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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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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Week...A Weekend...and Then Some...

Whoosh - the past eight days went by in a blur! I decided to cram the whole Memorial Day Weekend shenanigans in with the week as a whole and I even went so far as to include Monday in the mix too, because my weekend technically didn't end up Tuesday morning. So, here we are - a whole lot of pictures and a whole lot of memories made!
My glorious find from the past weekend's Sunday afternoon excursion - not from the flea market freaks - FYI.

Up with the sun on Tuesday morning...
So, I've started this new trend where I get up before 6 AM, roust the dog out of his bed and we go walking all over the countryside before I have to get ready for work. Some people would call this exercise and they'd be right...but I'm not going to use the "E" word, lest I get tired of trying to get myself into something resembling better shape. The whole thing that really motivated this decision is that the elliptical my parents bought is of Satan and I cannot abide submitting myself to that brand of torture on a daily basis. I used the elliptical on Monday afternoon and was fairly certain I would die before finishing my work out, so when I rose with the sun (okay...the sun was actually already sort of up) on Tuesday morning, I realized that I could actually just walk/jog (yes - I have jogged some here and there) outside with the dog and not have to bow to the will of the elliptical - and so, that's that.

I should note - sometimes Watson is thrilled to see me round the corner at 5:55 and he happily stretches and yawns and is delighted with life. Other days he gives me a look of death and probably wishes I'd just leave him alone already. Oh well...can't win them all!

Being a complete hog - it is MY bed, but please feel free to puff & snort at me if I so much as breathe.

I warrant at some point the novelty of taking pictures of the sun cresting through the trees will wear off - it hasn't quite yet though. 

I mean - aren't your eyes always this huge? No? Just me then...
I finally went to the eye doctor for the first time in probably three years - yahoo for insurance, am I right? I'm sure skipping the ol eye doctor for three years isn't the best of life choices when you're practically as blind as a person can be without actually being legally blind, but you know...I guess that's life sometimes. So, I finally found an eye doctor and was told that my eyes are pretty much 100% healthy - besides the whole blind as a bat thing - and that was wonderful news and she dilated my eyes and then she released me into the wild...with dilated eyes...and no one to drive me! Y'all, I made it back to work and that in itself is purely a miracle. I have -10.50 vision (I'm not being dramatic about being blind...), I was wearing glasses that are probably really only for about -8.00 and my dilated eyeballs were taking in all that bright, bright sunshine and the struggle was REAL.

When I made it back to the office, I had somehow managed to misplace the container holding my contacts - can't imagine how, RIGHT?? - and it was literally so bright and blinding outside that I could not begin to find them. Blessedly, I work with awesome people and my friend Danielle went out to my car and found not only my contacts (points!) but a spare ponytail holder (all the other points!) and basically saved the day. I completed my work day sitting in the dark like a big dork, but thankfully the ride home was less dangerous. I can only live on the edge for so long before I careen right off...

The misty mountains after a rainstorm...

Friday morning - Watson was not happy to see me at 5:55 - his reaction was more along the lines of "oh the humanity...not this again..."

And then the sun crested the mountains & blinded us both...whoosh!
Friday was certainly a glorious day because...well, it was Friday. I'm kidding, I mean Friday is great but it's even greater when a certain little sister is in town and you (read:me) haven't seen her since around oh...January 2nd or some nonsense like that. It was also pretty delightful because my boss released us all from work at 2 in the afternoon and that meant I had some extra hours with my little sister. We went to the Gordonsville/Charlottesville area for the weekend just for the heck of it - Gordonsville is only about 90 minutes from our house, so it wasn't a crazy long trip or anything. We stayed at one of the numerous properties that my parents have access to with their time share; although I say we stayed there, if you know our family at all you know we weren't actually there for much more than sleeping. 

The Summerlin children have long been conditioned to make the most of every moment, going from the break of day until long after the sun has set - ha!

Reunited & it feels so good...everyone sing along! No clue what face I'm making...

Oh pretty flowers...

Friday evening sunset...

Saturday morning in front of the cabin - also, someone on Facebook thought I was Lindsey's MOM. And yea, I'm not letting that one go anytime soon. Really lady? Really?

Absolutely delicious breakfast - nom, nom, nom...

Montpelier - the home of James & Dolley Madison

Gorgeous flowers at Montpelier
We basically went all over the place on Saturday - seriously. We started the morning at Krecek Kakes (the food was delicious, but I do hate when places spell words wrong...eek!) and then headed for Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison. We had toured Montpelier years ago (literally, 15 years ago) but it was still decorated in the style of the DuPont family, who owned it after the Madisons. The house has recently undergone a major renovation and since we are a big ol band of history nerds, we just took it all in. Of course, we also took about a million pictures...because, why not? So...enjoy all of those...because really, there are a ton. I'll rejoin you after you look at them all. Ha!

The most gorgeous flowers in the backyard of Montpelier!

The gardens were open & they were also beautiful.

Snapping a sneaky picture from the upstairs window of the house - wouldn't you love to have those views?

Doing a bit of light reading with James & Dolley in the backyard.

Posing in the wee rotunda - it used to be the "fridge" AKA where they stored food to keep it cold.

I think I need a wee rotunda for my property one day...

In the gardens...

Archaeological reconstructions in process...

No clue that the timer was on & had just snapped our picture...

The Summerlins!

A strategically placed fence post to somewhat conceal the not so late 1800s strollers parked out front.
We had lunch at a place called the Stonefire Station and Kitchen - I have never seen so many sandwich choices in all my life! Well, at least not until Sunday night..but that's another day. We had to fill our bellies with something because we were headed to Barboursville Vineyards after that; wine on an empty belly is never really a great idea. The vineyards also had a set of almost palatial ruins on the site that were extremely captivating and made a lovely background, coupled with the rows and rows of grape vines. The wine was good, although nothing really jumped out and made me fall in love. We followed our wine tasting with a cider tasting, although Ginger opted out because she just can't hang - ha-ha, I'm kidding. I mean, she did opt out, but she can hang. :) I have decided that wine is definitely more my thing than cider.

Rows & rows of little wine grapes...

A toast to you!

They've won so many awards...

How about a nice red?

The Barboursville Ruins from the vineyard hilltop...

Castle Hill Cider - I only really cared for one type - Serendipity.

Just goofing off in the bathroom after the cider tasting - as one does...
We rounded out the evening in Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia and a giant walking mall with tons of really neat shops and restaurants. I liked the vibe that Charlottesville gave off - it seems like a neat place and I'd definitely be up for exploring it some more. We came back through Charlottesville on Sunday morning to have lunch at the historic Michie Tavern before touring Ash Lawn - Highland, the home of James Monroe. While we were touring Ash Lawn - Highland, something so glorious happened...but I'm getting ahead of myself...more pictures first...

Senior dorm rooms on the Lawn at U of VA.

The Rotunda getting a bit of a facelift...

Statues all over the place...

I don't understand why Sacagawea is stopping down here...I'm not sure if I like it...

A pretty neat-o building in Charlottesville.

Historic Michie Tavern in the morning sunshine...

Such a cool looking place & they actually had really good food! 

Ash Lawn - Highland

The gardens at Ash Lawn - Highland

The Highland portion of Ash Lawn - Highland; this was where James Monroe & his family actually lived.

A statue in the hedges - hedges that worked out so brilliantly for me...ha-ha!
So - after we'd finished our tour of Ash Lawn - Highland, we were able to wander the grounds and take in all the sites. There was a long walkway from the front of the house to a statue of James Monroe and we wandered all up and down that walkway...but Lindsey and my Dad were a little less quick about their wandering, which meant my Mom and I were left standing around, waiting... And as we waited, I noticed a small gap in the hedges that would let me creep into the hedge and wait on my unsuspecting victim - Lindsey.

She tried to take an alternate route to look over a statue but my Mom coerced her into walking up the path - I officially had a partner in crime! As Lindsey passed the opening in the hedge, I dove onto the path...and I could have never imagined I'd have gotten such a reaction as I did. Lindsey jumped into the air and let out a shriek that was so loud, the woman who gave us our tour came out of the house to see what was going on! I was completely tickled with myself and Lindsey was less than tickled with me...but that's alright. Ha-ha!

Riding along Skyline Drive on the way back home on Sunday afternoon.

A lake nestled into the mountains.

Watson having a little treat once we returned home for the weekend.

Last year I couldn't find a Coke with my name on it to save my life - Sunday night I found my first name & my middle name (spelled correctly) on the same shelf!

A flag flying along the Interstate on Sunday evening.
Monday was a pretty relaxed day - sleeping in, spending time with the family and having a cook out before we took a short trip to DC to send Lindsey on her way back to MS. The day ended pretty relaxed; reading a book on the deck as the sun went down. Not a bad way to end a long weekend.
Watson eating some corn on the cob - his Memorial Day treat!

Watson says "but you just got here..."

A little Pinkberry before we parted ways. 

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