(This post was originally published on the Charleston Daily Mail’s Mommyhood blog.)
So, if you’re in Charleston today, you will have woken up, like I did, to a lovely spring morning. Though slightly overcast, it’s really warm and that- to me, at least- is all that matters. I hate getting out of bed on cold mornings; it’s one of my least favorite things to do, aside from dragging the kids out of bed on school days (cold or not).
But, the weekend is here and it is off to a great start, weather-wise. The balmy air has put me in mind of our plans for the spring: little road trips the kids and I take every year. I thought I’d share some with you so that you might be insprired to take a mini-trip of your own. (Also, because pictures take up more space than words and, as I’ve noted above, I procrastinated a bit on the post this week. I was Art Walking when I should’ve been writing. But, eh, whaddya gonna do?)
First off, this weekend, the kids and I will be heading up I-79 to the little hamlet of Ireland, WV. Ireland is the home of the Irish Spring Festival which takes place each year to coincide with the Vernal Equinox. Or, at least I think it does. Last year it did and I know this because I saw- with my own eyes– an egg stand on its end. Don’t believe me? Well, I’d show you, but I don’t have a picture of it.
But, please, you’ve got to believe me! There was an egg standing on its end! That stuff is real!
I’m pretty sure that even though the Irish Spring Festival is full of fun stuff for kids to do (a parade, a scavenger hunt, a kite fly, a pet show, a talent show, the famous Irish Road Bowling, and yummy food), my kids will be most impressed by the egg thing. They’re all about the science, you know.
Here’s a shot of me after I made the ascent to Blarney Rock where the egg was ceremoniously placed on its end and… not photographed.
In case you want to go to the festival yourself, and you definitely should, check out the official website.
One other trip that I love to make with the kids as the weather warms up, is the trek to the New River Gorge via Ansted, Hawks’ Nest, and Fayetteville. I usually don’t plan this trip in advance; we just wake up one (or two) Saturdays a year and head out on the Midland Trail and make a day of it. The kids have a tendency to complain about my music, but they like having the windows down and the sunroof open and they LOVE stopping at all our little destinations.
We always stop at Kanawha Falls first to take pictures and feed the carp (or whatever those big ugly fish are called) at the Glen Ferris Inn.
But this stop doesn’t usually last too long, as Hawk’s Nest and the Mystery Hole beckon. Hawk’s Nest is my favorite, but my kids can’t get enough of West Virginia’s most famous quirky roadside attraction.
If the scenery isn’t enough for you and you are looking for pure weird fun, the Mystery Hole is the perfect stop. You, too, can be amazed by its secrets and you can leave with an envelope of rattlesnake eggs for the kids and a Mystery Hole bumper sticker for your mini-van. I can’t tell you what happens here; it’s a mystery that you have to unlock for yourself!
I love reliving these days. I hope you’ll take my advice and get out of town, but not necessarily out of state. And, if you’re one of our readers from far away, please come visit us. We love our Mountain State!