A Weekend in the Mountains
I white-knuckled the steering wheel up the seemingly never ending driveway, the kids in back screaming "Don't look down!!" and "AAAAAACK!!!". Not terribly helpful. Of course I had to glance over, super fast, and immediately below us was the valley, lilliputian houses and rolling farms in emerald green patches ringed by the famous Blue Ridge mountains. Guard rails would have been a welcome sight considering my truck was almost the entire width of the lane, and I would be lying if I said my heart wasn't beating out of my chest when we came face to face with another truck. But somehow we squeezed by (hold breath and cue more kids 'playful' screaming) and made it to the top.
The reward, the impressive stone house and spectacular backdrop, was best summed up in Peyton's exclamation "OH MY GOD!". I said "Peyton, you don't say God, you say gosh". He responded "No Mom, this one deserves an 'Oh my God'". The boy had a point.
Our weekend destination was a friend's family retreat to celebrate Allison's (Queen of 'the running man') birthday. Home for the following two days would be a... well, a castle, nestled on the side of a mountain. We joined 36 friends, some new, some old and all great. The next 48 hours on 'activity mountain' would include hiking, hitting golf balls, shooting skeet, tennis, foosball, late night ping pong, dancing, eating, drinking, huge country breakfasts, bocce, and a midnight limbo contest under the watchful eyes of a few authentic suits of armor, which I think have seen a lot in their time and are very confused.
The kids spent a lot of the time pushing on things in an attempt to make bookcases revolve and find hidden passages. I would not have been surprised to see it happen, alas, it did not.
One afternoon we all took a slow hayride to the top of the mountain which was not a peak so much as a huge grassy field from which you could see 360 degrees. Breathtaking. We played an aggressive game of kickball. Haven't done that in, oh, twenty years. I told Peyton the view from the top made it easy to imagine how Lewis and Clark felt on their expedition across the Appalachian Mountains. He decided it looked more like the opening credits of "The Simpsons". That's what you get with a ten-year old. And again he had a point.
And to my Vancouver friends who are saying 'what mountains?', pipe down. Those are Virginia Mountains. And that's my daughter holding a HUGE lethal Virginia snake of some sort. Actually, maybe that isn't my kid. The two making 'ick' faces seem more genetically connected. I mean, ewwwww...