We have ARRIVED! We are now two southern bells and a cowboy (at least for a year)! We have been absent from the blog for a short while due to moving to a new state. That’s right, we packed up and moved from Virginia to Alabama in a quick 20 days! Its been a whirlwind of boxes, brown paper and goodwill donations.
Donald’s work gave us a VERY short notice to pack up and move to a new location. So we complied. Isn’t that what everyone would do? (LOL). We sent him down here 2 weeks after we received notice. I stayed behind with the little lady and waited for the movers.
Last Friday I started the 12-hour trek south on hwy 95. We made a quick stop in Raleigh, NC to visit a long time friend I hadn’t seen in nearly 10 years! It was a night of laughs, wine, and kids playing “batman cave” till way past their bedtime!
Day two of the drive was the part that made me nervous. 9 hours in the car with a 2 year old and no one to help me. But to my surprise she did AMAZING! We had no wet pants, no breakdowns and no fights getting back in her car seat! It was so AWESOME!
We drove to the new, yet temporary, home we will be in for a mere 9 months. Then where…who knows! But we love the adventures!
Our weekend started early on Saturday morning! We packed the Sprinter with a weekend full of gear and headed out to the Blue Ridge Mountains for some last minute camping. First stop, Crossfit Charlottesville to watch a few fellow athletes and coaches compete in the Super Fit Games Charlottesville.
We arrived at the crossfit box at noon and under a hot direct sun! Our team had an easy-up which provided ample shade. The Husband and I rotated between taking photos of the our teammates in the competition and watching the little one. She did a good job of sitting in her stroller for all of about 30 minutes.
By this time, the three of us were ready to move. Donald let he ride her the YBIKE around the area and play ball with the other kids. They even ‘raced’ each other up and down the drive-way!
After about 2 hours of this we called it quits. We said our good-byes and headed to South Street Brewery in downtown Charlottesville for a flight of beer and lunch!
When we had our fill of food, we pointed the Sprinter to the west and headed out! Skyline Drive, in the Shenandoah Mountains was our destination. We jumped on at the southern entrance. There are only 4 places of entry on the 105 mile road.
Loft Mountain campgrounds was our point of interest. Located at mile marker 74.5 on Skyline Drive we were approximately 30 miles away. A nice campground with plenty of space between each site.
We decided to take a nice “easy” 20 mile bike ride at the request of daddy. We didn’t exactly pay attention to the HUGE 2 mile accent we took to the TOP of Loft Mountain to the camp ground. But quickly realized it when we sped to the bottom.
We rode up skyline drive and stopped at a few beautiful overlooks.
When we decided to head back to the campground we took a deep breath and went for it. We both dropped down to our triples and peddled hard. What took us 5 minutes to descend, it took us 25 minutes to ascend.
When we got back to camp it took a while to catch our breath and we realized we didn’t stop for fire wood on the way back up. The camp store was 3/4 a mile down the hill…OOPS. Time to climb again. We rode the big dummy down to the camp store and arrived at exactly 8:02. The camp store closed at 8pm. While we wallowed in irritation, we chatted with another camper. He had a dog with him and was waiting for his wife. As we talked, the camp store manager showed up and said he could give us a bundle of wood. But we needed cash. Of course we didn’t bring cash (another oops).
To our surprise the nice man we chatted with offered to buy the bundle of wood for us! We couldn’t allow him to do that of course, and the camp store manager said we could come back in the morning and pay for it. This encounter reminded us you should always be nice to people. You never know who you will run into!
We hauled the bundle of wood up the hill … slowly.
We made some dinner and helped the little one catch “tinker bells” (fireflies). I then opened a few glow sticks for her and she LOVED IT! She ran around the camp circle until well past her bed time.
To our surprise we all slept until well past 8am! We never sleep that late in the Sprinter! We cleaned up and headed to the bottom of the hill to the camp store! A nice breakfast of eggs and toast with some BAD coffee. I love my coffee and this place had HORRIBLE coffee. Cream and sugar couldn’t even make it better.
We headed North on Skyline Drive to the next entrance/exit point at Swift Run Gap. We took the ‘back way’ home avoiding ALL 95 traffic. This is the way we normally go. Virginia is great except for the horrid humidity and the ridiculous traffic!
Do you want to spend some time on Skyline Drive? Just follow these few simple steps!
Our Outer Banks by bike tour around the North Carolina’s Outer Banks was phenomenal! We followed Adventure Cycling Associations maps for the Atlantic Coast and biked the 255 mile loop starting and ending in Elizabeth City, NC.
The ACA offers a great guided tour of the exact route we took, and they just so happened to start the SAME day we did! Since we had a toddler with us, we chose early on in our trip planning not to use a guided service incase we had an unruly toddler with us (which can happen at any given time) and we didn’t want to hold any one up OR ruin anyones experience by dealing with a child’s sudden outburst. (Just to make it clean, Abigail was a DREAM on this trip…but you know Murphy’s law and I am SURE if we had booked the trip with the ACA she would have acted up. Its what toddlers do.)
Lets back up a day or two… We started our vacation with a workout at our Crossfit Box called The Manion. It is a Hero WOD (Workout of the Day) honoring First Lieutenant Travis Manion. The workout consisted of 7 rounds of a 400 meter run, and 29 back squats. The workout took nearly 40 minutes to complete and 203 squats and a 1.75 mile run. Needless to say our legs were toast for our 255 mile bike trip.
We drove 4 hours to the rest area in Dismal Swamp State Park. We crashed out in the Adventure Van for the night. At this point we were 20 miles from Elizabeth City.
The next morning started pretty early and full of excitement. We packed up the van and headed south to town. We were expecting to find a local diner of sorts for a big hardy breakfast, but we only found a ghost town with a small coffee shop. After asking a few locals where to get some good food, we were told that nothing, except fast food, was open in town on a Sunday before noon. So we settled for a few coffees and some coffee cake from Muddy Waters Coffeehouse . Not quite the hardy breakfast one needs before a 53 mile ride. Little did we know this would become a common issue for us all week.
While sipping hot coffee we unloaded the bikes and clipped on our panniers. The maps we bought from ACA didn’t have the exact route from Elizabeth City to Plymouth. So I got out my iPhone and told siri to get me to Plymouth via the walking route. Sure enough it was as easy as pie!
Check out our video of Day 1. Make sure to sot back and read ALL the chapters in our incredible trip!
Our last post we gave a you Simple List of Family Adventures that you can do any day of the week. Last night we decided to take our own advice and have a weeknight adventure!
If you can’t tell we LOVE our bikes … we have 9 total in our basement (not counting the baby’s Strider). Our friends call it the “Bike Shop.” Needless to say we don’t get to ride ALL variations of our bikes too often.
We are part of a Mountain Bike Club near our house and they have a weekly Wednesday Night Ride. Normally we are elbows deep in a CrossFit workout during this time, but the stars aligned yesterday and we were able to do BOTH!
The trailhead is a huge open area where everyone parks and is still off the main road by at least 400 yards, so there is no traffic or a busy parking lot with lots of moving vehicles to be concerned about. We always attend these events as a family, including CrossFit (check out Abigail’s evening Crossfit Set-up here). The baby is not a burden to either of us, and we became parents knowing this. So we have changed our lives ever so slightly to accommodate her. When we mountain bike, we take turns. This is the only biking we do that we can’t all do together; at least not yet. Last time we were out on the mountain bikes, I got to ride and Donald stayed at the trail head and watched the Abigail. This time I stayed with her and he rode.
The ride was only about an hour long, so Abigail and I explored. These trails are part of the trail system we played in the mud at last week, although there was no mud this time.
We took our time and explored the trail. She wanted to find Daddy so we headed in the same direction the bikers went.
We picked up rocks and looked at flowers!
Her Dinosaur goes everywhere with her now.
She found a rock for him to hold during our walk!
We poked along at no fast pace, playing with our shadows and touching nature. I have found lately that if I let her choose the pace, and the direction on the path we are going, she feels like she is making decisions and I am supporting her. This has helped with our Tenacious Twos. We struggle at somethings, but if she has a chance to make decisions and be independent the day can go much smoother.
When it was time to head back, I carrier the little adventurer for a bit. We had walked into the trail system about a mile. When we got back we had a drink and chilled at the Sprinter.
A great after work adventure was had by all! Have you been out on an after work adventure this week? Tell us about it! Send photos too and you could be featured you on our next post!
We are avid CrossFitters and bring our little girl with us most days. She sits in her stroller and watches a kids show while we attend the WOD.
Today she picked up the door stopper for our sliding back door and started to do Snatches. Without being coached she just jumped right in! Seems like someone has been paying attention during the WODs.
The take away from this video is not that we are encouraging our 22 month old to learn olympic lifting, We are amazed at what children learn from their parents and people around them. We hope to teach our child to have an active lifestyle by embracing the world around her.
We spent the morning at the Crossfit Box for New Years Day! AWESOME partner WOD! Donald and I weren’t able to be partners, but we each kicked butt on our individual teams. Lots of sled pulls, 400 meter run, clean and jerks, front squats, double-unders and burpees. My partner and I crushed it! Hard workout! Here are a few photos from after the WOD. Enjoy!