As the days of school wound down and summer approached, Ian and I began to realize just how busy our summer was going to be. We looked at our calendar filled with trips to visit friends and family, weekends our house was going to be full to the brim with folks we love, and plenty of dental, orthodontic, vision and other medical appointments and realized that if we wanted to get in at least one weekend of camping, that the first weekend of summer vacation was going to be it.
The only issue was that weekend just happened to include Father's Day...
Of course I am married to the guy who said, "A weekend in the woods with my family is WAY better than a tie for Father's Day!" So I took him at his word and booked our tent site in Fancy Gap, VA.
We explored the quaint town of Meadows of Dan, sampling our way through Nancy's Candy Company and trying on various hats in the Poor Farmer's Market.
Our location also provided the opportunity to spend time on the Blue Ridge Parkway, complete with a stop at Mabry Mill, a historic site that brought the days of Little House on the Prairie alive for Kylie.
Ian gave the kids a living history lesson on farming implements,
|such a good lesson...and our kids were so attentive... that we were were asked if we were homeschoolers|
It was a blissful weekend with no technology distractions. The kids fine tuned their "patty cake" games.
They dug in the dirt.
They helped with meals...while they played Yamslam.
And they played Yamslam some more...
|if you don't know this game, think "yahtzee meets poker"...it's awesome!|
(Yes, we realize it is "camping with a K," but at this point, we'd need a packmule to carry the food required to feed our kids for a backpack camping weekend cause they can't carry that weight just yet. At least we're getting them acclimated to weekends in a tent...)
In addition to a really friendly staff (adoption friendly at that!) and super clean bathrooms, there was a pool, a fishing pond with paddle boats, and even a gem mining sluice way.
Our crew was totally not ready to head home at the end of our time. Luckily Ian and I had one more little surprise up our sleeves. There were two ways back home...the short way, and the way that wove across the mountains a bit and right by the Ayer's Cherry Orchard.
As they read signs and tried to guess our mystery destination, my favorite quote was, "Cherry orchard? We're going cherry picking? I love picking cherries. Well...I haven't been cherry picking before, but I think I'll love it!"
And when you can't quite reach the best cherries in the trees, it's a good thing to have a tall daddy who can serve as your ladder.
We came home rested, reconnected, and laden with sweet black cherries. It was truly a Father's Day weekend for the memory books!