I'm a bit behind. It has been nearly a week since we got home from our weekend at Westmoreland State Park in Montross, Virginia and I still haven't blogged about it! But you'll be happy to hear that I am mostly caught up with sleep.
Our tradition of going to Virginia State Parks started about 3 years ago when one of my best childhood friends and I decided that we needed to meet somewhere in between our house and her's in Maryland. We ended up at at James River, and have been visiting different parks every year since.
Westmoreland is one of the original six VA State Parks, built in the 1930s, and sits on the Potomac River. Because there were 9 in our party this year, we opted to stay in a larger house rather than a smaller cabin... and it was potentially the weirdest house I have ever seen. It was formed from two smaller vacation homes from the 1940s - joined together by a newly constructed living room and linkway. So we had 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 dining rooms and 3 living rooms. There were lots of twists and turns and the kids enjoyed hiding wherever they could. It was chock full of character... but could definitely be a bit creepy if you were staying there by yourself.
The water was choppy as Hurricane Sandy had recently passed by, and the Potomac looked more like the ocean than a river. The house was right on the banks of the river, and the dock outside still shows damage from Hurricane Irene last summer.
The wind was persistent and cutting, but we bundled everyone up after breakfast on Saturday and hit the trails. Lots of sweatshirts and coats and hats and Deuter KidComfort backpacks. Our intent was to do a couple of miles and then head back for lunch. Time got away from us as we explored the park, searched for fossils, and enjoyed the autumn weather at the playground.
By the time we returned to the house, we were all cold and hungry. Luke had started complaining that his feet hurt (prompting Nate to pick him up and carry him AND Will for part of the walk). Matt was asleep in the backpack. We checked the pedometer. Our short little morning walk had turned into a 4.2 mile hike! No wonder we were all tired. It was the middle of the afternoon, and we hadn't even realized it.
After we warmed up and ate some lunch, some in our party napped. Others played quietly and enjoyed our view of the windy Potomac. I flipped through some pictures that I had taken that morning... immediately realizing that I had taken nearly 200 photos and that this one of Will's shoes walking through the autumn leaves might be one of my most favorite shots ever.