This past weekend my friends and family spent the weekend at French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania. For 15 years now, we have reserved most of the 10 cabins and had a weekend long celebration full of food and fun. It is one of my favorite fall traditions. Over the years, the ‘ kids’ (us) have grown up and now get our own cabin. We’ve added a few new people to the mix, and this year I was excited to spend time with the people I love and don’t get to see often enough. It was also our first year with the baby, since we couldn’t go last year when he was only 2 weeks old.
We took a half day on Thursday so we could pack up and head out early for our long weekend. We drove through the rain and arrived that night. My dad was already there and my sister came late that night after we were already in bed. Our other friends were coming Friday after work. We were hopeful that the rain would stop and we would be able to spend time outside.
Friday morning we woke up and it was still pouring outside. I had 15 miles to run so I got dressed in my rain gear and headed out. Even though there were a thousand reasons why I thought the run would suck, it was actually GREAT! More about this in my marathon training recap post tomorrow 🙂
It rained on and off the rest of the day, but we kept ourselves entertained. We also went out to lunch at Stoudt’s Brewery with my dad and some of his friends, which is always a good time. I loved having a celebratory beer after my long run!
Our friends came later that evening and we spent the rainy night inside playing Cards Against Humanity… such a fun (and extremely inappropriate) game. The next morning we woke up to SUNNY skies and no rain! We were so excited!
The baby did amazingly well napping and sleeping in a new environment- he even slept until 8:00 a.m. two mornings, despite having a cold! Yes, another one. Damn Kindergarten germs that I bring home from school! Once Kevin woke up from his morning nap we got ready to go take advantage of the nice weather and go for a little hike.
Back in 2002, my friend Christy and I found a tree and started carving into it each year. We always try to find it and add the year to it every time we come to French Creek, and our friends have done the same with their own trees. Kevin and D.J. found a tree two years ago that they carved into the celebrate their ‘bromance’ and they were excited to add ’13 to it this year.
Christy and I found our tree (it always takes a while for some reason) and we added ’13 to it. It’s hard to see, but it says CH + KA BFF, and the years 02, 06, 09, 10, 11, and now 13.
Of course, we had to find a tree for Kevin III to commemorate his first time at French Creek.
After carving into our trees we decided to go find a geocache. Geocaching is something Kevin and I have done for a while now but our friends had never done it before. We followed the GPS coordinates up a steep overgrown trail and searched around for the little box, and DJ finally found it inside a hole in a tree! It’s always so exciting to find them. We looked through the little trinkets inside and signed the log book.
Before heading back down, we took a quick picture. If you enlarge it you can see how terrible the gnats were. I don’t know if it was because of all the rain, but they were everywhere and they wouldn’t leave us alone! It was terrible!
Next we headed toward Hopewell Lake, stopping for a few photo-ops along the way and on the trail. I could not get enough photos, since I don’t see my friends as often as I would like to because they all live in Pennsylvania!
Another tradition Christy and I started was to take a picture on this big rock that is along the trail by the lake.
The baby started getting tired and was ready for his afternoon nap, so we headed back to the cabin. Luckily I am blessed to have super understanding friends who are awesome when it comes to us having to put the baby’s needs first. Plus, we were all ready for happy hour!
We spend the rest of the afternoon and night cooking out, sitting by the fire, and once the baby was asleep for the night, doing things that cannot be put on the blog 🙂 Let’s just say there may or may not have been a ‘tequila train’ and late night dance party … it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had fun like that but it felt good to let loose a little bit!
This morning we sadly had to pack up, say goodbye, and head back to Virginia. Our French “Creek-end” was such an amazing time. I always look forward to getting away and disconnecting from the world (no cell service or anything!) with the people I love. Being able to bring baby Kevin along this year made it even more special, and I already can’t wait until next year so that we can continue to make these memories together.