MOUNTAIN MAMA: MY WILD & WONDERFUL WEST VA WEEKEND
This weekend my husband and I went on an adventure, just us two.
A few months ago, I was chatting with Kristen & Rachel, two of 'my' gorgeous brides-to-be, planning their engagement session. As they live in northern Virginia, and have a special attachment to Winchester, that's where we agreed to meet. (Did I mention that I'm always up for a road trip? Or a flight?) The drive from my home is around 3 1/2 hours. I started to consider leaving the Friday before the Sunday we designated as Session Day, and how I could plan a weekend getaway for my husband and I.
Growing up, my mother regularly whisked me away for trips great and small. Weekends spent in the mountains of North Carolina or Virginia, week-long treks to Florida; family trips to Las Vegas, reuniting in Louisiana, and Panama City Beach. We roamed. I have fond memories of these trips--mostly on I95--and the rhythm of the lights across my window. It was exciting and exhausting--the best kind of high--and I am so grateful to have had these experiences, and to have the seed of wandering planted inside of me.
I also remember how my parents went on trips together. From a Super Bowl week, to Caribbean cruises, my parents took time to travel. I remember drawing pictures of airplanes, wanting so desperately to go, see, and do when I grew up. (I also envisioned myself dressed head-to-toe in clothing from Spiegel and living in New York City. Ah, well. We can't have it all).
As an adult, and a mother, I have tried to continue this tradition of travel. I so enjoy taking trips with my boys, and while it's never anything fancy or over the top, we enjoy it none the less. And, just like my parents, my husband and I enjoy sneaking away when we can. Gratefully, the stars aligned and we were able to work time for ourselves around Kristen and Rachel's engagement session.
While looking for a place to stay in Winchester, I came across a converted school bus on AirB&B, which was in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Always up for a bit of kitsch, I immediately booked a stay in the bus after finding it was only about an hour away from Winchester, and 15 minutes from Harpers Ferry. A plan was set into motion.
Our weekend was all about Logan, my husband, and I sleeping in, taking our time to get ready for our days, breathing in all of the beauty of Harpers Ferry, hiking a bit of the Appalachian Trail (which kicked off one of my life goals-- to walk it in it's entirety), warming up with soup and hot apple cider, and even bundling up for "America's #1 Ghost Tour", which was FANTASTIC! We strolled along the banks of the Shenandoah River in the golden afternoon glow, and just took in all that was around us. Saturday evening the bus was transformed into a sightseeing paradise when a pack of deer found their evening meal, and on Sunday morning when a woodpecker was seeking his breakfast righto outside the window. It was so needed, and so lovely.
On Sunday before the engagement session, Logan and I headed to downtown Shepherdstown, where we brunched at The Press Room. If you ever find yourself in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, you should definitely brunch at The Press Room. My meal was the most delicious baked scallops in a mushroom creme sauce, alongside the freshest mixed greens salad, and, to top it off, a few bites of the lavender creme brûlée! It was hard to leave. (Kudos to The Press Room also for having the best customer service out of anywhere we traveled in West Virginia!)
Once the engagement session was over, the sun was slowly tucking itself in. As I drove home down Route 17, listening to podcast after podcast, I took in the rolling landscape of the Shenandoah. The light was stunning, and nature was really showing off. All in all, this getaway, coupled with a fabulous photo session, was exactly what I needed to recharge a bit. While travel is one of my greatest joys, it's closely followed by the feeling of returning home. I missed my boys, and was so happy to come home to the nest we've created. (My head is already spinning with plans for our next trip!)
A few from my phone: