Planning a New Adventure

Despite the atrocious weather — we’ve had cold, rain, torrential downpours, thunderstorms, and strong winds this week — I have enjoyed my spring break. I really do love sleeping in. Is it shameful to admit that? (Although “sleeping in” to me means not getting up until between 7:30 and 8 a.m.) I’ve gotten to catch up with my blogging friends, do a little shopping, tackle a few household chores, and spent some time tucked away in my scrapbooking room.

Here is a glimpse of the workstation Mark built for me in the guest room. As you can see, I still need to spread out on the bed a little bit. But at least my stuff isn’t all over the floor now!

My comfy scrapbooking nook.

My comfy scrapbooking nook.

I am making good progress on my Vermont book. (Although a good friend recently told me that after I die, no one is going to care about the time, effort and money I put into my scrapbooks. Oh well, I enjoy it and it’s a good creative outlet for me.) It’s been a great way to “re-live” the wonderful time we had last summer. Check out some of my posts from Vermont in the August archives.

I had really hoped to go do some birding and photography while I was off on break, but the weather has made that impossible. I had to make do with enjoying a visit from this little guy — a brown creeper came to see me Tuesday. Despite the wind and rain that day, he was very tenacious.

Brown creeper on a rainy day.

Brown creeper on a rainy day.

Brown creeper finds the bark butter.

Brown creeper finds the bark butter.

He also didn’t stay still, which is why my photos are fairly terrible and soft/blurry. Also, there was dog drool on the window again. How DOES that happen?? Hmmm….

But, the best part of my spring break has been planning our next BIG ADVENTURE.

Planning our next adventure!

Planning our next adventure!

In June we are taking our summer vacation down in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. We are going to drive Skyline Drive starting at Front Royal and go all the way down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Pisgah. I now have all our hotel reservations made. We are staying two nights at Big Meadows on Skyline Drive, a night in Charlottesville near Monticello, two nights at Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway, one night at The Village Inn in Blowing Rock, and then topping off our stay with two nights at the top of Mt. Pisgah at the Pisgah Inn — the highest elevation accommodations on the Parkway.

Mark is really looking forward to this trip, as he will be reliving some of his childhood memories. He grew up in Fairfax, VA, and went hunting with his dad and uncles in the Shenandoah Valley. One thing he wants to do is find their old hunting/camping ground. As you can see from the photo, I bought an extensive hiking guide and it’s Mark’s job to plan the hiking trails we will take. In preparation for this, we made a trip to Cabela’s and invested in new hiking boots and a really good backpack to carry all our essential gear.

New hiking gear.

New hiking gear.

As I am less than a month away from my 52nd birthday, and my back problems from scoliosis and other malformations in my hips/pelvis have been getting progressively worse, we know our days of going on long hiking trips will end in the future. So, we are really looking forward to this trip. I had neglected my back over the holidays and have been in fairly significant pain since the beginning of the year. But, I am now back to regular visits with my chiropractor and things are calming down somewhat. I had also been working hard to lose about 8 pounds and fell in love with Zumba, which I found out was not good with my spine being so far out of alignment. So, no Zumba for me right now, just light cardio. Also, you can see from the above photo that we only bought one backpack. I won’t be carrying anything heavier than my camera! šŸ™‚

Are you planning any fun adventures for the summer?? If so, please share in the comment section. I would love to get ideas for new places to visit! It’s kind of funny that when planning a vacation, we now take into consideration photo opportunities and what will make good blog posts! LOL

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18 Responses to Planning a New Adventure

  1. Bob Zeller says:

    We are leaving Sunday for the Big Bend country of west Texas. One stop in Fort Davis to drop off some of my photos for the gallery there, then on southward to the Big Bend National Park area, where we will spend four days. Amy, if you and your hubby love to hike, you will be in hog heaven in BBNP. Great vistas you can only imagine. Maybe next year?

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    • Bob, I can’t wait to see the photos from your time in Big Bend!! I hope you have picture-perfect weather and safe travels!! Texas may end up on our agenda as soon as hubby graduates to the next level of vacation time at his work! We would need plenty of time to explore your Big Country!! Have a great time! (Plus you KNOW I’m dying to see that Pyrrhuloxia in person!

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  2. Kate says:

    Your adventure this summer sounds really fun! I love going on hiking trips, I’ll be hiking the Buffalo River Trail in Arkansas in a few weeks. I’m also going on a trip with my boyfriend in May to Holland, Belgium, France, Spain and London and we’re so excited! I’m looking forward to reading more about your adventure this summer. Happy travels šŸ™‚

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    • Thanks, Kate! Your upcoming adventures sound a bit more exciting than mine! I have never been outside of North America. Will you be blogging about your travels? I will enjoy reading about them and experiencing other places through you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate says:

        I will be blogging about my travels! Even if you can’t get outside of North America there’s so much beauty to see in this lovely continent šŸ™‚

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    • There sure is! I am following your blog now, so I know I will enjoy reading about Europe and seeing it through your camera! Have a great time. You are right, there are so many places to see here in the U.S. If we only had more time and money to explore! šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kathydoremus says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! And I am coveting your hiking shoes… šŸ˜‰

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    • I was excited to find them — they are North Face, and I got them on clearance!! Of course, my family all makes fun of North Face and these boots are the first (and probably only) North Face item I will ever own. šŸ™‚ (Insert “Oh, you wear North Face, you must have a lot of adventures” meme here. LOL)

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  4. tootlepedal says:

    We had one day of holiday away from home last year but we are hoping to at least double that this year. Of course, when you are an old age pensioner, every day is a holiday.

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  5. It sounds like a grand adventure for sure! I hope that you shoot a good many photos!

    If I were you, I’d give the shoes and socks a few outings before you leave on the big trip, just to make sure that you don’t end up with blisters or worse. If the socks are Cabela brand, then I have the same ones. They’re okay, but not nearly as good as Smart Wool brand. Of course, mine have several hundred miles on them at least, and I think that they used to feel better to my feet. šŸ˜‰

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    • Oh, definitely breaking them in before we go. Mark has already worn his a couple of times. Yes, the socks are Cabela’s brand. I’m not sure how I’ll like them, I don’t like having really thick socks, so I will be trying them a few times beforehand to make sure. I will have to look for the Smart Wool brand. I have a couple pair of Carhart brand hiking socks and I like them pretty well.

      Mark wants to hike with the pack a few times before we go, too. It has really good shoulder straps and chest straps around the front. It is a bit big for what we need but was the most suitable of all our choices. They had a Redwing 40 that was the perfect size but it is considered a woman’s pack and came in purple. I loved it, (since purple is my favorite color) but since I can’t carry it… LOL Needless to say, Mark did not want to carry a purple woman’s backpack. šŸ˜€ We are going to go back and get thin rain jackets for each of us since everything I’ve read says to be prepared for all kinds of weather when we are hiking. We are considering getting me a Camelback to carry water, but are unsure if I should take on any extra weight with my back problems. And the real brand of Camelback are pricey. (Other brands seem to have mixed reviews.)

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      • Somewhere on my blog I have a page about the “survival” kit that I always have with me while hiking or kayaking, you may want to check it out. I would consider rain jackets a must, as they also can add an extra layer if the weather turns cooler than expected. I don’t like the off brands of camelbacks, they leave a nasty after taste to the water, I just carry a large bottle or two with me. You may want to add one of those devices that can recharge a smartphone if you have a smartphone. Between their mapping capabilities and making a call if something were to happen, a smartphone makes a good piece of survival gear, if it is charged.

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    • Oh yeah, one of those portable chargers is a good idea. Mark has one somewhere. Although from everything I’ve read there is pretty much NO cell service in the mountains along either of the big drives we are taking.

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  6. Ingrid says:

    I love your scrapbooking room. I really miss mine. Sounds like a wonderful trip with some great hiking adventures. Those Moon Books are awesome.

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    • Thanks, Ingrid! I really missed having a scrapbooking place. My hubby took over my old “office” when he got into doing Ebay. I ended up packing all my scrapbooking stuff away and storing it in a closet. It was a pain to drag it all out and then have to pack it all back up, so it’s WONDERFUL to have a spot for it now.

      I wish I would have researched the Moon Book that I bought a little more, as it only has the North Carolina section of the Parkway in it, none of the Virginia part, which is half the drive!

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  7. Tiny says:

    How wonderful! You’re going to have a fantastic trip. We lived 16 years in Maryland (not far from Fairfax, VA) and visited the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley a few times. I have nice memories from those cabins, rivers and mountains! And you’re well prepared with all your new hiking gear!

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    • I’m really looking forward to it. We camped at some of the places along there when our kids were younger, so we didn’t do any real hiking then, just sight seeing. We both really love the mountains. I have a sister who lived for years just outside the Smokies in a beautiful house with a view of the mountains out her front porch. We used to go and visit her often, so I’m really looking forward to seeing those views again.

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