Virginia state parks are the best. Once again, we have had a fabulous time at our week-long cabin stay. I was thinking this trip that state park cabins are a true gem, but they would be a big disappointment if you’re looking for a luxurious retreat with the amenities of home and more. State park cabins are for the people who would almost be willing to camp… and are thus delighted with a rustic cabin’s infrastructure.
We did a lot this trip: the pool, the beach, hunting for fossilized shark’s teeth, enjoying great breakfasts out, lots of biking, some (relatively short) hiking, lots of ranger programs, lots of campfires, fishing, boating, visiting George Washington’s Birth Place, two family movie nights, and lots of time to play and just be together. I even finished two fun novels, and managed not to neglect anyone too badly while I was engrossed.
One of the highlights for me was finding 11 fossil sharks teeth and 3 ray teeth (the pictures are of my favorite minions looking for the teeth with a sieve, aka a colander)… I’ll add pictures of the actual shark’s teeth later.
Another big highlight was eating out four times all week… at the same place each time. The Art of Coffee in Montross makes a mean breakfast. We all loved it, but the person who liked the breakfast best there might possibly have been Emily. She is an eating machine and pulled Austin’s plate of food onto his lap in her excitement to partake one morning. Egg, hash browns, biscuit, bacon… not bad fare for a five month-old. Here are all the kids waiting for food….
Another food highlight for the kids were salt water taffy in the camp store, local root beer and gingerale, as well as marshmallows over the campfire almost every night…
…except for the night that some coals fell out of the grill on the way to the fire pit and managed to burn both big kids. That night we abandoned the campfire in favor of our second family movie night (Swiss Family Robinson, and An American Tale).
We did some boating and fishing…
And lots of biking. This was maybe Tucker’s favorite thing about the trip. He got a taste of freedom because we let him bike to most of our destinations around the park. Because I have a bum foot that is taking forever to heal, I drove from our cabin to the beach, the trail heads etc… and Tucker would just bike on his own. What a taste of glory for a seven year-old. Molly has had no interest in biking at home, ever. But she caught the biking bug too and really pedaled for the first time ever. She did three bike rides of a mile each, which is a lot considering she had never even pedaled before.
We took day trips to Belle Isle State Park (our destination for next summer) and to George Washington’s Birth Place. Belle Isle was a neat surprise, and Emily was an amazingly flexible little girl who didn’t take a single nap in her crib that day without complaint. She was actually amazing the whole trip and napped in the stroller, the front pack, and the car seat when necessary.
We also enjoyed some fun ranger programs, including seining for fish, making ice cream by hand, making shark’s tooth necklaces, making survival necklaces, and going on a night hike.
We had lots of beach time and pool time, of course:
And took short hikes everywhere around the park…
And enjoyed bumming around the cabin…
The kids even got some practice in photography and took some good pictures too:
Thank you, Westmoreland!