Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Enjoying a family reunion country-style

This weekend we were away enjoying a biennial reunion with my father's family.  It was held just a few short hours away in the Blue Ridge Mountains and we enjoyed our unplugged time in the country to its fullest.  Here is a sampling of how we spent our days.

Some of our favorite time was spent exploring in this creek.

The kids would have spent all weekend splashing about if we could - my brother and I  spent countless hours in this creek when we were kids, too.

Checking out a crawdad found under a rock

E2B was all about catching these little fish

We spent time on dry land, too.

Berry picking with Pop Pop - we ran into some poison ivy (that's poison idy to Miss Intrepid), but - fingers crossed - I think we escaped unscathed.

Unfortunately wine berries (wild raspberries) are an invasive species across much of North America and Europe, but they sure are delicious!

Some downtime was required, for the kids and for this mama, and we enjoyed quiet moments in a variety of ways.

Making sun print bandanas
E2B always had his 200+ number connect-the-dots book on hand during meals...who knew it would be such a hit?
Princess Wonder had her own interpretation of the practice of putting a buttercup under someone's chin to determine if they like butter.  According to her, and this dandelion, I love peanut butter.

The lodge where we stayed is not only surrounded by hiking trails and mountain vistas, but also stables, a farm, and extensive apple orchards.  It is too early to pick apples, but this weekend was just right for enjoying the rest of what they have to offer.

E2B was very excited to have a chance to get on horseback and looks forward to turning eight at which point he can do so without being led (farm rule, not ours).

Princess Wonder thought that riding was pure joy! 
Miss Intrepid, to my surprise, did not want to ride - or even sit - on a pony, so we spent more time exploring the farm.  She was fascinated by the pigs.

Can you blame Miss Intrepid for her interest?  These are some big porkers! 
This beautiful longhorn (Misty Star) and her calf are being raised as part of a large herd on a nearby farm.

Of course, there was plenty of wildlife - large and small - to enjoy as well. Often it was just a matter of taking the time to look up or down and be open to the possibilities around us.

I don't know what this guy is, but he looks absolutely prehistoric. 
We saw more variety of moths just outside our room than I've ever seen congregating by the light outside my house.  This orange beauty was huge!

This moth provided a great lesson on camouflage as a defensive strategy.

"Okay, I'll stand here and look adorable while you admire me."

Yes, that is a bald eagle...what a treat to see this majestic bird on the side of the road, especially during the Independence Day holiday!

I hope that you enjoyed a weekend of both quiet and adventure wherever in the world you are as well.  Happy Tuesday, friends!

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."  ~Jawaharlal Nehru


  1. I gotta find out where you stayed! It looks so fun!!

  2. Looks awesome! I have yet to see a bald eagle in the wild and my oldest guy is always looking for them, as he really enjoys bird watching. My little guy wouldn't have ridden the horse either. :)