A weekend in the mountains.

Because we moved this year and last, we haven’t taken a real vacation since 2011. Instead we’ve just been taking little day or weekend trips which is what we did this past weekend. Friday morning we woke up and were on the road before 8:30. What was supposed to be a 5.5 hour drive ended up being closer to an 8 hour drive due to traffic and stops but when we finally arrived we were not disappointed.
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We met up with my aunt, uncle and cousins at the house we rented in Wintergreen resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. It was all the way at the top of a mountain so high that my ears popped during the drive up. The winding roads were lined with wild flowers full of butterflies which the boys tried to catch when we stopped to take in the views.IMG_5563

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Upon arriving at the house, I was surprised by my little sister who had made the drive up from Florida to join us for the weekend.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 9.28.27 AMAfter going out to one of the resort’s restaurants for dinner, we headed back to the house to celebrate Josh’s birthday a week early since we were with family. We surprised him with a chocolatey chocolate chocolate cake – his favorite and spent the rest of the night playing a very loud and obnoxious game of cards.
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The next day, we headed into Charlottesville for the main event – Monticello. Parker has been obsessed with visiting here since he was in Kindergarten and learned about it during a money lesson in school (Monticello is Thomas Jefferson’s house and is the image on the back of the nickel). We started off with some Monticello root beer while we waited for part of the tour to begin.

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IMG_5627After realizing that we’d do better off touring the grounds self guided, we left the group and began exploring on our own.

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We found an activity area where the boys tried their hand at writing with a quill. It’s said that Jefferson could write two entire lines without redipping his quill but we could barely even get two words with one dip. IMG_5669

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And then it was time to finally enter Monticello. It is much smaller in person than we expected. Parker said it was much uglier too. IMG_5676

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Pictures weren’t allowed inside of Monticello but it was a really cool tour. Thomas Jefferson was way ahead of his time with the design of his house and it was interesting to hear how many things (like sky lights, double pained windows and swiveling office chairs) he’s credited with creating the first.

Ruby preferred the outside grounds so she and Josh skipped the tour and enjoyed the yard. IMG_5682

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After over three hours at Monticello we headed back into downtown Charlottesville to grab some dinner. We had eaten lunch at a yummy Thai restaurant but were starved after walking around the mountain all day. IMG_5688

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Charlottesville is such a cute and charming city. The entire time we were there Josh kept repeating that he just felt like this was “it”. The place we’re supposed to settle. He picked up a few different real estate books and noted several local companies he can apply to when his contract is up in a couple years. After walking around and checking out the little downtown “mall”, we decided on Citizen Burger, a cool burger bar that serves artisan burgers made with local meat. IMG_5691

After dinner we were stopped by baby chicks! IMG_5705
Some kids were randomly walking around with a box of baby chicks and the boys wanted to hold them. This picture is blurry but I love Ruby’s reaction in the background and that the chick is looking right at Theo.
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The next morning it was time to say goodbye to the house in Wintergreen and the rest of our family. IMG_5715

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They had to hit the road but we decided to stay and check out the activities that the resort offered. The boys wanted to try summer tubing and we had an hour to kill before our reservation so they decided to try the bungee trampoline and rock wall while we waited. The following series of photos are hysterical. Both boys went from being extremely excited to extremely terrified and back to having a blast and trying some flips. IMG_5718

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When it was finally time to try the summer tubing, Josh and I took turns because Theo was too afraid to go and one of us had to stay with Ruby. I have to say, it was a good choice by Theo because although it looks like nothing special it was really fast and scary. Way cooler than it appears! IMG_5748

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After our 30 minutes was up, it was time for us to hit the road. We had to head back to Charlottesville first because we had boarded Lolly there and needed to pick her up. We stopped for a few more pictures off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. IMG_5758

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We spotted some hang gliders getting ready to take off. Cra-zy! IMG_5757

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Then we stopped for lunch at a yummy Mexican restaurant, picked up Lolly and headed back to NYC. We finished out this awesome weekend with the absolute best ice cream we’ve ever had. It was from Moo Thru, a local dairy ice cream shop on the side of the James Madison Highway. Perfect end to a summer vacation.

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We had so much fun and can’t wait until we can go back. Maybe to stay 🙂

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