A Recap of January 2019

The first month of the year flew by even with a few rounds of snow that came to town. The year started off with a New Years party I hosted, complete with a colorful streamer photo wall, plenty of bubbly, and some dancing.

New Years Eve!

My friend Lauren and I had decided to take advantage of the year-long membership I have to Shenandoah National Park and did an overnight Bed and Breakfast stay in Luray, Virginia, a town nearby, before hiking the next morning.

Mayneview Bed and Breakfast in Luray, Virginia

The Mayneview Bed and Breakfast in Luray was wonderful – we were able to soak in a hot tub overlooking the town and as the only guests, had a home-cooked breakfast to ourselves the next morning. I would definitely like to do a return trip to the B&B in the spring.

Atop a mountain in Shenandoah National Park

With the government shutdown, Shenandoah National Park was open but without facilities (ie. bathrooms) when we visited. It was a bit sad to see the normal busy visitor centers a bit more quiet and some areas of the park roped off. Nonetheless, there were still other hikers we encountered on our 3.6 mile hike on the Snead Farm Loop Trail.

Shenandoah National Park as seen from Skyline Drive


After our getaway to Luray and Shenandoah, we made it home just in time for it to start snowing. We actually got snow a few times this month so I’ve had my fair share of shoveling. This is my first winter with my new car (a Honda Fit), so I’m also figuring out how well it can do in the snow – and how well the heater works!

Snowfall in my neighborhood

I did get a brief respite from the snow later in January however, as Mark was in Georgia for a work trip and I decided to fly down to visit him. We spent an afternoon in Tybee Island, Georgia and went out at night in Savannah. It was a quick and laid back trip and the slightly warmer weather was a nice respite.

Mark and I at Tybee Island, Georgia
The Crab Shack on Tybee Island, Georgia
Alligators (in a fenced area) in Tybee Island, Georgia

February is looking to be a bit more adventurous as I have a work trip to Oahu, Hawaii coming up and some friends from out of town visiting.

What did you get into in January? What are your plans for February?


A Stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia

Great Wolf Lodge is a destination in and of itself. Known for its massive water parks, their aim is to be a vacation destination that the whole family will enjoy. I recently stayed at Great Wolf Lodge for my son’s birthday, and wanted to share our experience.

Continue reading “A Stay at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia”

Noelle’s Monthly Recap: September 2017

My Septembers are usually full of American football, but this month they were full of something different… wine! This month marked collaborations with two wineries in Virginia, meaning that I had a lot of weekends closer to home exploring the countryside – and wine scene. That was fine by me though as two of my busiest months of travel this year is are coming up next – look to see where I’m heading in October at the end of this post. All in all fall is getting off to a great start and I’m enjoying the changing colors of the season. Continue reading “Noelle’s Monthly Recap: September 2017”

Embracing My State: Virginia is for Lovers

While we often think of travel as going to foreign and exotic places, moving back to my home state of Virginia – whose motto is “Virginia is for Lovers” – earlier this year has made me realize that there’s a lot in my own backyard I haven’t explored. Continue reading “Embracing My State: Virginia is for Lovers”

A Taste of Argentina at Bogati Winery in Round Hill, Virginia

Right off Virginia’s Route 7 in Loudoun County, Virginia sits the former High Hill Market Place. The building, built in 1948 as an apple-picking and cold-storage facility for Hill High Orchard, has been reimagined in recent years as Bogati Winery.

I visited recently on a warm September day to taste Bogati’s wines and enjoy lunch on the winery’s property. Continue reading “A Taste of Argentina at Bogati Winery in Round Hill, Virginia”