Fall in Virginia

It was beautiful out yesterday and I took Matt’s suggestion to take Lizzie to the park near our house. It’s got two little play sets plus swings and a zip-line type thing. She had a blast, running around, climbing up, going down slides, learning how to pump her legs while swinging, and doing lots of giggling as she hung out with a new little friend. She played, I tried to keep her from killing herself and admired the beautiful colors all around me, in the shady park.

I really enjoy living somewhere where fall is actually a thing. Not Florida’s version which just means slightly cooler weather and the mosquitoes are gone (though I loved that part of it). Not California’s fall which is finally-below-80 temperatures and onset of the – by comparison only – rainy season. The leaves actually turn colors here and fall to the ground. Temperatures play with you a little, but eventually get cooler and a jacket is no longer for just wearing in your freezing cold office (ahem).

Fall has come late this year, with only about half of the leaves having turned or fallen. We even had a day with the temps nearly hitting 80 last week. I can be patient, though, because it is just so beautiful when it gets here.

(Yes, she is wearing a dress. I asked her to put her pants back on and it was almost 70 so my “you’ll be cold” argument fell flat. Fight your battles, particularly when it comes to prep to go to the park.)

(Okay, that last picture has nothing to do with Fall but I couldn’t resist posting it because I took basically the same photo last year and she looks SO BIG in comparison. Also, she rocks shades.)

Oh, Shenandoah

This weekend was Squirm’s first ever time in Shenandoah National Park. We drove over after work on Tuesday, driving all the way from the north entrance to our room at Big Meadows, stopping at nearly every scenic overlook. Squirms was great in the car – well, she was great until we were about 15 miles from arriving then she totally lost it, between the long car ride and it being her usual dinner time.

We’d never been to Shenandoah in the fall before and it was just as beautiful as Matt had described it to me. All of the trees were orange and yellow and red and gorgeous. The meadow itself was just past the peak so mostly dead bushes but, still, it was lovely.

We stayed in one of the oldest cabins at Big Meadows, the kind were you have a tiny room because it’s only half of a tiny cabin. It had a fireplace but our first attempt to make a fire failed so we gave up. Thankfully, Squirms slept about as easily as she does at home so we weren’t those people with the screaming baby on the other side of a thin, thin wall. We did get to hear the couple next to us arguing over how to play the game of Life as Matt read and I worked on sewing together the last part of Squirms’s Halloween costume.

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We were up at the usual 7 both days, grabbing breakfast at the lodge before heading out. On Saturday morning, we headed up Skyline Drive a bit and did the Upper Hawksbill hike. Squirms was strapped into the awesome framed carrier that one of my old coworkers gave us and was quite happy, despite the chilly temperatures. She fell asleep, waking up just after we got to the summit. We got – hopefully – some good family photos up there that will probably hang out on Matt’s camera for at least a few more weeks.

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Then Squirms really needed some squirming time, so we hung out in our room until dinner. She crawled around while we did more reading and I attempted to knit and read magazines (am still on ones from September, not surprisingly). We did the Black Rock “hike” just before dinner which was gorgeous but Squirms wanted to throw herself off the top so we quickly headed back down.

We headed back on Sunday after breakfast, but first Squirms got to try out a rocking hair for the first time. I guess you could say she’s a bit of a fan.

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We’re already talking about going back in the Spring and again next fall – though we won’t be getting a fireplace room again and will be sure to plan lots of squirming time.