Last week Mike and his GF Bekah came to visit. We had a "meet the family" day with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins plus a boyfriend and a few other friends, because we like to overwhelm our guests as soon as they walk in the door. Then Mike and Bekah spent a few days visiting old friends and touring DC. And not being overwhelmed.
Thursday we went to Virginia Beach along with 500,000 other people from Northern Virginia, and that was apparent when we hit the first traffic jam still 100 miles from the beach. Coming home that night wasn't any better, but at least we had that salty-crinkly-sunscreeny feeling that I love and memories of a great day in the ocean. I can't wait to go back.
Friday we headed up to the George Washington National Forest for a hike we had never done before. It wasn't as hot as Thursday, for which we were very thankful. As soon as we started up the trail, we knew it was a little-used one, because the grass even in the middle was almost knee-high in places. About 100 yards into the 2-hour climb, it was apparent that this was The Year of the Tick, and there was a bumper crop. We were brushing them off constantly and praying for no Lyme carriers. I guess time will tell.
We also found this well-camouflaged caterpillar. I felt like such a homeschooler taking this picture.
But in spite of the ticks, it was a good hike. About halfway up, we started to notice a few wild blueberry bushes, and the higher we got, the thicker they were. In one spot, we could have stood still and picked gallons from the bushes right around us. We did stop and pick some to eat, and they were sugar-sweet. I was wishing I had buckets. We may or may not have pulled up two small bushes and stuffed their roots down into my half-full water bottle, to bring home and plant in the garden. I hope they survive. If we, you know, actually DID that.
Anyway, we got the obligatory sweaty-hike photo of Mike and Bekah (apparently that's the only kind of picture they ever have taken), and Mike climbed out on the edge of a rock and took a few photos for me.
Overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.
Now M&B have gone back to Florida and we're back to real life, which includes Ben being scheduled for surgery to re-attach his right biceps tendon, as well as throwing his back out in the garden Saturday morning. Abbey is home from shooting her third wedding, Leah is singing and playing her violin in church tonight, and Mansquared is sleeping off his late night at Bonefish Grill.
And I'm feeling the urge to do some rearranging here, so don't be surprised if things look just a little different someday soon. Sort of like a virtual moving the furniture thing.
Be thankful ~