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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


Oh what a week - this week feels like it has flown by! The first week or so seemed to be a bit longer than most weeks but I guess as a routine begins to settle into place, the weeks are starting to pick up a little bit. Granted, I'm sure we all know the saying that time flies when you're having fun...and I'm certainly having a good time!

This dog is too funny - he's found his old chair and settled right in.
Watson's adjustment has been interesting to watch - he's really taken to walking on his leash several times a day, which means that I'm also taking several walks a day and that's not at all a bad thing, Lord knows I need to be walking! He loves that my parents are here with us because he thinks they are just the best thing ever and when they come home from work, he just loses his mind with excitement - it's pretty funny to watch! He's become a master at the art of jail-breaking; my Mom thought we'd set up a baby gate at the bottom of the basement stairs and he could have the whole (fully finished) basement to himself at night...and it all seemed to be working out just fine...until this week. He is managing to get over or under that gate and we aren't sure how, but every morning he is happily waiting in the living room for us - the little nut! And he's also started scaling the stairs to say good morning...I sleep with my bedroom door closed, but my Mom got a fuzzy little wake up on Saturday! Ha-ha!

My thrift store find - it cost a whopping $3.50!

Lucky me - I won an awesome necklace!
Imagine my surprise on Monday when I got a phone call from Lantz's Pharmacy letting me know I'd won one of the door prizes from their 25th Anniversary celebration - I don't win things very often, so I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when I stopped by the store on Monday afternoon and saw exactly which necklace I had won! The funniest part was that the charms in the necklace were already so tailored to me - one of the charms even says "dog lover" ha-ha! My Mom said it was like Virginia was saying "welcome!" to me. I like to think that too!

Tuesday's lunch with the parents at The Cajun Experience in Old Town Winchester!

The restored historical Taylor Hotel - where we ate. It also has apartments! 
Old Town Winchester is quickly becoming one of my favorite places in the area; tons of older buildings from the turn of the century (or later) that have been renovated into stores and businesses - so cute! It's all situated on a walking mall and I absolutely love it. We had lunch on Tuesday at The Cajun Experience, which is in the newly renovated Taylor Hotel, which was built in 1847 and served as Stonewall Jackson's headquarters during the Civil War. It has served numerous other purposes in the many years that have passed since 1847 but it's always so neat to see a historical building restored to it's former glory and used as a part of every day life in a town. I've post a picture below; it's a famous picture of Stonewall Jackson leaving the city of Winchester and he's leaving from the Taylor Hotel...as you can see, it's been renovated back to resemble this picture - which I love! And let me tell you, the food at the Cajun Experience - I loved that too!

The picture that the building's restoration was modeled on....

The Potomac Bead Company - I want to go make so many necklaces...

The entrance to the Mt. Hebron cemetery in Winchester...& here I thought it was a mini castle or something....

The headstone of Col. George Patton, the grandfather of General Patton....

I cooked supper on Tuesday night - delicious!!

After our killer walk on Wednesday - he (and me) was worn slap out!
My Dad and I went on an adventure on Wednesday; he's off on Tuesday and Wednesday each week and I've been waiting for him to suggest that we go out and explore and on Wednesday, he finally did! After a grueling walk around the neighborhood in some killer temps, we changed and headed out in the car to Woodstock Tower in the nearby town of Woodstock, Virginia. This tower looks like it has been around for about a hundred years and even though I'm afraid of heights, I scaled my way up...although I did crawl onto the top platform and then sit for a minute before I felt brave enough to stand up...which caused my Dad to crack up. :) Once I did stand up, I was able to toughen up and move to the edges because the views were too beautiful not to look at....

Woodstock Tower - so old...I think...

Looking out the right side of the tower...to the glorious valley below and the Shenandoah River!

Looking out the right side of the tower - and onto more of the Blue Ridge mountain range...
Once we came down from the Tower, we cruised around Woodstock for just a bit and then made our way back toward the house through some small towns along the way...making a stop in Strasburg (the town my parent's lived in when they first moved to Virginia) to eat at the historic Old Mill Grill...a grist mill that predates the Civil War and has been converted to a restaurant. I'm not kidding when I tell you that almost everything in this area has probably been around for at least a hundred years and been converted and renovated time and time again - it's crazy and also really cool. The whole place is just alive with history.

Woodstock Courthouse - love, because you know...Virginia is for lovers. Ha-ha!

Lunch in Strasburg at the Old Mill Grill - it was delicious & crazy inexpensive!

Our patriotic porch on Wednesday before the storms rolled in....

A certain 100% spoiled rotten puppy dog!

I finally got to hold sweet Hadley - and I was so excited, yahoo! She is so sweet & teeny! :)

A rainbow on the way home from church...so pretty, especially with the mountains in the background!

Sprinklers...that cut on thirty minutes before the flood started....
Thursday brought some wild weather - it was fascinating the way the storm came rolling over the mountains and maybe a little less thrilling when I was out on the porch and thought the storm was far off...and then it thundered so loud it seemed like it was on top of me! I decided I'd better watch the storm from inside the house from then on....

Here comes the rain....

Talk about some crazy looking clouds! Eek!

Palm trees or strawberry centers? I'll let you figure that one out....

A certain little someone wanted to come with us to the Fourth of July fun...but since fireworks terrify him, we elected to let him stay safely at home.

We spent the Fourth of July in Middletown, which is the small town located about ten minutes from our house and is also the town where our church is. They have a parade every year on the 4th followed by music and fireworks in the park. We joined our friends Doug and Jen and their daughter Emily (and soon to arrive daughter Amelia, who was there...even if only in utero, ha-ha) for some food, fun and fireworks. The high on Friday was only 78 and when the sun went down, we actually all pulled out jackets and thankfully Doug found blankets in their car so we could wrap up with those as well - who'd have thought I'd be watching fireworks wrapped in a jacket and blanket?? The funniest part of the night was hearing a little voice ask me every few minutes of the firework show "Natalie - can you cover up my feet again - they're getting cold." Ha-ha, sure Emily...no problem.

Flags for sale, homemade ice cream and the parade....woohoo America!

This little silly goose trying to be imitate the Statue of Liberty - she couldn't be serious all the time!

Being goofy with one of my favorite girls!
I spent Saturday with my Mom in Georgetown and I'm going to dedicate a whole post to that because I took enough pictures to sink a battleship...whatever that means, ha-ha! I've put a couple compilation pictures below but I'll get to re-capping that in a day or so!

The Old Stone House in Georgetown - a pretty cool spot to check out!

Oh all the delicious sweets...yum, yum, yum....

Supper at the Hunter's Head Tavern in Upperville with my lovely parents!

Ha-ha...just being a goofball!

The Hunter's Head Tavern

The view on the drive home - gorgeous, right?

I mean, can I move into that house??

Sprinkles cupcakes makes cupcakes for dogs - they were a huge treat!
My Mom and I tried to find a vantage spot for the fireworks without going all the way into town and while we were unsuccessful in finding the right spot, we did stumble upon an area that looked like a feeding spot for every wild creature in the area - someone had sat out small huts and put small metal food bowls and when we turned down the road, there were four-five cats, two opossums and two raccoon! Watson was sitting in the backseat and when he spied the raccoon, he almost lost his mind - it was hilarious! It was also pretty funny when a cat encountered one of the raccoon - let me tell you, that cat went scat faster than you can say scat...too funny!

I hollered "hey raccoon" & he looked right at me!

Eating from the dinner buffet set out for him....
So - there you have it. Another week of adventures come and gone...very quickly if I do say so myself. I can't wait to see what the week ahead brings and I'm especially looking forward to hopefully seeing my little sister (finally) this time next week. So, until next time - have a good week ahead!

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