Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brats, Apples, and Hiking Galore

My friend Julie's parents have a beautiful home in the Virginia countryside, only a two hour drive from DC. Each year since we graduated college, she has invited Josh and I out there for a fall weekend, usually in conjunction with her birthday. It is always a lovely place to get away and it's a fun place to celebrate her. This year, she planned her Oktoberfest birthday bash well in advance and I have been looking forward to it for a few weeks.

After a busy Saturday morning, we drove out the the house with our friends Brendon and Jenny, stopping at an apple orchard on the way. We arrived at the house late in the afternoon and spent a few hours drinking pumpkin beers in the beautiful, chilly air behind the house.

We were served a delicious October meal that was perfectly on par with everything Julie has ever cooked me. It was brats, home-made pretzel buns, sauerkraut, salad, and cheese crackers with fondue. Dinner was followed by the birthday cake I made her modeled after her beloved blog. It was funfetti from a box, much less gourmet than the meal that preceded it, but it was pretty and that's all I was going for. Check out my post on Cake Styling for more details on making the cake.

The combination of heavy fall beers and the yummy meal left me feeling more full and tired than I do on most thanksgivings. I fell asleep for a few minutes in the basement and then rallied to cozy up by the campfire while everyone else roasted marshmallows. Sadly, I was still too full for that...

After a warm sleep in the basement, I woke up Sunday morning to chai tea and pumpkin pancakes. It is really great to have a friend who loves to cook so much. Because even on her birthday, she is still the one serving you!

While I was out of the room, the group decided to go on a hike. I was, obviously, all for this but knew no details of where we'd go. In terms of attire, we were an eclectic group. I was in nike frees and a sports bra. Josh was in hiking boots, jeans and a flannel shirt. And others were in leather boots.

When we turned uphill from the driveway, into the woods without a trail at our feet, I knew that most of us were ill-equipped for this hike. It turned out to be 100% bushwacking and 80% steeply uphill. My frees weren't great on the leaves or the rocks but I enjoyed the adventure and unpredictability of the terrain.

At the top, we sat for a few minutes admiring the foliage around us. I knew that a steep descent would be harder and less fun than a steep ascent. I slipped once coming down but, otherwise, sped along and hoped not to get lost. It ended up being about 30 minutes up and 30 back and made each one of us sweat, no matter our footwear or our level of style.

We departed after the hike, sad to leave this peaceful country behind. Julie seemed to have a happy birthday weekend and I always feel lucky to get to celebrate with her!

Did you do anything relaxing or outdoorsy this weekend? Did someone feed you endless amounts of deliciousness? Do tell!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! This post makes me happy as does your AMAZING cake. Thank you so much for coming and celebrating with me! Girl sessions needed asap! xo