Sunday, May 07, 2006

Birthday weekend

I woke up to a giddy Olivia kissing me birthday kisses. Leah was waiting for me at the table, cards lined up and ready. They also tossed balloons all over the place, it was a mini party! I ate a plate of huevos rancheros, my fav breakfast. There were waffles too, but who has room for that after huevos? Besides there was a birthday cake to eat! I opened my cards, beauties made by the girls. Then the gifts. I had all sorts of new Bath and Body Works lotions. Yipee I am nearly through with my last bottle, perfect timing.

Lastly I opened the gift from K-man. It was a bike seat. The other day he asked what I'd like to do for my birthday. I casually mentioned a hike or a short bike ride. Well, turns out there's a trail-fest today celebrating the opening of a new 40 mile long county trail. There will be all kinds of activities along the way. Ok. So I'm sitting there thinking, 'He can't be serious. Does he really think I'm going to want to spend all day riding my bike? A short ride would be great, but 15 miles? I think I'd better have another cup of coffee.' which I did.

As I sat down to drink K-man says "You have one hour to shower, dress and pack for the weekend. We're taking you away." My family tricked me.

I was still a little sleepy and this was rather surprising. I was being taken away for a blindfolded road trip to a secret location. I had no idea what to pack. K-man was not helpful. His list included: bathing suit, hiking boots, jacket, jeans, shorts, dress and sunglasses. In a panic I dashed for the shower. I'd need lots of time to gather up my stuff. It was the most confusing feeling. When I was ready I placed my suitcase by the door and off we went.

As I settled into my seat on went the blindfold. My husband made every effort to try and confuse me on the journey. I remained blindfolded for as long as my stomach could take. For some reason being blindfolded in the car makes me ill. He let me remove the blindfold so I could enjoy the countryside. Our first stop was Naked Mountain vineyard and winery. We followed the signs from highway 50 and followed the twisty road to the tasting room. We sampled a good assortment and purchased a few bottles of wine. I selected a 2003 Chardonnay and a 2004 Cabernet Franc. Very nice.

We stopped in Berkeley Springs, WV for a bit. I chose the Mi Ranchito Mexican Restaurant for lunch. We ate a good sized plate of food. Excellent food. The salsa was soooo addictive. We left stuffed out of our minds. And what a beautiful town.

It turns out they were taking me to the Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Cumberland, Maryland for a relaxing birthday.

We didn't waste any time. There were trails to hike and a lake to explore. First we tried to canoe. That was not the best idea of the day. We have never canoed together as a family and that is the key to staying dry. It was pretty windy out but we figured the wind would die and there would be plenty of time to cruise the lake. Once in the boat the first thing the girls did was look over the edge to see the water. We had to sort out some ground rules before heading out any further. As we came around the cove a wind gust nearly blew us over. As the boat tipped side to side visions of capsizing filled my head.

The girls panicked. They reacted by trying to jump out of the boat, all this is being conveyed to me via my equally concerned husband. I could not turn around, any movement would most certainly cause us to capsize. As my ears fill with the panicked screams of my little girls I was determined to keep us in the boat. I could feel my husband shift his weight to the right to counter the tip, which is sort of a good idea but that nearly caused up to tip again. I braced myself and crouched down low and hollered orders. "Sit down, shut up, and don't move!" We rocked side to side a few more times before we were able to stabilize ourselves. Back to the shore we went. I think this whole trip was about 20 minutes. The longest 20 minutes of the day. Throughout our shenanigans the gents fishing at the dock were having a grand time laughing at us. We should not have been on the lake, amateurs we are, as demonstrated.

Not that we were done with adventure after the canoe. Oh no. A stroll around the lake nearly left us exhausted. I suggested we turn around after the first hour. K-man convinced us that by pressing on it would be much faster to walk around the entire lake. Every time we came upon a cove we thought 'alright almost around!'

Nope.

The trail just kept going.

Two hours into our hike we still hadn't made it around the lake, we were walking forever and the girls were no longer willing to go on. We had reached the point of carrying them. That is bad. When Leah gives up walking it's been too long. Once we reached the campground we turned back. We mixed walking with jogging to speed up the return. The sun was setting and I was not interested in being outside in the dark, particularly during turkey season. (There were many warnings from staff about the dangers of wild turkeys- don't ask, just giggle.) The return time was about an hour. Which put us back at 715pm.

After a quick shower it was off to a nice dinner. I was beat. Almost too beat for supper. According to the map we concluded that by making it to the campground, which is halfway around the lake, we walked 2.5 miles. Even though we technically didn't walk all the way around we did in spirit.



Getting up on Sunday was hard. My poor body was sore from the running and carrying Olivia 2 miles. The girls and Daddy took an early morning swim, how he had the energy I will not know. At the pool Leah was very interested in this 9 year old boy. He was all alone, his father was golfing and his mother was out. He described to Leah how he left his parents a note. Leah was impressed. She caught a glimpse of independence.

Breakfast buffet was yummy. While I went to fill a plate K-man gave the girls coffee. Leah chugged her drink and wanted more. To be fair K-man did give them a small amount, mostly they had milk, yet still the affects were funny. Within minutes they began to chatter at speeds unseen before. The caffeine really hit them quick. At least we found it entertaining.

The big surprise was to come. I was treated with an hour long massage after Sunday breakfast. While I relaxed Daddy spent the morning having a father-daughter fishing moment. The massage was wonderful. It was a great ending to the surprise trip.

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