I'm just back from a deliciously decadent weekend with a few girlfriends.
Good food, excellent company, beautiful scenery, plus hot tub= bliss. And on top of all that, we got in a fantastic workout with a 6 mile hike! But first we ate pie.
I know I'm a grown up, but little mini vacations like this do make me feel very adult. You mean I can just plan an excursion with friends... and go?
Of course, there are a ton of factors allowing that "and just go" to happen: saving up for it, lots of logistic organizing, shopping and planning meals, a friend giving my dog tons of tlc while I'm away, etc, etc... But once I'm there and relaxing, I like to forget about all of those to dos and just enjoy the moment.
Yup, that's right, Star magazine crossword-- in pen.
This particular weekend was to celebrate a good friend, so the planning that went in to the weekend was extra fun because we got to scheme and think up fun ways to pamper one of our favorite people.
We knew that in addition to plenty of tlc, we wanted to get a chance to enjoy the outdoors. We chose our hiking spot with a little research on the morning of. Finding a spot to explore was not very difficult at all, and it was a good reminder that hiking can be accessible. (I often get intimidated by the prospect of finding new hiking spots or doing other outdoorsy things.)
A friend glanced through a few books, and another friend hopped on the internet. Soon we had narrowed our choice down to a local state park that seemed to have a few good options. We opted for a 6ish mile hike that was labeled as "moderate". After a couple of wrong turns, we found the trailhead and started out our adventure.
Look ma, I'm hiking!
We took plenty of snack and water breaks, and pointed out various sightings to each other.
As we looped back to our starting spot, we came across an open area full of downy-looking ferns. Some of the ferns looked like they had little red berries on the top.
But as we came closer we realized they were ladybugs!
I can't imagine another type of insect that we'd ooh and ahh over for as long as we did. Other hikers walking past, stopped to view this little magical world with us. I had never seen clusters of ladybugs before. There were just so many of them! Occasionally one would land on us or fly up into the air, for the most part though they didn't seem to notice us.
Seriously, I have so many pictures of these ladybugs (and even a little video of their antics). I'll spare you though since I know they are still bugs. But trust me, there were thousands of them.
The trees kept most of the hike blanketed in silence, but occasionally we'd hear a bird or a little creek.
Post hike we headed back to the house for some more relaxing, including a viewing of Chocolat, one of my all time favorite movies. Seriously, Johnny Depp, how do you do what you do?
Now I'm back home, with boxes eagerly awaiting to be packed. The weekend was just enough of a recharge that I'll hopefully be able to power through even the stickiest packing moment.