Wedding at Big Cork Vineyards

This weekend we went to celebrate the wedding of two friends. Knowing the bride, it made perfect sense when I heard they were having their wedding at a vineyard.

The location was Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville, Maryland.

The building is beautiful. The front is nearly all glass, and it has a beautiful view of the vineyards. This wedding took place on the outside patio and porch area with an especially beautiful view of the mountains and vineyard. There is an outside, casual seating area as well, but due to the weather we stuck to the sheltered areas. Fortunately, the inside space at Big Cork is also amazing. They have events in the bar area and the fermentation/barrel room, and there is a good flow to the space.

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The couple did a wonderful job of using the space and bringing their personality and vision to the event. It was such a fun evening!

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The ceremony was performed by the groom’s cousin who was personable and kept us all laughing. They had one of their grandmothers serve as the flower girl (which was adorable), and the reception was classic for the couple – wood-fired pizza, wine, and Krumpe’s Do-nuts. The ceremony tent on the patio turned into the dance floor after dinner, and they danced the night away!

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It was so nice to see old friends and witness old friends start a new marriage.

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Day Hike in VA

This past Saturday some friends and the Fellow and I went to a nearby Virginia state park to do a little hiking. Well, we should’ve known by the name that this particular park probably wasn’t the spot we were looking for. After paying $5 a car (!) for all 5 of our vehicles to park, we started to navigate the confusing parking/visitor center.

One of our party members had gotten there early and said he was waiting in the visitor’s center parking lot, but we couldn’t find each other (he had wandered off) for about 20 minutes. It’s remarkable how much we rely on our cell phones. There was no reception at the park, so it felt like trying to organize a meet-up in the 90s. We nearly left a note on his car and started hiking without him, but we finally got our group all together and decided on a route.

We decided that since we are all not the most active of people and not prepared for any long distance that we’d do one of the shorter hikes – about 3 miles. We started off at what we thought was the beginning of the trail. It turns out that it was actually the last leg of the trail and took us to the end instead. Now, I’ve always been very upfront about my lack of an internal compass, but either we all were discombobulated, or the map wasn’t the best.

We turned around at the end of the trail since it hadn’t been too far of a walk and headed merrily on our way all ready for a short hike. So we walked, we waited, and we looked, and the trail never left the fence line. It followed the fence line into a cow field and across the cow field, and into a horse pasture – all those big, beautiful, open fields, and all that hot sun. We had all figured that we’d be in a wooded area and hadn’t prepared for that much sun. We finally got to the end of the trail and decided to take a walk around the pond where the trail ended. After coming full circle, we sat down near a rest area to drink some water and munch on some granola bars and chat. While we were resting, one of the park rangers went to empty the trash, slung the trash bag over his shoulder, slinging trash “juice” all over one of the group’s hiking packs. I’ve got to say, I was not impressed with this first excursion into the “other” Virginia’s state parks.

After some conversation, we decided that we were up for a bit more, and one of the guys said he knew of a trail nearby which would be fun, so we picked up our packs and walked some more. We walked, and we walked, and we walked, and then we finally made it to the trail head – our water was gone, we were sunburned, and we were tired. That trail itself would’ve been about 4 miles, and then we had to walk back to the car, so after sitting and discussing, we decided we’d try that trail another day and park nearer to the trail head.

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The visitor’s center is the building you can see in the distance.

All in all it was a fun day; we hung out, chatted, saw some pretty sites, and got some exercise in, but still, I have to chuckle that we hiked all the way – to the trail, then turned around.

A Troll in Central Park

When I was a very, very small child, I remember visiting our neighbor, and she had the best selection of movies. I remember one of my favorites was A Troll in Central Park. Does anyone else remember this movie? It’s cute. Stanley, a troll with a green thumb, wants to grow flowers and garden, and the evil Gnorga, the queen of trolls, whose thumb turns things to stone, wants to stop him. You should check it out.

I’ve never been much of a Stanley, no green thumb whatsoever, but I keep trying. I’m quite proud that I’ve kept my little office plant alive as long as I have, and now I have a house with flower beds to keep alive – with roses!

I pruned back the roses bushes and some other bushes. My gardening knowledge basically was gleaned from multiple readings of A Secret Garden as a kid, so I’m hoping that I did this correctly.

The house had some work done to the septic system before we bought it, so there has been a dirt patch in the backyard all winter which has been bugging the Fellow, so we put down some grass seed.

I’m also hoping to fill in space under my pine trees in the yard with some type of flowering ground cover and greens. I did a little Internet research and found that hostas may do ok in the acidic ground below pines, so I picked up some and planted them.

Fingers crossed! What are your favorite non-killable flower bed choices? Comment below!

Twin Falls State Park Resort

Hey There!

The Fellow, some friends, and I all took Friday and Monday off from work to relax in Twin Falls State Park Resort in Mullens, WV over a long weekend last week.

My parents and I stayed at the lodge at Twin Falls on one of our WV road trips the other year, and it was nice, but for this trip I really just wanted to be in nature and not around a ton of people, so we booked one of the cabins, loaded up the old Jeep, and headed down.

We made one stop in nearby Beckley before we settled into the cabin for the weekend. A friend from work had mentioned that there was an artisan glass blower at the Tamarack who offered mini glass blowing sessions where you can blow your own cup, vase, or Christmas ornament, so we headed there first.

I have loved glass blowing since I read a book about it when I was a kid. I’ve gotten to watch glass blowing a few times, but the opportunity to get my hands on a blowing wand myself was amazing!

The artist is John Desmeules, and he was wonderful! He made you feel so at ease (especially considering you are working with 2000-degree liquid glass) and was fun! He handles most of the more sensitive parts of the process, but you really do have your hands on most of the project. I loved it!

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We also saw the work of John Garton at the Tamarack which was nice. I camped with his sons in 4-H, and he made our amazing Totem Poles for State Council Circle. Check his stuff out!

From there we went on to the park, ready to get in the cottage for the weekend. It was just what I needed! The cabin was small and rustic; it had two bedrooms – one with a full bed and the other with two twins. The couch and the loveseat both pulled out into beds, so the cabin could sleep 6 or 7 depending on how you bunk people.

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We packed a cooler of food as there was a full kitchen, and the resort provided firewood and starter. It was amazing. We had hot dogs and s’mores, and we stayed up late hanging out and playing board games. During the day, we went hiking and explored the park.

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We stopped to look at the Pioneer Farm before we headed out to hike to the falls. It was such a neat spot. A family lives on the farm and works it. The chickens and ducks are all hand raised by the daughter in the family who gave us a history lesson of the farm. The farm has been there since the early 1900s, and the barns and outbuilding were built from lumber salvaged from other homesteads which were once on the park.

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Between the cabin, history, hiking and friends, this weekend was everything I needed!