Friday, April 17, 2015


After we left Charleston, we headed up to visit Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.  Ever since I saw pictures of the kitchen garden I've long wanted to visit his estate.  I was surprised at how much we enjoyed the visit.  Harris, who wasn't thrilled with the idea of a house tour, pronounced in the middle of the tour how cool and interesting it really was. So I counted that as a win.

Besides the house tour, no pictures allowed, we went on a "about slavery at Monticello" tour which I think was educational for all of us.  Though it's not a proud moment in our history, it is our history and I think we can't make changes unless we openly and honestly talk about our past.  The picture below is of Mulberry Row and a reconstructed cabin where up to 10 slaves might have lived!

Even though the gardens were barely getting started for the season, I very much enjoyed wandering the amazing kitchen garden.  I want to be sure to go back at a time when it is in full swing.

The family burial plot is actually still in use by the family.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Charleston and the Best of Friends

From Richmond we headed down to Charleston, South Carolina to visit our dear friends.  Until last fall, I had never before been to Charleston but I have fallen hard for this charming southern city, and it doesn't hurt that one of our very favorite families now calls it home.

Weatherford has been Bryce's best friend since they met in college.  In many ways they couldn't be more different, but I think that's what makes it work so easily.  When Holle joined our circle she only made things better and more interesting.  They are truly salt of the earth people and some of the very best parents I know, which is evident within 5 minutes of being around their children.

We were lucky to get to spend Easter with them at a service at Boone Plantation.  The weather was beautiful and everything was starting to bloom!

For the two and a half days we had with Weatherford, Holle and the children we explored their city and enjoyed spending time together!  It was the sort of time together that feeds the soul and we are so thankful for it and for them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Almost Misadventure

Our trip for Spring Break did not exactly start out on the right foot.  The morning of our departure Bryce went to hitch up the Airstream to the truck only to discover that the lock had corroded, from all the salt on the road this winter, and wouldn't budge!  A locksmith had to be called in (he had to cut it off!) which delayed our leaving by several hours.  This might not have been a big deal had it not put us in the D.C./Maryland corridor, along with all other spring breakers, at exactly the wrong time! Traffic was a complete nightmare and we sat and/or barely moved for 3 extra hours in traffic.

Perhaps we wouldn't have been so frustrated if we weren't trying to make it to Richmond, Virginia for reservations at Heritage for dinner.  You see, Bryce has long wanted to go to Heritage as he met the bartender there years ago when he was bartender at a restaurant in our area.  It was he who introduced Bryce to his all time favorite drink, the Vieux Carre.  I had made our reservations on the earlier side as we would have the children with us, but it became clear that there was no way we would make it on time.  Fortunately, they were very accommodating, even though they had no other open times, and eventually just told us to come on whenever we could make it!

As our drive became longer and longer it also became clear that there was absolutely no way we were going to be able to check in to our campsite and still make it to dinner.  Bryce made the sad decision to cancel dinner altogether.  However, I couldn't let it go and found myself wondering if there was any possible way to just take the Airstream with us.  Now, if you are wondering, it's not feasible or easy to take the Airstream into a lot of spaces.  It's wide, long and can be tricky to make turns, so the idea of taking it into downtown Richmond was a little laughable!  I turned to the satellite view on our navigation system and discovered that Heritage was actually relatively close to the highway and that there was a middle school across the street with what looked like a large parking lot!  We decided, perhaps irrationally, to try it!  When we got to the middle school our hearts dropped when we discovered that the parking lot I had seen was currently under construction for a new building!  We thought our chance was lost, but found a much narrower parking lot on the other side of the school. The story has a happy ending in that we managed to pull in,  make it to a very late dinner and not get a parking ticket!  Also, the meal did not disappoint and was very, very delicious.

Afterwards, we headed to Pochohantas State Park campground (Harris was already fast asleep). Unfortunately, because we got in so late, we really didn't have much time to explore the state park but would like to go back as it seemed like a very nice place to explore a little!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Airstream Cookies

The house is quite this morning as everyone went back to school and to work as once again spring break has come and gone.  Fourteen years ago, when I was still teaching, I never would have thought that I would say this, but here it goes.... school, and all of it's requirements, drive me crazy!  There is so much I want to do with the children but school provides such hard and fast boundaries that I often feel frustrated (though in reality so does work and children's activities, so there's that too)!  It's not that I don't value education because I very much do, but I also realize that there's so much to learn outside of a classroom.  Anyone else feel that way?

We went on an Airstream adventure over the break and to celebrate I made little cookies to take in the car with us.  They sure weren't perfect but I thought they were sweet!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring Break

Winter has really stuck around this year, but we are finally starting to see signs of spring!  Over the weekend, I bundled up and headed to the garden to check things out and discovered that my garlic is coming up!  It gives me hope that spring really is just around the corner.

The children have the next week off for spring break (first time they have been off at the same time!).  I'm really looking forward to time with them and I don't think I"ll be blogging during their spring break.  I want to wish you all a very hoppy Easter, and I hope you have signs of spring wherever you may be!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Day in Soho

On Saturday, Gretchen and I went into the city for a day of wandering, shopping, eating and celebrating her birthday!  I wish that I had gotten better photos of our day but my phone's battery has been draining very quickly and either my phone was dead or I didn't want to drain it further. Unfortunately, the store that we desperately wanted to go to was closed on Saturday!  Therefore, we went to breakfast and felt better after a cantaloupe mimosa and rosewater waffle at Jack's Wife Freda.

We stayed mostly in Soho for the day and spent a lot of time in Purl admiring all the beautiful colors and gorgeous yarns and fabrics.

For dinner that evening we went to Birds and Bubbles and I'm pretty sure that it was there we found our happy place.  Champagne and fried chicken?  Yes, please.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Black Sheep (Then and Now)

I have two distinct memories of "outfits" that I loved as a child.  One was an OP (Ocean Pacific) pair of leggings and a sweatshirt that I pitched a fit for and wore for longer than I should have, and the other was a sweatshirt featuring little sheep.  I even had a matching pair of socks!

Naturally, when I found a sweatshirt that reminded me of my beloved old one, I had to purchase it. Originally, I purchased it for myself but found that I felt a bit silly in it (as a 42 year old!) and eventually Grace took it over.  It's unfortunate, but she does not have a matching pair of socks.
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