Monday, May 30, 2011

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

This weekend, the kids and I set out for another holiday adventure at "Camp Rob". This is my nickname for the amazing home my Uncle Rob and Aunt Marianne have in West Virginia. They live in a beautiful community about 20 minutes from Shepherdstown. My sister and I have made a tradition out of spending Labor Day/Memorial Day weekends at Rob's whenever possible. We love this place so much that my sister got married there last October.

I call it "Camp Rob" for two reasons:
1. It is like summer camp for kids and adults alike. (Swimming, fishing, biking, checking out the alpacas and horses in the neighborhood, cycling, bonfires, etc.)
2. Visiting Rob and Marianne generally turns into a great tri training weekend for me. This was my first outdoor ride since October, the pond is great for swimming, and their neighborhood has rolling hills for running.

Of course weekends in WVA begin with a stop at the outlets. (The only store-specific credit card I have is for The Children's Place....I always clean up for the kids there). The kids were troopers, and we had my cousin Marie along for the trip. They did find some fun along the way.

Of course the outlets have nothing on "Camp Rob". Did I mention that the meals are incredible? We all pitch in with prep and cleaning, but Rob and Marianne cook amazing meals when we visit. Even burgers taste better in WVA.

(My daughter helping with breakfast preparations)

Sunday, after a wonderful breakfast, Rob, Marianne, and I set out for a ride. (After I oogled Marianne's SRAM shifters). The scenery there is beautiful. We rode through historic Civil War areas, beautiful countryside, and into historic Shepherdstown. There was one really "nice" hill, and lots of rollers. My quads burned like they hadn't in ages. I was thankful for First Endurance EFS and my super comfy Canari cycling shorts to keep me from bonking.

It felt so good to ride. I MISSED that feeling. It has only been in the past two weeks that I felt the spark to train and compete again, and this ride totally fueled the fire. The post-ride cool-down was a swim in the pond with the kids. (This meant me swimming and pushing them around on rafts, plus a serious water fight).

I got in a little Mommy time, too. I love to read, and it is something I don't get to do much of. While icing my knee, and enjoying an adult beverage, I got to finish The Paris Wife. (A fantastic read, I must say). My son kept me company, very content to do his own thing.

It dawned on me yesterday that it was the first time in a VERY long time that I wasn't planning or prepping for the next thing. I was just enjoying BEING with my children and my family. Of course I missed Tommy, but I am glad he got to enjoy some "down" time (he didn't get to relax a whole lot between home improvements and a softball tournament). It felt so good for me to really be "in the moment". I wish I was better at doing that more often.

What better way to end a wonderful day than with a bonfire. I can't stand milk chocolate, so I modified the traditional Smores recipe to include dark chocolate..... Y-U-M!

I am so thankful to have awesome family, and a heavenly place to spend a holiday weekend. Thank you Rob and Marianne (and Mere, Trevor, and Marie for helping with the kids so I could ride and run).


  1. What a wonderful weekend! I'm glad you had some time to relax and train and just be you!!

  2. WV is a great place. It looks like you all had a blast at Uncle Rob's place. Congrats on getting back into the swing of things this past weekend. Have fun in Quassy