Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Harper's Ferry

Sunday was gorgeous. Like, the kind of no-one-can-shut-up-about-it-in-their-facebook-posts gorgeous.

I'm not much of an outdoors girl. Usually, only the beach or promises of eating a delicious meal on a patio could get me away from my happy place in my house with my laptop. But Sunday's perfect fall weather called us outside. And we listened.

We hatched a plan to go to Harper's Ferry, WV -- about an hour northwest of where we live in the DC burbs.

First of all, driving through Loudoun County reminded me of a quote from Gone with the Wind - Said by Scarlett's father, Gerald O'Hara: "Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O'Hara, that Tara, that land doesn't mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin' for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts... It will come to you, this love of the land. There's no gettin' away from it if you're Irish."

Land. It's such a funny thing. It does nothing and yet it does everything. It's where you are. And doesn't loving where you are tell you everything about yourself?

I watched Gone with the Wind tirelessly as a girl. I love that 4 hours of 1939 movie magic. I admire Scarlett in every way - her drive, her bold approach, her inability to wait around for someone else to do something for her. But, like her, I didn't quite understand what it meant to love land.

But Loudoun County, with it's rolling hills, pastures, wineries, and glorious homes - both largely new and quaintly historic - I. Fell. In. Love. For the first time in my life, I felt the pull of land.

I love this part of the world. I think there is no finer place to be fortunate to live than in the DC area. There is no where else that has such a combination of bustling city, culture, and natural beauty in the world. (Ok, maybe France. Maybe.) I like to tell people that I "grew up" here even though I wasn't born here. I moved here after college. I got engaged on the reflecting pool of the Capitol. I got married here. I had my first son here. I figured out who I wanted to be in this world here. DC, and all points around it, is my home. My love for it has settled deeply in my heart and will go on forever. (Although that sounded a little bit like I just ripped off the Titanic anthem, I did not. I am original. Totally original.)

Too much emotional ah-ha moments from a Sunday drive through the country? Maybe. But I dare you to take the drive I did and not feel moved somehow. Life is too good and too short to just look around but never truly see. But than again, I am Irish.

So, anyway!!! Now that you've hopefully read through my entire love letter to the land, please enjoy our photos from Harper's Ferry:

Harper's Ferry is a historic town at the confluence (ooh! fancy word stolen from wikipedia) of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers where WV, Maryland and VA all come together. See:
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We decided to go down to the water first.
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The boys loved throwing rocks into the river. And the weather was so beautiful that we just sat there on the warm rocks and watched them...
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We hung out enjoying the water, the scenery and the warm rocks -- until right after these two pictures were taken, Henry slipped and fell into the river getting himself completely soaked. And... this mommy was not prepared with a change of clothes...
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Cue the family with a baby... wearing only a diaper. Classy.

Oh, and side note, falling in the river and shamefully having to be that kid with no clothes on, totally does not deter an almost-three-year old boy from continuing to play in said river. Right after I scooped Henry up from his fall and calmed him down, he said "I want throw rocks! I want throw rocks!!!"
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With baby clothes hanging to dry on the stroller, we ventured up to the town. My hubby and I are nerdy so we both love a good historic village.
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The boys, especially Charlie, loved the train tracks and the FOUR trains that went by that day.

Yes... there's my little man walking around town with no pants... The good news?? We saw three other families with semi-naked kiddos walking around with wet outfits hanging off elbows to dry. We are not the only idiots. It's always nice to have company.
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Then, it was time for some seriously good ice cream.
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To certify the day as officially fall, I ordered the pumpkin ice cream. Yum!
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We stopped for dinner in historic Leesburg to eat at Fireworks Pizza which had been recommended by a friend. SUCH a great recommendation! It was top notch wood-fired pizza!
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  1. I had no idea you are a GwtW lover! It's my favorite movie! Just another reason why we're meant to be friends. ;) Eva loves it too which makes me so happy. Looks like it was a fantastic day trip!

  2. Makes my heart happy to see such happy! Thanks, baby.

  3. Brig!!! Let's meet somewhere in this danged world and drink coffee on the couch under a hand-knit blanket and watch Gone with the Wind!!!! Ah! I love you!