Sunday, December 13, 2015

Lions, Tigers and Bears....ok, no lions and no tigers!!!!

The last mini vacation of the year has come and gone.  It was fun.  It was fast.  Now it's over.  BOOOOOO to that last part!

I don't know where my weight will be when it is over...but my eating was spot on calorie wise!!!!  We shall see!!!!  (I will peek tomorrow..but the official weigh in will be on Wednesday!)

So without much further ado........the last vacation of 2015 for good old MF.

Thursday was a low key day.  I actually turned 43 on Thursday.  I went to breakfast, hung out at home, went to dinner with my parents, did a bit of shopping and went out with the guy that I have been hanging out with.  Low  (And no pictures!). And I had NO birthday cake!!!  I turned it down when my mother asked what I wanted.   I turned it down at dinner!   I just didn't want it!!!

Friday the Away vacation started.   I was away from Friday morning until Sunday evening.

I decided to drive the Skyline Drive....through the Shenandoah National Park.  The overlook views are GORGEOUS!!!!

It is 105 miles in length....and the speed limit is 35 miles an hour....and if you stop to look at the breathtaking views....(70 plus overlooks)  it takes quite a bit of the day.

I hit up the Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg VA.   It has been on my 'must do' list for quite some time.  Since I was so close, I also went to the Valley Turnpike Museum which was right down the road.  I also walked around downtown Harrisonburg for good measure.

I decided to hit up a Cavern since there are SOOOOO many in the area.  I have already done some of the caverns in the area and I didn't feel like doing a I stayed away from them.   I ended up going to the Grand Caverns.  It was actually really close to my hotel (ok 20 minutes...but that was probably the closest one) and it was one of the best priced ones around.  The price had me a bit nervous....but this cavern lived up to the big name caverns in the area.....Honestly, I thought it was just as good as Luray, if not better.  They were very proud of the history and the social aspects of the cavern...and that was just a neat as seeing the different geological formations.

 Last but not least, I decided to do a bit of hiking off of the Skyline Drive.  (Read about the Skyline drive.....which is located in the Shenandoah National's really pretty...very neat....and well, just cool!)   They apparently have over 500 miles of hiking trails in the park.....and the Appalachian trail goes right smack dab across the on trail hikes in the park it is common to cross over the APT.    Now I don't know about you...but when I read the trail guide CLEARLY stated that this was a 2.6 ROUND TRIP hike.  However, my tracker showed me at closer to 5.5/6 miles when I was done.  Go figure!  The first half was EASY....DOWN.  Down to the top of the waterfall....then down another mile or so to the bottom of the waterfall.  The return trip.....well.....I was drenched in sweat this fine (70 degrees in Virginia...that is FINE!) December bad that my shirt was wringable!  Yup..the return was UPHILL!!!!

The hike I chose was at about mile 62 of the Skyline drive.  So when I was done, I hopped into my car and drove back toward home on that pretty road.  I came around a corner and saw a bunch of cars sitting on the side of the road with their hazzard lights on.  I thought it was an accident...UNTIL........  I got my wish!  And I didn't just get ONE....I saw three!   You see, I have always said it would be so neat to see a bear in nature...a wild bear...not a zoo bear!   Today was the day!  YAY....another thing off my bucket list!

Off to bed....I must dream about my vacations for next year!!!!!!