Thursday, June 07, 2012

west virginia trip: first leg

it's been over two years since we last made the trip up to west virginia to visit justin's family. in fact, the last visit was when we told them that we were pregnant! as i got further along in my pregnancy and then having a infant who didn't do well with long car rides, we hadn't attempted the typically 9-10 hour long drive. we've been building up to it, though, with our recent trips to asheville and winston-salem this spring. we finally planned to drive up a couple of weeks ago, taking a few days off around memorial day weekend to see friends and family up there. we chose to break it up into two days on the way up, hoping davis would fall asleep in the car as we made our way to warrenton, va, where we stayed the first night. we were due to arrive around 10:30 pm...

and he finally fell asleep at 10:15 pm. (this is a photo of him hanging out in his pj's at the rest stop in virginia)
so traveling during daylights saving time presents its own set of challenges. davis was way more interested in the cars and billboards and everything else on the highway than going to sleep, so that plan kinda backfired on us. thankfully, he stayed asleep and transferred well once we got to the hotel. we all crashed that night and took it easy getting up in the morning with no real schedule to follow.

i had done some research about places to stop on the way up, and one little town that we've always driven through and talked about stopping (but never have) was berkeley springs. it boasts natural mineral springs with a park downtown that you could walk around and play in. since davis was still awake when we got there and it was a nice halfway point for our drive that day, we decided to stop and let him stretch his legs.
we explored the area, checking out the gazebo and some of the water at the front part of the park close to the highway. you could see small schools of minnows swimming around.

loved this picture of my two boys :)

i walked around to the back of the park and found more shallow accessible streams of water that i knew davis would enjoy. the water is naturally about 72-74 degrees, so chilly but not unbearable. we decided we would let him get a little wet (since it would be impossible to keep him from it otherwise--and honestly, i wanted to put my feet in, too!)
they had a couple of the natural pools protected, and there was a preschool aged boy playing in one of the deeper ones (maybe 2-3 feet deep?) we chose to let him go into the smaller one that had just a couple of inches of water on the rocks, but two deeper pools that were about 3 feet deep. i kept both hands on him at all times to make sure he didn't slip as he was walking around...
and he loved it! splashing, touching all of the rocks and plants, checking it all out. 
obviously we were traveling with a ton of clothes for him (and us) so i didn't mind him getting wet. i helped him sit down on one of the small ledges near the edge of a pool and turned to put my sunglasses down by my shoes. justin had walked up to get some pictures from further back, and he captured davis standing up and leaning take a dive in one of the deeper pools.
he did not (thankfully) hit anything on his way in and was underwater for just a second before i pulled him out. he coughed and sputtered for a minute and was startled, but not traumatized--i think i was more emotional than him! i felt awful, but was so glad that i was right there and again, that he didn't hit his head on anything in the pool. i know it could've been so much worse, but after a few minutes, he was ready to go again. and at that point, i was wet, too, so i just sat with him in the water and we relaxed and splashed until his lips turned blue :)
my little dare devil!
after we got out, dried off and changed, we sat in the shade on the grass and let him eat a picnic lunch before we got back on the road.
he was out within minutes of us driving away...i guess the morning had been exhausting for both of us!
later that night, after i put the pictures up on facebook, my mom commented on one and said the story reminded her of my brother, who, at two years old, went running into the deep end of a swimming pool with my mom jumping in right behind him to grab him. as she stated, "that was just the beginning!" i know we are going to have our hands full with davis, and there will probably be many more moments where he scares me like that...but i'm just so grateful this one has a happy ending and fun memories (and photos) with it :)

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