Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh Shenandoah I long to See you

For fall break Chris and I thought we would be basically kickin it here boredom style. Luckily the Adams' picked up on our over the top hints that we wanted to go camping with them :) So we packed up the cars and headed down for what I honestly believe was the funnest two days of Sam's life thus far! We broke up the drive by stopping at an amazing apple orchard perched above the city of Charlottesville.

They were having an apple festival since it was Columbus day so it was plenty busy!
They had lots of pumpkins but seen as we have a ton of those, we stocked up on apple pie, cider, apple doughnuts etc.
Liam trekked up and down the orchard carefully and slowly.
While Sam simply slide down on his bum.

And Sophie opted for the shoulders.
It is actually pretty cool how they pick apples. You would use these long poles with baskets on the end to get the ones you wanted, while knocking down the others :)
The boys scarfed down a few apples and we hit the road.
Matt found a great spot for us to set up camp. It had spotless bathrooms and our tents backed right up to the Appalachian trail.
Now as many of you know Chris is not a fan of camping. The only reason I got him to come was because he knew Matt was experienced and it wouldn't be too horrible. His experiences have been with the military and scouts... never the cushy family style camping we did! Thanks to the Halls we had a huge tent so we set up Liam's porta-crib and blew up our Air mattress and still had room to walk around! Chris set up our tent heater and I knew we were in business.
While the parents set up our tents we let the boys set up the little play tent of Sam's I had brought for them to hang out it. (We eventually got it put up) Some passers by actually asked us if that was where we were having the kids sleep! Matt thought this was a great idea and volunteered to take the tent a few miles into the woods for them :) Kids survivor style. We gave them a snack of giant bugs! Gummy of course!
They had fun collecting wood and making a fire. We had our YUMMY precooked honey glazed chicken and veggie tin foil dinners. The boys had lots of hot dogs on sticks.

Fischer liked to sneak up on Sam and give him tickles! They played great both days, thankfully neither was in a fiesty mood.
We of course broke out the s'more products and went to town. I had purchased Halloween peeps because I thought that would be fun for the boys to roast and watch the sugar caramelize. Sam ended up walking around with a cluster all night, not eating it, just holding it. He would drop it in the dirt periodically and dust it off.
He even gave it to Chris once who put it back in the package only to get really excited a few mins later asking for more and taking the exact same clump! Ha! I also stocked up at the dollar store on glow in the dark products. The boys like their magic wands or more manly killer stars on sticks. Matt really appreciated my efforts at two in the morning, as Fischer slept with his and gouged Matt in the face with it a few times.
Liam went down like a champ at around nine and we let the boys stay by the warm fire for a bit then hit the sac around 10. Even though the temps dropped significantly the little tent heater kept us toasting all night! Liam sensed that I wanted to see the sunrise and thus kindly woke me up at 6:30 ish. Luckily Fischer knew Matt felt the same way so they were up and building a fire. Fisch cuddled up with a blanket
and Liam attempted to look as chubby and comfortable as possible.
While Sophers looked as gorgeous as possible! I love how much she looks like Jord
Sam slept in until 8!! Chris said he had stirred a little bit and asked for his pumpkin flashlight. Then with a huge grin on his face drifted off to sleep. Chris thought it really looked like there was no where he would rather be. We had an enormous breakfast of scrambled eggs with peppers, bacon, has browns, cereal, hot apple cider, orange juice and of course apples. The boys dug in getting ready for the hike!

I had bought the boys "Pirate" beanies for the night time (Sam is sleeping in his currently)
and then pirate bandannas for the hike. Thus they spent most of the morning trying to out Arrrr! Each other. It was very entertaining.
When they weren't making pirate noises they were beating things with other things... very manly, I am sure Sophie was impressed.
After breakfast we packed up and headed to the White Oak trail for a hike.
These are just a few of the pics I took. Jordan hit it on the head when she said it was like a scene from a movie. The wind would blow and it would rain yellow, orange and red leaves. It was GORGEOUS!
We got to see lots of deer close up and even more caterpillars, which the boys poked a lot, frankly I don't know if the one on this log survived, poor thing.

The boys would alternate between walking and riding in packs on our backs. Liam and Sophie spent the majority of the time in the packs,
sometimes getting a little too comfy.
After a little off-roading and some tree branch breaking we made it to the base of an amazing water fall. Luckily the boys went a head across the river because it was crazy slippery and Chris went for a swim with Sam on his back! He recovered quickly and Jord and I headed a little south for safer crossing.
We had a yummy lunch including a crazy good "trail mix" that Jordan and Matt made, 80% candy 20% granola and nuts. My kind of snack!
The boys explored and Fischer rock climbed!
It was a great hike down... and it really wasn't bad going back either. Fisch looking right at me during a little break.
Sam was a real trooper and walked a big chunk of it! Every time we ran into a group of hikers they would make funny comments about us hiking with four kids :) always kind but still funny. This is us after the hike. You know it was great when you can still flash a big grin for the camera.
And this is the boys after about ten mins in the car on the way home!
The next morning I asked Sam if he wanted to come help me unpack the camping gear from the car. He jumped up and said "Okay! Bye! I going panking with Ischer!" aka I am going camping with Fischer. He climbed right up into his car seat and was none to happy when I explained we were done "panking". Thank you sooooo much Adams' for helping us have a fabulous fall break. In the end Chris loved it and when I mentioned doing it again soon he agreed! Now that is progress!
PS Mom and Dad do you remember when I sang the song that is the title of this post in California State Choir and I got a lecture in the car on the way home about watching the conductor :)


Janet Crawford said...

Oh My Gosh!!! What a beautiful camping trip. The scenery at your camp site and on the hike are spectacular. What a great time you had. It reminds of vacations I had as a little girl. A lot of work but such beauty and fun.