We have been doing more short, mini-trips lately. Often, these are one day jaunts, like our recent trip to Monticello, or our trip into the mountains of Maryland last weekend. I like these mini-trips. A good experience on such a trip can be completely revitalizing.
For Labor Day weekend, we decided at the last minute to head out of town. We wanted to avoid crowds and traffic, so we settled on Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, which we have visited on several occasions in the past.
Driving there, we avoided the highways and took backroads, passing through some beautiful farm country. We did the same on the drive home this afternoon, making even drives pleasant (to say nothing of traffic-free).
On Saturday, we arrived in Berkeley Springs, and headed over to Tari’s for lunch. We’d eaten there a couple of times before, but what stuck out most in my mind was their French Dip sandwich. I ordered it again this time, not having had it in years, and nervously wondering if it would live up to my memory of it.
We wandered around the springs with the kids, pointing out the George Washington’s bathtub (much to their disbelief).
Back at the hotel, the kids had a chance to spend an hour in the pool, cooling off, as well as burning off excess energy accumulated by sitting in the car for a few hours earlier in the day. For dinner, we made our way up to Panorama at the Peak, where we had eaten with friends exactly six years earlier. It was a little overcast when we arrived, but we still had a rather striking view of the confluence of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania below us.
This morning, after an early breakfast, we set off for Cacapon State Park. We took the kids on an early hike on the Piney Ridge Trail. We nearly walked into a deer on that trail. Both kids were pretty excited about that.
We arrived at the lake at about 10:30 am, right when it was opening. We found a shady spot on the beach, and for the next three hours, the kids played in the sand and water, while Kelly and I relaxed. The shade and breeze kept us cool. It was, for me, the most relaxing part of the trip.
We were back home around 4 o’clock this afternoon, and I think we all considered the trip a success. We liked the beach so much that we are considering going back next season and staying at the lodge for a few days, or perhaps getting a cabin. The trip took my mind off work, and allowed us all to spend quality time together. The fact that it is a long weekend helps. We got back this afternoon knowing that there is no school tomorrow, nor is there work for Kelly and I. Instead, we’ll be doing more relaxing, and visiting friends.