This past weekend was deemed for hikes and deep thoughts. Matt and I left the city from Friday night through Sunday night in hopes of figuring our lives out. (Didn’t happen. But at least we got away.) We were airbnb Superhosts and maintained our status for a year now. It’s a great honor (I suppose), but even better than the honor was being rewarded  a $100 credit! So we took advantage and went away to VA for the weekend.

We stayed in Harrisonburg, VA, based on its location: between George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park. It took 4 hours to drive there from Philadelphia.

In the morning, we enjoyed a typical airbnb breakfast (fruit, toast, toasted bagels) while deciding on the day’s hikes. We decided to go on a .3-mile hike first, as this wasn’t too far and offered amazing views. So after stopping for tea and shortbread at a local coffee shop, we were on our way. The drive through this area was breathtaking, and the park was pretty easy to find (about a 1.5 hour drive).

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From here, we realized that the .3-mile hike was actually a 2-mile (4 round trip) hike. For whatever reason, they measured the distance differently than we anticipated, and it ended up being our one and only hike for the day. It was ‘moderately’ difficult, uphill much of the way there, and we only brought one water bottle since we believed it was just .3 miles. Bad idea. But, it was worth it because the views along the hike, and then at the end of it, were stunning.

Long and crazy hikes tend to be more than worth the rigor.

 

We headed back from here, showered, napped, and went out for dinner!

img_2465We had fun sampling 6 types of whiskey and bourbon, eating delicious food, talking, and coming down from the craziness of the hike for the day. A good night. And we got a feel for Harrisonburg, deciding that we’d head back the next morning in order to explore a bit more.

The next morning was high on my list of favorites for this trip, due to the beautiful weather and a perfect itinerary. The day started off with tea and books…

img_2469…followed by an amazing breakfast in the window…

…followed by a beautiful walk through town while waiting for some shops to open…

…then back to the coffee shop for tea to go, a bit of shopping, and relaxation in the car as we headed to…

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Shenandoah! We did this drive about 6 years ago, and it was just as enjoyable, if not more this time. The weather was phenomenal and we were able to stop at a ton of lookouts. After the much more rigorous trail than we had anticipated the day before, we stopped for one (flat!) trail that was just 1.8 miles round trip, but still scenic…

 

 

and thoroughly enjoyed the view the rest of the drive.

 

img_2593It’s easy to take where you live for granted and believe that all beautiful places are everywhere you’re not. I am trying to change my mindset and feel thankful for easy access to travel in the US, where there really is indescribable beauty. Though I may never lose my desire to travel far away, this trip was a great reminder that beautiful and happy places exist right here.

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