I had a pretty good holiday weekend on the 1st and 2nd. My brother and family came to visit for part of it, so the weekend included wonderful moments like my 3 ½ year old nephew randomly bursting into the Hairbrush song from Veggie Tales in the back seat; a good-morning hug from my brother S; my sister-in-law C being ridiculously kind and helping with the remaining kitchen unpacking and the dirty dishes; getting to hold my nephew’s hand for a little while we walked in the evening; and talking quietly with C into the night while the boys slept.
After a fairly laid-back Sunday (my brother had to work Saturday), on Labor Day Monday we went to a couple of state parks that are very close to my house, up in the Appalachians. At the first park was the Tea Room, a stone building constructed in the mid-1930’s. The building was locked, but I found a neat framing opportunity – looking through the glass door, out the glass door on the other side of the building, to the porch railing and the mountains:
It had rained earlier that morning, but it was only a little cloudy by the time we got to the park and later it cleared up altogether. Turned out to be pretty much perfect weather, though a touch humid. 🙂 We enjoyed exploring the area, including a couple of overlooks into the valley below. Here, my nephew is admiring the drop, which was quite steep. He is standing on a bench to see better – though he is tall for his age, he isn’t that tall!
At the same park, we also walked a mile loop that was rated “easy, good for families”. The sun had come out in full force by then, so we very much enjoyed the shade provided by the trees all around. There are apparently an abundance of fascinating growing things in forests, even with fall coming soon (click any of the pictures for a bigger view):
Having completed the hike, we had promised my nephew a place to play, so we went on very winding, narrow back roads to a second state park a few miles away which had a playground. There we enjoyed a picnic lunch (well, mostly enjoyed… there was a mishap with a couple of the sandwiches in the cooler and a rather amazing array of bugs to crawl on and pester us, including some very persistent teeny-tiny little flying things that clustered around our heads…). My nephew enjoyed the slides and the room to play ball and C and I discovered our incompetency at the monkey bars. 🙂
After the food was finished, we got out my old disc from my Ultimate Frisbee-playing days in college (one of only two sports teams I was ever on). I was pretty unsure how I’d do, given that I hadn’t thrown one around in several years. I ended up fairly impressed – I had more good throws and catches than I’d thought I would. I never could jump, though, so pretty much anything S threw over my head was a lost cause. 😉 It was hot out of the shade and the little flying irritators were unrelenting, but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself. Just the simple act of catching and throwing and laughing and moving in the sun was wonderful.
Eventually time wound on, much as I would have liked it to slow, and they needed to get back on the road for the five hour trip home. So they dropped me off at my apartment, gave one more round of hugs, and headed off. I love having family come visit, but it is always sad when they leave…
However, since there was a good chunk of the afternoon remaining after they left, I took myself to the cheap theater a few blocks from my apartment. 🙂 I had a section here on the movies I watched over the holiday weekend, until I noticed this post was getting ridiculously long. So, I’m cutting this into a two-part post and the second part will come tomorrow. Stay tuned for more…