Exploring the Virginia Countryside


We enjoyed our long weekend by packing up the car on Friday and heading out to the Virginia countryside. My Aunt and Uncle moved out to Virginia farmland when they retired and have a gorgeous property about 3 hours from us. This was our third time visiting them.

We left Friday after Bry finished up a couple of tests for work and hit the road before traffic could get too congested. It ended up working out perfectly. We escaped any major delays and managed to get into Charlottesville (about an hour from my Aunt and Uncle) around 3pm. We really enjoy Charlottesville and have been about 4 times, usually passing through. We spent an hour walking the downtown pedestrian mall trying to keep Jackson from pushing rolling signs away, riding the carousel and leaving fun notes on their giant community chalkboard. Eventually we all started to get hungry so we packed back into the car and headed to the Blue Ridge Brewery. We shared a large pizza and a couple of side salads which enjoying breathtaking views–but to be honest I really wish we’d had eaten at Eppie’s on the mall instead. The food was less than stellar. Except the strawberry shortcake–which was enjoyed 4 ways and the boys couldn’t stop shoveling into their mouths.

After we ate we drove the rest of the way to my Aunt and Uncle’s and made it by 7. We unpacked the car and put the kids to bed then enjoyed sitting at the table catching up with two of my very favorite people while eating rhubarb cake–Bry’s favorite cake in the world.

We were awoken by the world’s cutest alarm clocks at 4:30am but with views like this it wasn’t as painful to roll out of bed.

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My Aunt and Uncle truly live in paradise. Their property and views are absolutely gorgeous and there’s something so magically serene about the countryside.

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We spent the morning playing in garden and then had some cereal before Bry headed out to help my Uncle with some things on the farm and my Aunt joined me and the boys on a drive out to the Chessie Trail, a local pedestrian, bike-to-rail trail. Her foot has been giving her grief for the past year so she stayed in the car and read while I headed out for a short and easy 3 mile run with the boys. It was gorgeous and so refreshing to explore a new area.

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When we got back the guys were just finishing up fixing a fence post down by their creek so we all met back at the house for lunch. We had delicious sandwiches, fresh cut veggies and chips with dip. The boys went down for a nap and we decided to join them. 1.5 hours later I awoke from the most glorious and deep sleep I’ve had in awhile. Everyone was still snoozing so I snuck upstairs to the porch where my favorite swing is and cracked open a book. Nothing to see but rolling farmland and mountains. Nothing to hear by the cows mooing. Blissfully peaceful.

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Bry woke up a few minutes later and we sat together on the swing talking about life. It was so relaxing and I really enjoyed being able to just be together.

Eventually the kids awoke and we played some more outside before taking an evening stroll before dinner.

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For dinner we had some amazing blackened tilapia, roasted potatoes and coleslaw. Plus more cake for dessert. After the boys went to bed we sat at the table way past our usual bedtime listening to stories of the trips my Aunt and Uncle have been on. They’ve literally travelled the world- all 7 continents (including Antarctica!) They’ve even scaled the 5th highest peak in the world that sits opposite Mount Everest. They’re AMAZING.

We woke up Sunday morning and had egg and ham cups, grit casserole and fresh tomato slices for breakfast. After playing for awhile Andrew crashed for his morning nap so I went on a walk down the gravel road with Jackson. I debated bringing the stroller in case he got tired but ultimately decided against it. Which inevitably meant that 1/3 mile in he called Uncle and I ended up carrying him the mile back on my shoulders.

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Once Andrew woke up we took a family walk to the creek. It was so relaxing and beautiful. We couldn’t get enough.

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We made it back to the house at lunchtime and had some sandwiches, veggies and chips picnic-style on the deck before packing the car back up to head home. It was sad to say goodbye but necessary to avoid traffic and have a day to get errands done before returning to real life Monday Tuesday morning. It was another beautiful weekend spent soaking up family time, that seemed to fly by and we feel so blessed to have had the opportunity.

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