Labor Day Weekend Recap

Our campsite at Douthat

Before I get into the recap (Labor Day weekend was incredibly wonderful all around & I hope you all had as much fun as I did), I just got home from my first massage in years. And I feel…strange. Relaxed, definitely, but also so happy that I’m sad, or melancholic at least, and I think that has a lot to do with the weekend. This weekend felt like a milestone for me, a little rock I could add to my life’s cairn. Now I don’t want to get all emotional or philosophical on you, it’s not my style, so I won’t, but, after this weekend I think I’ve rounded the corner on the negative energy I was storing up in my life. You know how sometimes when things are bad, you attract the bad, and then keep it close? I think, to a large extent, I was harboring the negative and then found myself in negative situations. I’ve been hurt and I’ve wept and I’ve stressed out a lot over the past year or so and I’m done. I’m releasing the negative energy, I’m letting it go, and I’m ready to be happy. I have the most beautiful life in front of me: G, the life & house we’re building together, my job, a cat that won’t ever leave me alone, and a family that, for better or for worse, is my family and we stick together.

The lake at Douthat

So that’s my little declaration to the world: I’m letting it all go and embracing the good. And maybe all I needed was a three day weekend and a therapeutic massage to put me back in that place. So thank you, Labor Day, and thank you Mindy at Essentials Massage–something happened (whatever it was) and I feel like everything’s going to be good. (Good is so good–isn’t that a lame sounding but oh-so-true sentence?)

Pre-ride: confident but a little freaked out

But to the Labor Day weekend recap! The beginning of it was low key and work-filled–we finally watched Coco before Chanel (if you haven’t seen it and you like a good, story-driven movie with beautiful cinematography, acting, and music, then you must), slept in, went to market, and worked all day Saturday on various projects: G on the house, me cleaning out the garden (c’est finis until next spring–I’m holding off this year on a fall crop so that I can build my own garden at the house we’re renovating).

Blurry proof that I didn’t walk the *whole* way–aren’t those 29ers just crazy big? Technology’s gotten funny looking lately.

But on Sunday, oh glorious Sunday, we headed northwest toward the West Virginia border to camp out at Douthat State Park and mountain bike and relax. It was my first time mountain biking since 2005/2006 (I foolishly raced at the collegiate level back then, not that I had any skills–mostly ended in blood and bruises and stories of flying into trees) and a friend let me borrow her bike to see if I liked the sport any better. While I wasn’t a whiz kid and there were many many many scary moments that I hopped off the bike and then walked through, it was actually kind of fun. Not mind-blowingly fun, but fun enough that I could try it again. You know, after my butt stops hurting like a mofo from riding on someone else’s saddle. (smile) After riding it was just plenty of beer and fire and food and relaxing.

Dinner was a simple affair of canned vegetarian baked beans, salt & black pepper potato chips (why are they so damn good?!), and Sandy River Farm’s Hot Italian Sausages with ketchup and mustard. Simple and fire-worthy.

View from Blue Ridge Vineyard’s covered porch

View of the vineyards and the house

After drinking a few (or more than a few…you know…) beers around the fire, we called it a night and hit the sack. The next morning we made breakfast and coffee and packed up the tent to get it all done before the impending rain hit. And hit it did–we’re still getting poured on after a full 36 hours of non-stop rain. But since the weather was so not outside friendly, we decided to stop at one of our favorite wineries to pick up some bottles and enjoy a glass and watch the rain and the mountains and the greys.

Blue Ridge Vineyard is one of my favorites here–it’s low key and open daily, so that means that on days when other wineries aren’t giving tastings, you can always go to one of the most beautiful parts of the state, rub some super cute pups, and enjoy a glass and a tasting. Not to mention they have some of the oldest vines in the state and make the best Trimintte I’ve ever had. And their Gewurztraminer is to die for.

A glass of Timinette

Even though it was all-hands-on-deck with the rain (apparently the rain at this point in the season will ferment the grapes on the vine and make them all vinegar-y), they were happy to give us a tasting and let us hang out on the porch and watch the rain. I can’t think of a more peaceful ending to the weekend (which actually ended with us enjoying a bottle of their Pinot Noir at home and watching copious episodes of Mad Men).

I hope you all had wonderful long weekends (in the US) and a wonderful weekend everywhere in general. I must admit, I like the premise of a short work-week–seems like Friday might get here might fast!

5 Responses to “Labor Day Weekend Recap”
  1. Chuck says:

    That looks like so much fun! I’d love to try some mountain biking

  2. rebecca says:

    Yeah to unloading the negative energy! Here’s to much peace and happiness from this point on….

  3. Renae says:

    Hooray for being happy! It sounds like you have a lot of really positive things going on in your life right now and I’m glad you’ve decided to focus on them. Your weekend sounds wonderful; glad you enjoyed it despite the rain. Also, how do you find the time to work, renovate a house, exercise, cook amazing food, AND go on all these weekend trips? Are you superwoman?!?

  4. Jessica says:

    Looks like a fun weekend! Riding looks fun, but I think I would be pretty scared. But the winery sounds like a great find.

    Hope the feeling of being past the negativity has lasted – what a great way to look at it.

  5. Camping is totally not my thing, but you really made it look like fun! Trust me, that’s impressive to hear coming from such a city gal like me. ;)

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