Thursday, December 31, 2015


The next stage of our wonderful Virginia vacation began on the charming little streets of Middleburg. We took a drive out to the country before we had to take Christy and Cali to the airport that afternoon. Poor Cali wasn't feeling well, so I don't have any pictures of her because the two pictures I did take I feel bad about because she looked so miserable. The fall leaves should have been in full color, but they were late this year and it was still pretty green. However, it was a lovely day. I can't complain about the weather we got while we were there.

We had to rush Christy and Cali off to the airport and it was very sad. Especially for Stella. It was such a special trip for those girls. The remainder of the day we rested, Valerie made my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and we went out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants with Valerie and Nellie for dinner. Late that night we picked up Brent from the very same airport we had just left our friends at that morning, and the Brent portion of the vacation began.

We were looking forward to going to Cox Farms while we were there. However, we were not prepared for the amazing time we would have. We have places kind of like this in Utah, but nothing with such a history and the whole place was filled to the brim with adorable. They have all of these amazing slides, hilarious wood photo spots, and hay bale mountains, plus the most hilarious hay ride that exists in the whole world! We went on the perfect day and had no lines for any of the slides, but we still could have done more. It was non-stop fun.

We started off on the Jack and the Beanstalk slide. Stella made her dad go with her for this first slide, but once she realized how fun it was she was good to go solo the rest of the day. This was Brent's last slide of the day. ;)

We went on the big dinosaur slide next. Stella was a bit nervous at first, but after one time down she was hooked and it was her favorite slide of the day! Running up and down the hills was a lot of work, but every time you got to the bottom, you just wanted to go again!

The dads took the girls through the corn maze. I usually hate mazes so I didn't go, but it wasn't a real maze, more of a walk through corn, and I wish I would have gone because I missed some hilarious Cox farms humor. Thankfully we were all able to enjoy the hay ride. It started out typical enough, but pretty soon we were seeing a giant spaceship and an alien was waving at us and I knew we were not on your average hay ride. Brent's face was classic and I personally loved every second of the adventure. We saw all sorts of cartoon characters plus "invisible" men, then we went through water, then into a barn party with flashing lights and bubbles. I don't think my description could ever do it justice because you just have to experience it. And also, you would have to have my sense of humor...

Did I mention they had free apples and apple cider? Brent's favorite part of the Cox farms experience was apparantly watching people fight the bees to get themselves a free cup of cider.

I made everyone go together on the walk through the forest, which was really just one weird "what the heck IS this" moment after another. At this point I was really wondering who the mastermind behind the delights of Cox farms was and if I could purchase their biography.

After that we just enjoyed more of the slides. I took my handsome Nicolas away for some pictures, and we just fit in as many fun things as we could before it was time to go. They eventually closed and kicked us out--I'm not sure I could have left of my own free will!

And IF after a fun-filled day you don't feel like you've gotten your ten dollars worth of fun? They give you free pumpkins on your way out. I mean, come ON. Best fall fun EVER!
That night Valerie and I snuggled on the couch and did what we like to do best: sit on our phones and make fun of other people on Instagram. I said how I should take a picture of us with my phone and post us on Instagram making fun of Instagram, but instead I kindly asked John to take our picture with my camera. Everyone knows I like having more than one picture of things, but John just started taking pictures and ended up with like seventy of them. They were pictures of us laughing and telling him to stop, and well, they were all so great I could hardly delete any of them let alone choose my favorites. There are also some of us pretending to mock others on Instagram, but those are few and far between...

We had one more full day with John and Valerie. Of course the perfect fall activity is driving to an apple orchard and picking apples so we all piled into the van while our trusty driver Valerie took us to an orchard. It was about a half an hour further than she thought and we got there only just before closing time, so we were in a bit of a rush. And here is the thing: Valerie and I weren't there to pick apples...we were there to take PICTURES of picking apples. BIG difference. How did the pictures turn out, you ask? Lovely. How were the apples? Fine...I don't really remember. :)

We had such a wonderful time staying with John and Valerie. I even took that dog on a walk or two as a kind gesture to the whole family for taking such good care of us. It was a wonderful way to spend Part II of our amazing adventure.