March 28, 2012

Deep Creek Lake

Last weekend was our annual marriage getaway.  This is something Allen and I have done every spring for quite a number of years.  If you don't take a time like this for your spouse, you are really missing out on something special.  It is such a great way to connect in a deeper way and build those marriage bonds.  Sometimes we just go and play for a few days or even a few weeks.  (I would dare say every couple should spend some time without kids in Disney World.  We had so much fun the year we did that.)  Sometimes we use the time to strategize, plan and problem solve.  And sometimes, like last week, we get some much needed rest and relaxation.  

We usually have a tough time deciding where to spend our vacation.  As of this time last week, we were still debating where to go.  We were traveling with Winnie this year so that ruled out a lot of choices.  Thursday night we at last booked a house at Deep Creek  Lake.  We live only a few hours away and have never been there.  This is a terrible shame.  We found it to be a fantastic getaway as a couple and I suspect our kids would love some time up there, too.  

One catch in traveling on the East coast this time of year is the weather.  It is so unpredictable.  When we left home on Friday morning it was 85 degrees.  When we got up Monday morning it was 39.  In order to accommodate for cold, warm and rain, we end up packing more for a four day trip than we do for 3 weeks at the beach in the fall.  

Elisabeth insisted Carmella use her princess suitcase.  And she asked if she could pack.  Ellie doesn't travel light to worship on Sunday morning, so you might imagine what she deems necessary for a four day getaway in the mountains.  I gave her the clothes I insisted Winnie take and she folded and packed them.  Then in went a boat load of toys and stuffed things.  She was going to send Charlotte but I finally convinced her she might be lonely without her favorite pig.  

Somewhere around there she realized her sister was going without her.  Ellie was afraid she would be lonely without Winnie so Bitty Baby was dressed in Winnie's clothes.  I understand everyone missed Carmella and the "Winnie" doll was put on Carmella's schedule and spent the weekend in her place.  She was cuddled, played with, napped and fed a bottle right on schedule the whole time we were away.  Of course, Elisabeth made sure her clothes and diapers were changed regularly and the girls reported she snuggled with them during girl time after the boys went to bed each night.  The girls did say they were a little concerned come Sunday when they hadn't heard a sound from the nursery for several days.  Nothing gets past them, eh?
Our kids are so great.  We don't even worry about leaving them alone.  We know that they will do well, stay out of trouble, take good care of each other and have the house clean when we get home.  It is really such a blessing.  They have come to have a lot of special fun when we are away and don't even seem to mind us leaving.  So they all lined up to say goodbye. 
Even the Winnie doll.
But they were really sad about Winnie going away without them.  We managed to wrangle her away and get her into the car.  
 Traveling with a baby has its ups and downs.  Well, I haven't really figured out the downs yet, but there is usually a challenge of where to change and feed on the road.  We were only underway thirty minutes before we had to stop for a diaper change.  This is not very posh, but it was better than changing her in a public restroom.  Terri, that beach bag has more uses than you could guess.
 So, even without the kids, we love Chick-fil-A.  Carmella played with a spoon wrapper for thirty minutes while we feasted on all the waffle fries we could eat.
 The boys wanted to make sure their sister wasn't lonely without them, so before we left home each gave her a stuffed fellow to travel with.  This worked out well for nap time.
 I will always attest to what a waste of money toys are.  Kids will play with just about anything.  While we were unpacking, Carmella got a hold on the package of toilet paper.  She thought this was the greatest toy of all time and played with it almost exclusively until we left for home Monday morning.
 Well, okay.  Something else did get her attention.
 Yeah, the ceiling fan.  In fact, she was so much into it she kept craning her neck back more and more to see it until...
 ... she toppled herself right over.
 And it didn't seem to bother her at all.  She was rather delighted she could see it a little easier.
 When we turned the fan off, she went back to the bathroom tissue.
 After such beautiful weather for several weeks, we were bummed to see returning cold and rain in the forecast.  We did get time for a short walk in the woods before it started Friday afternoon.
 We came across this beautiful growth of periwinkle... also know as Vinca minor for those who are wondering.  Emma loves this vine and has been training one in her secret garden for several years.
 Our house was right on the lake so we took a few minutes to check out the water, too.
 And we picked a sweet little bit for Carmella.
 And then the rain started.

It was really a blessing, even though we would have enjoyed some outdoor activities.  We have been going so hard for so long we needed the rest.  We, all three, napped Saturday morning and afternoon.  And Sunday afternoon, too.  And we went to bed early.   And Pa slept in.

In between we listened to the rain and watched it fall through the many windows.
 I loved being up there.  There was no sound.  I mean, no noise except the rain hitting the roof.  And at night, there was no light.  Just us and the stars, the dark and the quiet.  Ahhhh.

I forgot about Carmella's second favorite plaything... the water bottle.
 Saturday we took a little outing so Allen could have some Mexican food.  A man and his enchilada should never be far apart.  It was kind of odd seeing the ski slopes almost clear.  The unusual winter was hard on the local economy.
 We understand there are lots of black bears in the area.  This is the only one we came across, thankfully.
 But we did find a great candy shop where we sat and chatted and played cards for an hour or so.  Just so its clear, Allen is a crooked card player.
 I love these candy jars.  And I really loved the salted caramel chocolates inside one of them.
 We stopped for a cup of coffee Friday on our way in.  A honey vanilla latte may now be my very favorite coffee drink.  We liked it so much we went back for another Saturday afternoon.
 Usually, I do all the planning and organizing and packing for a trip.  This time Allen planned and shopped for all the meals.  And then he cooked them.  What a treat.  Not that I mind cooking.  Actually, I love it.  But I didn't realize how much I needed the time to just rest.  I truly did little more than study, sleep and eat the whole weekend.  We had a lot of Cesar salad with our meals.
 Each evening I like to have a grapefruit for my bedtime snack.  I like it peeled and pith removed.  Imagine, Allen even spent something like an hour fixing one for me.  I told him now that I know he is capable of such gourmet meals, he might have to do more cooking at home.  We even had Chicken Alfredo one night.  Of course, he is used to me cooking for ten.  There were a lot of leftovers.  He told the kids we were going to stay a few more days since we had so much food yet. They didn't argue at all.
 I had fun taking pictures of these two... just because I could.  We took Elisabeth on one of these trips to a cabin in the woods when she was a newborn.  It is really special for us to have undivided time with any of our children and we enjoyed every minute with our littlest princess.
 We came across this school on our way to church Sunday morning.  Had to take a picture to show our big Rams fan.
 And then we stopped to take a few pictures of this hen house because it had some features we would like to incorporate in ours.  Sometimes I wonder if we might get arrested when we stop to take pictures.  People must wonder why we are standing there on a Sunday taking pictures of their coop.
 And speaking of church, we love visiting like minded churches when we travel.  We have made some very special friends among the brethren this way.  Allen found an incredible church about 20 minutes from where we were staying.  We were blessed by our time of worship and fellowship with this very active community.

Afterwards, we stopped for another latte.  It was the perfect morning to curl up with the paper and a honey vanilla latte in front of their huge fireplace.  A funny little bit happened.  Allen placed our order and then we had a seat.  A few minutes later one of the employees came over to us and said, "Don't you want decaf?"  I shook my head thinking she was just confirming.  Then she explained that when Allen placed the order with another employee he didn't request decaf.  However, the barrista had waited on us the two days prior and knew we usually ordered decaf.  I am so particular about good service, a lacking thing these days.  But this lovely lady wins the award for service, not to mention some kind of humanitarian award.  I shudder to think of what might have happened if I had caffeine!  
 The most strenuous thing I did all weekend was to work on my quilting.  Details to finish if I ever finish this hundred year old project.  It was nice to remember how much I enjoy this kind of still and quiet detail work.
We were missing our church family, Carmella was coming down with her first cold and I had a pounding headache so we decided to join our church family via live feed on Sunday night.  It is amazing what technology can do these days.

Here we were in the mountains, two hours from our home church.  And yet, we were able to be part of the service.  To me that is rather nifty in itself.  But check this out.  March is our missions month so many of our services have been preached by missionaries we support.  This particular service was preached by a missionary from Pennsylvania that we support in his work to the people of Africa.  So he was preaching via Skype from Botswana.  Our church family watched on the projector and we watched Live streaming.  Is it my small mind or does someone else find that very cool?

And that isn't even all.  Our church's service ends at 6:30 Sunday night.   We were able to join another church family we spend time with when we vacation down south via their podcast on the internet for their 7:00 service Sunday night.  Technology has some good to it after all.
Monday morning we woke up to a beautiful sunny morning.  Albeit it was quite cold compared to last week.  I was grateful for the chance to see the morning rays reflecting over the lake before we packed up to go home.
 And of course there was a honey vanilla latte for the road.


  1. Finally I get to see the pictures! Sounds like a great place...we definitely have to check it out sometime...especially the lattes :P

  2. Aww, that sounds like such a sweet getaway! I am glad to hear that both you and Mr. Wachter (and Carmella :D) had an enjoyable time.

    Have a good evening,
    Elizabeth Rose

  3. What a special time together :)



  4. Mama,
    we all thought that it was very good and we liked it.
    Emma, Than, Aedan, Sam & Ellie

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely time- Carmella is so sweet! I love how babies prefer playing with everyday things to fancy toys.

    1. Me, too! We try to make things so complicate and marketing tries to convince parents how much kids need but really give them a crib, a receiving blanket and some cardboard tubes and your kids will be content for a long time.



  6. Love that you had a special weekend.