Climbing Old Rag Mountain

Over the past three years Matt and I have hiked and road-tripped our way through some awe-inspiring destinations on the west coast including Zion National Park, Sedona and Big Sur. Traveling “Out West” has become a yearly pilgrimage, yielding beautiful memories from past adventures and unlimited possibilities for future trips. (Portland! Napa! A train ride from SF to Chicago! The Grand Canyon! So much to see.)

With all of that excitement happening on the left coast, I haven’t given much thought to potential trips back east.  Sure, we take annual drives to the Poconos and the beach and make our way up to Vermont or northern New York every once in a while, but none of these places have rivaled the awesomeness of the western landscape. But all that changed on Friday when Matt and I hiked up Old Rag Mountain in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Continue reading

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Weekend Getaway to Virginia’s Eastern Shore

This morning it snowed (AGAIN!!) but as I type this huddled next to our propane stove I am thinking of the warm, sunny, amazing weekend that Matt and I just spent with our friends in the quaint seaside town of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Cape Charles Beach

We drove down to Cape Charles on Friday afternoon and checked into Cape Charles Blue, a cool boutique hotel with exposed brick walls and super high ceilings.  Then we walked down the little main street to Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, a great restaurant/bar in a converted bank that dates back to 1907.  We ate in the old bank vault and the food was delicious… I had bangers and mash (yum!!!) and Matt had a rich shepherd’s pie with lamb and beef.  In addition to excellent food Kelly’s also had 10+ beers on tap which made it the perfect place to hang out with our friends the next day.

On Saturday we woke up to perfect blue skies and amazing temperatures in the mid-60s.  After the insanely cold winter we’ve been having in Pennsylvania it felt like we had traveled to an exotic tropical island!  I went for a run that I had intended to be around 4 miles, but I felt invigorated by the great weather (and the total lack of hills) so I kept on running until I hit 6 miles.  I paused a few times to take photos of the beach and fishing pier.  What a beautiful day!!!

After my run we joined our friends at Kelly’s for drinks before hopping on a chartered minibus and heading up to nearby Machipongo, Virginia for the weekend’s main event – the Barrier Island Center’s Annual Oyster Roast.  The Oyster Roast is an all-you-can-eat oyster and clam fest that benefits the Center’s mission of protecting and preserving the history of Virginia’s barrier islands.  And when I say all you can eat, I mean it!  There were huge metal counter-height tables set up on a grassy lawn and the caterers continuously delivered perfectly roasted, steaming hot oysters and clams to the tables by the bushel-full (or maybe by the half-bushel-full… either way it was a lot of mollusks!)  We crowded around the tables with little containers of melted butter and cocktail sauce and ate oysters as fast as we could.  They were delicious!

31 Shucking Oysters

That’s Matt shucking an oyster in the photo above.  I was a little hesitant about using the oyster knife so Matt opened my oysters for me.  Luckily the clams were already steamed open so I could eat those while I waited.  🙂

After a late post-Oyster-Fest night at Kelly’s we woke up to another unseasonably warm day on Sunday.  Matt and I went on an easy 3 mile run around town before joining a few of our friends for breakfast and saying our goodbyes.  5 hours of driving later we returned home to our snow-covered yard and cold temperatures which was a bummer, but at least we got to enjoy two days of spring-like bliss in Virginia!

Cape Charles beach