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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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And now it’s 2017!  I think we were pretty much all ready to see the back of 2016.  Has there ever been a year in which more things went wrong, from a state-of-the-world perspective?  Globally speaking, I found 2016 as ridiculously absurd as most people, so good riddance.  But from a personal and family perspective, we actually had a pretty good year – filled with lots of laughter and fun, with big and small adventures all folded around a major, and very welcomed, life change.  Here’s a look.

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The biggest event in January was concluding the sale of our house in Elma, and moving into temporary housing in Williamsville, New York.  The move was phase one of our plan to leave the Buffalo area – a goal we were already working on at the end of 2015, although we just murmured vague things like “we’re looking for a better fit” when asked about our home sale.  We weren’t ready to share our ultimate plan at that point.  Most of the month was consumed with packing and moving, so we didn’t do much adventuring.  But I did finish recapping 2015 fun and posted Part I of my 2015 reading year in review.

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In February, we settled into our new temporary living situation. and I made two stealthy trips to D.C. to interview for a job.  That job didn’t work out, but getting interviews so quickly did boost my confidence and convince me that we had a chance of making our dream of moving home come true.  Those trips – planning and preparing for them, making them, and keeping them quiet – consumed my entire month and between that and work drama back in Buffalo, I had very little energy for anything else.  So we didn’t get out much in February, although I did post Part II of my 2015 reading year in review, and my 2015 Book Superlatives.

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March was all about celebrating Nugget as he turned one year old!  We threw him a storytelling birthday party with a nature theme at a local children’s bookstore, and it was so much fun.  I think he felt very celebrated and very loved.  Around the main event of the month, we squeezed in a few hikes – since the weather was unseasonably warm – making it to Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve and to Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area.  We also visited a working sugar shack as part of New York’s Maple Days.

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In April, I made another stealthy trip to D.C. to do my first interview for the job I would end up taking.  Around that, I fit in fun both bookish and outdoorsy.  We took a family hike to Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and spotted dozens of red-winged blackbirds.  We also went back to Times Beach Nature Preserve and Canalside for family playtime.  And I – as always – celebrated National Poetry Month, this time with a fun twist!  I posted two big roundups of my favorite poetry books for kids, one post for the classics, and one for newer favorites.

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In May, I continued to be all over the place.  I made another secretive interview trip to D.C. – the most stressful one yet, involving bumping into a colleague on the way there, and a nearly-missed connection in Detroit (sprinting in heels to catch the last plane of the night) on the way back.  I liked my end of month travel better – a trip across New York State to visit my parents and spend some time at the lake for Memorial Day!  We also hit up the summit of Mount Greylock and had lunch in Williamstown, Massachusetts – such a fun trip.  Closer to home, we had some fun adventures – a Mother’s Day weekend that included hikes at Tifft Nature Preserve and a 5K race in Ellicottville, New York; a family walk through Reinstein Woods; and a hike at Akron Falls, a park we’d not yet explored.

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In early June, I got the exciting news that I had a job offer in D.C., and our move was officially underway!  We still kept it under wraps, in case things fell through.  Two days after getting the exciting call from my new firm, I packed up and drove across the state to Lake George for an education law conference.  In between conference sessions and workshops, I managed to spend almost a full day with my college friend Seth – hiking, kayaking, eating delicious crab legs and drinking wine.  Back in Buffalo, we celebrated Father’s Day with another 5K (for me!) and a family hike.

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July was a blast, as we squeezed as much Buffalo fun in as we could before moving at the end of the month.  Starting with a fun Fourth of July weekend that included playground time, Canalside, berry picking and a family retirement party.  The next weekend, we were out and about again with a special treat for Nugget – Touch A Truck!  I mused on my favorite books of the first half of the year and on my personal tendency to cram as much fun into summer as possible.  Meanwhile, I dedicated the rest of the month to wrapping up work projects and lining up childcare (a school for Peanut; a nanny for Nugget) in northern Virginia.  We closed out the month by throwing an early fourth birthday party for Peanut, so that she could celebrate with her friends, after which I promptly threw my back out putting Nugget in the crib, and then our moving truck rolled out two days later and we officially said goodbye to New York State.

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August was about resting and reflecting on this big life change that we had brought about.  It was a long journey – eighteen months from the time we first started talking about moving, before Nugget was even born, to turning the key at our new place in Virginia.  And even though we had a house crammed full of boxes and a lot of unpacking and organizing to do, we decided to spend our final week of freedom before I started my new job visiting my friend Rebecca in Virginia Beach.  We spent pretty much the entire week barefoot and covered in sand and it was exactly what we needed.  When we got home, D.C. life started in earnest.  I started work at my new firm.  My cousin Jocelyn came down to watch the kids for two weeks as part of our cobbled-together bridge childcare plan (before the school year started and the nanny was available) and we did our best to induce her to move south – with hikes at Great Falls, visits to the D.C. monuments, and a morning at the Udvar-Hazy Center, not to mention two cute kids.  We also celebrated Peanut’s fourth birthday – can’t believe what a big kid she is!

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In September, we continued to enjoy being back in northern Virginia and able to visit all of our favorite spots again – including Lake Burke (pictured above), which was one of our regular haunts when we lived here before.  Most of the rest of the month was quiet – filled with settling in.  Nugget got his first haircut and I was a soggy mess.  I reflected on the summer that just ended.  And – the best part of September – my dear Buffalo friend Zan came for a visit.  All in all, September was busy – filled with back to school events and birthday parties – but also quiet, if that makes sense.  It was a lot of the business of living, which was exactly what I wanted after three years of homesickness.

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If September seemed quiet, October was packed with local fun.  We celebrated Columbus Day weekend with a trip to Little Washington for a few days, where we tasted wine, explored the adorable town, and hiked in Shenandoah National Park.  Back in the D.C. suburbs, we drove out to Loudoun County two weekends in a row for apple picking and then pumpkin picking; had a playdate with a new school friend at a children’s Halloween party hosted by a local historic mansion; and finally went Trick-or-Treating (with our mermaid and fire truck) in Old Town – a month-long funfest that I recapped in one big monster of a post.

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November was… it happened.  The month started well, with a visit to the Will & Jane exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Then the election happened, and I – like pretty much everyone else I know – was absolutely stunned.  I said everything I needed to say in this post, so no more.  We finished the month with a trip up to my parents’ house for a family funeral and Thanksgiving.  (For the first time since switching from food blogging, I didn’t recap a holiday.  I just didn’t feel like it.  It was good to see family, and the kids had a great time.  That was enough.)

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After the dumpster fire that was November, we made December all about family fun.  Another visit to Little Washington (for their Christmas parade!), walks to the waterfront to see the holiday boat parade of lights and the waterskiing Santa, and last but not least, Christmas itself.  It was wonderful to celebrate as Virginians again, and looking back on the year I was so grateful that the move home happened as I’d hoped it would.

And now, onward!  Next week, I’ll be reviewing how I did on my 2016 goals and plans (spoiler alert: pretty bad) and setting some new intentions and a word for 2017 – which I can’t tease, because I still don’t know what it will be.  It feels particularly good, this year, to have a fresh start.  Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings to our family (even if I’m a little scared for the world).

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Somehow, we managed to live as avid hikers in the DC area for ten years without ever making it to Shenandoah National Park.  My college alumni club went to the park to hike Old Rag, its most popular peak, twice a year, but I never was able to join the group (it seemed I was always out of town, or running a race, or pregnant, when they would go).  Nor did we ever get there on our own.  Since we love the outdoors and love national parks, this was a huge omission that I was determined to correct as soon as possible when we moved back.  And a few weeks ago, that’s what we did!

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The most important agenda item for our weekend in Little Washington was a hike in Shenandoah.  Steve and I both researched trails and decided on the trail to Mary’s Rock.  Boots on the ground, and let’s go!

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We hiked through beautiful wooded trails and I checked out the ferns on the forest floor, thinking of the words from the Shenandoah National Park foliage report the weekend prior to our visit:

Ferns are turning gold –their kelly green fronds brushed lightly now with gold dust, but transforming frond tip by frond tip into the cinnamon and milk chocolate tones they’ll wear in winter.

(Whoever the park has writing the fall foliage reports needs an immediate raise.  I felt like I was reading Henry Beston.)

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We passed by the foundation of an old cabin, chimney still intact.  I love stumbling upon visual treats like these, and speculating on who lived here and what their lives were like.

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Finally, we made it to the first overlook.  We spent a few minutes just drinking in the views of the gently rolling slopes and valleys laid out below.

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From there we hiked on up to the ridge leading to Mary’s Rock, but after about half a mile, Steve and I looked at each other and conceded that we had to turn back without summitting.  A cold wind was whipping all around us, and while we were fine, the kids were both crying in the backpacks.  (Being smaller, and not working up a sweat the way we were, they were feeling the wind.)  It just wasn’t our day.  As soon as we got down off the ridge and back into the more sheltered forest, both kiddos perked up.  And before too long, one of them sacked out.  Too cute.

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On our way back down the mountain, we stopped to drink in more gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Marveling at this view ^ Steve remarked, “Now I see why they call it the Blue Ridge.”  Indeed!

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Longtime readers may recall that Steve and I both grew up in or near the Adirondack region in New York State.  I lived in Albany, slightly south of the mountains, and spent countless days at my family’s cabin on the Great Sacandaga Lake.  Meanwhile, Steve was in Glens Falls, in the Adirondack region itself.  We both consider the Adirondacks an important part of our personal stories.  On this trip, we talked about how much we want our kids to grow up with the Blue Ridge Mountains meaning to them what the Adirondacks meant to us.

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I guess that means we’re just going to have to go back soon and often.  That shouldn’t be a problem!

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When we moved away from the DC area in 2013, one of the hardest things (I mean, after quitting a job I loved, selling a house I loved, and leaving friends I loved) was knowing that there were so many places that we hadn’t discovered yet, and things that we had left on our to-do list.  So it’s an added joy to be back with a second chance to do those things now – one of which was visit Little Washington, which we finally did over Columbus Day weekend.

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Washington, VA, or “Little Washington” as it’s known around the Beltway, is a tiny town (and I mean tiny – you can walk from one end to the other in less than ten minutes) nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the entrance to Shenandoah National Park.  The town is named after – who else? – George Washington, because he surveyed it as a young man.

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We stayed at a B&B that was about two minutes outside of town, surrounded by farmland.  The grounds were beautiful and the kids loved spotting the animals and running around on the wide lawns.

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They even had activities for Steve!

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HA HA.  The hosts prepared a baggie of carrots for the kids to feed to the farm’s gaggle of miniature donkeys.  Of course, my kids wanted nothing to do with the donkeys.  Nugget clung to me while Peanut cowered on the other side of the road, sobbing “Monster, Daddy!  Monster!”  Oh, golly.

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Can you even handle how suspicious he is?

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Little Washington is home to the Inn at Little Washington, which boasts one of the most sought-after (Michelin starred!) dining rooms in the world.  I’ve heard it’s over $1,000/night to stay there, and about $250/head for dinner alone.  Needless to say, we and our wild children didn’t get any closer than this – across the street.

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Instead, we ate several meals at a quiet, friendly place called Tula’s Off Main – the lunches were good, but brunch was a particular hit.  The staff couldn’t have been sweeter, and Nugget made several new friends.  I left with a job offer, because the manager was impressed at how I never stopped moving as I chased after Nugget.  (As I think I’ve mentioned before, he’s an absolute menace in restaurants.)

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Saturday was a bit gloomy, so we spent the afternoon wine-tasting.  While Little Washington and the Blue Ridge are beautiful, there’s not much to do inside when the weather is wet.  After it became clear that searching for family-friendly indoor activities was going to be an exercise in frustration, we just decided to hit the wine trail.

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We checked out Little Washington Winery, Gadino Cellars, and Rappahannock Cellars.

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All three were lovely, but I think Rappahannock was my favorite.  And not just for the kids’ corner, which was stocked with toys and the Little Blue Truck books…

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The wines were wonderful!  I’m still partial to Loudoun County for what I consider to be the best Virginia wines.  But the Rappahannock wine trail certainly didn’t disappoint.

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We left with a bottle from each winery.  What a delight to build up our wine cellar with Virginia wines again!  Now I can’t wait to get back out to Loudoun County and compare.

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We spent Sunday morning at Shenandoah National Park – a post about that is coming next Friday, because a national park visit definitely deserves its own day.  Luckily, we had much better weather on Sunday than on Saturday, so after naps we headed back into Little Washington to check out the town in actual sunlight.

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Now that’s what I’m talking about!

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We found a place called “Wine Loves Chocolate,” so more tasting happened, of course.

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Wine Loves Chocolate was a shop affiliated with Little Washington Winery, and we tried a basic flight of four wines paired with four chocolates.  I can’t remember the pairings now, but I remember the tasting being a blast, and we left with a box of truffles, so basically, a win.

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We ended Saturday watching Peanut eat three scoops of strawberry gelato and then run in circles around our room at the B&B until she collapsed in a heap.  Good times.

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Until next time, Little Washington!  We’ve heard there’s a big Christmas celebration and parade in early December, so I think we’re going to try to hit that in a day trip.  One thing’s for sure – I can see us returning again and again, because we absolutely loved it.

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What’s your favorite weekend getaway?

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VAB 2016: The Last Night

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All good things must come to an end, and tragically, our Virginia Beach vacation was no exception.  We were so grateful to have had a week to decompress in a beautiful place, with some of the dearest people in our world.  I spent the last night of our vacation really living the excellent advice: “Don’t be sad because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”

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We were determined that our last night in Virginia Beach (for now – we will be back!) would be our best night.  First item on the agenda: another spin on Uncle Eric’s Water Truck.

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Peanut was prepared with this beachin’ coozie.  Nugget was rocking a new life vest that Rebecca and I bought for him on one of our naptime Target runs.  (The puddle jumper works great, but we thought he’d be a bit more comfortable in something with a slimmer profile – and he was.)

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The kids loved being out on the water!  I have to get them out on the Potomac soon.

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There’s my handsome husband!  Vacations with him are always fun.

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Nugget got the extreme joy of another turn behind the wheel.  We have a little sea captain on our hands!

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Meanwhile, Peanut kept a sharp lookout for mermaids.  She said she saw a few.

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Our destination was… well, I have no idea where this beach was, but it was beautiful.  Beautiful, and home to several jellyfish (the stinging kind!).  Which is why I look so excessively nervous, which you hopefully can’t tell from this picture because Steve kindly kept the camera zoomed out.

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Away from the jellyfish, and speeding off toward our next destination (looks like someone didn’t want to stop swimming!).  We checked out the houses along the route home and had fun opening it up and really getting a good wake going for awhile – had to, because we didn’t want to miss out on Part II of the evening…

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Expecting a particularly perfect sunset, we all trooped over to First Landing State Park to watch the show.  We made it just in time…

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The sun was already going down when we got to the beach, and soon we saw…

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THIS.  It was. an absolute. stunner.

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The whole family trooped into the calm, peaceful water to enjoy a sunset swim.

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Part of youuuuuuuuuur woooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllld…

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It was a gorgeous night, and felt like a very fitting goodbye to a vacation that was exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it.

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We stayed on the beach past the kids’ bedtimes, and all headed home in the dark for a campfire with vegan s’mores.  As we sat roasting our marshmallows, watching the neighbors drift by on the canal – on their way home, no doubt, from their own sunset viewing parties – we felt very blessed.

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Goodbye for now, but not forever, Virginia Beach.  Thanks for the sand between our toes, the salty splashes on our faces, and the gift of a perfect sunset.

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I’ll tell you, there’s nothing like a beach vacation when you have little ones.  It’s the easiest thing in the world to just let them run around messy, and there’s nothing my kids love more than sand and salt water.

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Each day (with the exception of the one gloomy day) found our family down at Rebecca’s quiet cove, enjoying the soft sand and the perfectly kid-sized waves.  Rebecca said that the water was actually a bit rough compared to the usual, but we thought that it was great.  (When measured against the waves in the Outer Banks, Rebecca’s cove was very peaceful indeed.)

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Most days, Rebecca joined us as well.  It was a treat for the whole family – friend time for me (and Steve – he’s known Rebecca for fifteen years, almost as long as I have, and they’re good friends as well) and auntie playtime for Peanut.  Peanut is recently obsessed with mermaids, so Aunt Rebecca gave her a tail of her very own.

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Is that a lucky little mermaid, or what?  Rebecca’s dog, Brandy, had to be involved too – of course!

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Oh, no!  This mermaid has LEGS!  NOBODY TELL KING TRITON!

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Eventually our little mermaid found her way into the water, and so did her baby brother.  I joked all week that Nugget is a born fish – after all, he’s a Pisces!

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Okay, I don’t really believe in that Zodiac stuff (much).  But there’s no denying that this baby LOVES the water.

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(Hi, Brandy Dog!)

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Seriously, I could not keep the boy on the sand.  Here he is on another of our beach mornings, sea turtling his way down to the surf.

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I tried to set him up on the towel for some sand play with Peanut’s new sand toys (a perfect birthday gift from Aunt Rebecca, and sure to be enjoyed in our local sandboxes now that we’re home from the beach).  Side note: how grown up does he look in this picture?  I can’t get over it – he looks like he’s fifteen years old!  Well, maybe not quite that old.

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Okay, definitely not fifteen years old.

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As expected, the sand toys were only fun for about thirty seconds, before someone needed to be in the water again!

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As exhausting as it was, it was also really fun for Mom and Aunt Rebecca.  The kids kept us on our toes all week, but they also made the whole experience feel fresh and new and so much fun.

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Ahhhhhhhhh.

Next week: one last evening, and a spectacular sunset.

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For many months leading into our move and our trip to Virginia Beach, Nugget was the world’s worst napper.  I got into the habit of loading him into the car seat and driving him around, both to get him out of our very small condo so that Peanut could nap, and also on the off chance I’d get a car snooze out of him as well.  It wasn’t the best routine, but it was working for us, so I continued it on vacation.  Most days, we went to Target (Nugget can continue snoozing in his car seat in the basket of the shopping cart, and he has slept through many a Tar-jay run) but a couple of times, we just tooled around and checked out the sights.  On one such drive, I discovered Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge about 45 minutes from Rebecca’s house.  Nugget was sound asleep, so I couldn’t justify waking him up, but I made a mental note to try to get back there for a hike if at all possible.  And on the final day of our vacation, we made it happen.

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I drove down to the Sandbridge area, paid my way into the wildlife refuge, parked and waited for Nugget to wake up.  I gave myself a window of time to wait, and promised that I would give up the idea if he didn’t wake by 3:15, because at that point we’d really need to be heading back to the house.  As luck would have it, he woke up about twenty minutes after I parked the car, so I strapped him into Steve’s backpack and set off for an adventure with just my little guy.

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Who’s ready to do some hiking?

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I chose the “beach trail,” because that name sounded promising, and sure enough, I soon found myself kicking off my sandals, stepping off the boardwalk and into the soft white sand, with the waves rolling in just a few yards away.

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We walked right up to the water and waded on in up to my ankles.  Nugget, Pisces that he is, desperately wanted to swim – but not only was he not in swimming clothes, but wildlife refuge rules prohibit swimming.  (I thought sloshing along with just my feet in the surf was probably okay, though.)  A couple of other ladies were wading nearby, and they seemed very interested in Nugget, but we weren’t in the mood to stop and talk, so I gave them a friendly wave and continued on down the beach.

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We saw tons of ocean birds – gulls, sandpipers, and lots more varieties that I didn’t recognize – and once again I wished that I knew something about birds and birding.  It’s on the to-do list!

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Having this view ahead of me for about three quarters of a mile was pure bliss.  I love beach walking, and this was the best beach walk I’ve ever taken – completely deserted, just me, the birds, and my backpack full of baby.  It was peaceful and serene and everything I had been craving.

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I think Nugget liked the hike, too.

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I had planned to turn around whenever I felt ready, but as luck would have it, right at the moment I was thinking of heading back I saw a sign for the Dune Trail, which I knew also spit out in the parking lot where I’d left my car.  So Nugget and I checked out the views of the sand dunes on our way back.

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They were amazing!  I love sand dunes and could walk through them (on a boardwalk, of course) all day long.

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Eventually we made it out of the sand and found ourselves hiking a short distance along this pretty meadow, until we made it back to the car.

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By the time we got back to the parking lot, there were some pretty threatening looking clouds gathering in the distance.  But I considered carefully and judged that we had enough time to check out the wetlands habitat that was also protected at Back Bay, so we walked quickly across the parking lot to the other gorgeous body of water.

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What a fabulous view!  I was so glad that I had noticed Back Bay on the map and had made time to get down there.  An almost-solo (just me and the mini man) adventure was exactly what I needed to recharge after a stressful move and a week of socializing (which, fun as it is, does take it out of me).

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Goodbye, Back Bay!  You were stunning and perfect, and I’m sure we will be back.  The next time I visit VAB (soon!) I’ll be bringing the whole family with me.

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Have you ever been to a national wildlife refuge?  Back Bay is my second!  Next week, we’re back at our own little beachfront paradise!

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Supposedly, fall is right around the corner, although you wouldn’t know it from the weather in DC (highs in the high 80s all next week – not that I’m complaining; you will NEVER hear me complain about it’s being too warm, because in my opinion, there is no such thing).  I’m going through the same confusing season change that I do every year at this time – summer and fall are my two favorite seasons, with fall just barely edging out summer, so even though I’m always excited to welcome back hot apple cider, pumpkin picking, Hallowe’en costumes, puffy vests and circle scarves, I’m never quite ready to bid goodbye to summer, either.  The result, as always, is multiple nostalgic posts about the summer that is wrapping up, as I attempt to wring every last bit of golden light from the season.  I’ll have more coming – a few more weeks of Virginia Beach recaps, and my completed summer list – before I’m ready to turn my attention to a new season.  But first, a look back at the season that is on its way out.

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I know it’s technically spring, if you’re going by equinoxes and solstices, but Memorial Day weekend is the true start of summer for most people (us included).  We spent ours visiting my parents and got in a mountaintop in western Massachusetts, and a day at my parents’ lake house in the Adirondacks.

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The very next weekend, I was back in the Adirondacks, on business travel to Lake George.

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It was really rather okay there.

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We explored our new town – Williamsville, NY – and knowing that our days there were almost certainly numbered, made sure to soak up all the good things about it.  Our favorite spot?  Island Park, for the playground, the sandbox with a fleet of trucks, the farmers’ market, and the library.  Heaven!  We were there every Saturday this summer.

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On Father’s Day weekend, I ran the 50 Yard Finish 5K.  Hard to believe that two years ago, I crossed this same finish line after 13.1 miles and set a 13 minute PR!

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Two weeks later, we celebrated America’s birthday in an even bigger sandbox – the EduKids sandbox at Canalside!

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And Nugget and I took a gorgeous walk through fields of goldenrod at Knox Farm State Park, one of our favorite spots in WNY.

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Nugget’s life was made complete when we took him to Touch-a-Truck in Williamsville.

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The rest of July was spent packing our lives and tying up loose ends in Buffalo, in preparation for our move home to Washington, DC.  But we couldn’t go without saying goodbye – and we did it the best way we knew how, by throwing Peanut an early birthday party at the Rose Garden in Delaware Park.  Not all of our friends were able to join us; Peanut suffers from what I call “the curse of the summer birthday” – meaning that someone is always on vacation when we throw her party, and sadly, this year that was her BFF, N, and N’s sweet family.  But many, many people came out to celebrate Peanut and see us off on our next adventure, and we were so grateful.  Most importantly, Zan and Paul were there – more than anyone else, they made our three years in Buffalo, and Peanut’s party wouldn’t have felt complete without them there.  We threw down picnic blankets in the grass and let the kiddos run around on the playground, and it was perfect.

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And then our moving truck came to load up our lives and drive them south.  It was a stressful move, so the less said about it, the better.

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The first chance we had – at 9:00 the morning after the movers left – we rolled right back out of DC and down another three hours south, for a week on Virginia Beach.

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It was exactly the breather I needed before jumping from one stressful job to another (but at least my new stressful job is in DC – home!).

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Speaking of home, we enjoyed being back.  My cousin Jocelyn came to visit and watch the kids for two weeks, and she’d never been to DC, so we enjoyed showing her around – including a hazy beautiful morning spent wandering the monuments.

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Jocelyn is an avid hiker (check out her blog!) so we knew we had to show her our favorite spot – Great Falls.  I have been to the park countless times, and I never, ever grow tired of that view.  I rocked the new child carrier backpack (Steve’s and my eleventh anniversary gift to each other) and we carted our backpacks full of baby along our favorite trail.

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I took my first run on my old favorite running route – the Mount Vernon Trail.  3.1 miles done for the Rock ‘n Roll Making the Band challenge – hot, sticky, and pushing a 25 pound toddler in a 20 pound stroller, and loved every minute of it.  (And yes, I am wearing my race shirt from the Great Pumpkin 5K – jumping the gun a little, but I was in the mood to wear orange, so.)

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And rekindled my love affair with the King Street Farmers’ Market, thanks to this gorgeous orange and purple mixed bouquet that I got for FIVE DOLLARS.  Amazing, no?

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Some summer!  Not every moment has been golden and magical, but a lot of them have, and that’s good enough for me.  One of these days (although not anytime soon, I suspect) the nights will start growing cooler, and I’ll be pulling out jeans, smartwool socks and puffy vests again, researching apple orchards and pumpkin patches, and mixing up pots of bean chili for football Sunday.  But in the meantime, I’m reliving summer just a little bit longer.  Care to join me?

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