Can you believe that it’s almost already Halloween?! I feel like October just got here — time keeps flying by! It’s also been forever since I blogged a “personal” post. Life has been busy, busy but so very wonderful! Have you noticed that I’ve been also been catching up on my blogging lately?! … it’s been something on my to do list for months! Feels good to get back in the swing of things. 🙂
This past weekend was quite the adventure for the Shumate family! A close friend of ours got married to his beautiful bride in Staunton, VA this past Saturday. It’s been a while since I’ve attended a wedding as a guest. Ryan was a groomsmen so I was super excited to see him all dressed up and handsome in his tuxedo! I found out last minute that the hotel we were staying at, The Stonewall Jackson Hotel, was pet friendly. I go SO excited because typically we have to leave him with his grand-“paw”rents and he doesn’t to travel with us. I quickly changed our room reservation to a “pet friendly” room and before the gentleman on the phone could inquire about the size/weight of my pet I quickly said “THANK YOU!” and hung up, LOL. In over 8 years, I’m pretty sure Jackson has never stayed at a hotel before (at least definitely not for a whole weekend). There is usually always a weight limit of under 20 lbs. or something crazy like that — poor Jax doesn’t ever make the cut since he’s roughly 90 lbs. of all LOVE! You should’ve seen the excitement in his face when he realized after we packed up the car Friday morning that he was coming with us!!!
We got on the road early to take advantage of the day. I had my heart set on going apple picking in Charlottesville. It’s something that I’ve yet to do and I’ve always wanted to go to Carter Mountain. The drive was gorgeous — all the fall leaves are in full bloom! I LOVE the seasons in Virginia. The views driving through the rolling hills of Charlottesville were breathtaking. We stopped for lunch at The Market which is basically a gas station (near The Boar’s Head) with an amazing selection of food. I had eaten there before and knew that Ryan was in for a treat — their sandwiches are amazing!! There was a line wrapped around the inside but we got in-and-out fairly quickly — definitely worth the wait! If you haven’t been you have to go!
Even though we were starving… we waited another 10 minutes to get to Carter Mountain so we could enjoy a nice picnic together (clearly, this was my idea and Ryan being the amazing hubby that he is resisted the urge to chow down on lunch in the car). We pulled up and we weren’t expecting to see a huge parking lot full of cars, a zillion kids running around, and tractor trailer rides in full swing. It was a little hectic finding a parking place to squeeze my Highlander into especially with Jackson at this point whining to get out of the car to run around (he gets antsy right at the end of road trips). We parked and headed straight to a picnic table to eat — YUM! Despite the hungry bees, our drooling/begging dog, and being outnumbered by too many kids running around… the views were beautiful! 🙂
Once we grabbed our bucket and headed for the apple orchard it was as if we had the whole place to ourselves — no one was around. We unleashed Jax (shh!!) and let him burn off some energy while Ryan and I searched for the perfect apples. Is it weird that I don’t like red apples? I mean, I’ll eat them but if I had my pick over red vs. granny smith… I’m choosing granny smith every time! We had fun walking up and down the aisles picking apples, attempting to balance them on Jackson’s head, and of course, what adventure wouldn’t be complete without some self-timer photos on my tripod?! Did I mention that Ryan’s a trooper?? 🙂
It wasn’t long before the day was getting away from us so we hopped back in the car for Staunton. Such a cute little town! Ryan said several times that he wanted to move there, LOL. So quaint, full of antique stores, and everybody knows everybody. My favorite part when you get into Staunton are the huge flower pots when you get into town. We also came across the Camera Heritage Museum — SO very cool to browse around and how far we’ve come in the photography industry. We loved the hotel we stayed at! It was right across the street from a school which was perfect to walk Jax over to run around and play in the leaves. As we were heading to our room we found out that Jackson has a fear of elevators… he wasn’t too fond of a scary little dark room where the doors closed in on us and it moved up and down. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned before that he has a fear of hardwood floors and tile — his big paws sometimes slip on them, LOL. Well, the elevator floor was only tile. When he would finally get into the elevator after several coaxing attempts… he would lay down on the floor while it moved. So cute! We were on the 4th floor that so that made it interesting to take him up and down throughout the weekend.
The rehearsal dinner and wedding was absolutely fabulous! Not a single detail was overlooked. They had Three Sheets to the Wind as their band… if you haven’t seen them perform, you’re missing out! They are a yacht rock band and they’re incredible!! They had a photo booth (which of course, I loved!) and delicious chocolates as party favors. Laura Gordon was the photographer (she was the groom’s 1st cousin!) — I was SO excited to see her and catch up on things. Laura was my wedding photographer — I hadn’t seen her since my big day. Love her and loved watching her in action!! Her second shooter was Sarah Goodwin — loved catching up with her too! I got to wear a new dress (and shoes!) that I got which I was super excited about! Who doesn’t like to get dolled up for a night out?!
It was such an incredible weekend! SO very happy for Luke and Blair!! Wishing them many, many, many years of happiness! 🙂
Who doesn’t like throwing a huge pile of leaves in the air?! 🙂
Here are a few fun pics taken with my iPhone…
My HOT date! 🙂