santa. (We didn’t take one, because we thought it would probably take too much time and we wanted to explore on our own a little.) Instead, we struck off on a path to one of the near shelters… or what would have been a path were it not covered in two feet of snow. We waded a little, walked in snowmobile tracks, and drafted off one another. I decided that it would be a good idea to walk in Paul’s footsteps, which necessitated some leaping on my part… he’s a tall guy. And I am not.
We only had time for a short walk before we had to turn around and take Peanut back to warm up in the lodge. It’s a cute space that reminded me of an Alpine ski lodge. (Note: I’ve never actually been to an Alpine ski lodge, so this is just what I imagine one would be like.) They had a big Christmas tree with plenty of activities for the kids attending the winter festival – we passed, because Peanut is a little too small for face-painting or paper-gluing. There was also a big, fabulous fireplace.
Toasty! After we warmed up, we realized that it was already 1:30 and our family had to head back into the city for Peanut’s afternoon nap. Zan and Paul decided to stick around and explore the park some more. (I felt bad to rush off, but when you’re a slave to naptime, you don’t have much choice! Hopefully the next time we hang out with our new friends, we can spend a little more time getting to know each other.)
Zan and Paul, thanks again for the great afternoon! You guys were such good sports to come out in the wind and ice to tramp through snow drifts TWO DAYS AFTER YOUR WEDDING! (Seriously, how cool are they?) We had an awesome time… but hopefully, the next time we venture to Chestnut Ridge, it will be just a little bit warmer. Hey, a girl can dream.