Then and Now: 5 Year Wedding Anniversary

Cabin, Front Royal, VA
You are my greatest adventure
You are my greatest adventure

On March 28th we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.

Anniversary March 28, 2014
Anniversary March 28, 2014

5 years ago we [sort-of] eloped. Our families were all aware we were getting married but instead of the craziness of the big day where it would be all about everyone else EXCEPT the two of us, we decided to do it OUR way!

WeddingMarch 28, 2009
WeddingMarch 28, 2009

We rented an awesome cabin in Front Royal, VA. Took our two large dogs. Brought some great food. Hired an officiant. And were married at 9:00am on a rainy, foggy morning in jeans and outer shells, with our two dogs as witnesses. One word: AMAZING!

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA

It was absolutely perfect! After the 15 minute tiny ceremony we went wine tasting in the beautiful hills of Virginia.

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Hills in Front Royal, VA
sunset - Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Sunset – Cabin in Front Royal, VA

Fast Forward 5 years. Both our big lovable dogs have passed away from Cancer, we have moved across the country and back and we have a beautiful little girl. Since we just happen to be in a close vicinity of the cabin for our 5 year anniversary we decided why not spend the evening!

Sprinter Van
Sprinter Van

A quick 2 hour drive landed us in the hills of Virginia. 15 minutes outside of Front Royal, still stands this beautiful cabin.

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA

It was just like we remembered. Only this time instead of walking the dogs around the grounds, we chased a nearly 2 year old!

Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Cabin in Front Royal, VA
Our little lady!
Our little lady!

We are not apposed to wine tasting with our little one, but on a Thursday afternoon the local wineries were not open since its the off season. So we rented a few movies and sat by the fire playing paper dolls!

Watching movies!
Watching movies!
Dinner
Dinner
Lobster
Lobster
Wine and Beer
Wine and Beer

The next morning we took THE photo. Our “now” photo. What a change life has been. Its a pure blessing where we were, what we have done and where we are now. There are so many adventures in our future! We are happier now then we have ever been.

Then and Now
Then and Now

 

Surly Big Dummy UPDATES

The Silver Back Gorilla (SBG) came into our life mid January 2014 and its been a hoot to put some miles on it during the winter. The Virginia weather has been a bit of a downer on outdoor activity, however the SBG has forced me to suck it up and get on the saddle. The Dummy is already proving to be an awesome addition to our growing stable of bikes, but like many other toys, this one CRAVES upgrades and aftermarket goodies!

Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat

 

Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat
The primary reason for purchasing the SBG was to haul our little girl around on the back (at least that is how I justified it to my wife). So the first addition was a Yepp seat. You can see the installation of this seat HERE.

Only change with the seat was moving it more to the center of the deck in order to keep it from hitting my heels when I peddled. The platform as a whole is very stable, proving to be very easy to haul a toddler, groceries, workout gear, large awkward objects and enough beer for all your friends in one trip if you so desire.

Surly Big Dummy
Surly Big Dummy
Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat
Surly Big Dummy Yepp Seat

The next thing I swapped out was the saddle. I added a black Brooks spring seat to the mix. We have Brooks saddles on multiple bikes, but this is the first one with springs and I really dig it. The springs add a nice shock absorber to the rig and I believe some style points for sure.

Brooks Saddle
Brooks Saddle
Brooks Saddle
Brooks Saddle

The last thing we’ve added up to this point is a set of Jones Loop H bars (710 version). I chose the slightly wider ones in hopes of finding a wide variety of hand positions and so far am very pleased. I slapped on some Ergon GP 1 grips and then wrapped the rear portion of the bars. The front loop will likely receive some bar tape in the near future, providing for additional hand placement. The bars are AWESOME.

Jones loop bar
Jones loop bar

I don’t think the SBG will ever be complete. A Dynamo front hub and light setup is on the wish list. Additionally I would like to swap out the tires for something a little more in line with our dirt road touring. At this point I’m trying to choose between the Scwalbe Marathon or the Big Apples. Anybody have experience with either tire and care to pass on some advice?