Saturday, August 24, 2013

Scenes from Shenandoah

We spent the past week in Shenandoah, VA...hiking through Shenandoah National Park trails, driving on Skyline Drive, hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail, kayaking, fishing and sort of relaxing. Even though our accommodations were less than stellar (well, the setting was serene and beautiful).
Looking at the house from the outside was great. It was a beautiful property right across from the South Fork of Shenandoah River. When we entered, we were greeted with air freshener and potpourri (a big sign that they were hiding some kind of smell). It turned out to be the musty smell of an old house. The house was probably more than 100 years old and it was kind of furnished that way, too. It only had one bathroom ...on the first floor, so those of us who need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night had quite the hike. The house was situated was RIGHT next to a railroad track and that also posed quite a problem for sleeping. When the train went past, the entire upstairs shook (my son actually thought there was an earthquake the first time!). Needless to say, didn't get much sleep. Halfway through the week, our bathroom door fell off the hinges causing us to scream, "don't come in the family room, I'm taking a shower" or "going to the bathroom!"
However, accommodations aside, the trip was pretty cool. Beautiful scenery, great and strenuous hikes and nice family time (although my husband was only there for 1-1/2 days and my oldest was only there for 2 days). Had quality time with the other two.
On our way down we visited the famous Luray Caverns and my youngest did a ropes course. See the brave boy to the right...
As I said, we did a lot of hiking, mostly to summit the two tallest peaks in the park -- Hawkbill Mtn. and Stoney Man Mtn. We also attempted Old Rag Mountain -- a very strenuous hike, which we weren't prepared for (one bottle of water each...what?!) We made it almost to the top, but after hiking straight uphill for about 4-5 miles over rocks and very steep inclines, we came to a huge rock scramble that required a lot of strength to finish. Sadly, we had to turn around...and "Miss fitness" here was the reason...seriously, I just couldn't do it and I am determined to go back and prove to the boys that I can (I know I can), but next time, I'm bringing a ton of water and energy bars....cooler weather will also help, but darn it, I'm determined! Here are some scenes from the mountain tops...and beautiful waterfalls along the way.

Well, school starts next week and I have a week's worth of work to catch up on, but these photos will always be a great memory.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nature's Magic

My youngest and I took a little trip this week -- back to my hometown to visit my mom who just had surgery. We left early Sunday so we could take a little detour to one of my favorite places -- Ohio Pyle, PA. Above, the fog was settling in as we drove.
Here are some scenes from our visit.
Below: a natural water slide. The water was too high so we didn't venture into it (it was also very cold).

Mapping out a trail.

Above, a tree growing out of the rocks and below some scenes from Cucumber Falls:

 Can't wait to go back.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Package it Pretty!

I'm a sucker for good packaging and love when I order something -- anything -- and it comes wrapped in a creative way. Take for instance, the packaging materials I bought from AnnabelGray. It was a tiny purchase, just some dry wax bags and little boxes to ship my small items from my Etsy shops. Anyway, it arrived this way. Simple, but so sweet and well done:
She inspired me so, I decided to start sending my heart charms in a similar way - I used to package them with tissue paper. I still wrap tissue around them, but this way is much easier and I think, more fun. I really want to find the brown kraft stickers and create my own envelope sealers, but this is all I could find at Hobby Lobby yesterday.
I also love gift wrapping packages for customers. I sent out my latest creation wrapped in tulle...I love tulle. It makes everything looks so lovely.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Just playing catch up or should I say trying to juggle way too many balls right now. Thought I'd share a few adventures and this really cool photo (above) taken with my iPhone...kind of looks like the heavens are opening.
We went to a water park last week. It was packed with kids from camps. After they all left at about 2:30, we were finally able to enjoy ourselves. And, we did enjoy ourselves...we didn't leave until 7 PM!

We also went for a few hikes this summer:

not much else happening ...just work, work, work. Oh, and a couple of etsy sales, which I'm always very happy about!