School may have started, but I am not going to let it dictate how we spend the end of August. Where I come from, the school years always started after Labor Day (and after the annual North Forest Avenue block party). Truth! And that's the way it should be, really. We snuck in one last trip to big water last weekend - to the York River - an estuary two and a half hours away from our home in the mountains. (Top two photos.) We had a small, private beach to ourselves. We kayaked, watched dolphins, herons and bald eagles and listened to the water lapping against the dock from our shaded deck that overlooked the river. A serious dose of heaven.
Summer in Sugar Hollow has been particularly lovely this year, too. Willa went to riding (ponies) camp for two weeks. We have been spending some time at Mint Springs and getting hikes in here and there. We have been visiting with Grandma and Grandpa in Charlottesville for pooltime and cookouts. And we have had rain - which means the August garden just looks tired and a bit faded, but not dry and . . . dead.
We have been loving the Crozet Market this season on Saturday mornings. There are some great things going on there - White Hall maple syrup, local honey, corn muffins from Ben's Baked Goods, Avant Gardens for all of her beautiful produce, bread and butter pickles, cucumber salsa and gingerbread man cookies. The market will be open until mid-October.
I also decided to join the Crozet YMCA so we can go swimming and I can take classes like yoga and hip hop - to keep my energy levels up and running. Sometimes it seems so counter intuitive to exercise when you are slogging about - but it sustains me right up until bedtime. Hella important right now so I am not a weary dum-dum come 8 p.m.
If you have little ones, but struggle with getting out to eat because they need to move and run around, go to Restoration. In addition to a menu of stellar, local plates (we love the loaded fries, the fried oysters, the Cobb salad, the Royale burger, the kale Caesar)- the waitstaff is incredibly sweet and attentive to the needs of a family (plastic cups with lids and straws, the kids orders come out quickly - so do the cocktails). Also, there is a small field where play is allowed and encouraged - next to the outdoor seating. We usually bring a ball and some toys and can sip our drinks and watch the sunset - while the kids run free. Brilliant.