Month: April 2018

Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge

Yesterday afternoon we ventured onto Fort Belvoir to check out the trails associated with the Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge. Maintained by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge is home to deciduous forests, meadows, and freshwater tidal marshes. There is a trail head located outside of Tulley Gate with a handful of parking spots but we chose to go onto post and drive down to the  MWR Outdoor Recreation area off of Warren Rd. and pick up the trail down by Accotink Bay.


The Potomac River is the fourth largest river along the Atlantic Coast. Accotink Bay is considered an arm of the Potomac River. Accotink Creek empties into Accotink Bay to the west of Fort Belvoir. Over 1200 acres comprise the Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge, along with about eight miles of hiking trails.


The temperature was in the mid-50s and the sun was shining bright. After the winter we’ve had (dreary with little snow) and spring’s reluctance to come to the national capital region, the brilliant blue sky was a welcome sight.


The trails are not difficult hikes. They’re perfect for a young family wanting to explore and encounter the occasional obstacle. On our hike yesterday, we had to cross some shallow water on a fallen log and navigate around some mud using strategically placed rocks. There are no steep inclines but the trail does go up and down, which we always appreciate.


Be sure to veer too far from the trails!


Now that our kids are getting older, we’re really taking advantage of them being able to keep up with us – at least for a couple of miles. It feels incredibly freeing not to have to worry about a stroller or a backpack-carrier on our hikes.


John Muir famously said that “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” While it can be difficult to make time for such adventures in the midst of regular-life obligations, we take his words to heart and do what we can with what we have. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon spent as a family. And in times like these, you have to cling to those types of moments. If anything, to remind ourselves that everything will be okay.

Stone Soup – The Weekend Edition

To celebrate the value of sharing, I’ve compiled a hodge lodge of tidbits and links that struck my fancy to form the weekend edition of stone soup. Like Loverboy, we’re all working for the weekend. Clay is home this weekend (woot woot) so I don’t have to be in two different places at once, which is makes me happier than Jill Zarin if she were to be asked back to the Real Housewives of New York. Having the husband home is always a welcome reminder of how much easier it is to parent when he is around. He also makes me laugh so I rather enjoy having him around. He’s pretty cute too.


This week was a good one despite the allergy index being annoyingly high in northern Virginia. The weather has finally turned and it appears that the cold days are on hiatus until fall. To celebrate the warmer temperatures, the kids and I are finalizing our summer to-do list because it will likely be our only summer in the national capital region this assignment.


Are you familiar with CommuniKait? If not, you need to be. She is a travel writer and blogger and I love following her adventures. I wrote an Ultimate Weekend Guide to San Antonio for her blog as as she eats, drinks, and explores her way through Italy. Like I wrote in the post – if I had to sum up the year that my family spent in San Antonio, Texas in one sentence, it’d be: We didn’t love living there but if you haven’t been there, you should totally go visit!

A friend on Facebook recently shared this restored film that shows what life was like in New York City in 1911. I am obsessed. I love how the opening shot on the ferry has the same gates that can be seen on the Staten Island ferry today.

Chocolate by The 1975 has been playing on repeat in my head throughout the week. It’s impossible not to sing along with an accent.


I throughly enjoyed this New Yorker piece by Molly Ringwald about her mixed-feelings toward John Hughes during the #MeToo era. The Breakfast Club was arguably my coming-of-age movie. I was blown away when I first rented it between the summer of 8th and 9th grade and I loved how it felt like a play within a movie. And of course, Bender. But watching it now as an adult leaves me with an odd feeling – there are a lot of things in the movie that are not okay. Why didn’t they bother me as a young teenager? Have times changed? Or was I just that naive and ignorant?


And finally, I ordered Weston a pair of Crocs and they arrived yesterday. This is a momentous occasion because this marks the first time such footwear has crossed the threshold into our home. However, they are not the traditional style crocs (does that make it any better?) and I am so obsessed with his that I may end up ordering a pair for myself. What am I becoming? Who am I? Is this a crisis?