i'm prefacing this with an apology. my posts have been very very light on the photos lately... my camera is on its last leg and frankly i'm just not excited about using it.... while out of town i used one of chris's new cameras but he doesn't have the images off of it yet so i don't have anything to share.... however even that camera was giving us fits too.... so hopefully some of my photos came out and i'll be able to share them very very soon.
next up: your regularly scheduled blog.....
we're back! our weekend without the kids was spectacular! i missed them heaps but really enjoyed the much needed couple time. we hiked, we relaxed, we ate, we talked (and were not interrupted 27 times during one sentence). it was glorious!
here's a link to where we stayed, it's got the hokiest name ever.... it's called the love nest but we prefer to call it the awesome nest! the awesome nest has a hot tub, a queen sized bed, pool table, fire place, deck, full kitchen and positioned on a very private lot and only sleeps two. it was perfect. it was tastefully decorated and not cheesy in the least bit (as the name might suggest). the owners were very helpful and stayed out of our hair and only helped when needed. we think they lived on the property too but it was a large chunk of land so we never saw or heard from them.
we left thursday around 1 pm and headed to the hocking hills area located just south of columbus, near to athens (ohio u.) and south of lancaster. the drive took us nearly 4 hours, due to a little traffic near lancaster it was about 4:30 and was rush hour i suppose... once we got there, we checked in with the owners and asked about a quick pizza place. we placed our order then had to drive about 15 minutes to pick it up (no delivery to the awesome nest). we also grocery shopped at a nearby local grocery store. we picked up some steaks and veggies for dinner on saturday, some breakfast foods and some munchies.
we got back to the awesome nest, ate our pizza and decided to relax in the hot tub. something we had both been looking forward to for a while. ahhhhhh, it was so enjoyable!
the next day we got up, had some breakfast, took a quick dip in the hot tub and headed out for our day of hiking and exploring. first we headed to cantwell cliffs state park, it was very pretty, the fall color was sorta dull since a lot of their trees had turned then they had a few hard frosts and the color fell but there was still some green left... within the time that we were there, the green leaves turned and were gorgeous by saturday afternoon. after this small hike we headed to the town of logan ohio, it's a small historic town, lots of antiques and a few places to eat. we ate at the spotted owl, we had some good wraps, pretty tasty.
after lunch we headed to rockbridge nature preserve. it was a short hike in until we saw a natural rock bridge that we could actually walk on. quite amazing and not something that you typically see in this part of the country verses oh lets say utah... granted it wasn't as spectacular as natural bridges utah but it was still pretty amazing for southeast ohio.
the weather started to get cloudy and we knew that it was supposed to start raining. so we headed on to our next destination, cedar falls state park. the falls were dry, i guess they had a very dry summer.... the area was very pretty though. it started to drizzle a bit while we were there. on our way to our next stop, it started to full out rain. our next stop, ash cave state park. we put on our coats, had a snack under the back hatch of our jeep and started to walk the path to the cave. wow! what a sight! a huge cave, rock overhang that made a perfect rain shelter. we were only one of a few other families there. the cave was huge though and really could have provided shelter for more than 150 people. the view out of the cave was beautiful too, the color was just perfect, and it was raining. it was really great!we hiked up to the top of the cave, it was very pretty up there too.
we then left the area, so that we could head back to our awesome nest, to get cleaned up for dinner. we had reservations at the grouse nest for 6:30. the grouse nest is a very nice restaurant tucked into the country side and part of hocking hills resort about a 45 minute drive from our cabin but very close to the last attraction that we had just seen.... so we drove a bit much that day and back tracked but it was worth it. we both had venison meatloaf with a sweet potato and veggie of the day which happened to be mushrooms that were picked on the resort property. man was it gooood!!!! it's not every day that you see venison meatloaf on a menu. we headed back in the rain for a soak in the hot tub.....
the next day we had set aside for just relaxing. we had planned on not leaving the cabin and it's property. however the day was gorgeous, it had cleared and it was a bright and sunny day. we decided to head out to see a few other sights that we wanted to catch before we left the area. we had a late breakfast, then headed to old man's cave state park.... however, before we got there we passed rockhouse state park, so we stopped. i'm so glad that we did! this was my favorite sight of the weekend. it's a cave that has a few small slot entrances to a totally secluded "house". it looks out into a ravine. and it absolutely amazing! the hike takes you from the top rim down a path down some steps that have been carved out of the existing rock in the hill side. there are steps all around this area that we believe were carved and created during the great depression by a group called the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.). apparently during the depression, in an effort to keep people employed the government employed people to do manual labor at the parks, thus creating some amazing rock architecture. the C.C.C. still exists today but in a bit of a different structure. they still maintain the parks but they use wood instead of rock. a bit less back breaking i suppose. regardless the rock structures are just amazing! i plan on doing a bit more research on the c.c.c. and the service they provided to the area.
after rockhouse we headed to old man's cave. again a huge system of rock carved steps and tunnels. truly amazing and beautiful.
after old man's cave we headed back to the cabin, we relaxed for a bit in the hot tub then cooked our steaks, asparagus and salad. then relaxed a bit more in the hot tub and watched the stars.
sunday morning we knew it would be clear, so we set the alarm for 7 am, (before the sunrise), made some coffee, and enjoyed it in the crisp morning air in the.... hot tub. a bit of a reoccurring theme here huh? it was so enjoyable!
after the sun came up, we had breakfast, cleaned up and headed home. our drive home took only 3 hours. we then stopped at my parents to pick up the kids, we missed them terribly! they missed us too but apparently were very good little boys. they slept well and ate well too. and no one had any problems :)
i feel so much more relaxed and refreshed since taking our little break. i love my kids dearly but i think we ALL needed a little vacation from each other. however seeing the families there with kids were were about 7 yrs old and up seemed to be having so much fun exploring with their kids. i can't wait for that! i hate to feel like i'm wishing life away but really, that's going to be a fun time!