Friday Favorites & Weekly Recap

It’s FRIDAY! It has been a busy week! Jackson’s sitter had some personal issues so didn’t have Jackson this week, and it was tough getting schoolwork done and making progress with my health and wellness business.

I’ve been taking the business slow since I knew school was starting soon, but now I’m really just anxious to be more productive with it on my own. I have a few people starting this next challenge group with me, but I want to run my own. I think over the next month, I’m going to work on getting everything ready to run my own. Hopefully I’ll be into the swing of things by then and it’ll be much more manageable. I’m really loving connecting with other like-minded women and am so excited for the time when I can dedicate more time to the business. Also, the UK launch party is in London the day that Jon and I were planning to fly back from Budapest in October and I think I may be able to swing it to go to the UK launch! I’m really hoping I can make it work because I would love to meet my upline coach and to meet the future UK coaches!

I’m feeling frustrated with my master’s program since most of my assignments are dependent upon discussions with my preceptor. Since I’m not back in Atlanta yet, I haven’t had any discussions with my preceptor yet and it’s halting my assignments. I totally understand that my preceptor is busy with the department and answering my email is not a top priority, but I’m still stressed because I have papers to start on and I can’t until I get information on our departmental budget.

Anyway, back to the week though! I’ve been trying to work in my schoolwork during nap times and in the evenings. We had mornings at the gym (because I need nap time for school!) so that Jackson could get out of the house. He’s been teething and I think he had a bit of a cold, so our afternoons have been pretty miserable. Lots of snuggling and not much of anything productive.

Laura came in town from Atlanta on Wednesday night, so she was here yesterday morning. We went to the Children’s Museum and then hung out at the house while Jackson napped in the afternoon. Laura left around 3:30 yesterday to meet up with her friend who was flying into Charleston, so I had a low-key afternoon.

That is really all that has happened this week! Being back in school has put a damper on doing anything exciting and it’s been stressful trying to juggle school with being a full time mom for the week.

We have a boring weekend ahead. Jon is going to be gone for a funeral all day tomorrow, so it’ll just be Jackson and me all day long. I’m hoping we can head to the beach on Sunday morning and then I can spend the afternoon doing school work. I wish this wasn’t how the last weekend as a family in Charleston was going, but I’m grateful to have my entire family happy, healthy, and alive, so I can’t complain too much.

I’m really hoping to start on Iceland recaps soon! I’ve been so overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have to do on the computer and I am still not done with Jon’s Father’s Day album! Ugh! I could spend days on this dang computer and not be caught up on everything!

Alrighty, last of all, I’m not doing a real Friday Favorites because I rarely try anything new, but I had two major finds this week that I was SUPER excited about! If anybody is friends with me on Facebook, you already know about my excitement.

Betabrand Pants

I found pants that fit without being altered! Betabrand are YOGA dress pants! They are awesome! They’re so comfortable and they definitely fit the bill for dress casual! I wish I had found these pants before spending all of that money altering my other dress pants! I bought an XS petite short and they fit great, and I’m 5′ and 100lbs, in case anybody needs a reference. I also found that tons of working moms knew about these pants, but I live in scrubs for work and it has been years since I’ve needed to buy new dress pants. I have one power suit to wear for interviews, and that was what I wore to the two interviews I have been to in the last seven years! Other than that, scrubs FTW!

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Audrey Brooke Ballet Flats

I also found these Audrey Brooke Winny shoes that I LOVE! My right foot is closer to a size 7 and my left foot is closer to a 6.5, so flats never work because my feet are such different sizes. These are so comfortable and they fit both feet! They run big (these are a 6) for sure, but I am just so glad I found flats that work! I was in serious need of some new ones for my internship. I’ve seriously been wearing the same pair of Target flats for almost ten years now and they are ragged. The other pair of flats that I wear are dirty leopard prints flats (also from Target) that Crista was going to throw out and I snagged them. They’re so comfortable because she already wore them in, but they’re in rough shape too! I have a nicer pair, but they’re so uncomfortable and I hate them! They also have a big button on them and I feel like they look too childish to be wearing for business casual.

 

 

Short Stop in Richmond, VA

On to the last portion of my trip recap! As I mentioned before, Gina and I started our road trip with a 24 hour stop in Philly, followed by four days of camping in Vermont. We headed out from Vermont on Monday morning and spent our day in the car! We listened to 90s music and rap songs from high school, so that was a fun throwback! But the days in the car seemed to drag on. I love road trips, but in my old age, I just hurt after sitting in the car for so long.

Gina and I arrived to our AirBnB in Richmond at around 5pm. Our AirBnb was not in the nicest area of Richmond, but the house itself was so cute. We didn’t see our hosts really, but we were in and out so it was totally fine. Gina’s sister-in-law had just been to Richmond and recommend Lunch or Supper for dinner. It was so good! I honestly don’t remember exactly what I had and my picture turned out terrible of my meal, but it was delicious. And everything on the menu looked just as delicious! It was hard to decide what to order!

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After our dinner, we headed out to do the Riverfront Canal Walk. We somehow got turned around and ended up in some totally random area, but we got back on track pretty quickly. I loved the Riverfront Canal Walk! It was really scenic! I was surprised with how busy it was. Clearly it’s a big thing to do in Richmond. Aside from there being a super recent KKK rally there, I could totally move to a city like Richmond. We drove around the Fan district and downtown before calling it a night.

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We headed out of Richmond around seven the next morning and drove the few hours back to Charleston! And that was the end of our road trip, sadly!

This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked 21 Day Challenge

I finally completed my 21 day “This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked” challenge! The challenge included doing my home workout program, checking in with my online group, and drinking my superfoods shake daily. I had planned on following the Shift Shop program, which was 21 days with rest days on Sundays. The workouts increased from 25 minutes sessions in week one, to 35 minute sessions in week two, to 45 minute sessions in week three.

I actually really liked the workouts, but I quickly got bored doing the same moves all the time. I went to the 45 minute workouts almost immediately. I also continued to do my own workouts at the gym, so sometimes I was doubling up on workouts. I think I doubled up maybe 4 days total, just for reference. I took my first rest day on day 9 and had 4 total rest days during the challenge. I ended up switching and doing Shaun Week for the last week instead of Shift Shop (both workout programs), which was a lot of fun! Definitely my style of working out! But both programs had me working way harder than I thought I would at home! Towards the end, I would do either my own gym workouts or Shaun Week, but not both. With school back in session, I just didn’t have the time to double up anymore.

I missed one day of my superfoods shake, which I was fine with. I planned on having it in the evening and felt nauseous by the evening. But I played around with recipes and can honestly say that now I love my shakes! They’re so good! I have wanted to drink two every day because they’re so good! I feel like my energy is a lot more consistent throughout the day. Instead of having a mid afternoon crash every afternoon and needing coffee, I felt pretty energetic! I only had coffee if I was in the mood for it and chose decaf most of the days.

The accountability group definitely kept me more active. During the 21 days, I went back and forth to Atlanta twice (both with Jackson), Jon had surgery on his elbow and couldn’t take care of Jackson at all for two full weeks, we hosted family in town, and I started school again. I guarantee that had it not been for my accountability group, I would have taken way more rest days! I probably would have worked out only a handful of days that entire time. I am super consistent with my activity when I’m home, as I discussed before, but when life gets crazy, I take that time to just let my body rest.

My personal goal for the challenge was to give up grains. I didn’t actually decide that on Day 1, so I had sushi and ice cream on Day 1. It was after that that I decided to cut grains out since I felt so horrible after that meal. Later on, I had part of a brownie one night at Kassie’s birthday celebration, probably 1/3 pan of brownies in one day when we hosted Jon’s family (go big or go home!), and ice cream another night. But anything I ate at home (other than the brownies that one day) was grain free. So, not perfect by any means because I still had dessert, but more in line with how I want to eat again.

While I actually enjoyed the accountability for working out, I didn’t even try to stick to the meal plan for the program. I also feel like this far into my fitness journey, I just don’t need an accountability group. I don’t feel the need to go 21 days without dessert if I want it either. I took rest days when I wanted/needed them and was fine with it. I liked the accountability group and look forward to doing them in the future. Hopefully I’ll find a person to join me each time! I like the energy of being in a group where women are trying to get in shape and want to live a healthier life. I liked checking in daily and feeling encouraged to stay active by other people.

This business has been so motivating, honestly. Although I have generally surrounded myself with other active people through CrossFit or ClassPass, my close friends aren’t necessarily super active. They’re not huge into fitness. That is totally fine, obviously, but becoming a health and wellness coach has opened me up to so many other likeminded people! I love chatting with them and I love our team calls, where I get to talk to people who are motivated about making health a huge part of their lives. I love that these women run these accountability groups (and I will too!) and genuinely care about the health of women that they have never even met! Being in this huge group of other health coaches makes me so excited about the lives that I’ll be able to change in my future.

Now, on to the Before and After photos!

Unfortunately, I left my camera in Atlanta so the quality of my after photos is a little different. Also, I should have had Jon take full body photos, but it’s a little too late to go back and redo them! My goal was obviously not to lose weight. I actually didn’t have any specific goals for my body. My goals for this challenge were to cut out grains, to work out consistently, and to see how this program worked for my body.

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I did cut back a bit on the bloating! Overall, I thought the challenge was great, I loved my shakes, and I am excited to help others reach their goals with this program!

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! Time for a quick weekend update! I’m saving my Richmond recap and my 21 Day Challenge recap for later this week, but they’re coming!

FRIDAY

Friday morning, Jackson and I went to a park with our neighbor and her two year-old son. It was so hot, but thankfully it was kind of overcast. Jackson had a blast running around and he’s definitely getting more daring on the equipment. Makes me a little nervous! We came home to do a quick bath before his nap and he fell right to sleep after all of that running around!

I worked on some schoolwork for a little while and showered while Jackson napped. I was way too hot to go back out to work out in the garage, so I decided to take a rest day and be productive in other areas!

Jon’s twin sister, Jamie Lynn, and her husband and two boys came in town on Friday afternoon. They got here while Jackson was still asleep. We ended up just hanging out at the house Friday evening and the boys all ran around and played outside. It was fun having the cousins in town! We did a quick and easy dinner (Jon smoked wings). We’re such bad hosts and had nothing planned at all for any of the meals!

We all went to bed around 9:30 like the ol’ folks that we are! It was kind of nice to have an early night in bed though!

SATURDAY

I made breakfast on Saturday morning for everybody and we sat around and drank coffee together. I love slow cups of coffee with visitors!

After our breakfast and getting the kids ready, we headed out to the splash pad at one of the county parks around here. We got there as soon as it opened at 10am, and by 10:30 it was so packed! There were two birthday parties happening and Jackson almost got T-boned by a bunch of bigger kids running around numerous times. We decided to play on the playground for a bit before heading home for nap time.

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I did one of my home workouts once Jackson was in bed. It was so humid out! I also realized my weights are different brands and the ends are different sizes, so it felt weird because of the uneven distribution of weight. Why can I not get this weight thing right?! I’m loving my home workouts, oddly enough. Doing them outside is so much better.

Once Jackson was up, we all headed downtown to go to the Children’s Museum. Jamie Lynn’s kids are a little older than Jackson, so our families did our own thing. Jackson usually hangs out in the baby room, but we ventured out and he played outside and we colored in the art room.

Our Saturday evening was pretty low key again. We got home and fed the kids dinner and put them to bed. The big kids (adults) all hung out watching HGTV and were in bed by 11.

SUNDAY

On Sunday, Jamie Lynn’s family left early in the morning. We had a slow morning at home and then Jon and I ran errands. I returned my weights to Wal-Mart so I think we’re finally set now for our weights though!

I spent an hour and a half falling asleep and laying on the couch after we got home from running errands. I needed to work out but lacked all my motivation since I knew we weren’t going to have family time in the afternoon. I finally got myself up and moving, even though I really didn’t want to go to the gym. Glad I made it though! It’s much busier on Sunday afternoons than Sunday mornings, but I still had a really good leg workout.

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Jon wants to make sure everybody knows that he does not sit like that and that he was mimicking Jackson.

I spent my Sunday afternoon doing schoolwork, since our sitter had some personal issues and may not be able to watch Jackson this week. It’s a bummer wasting family time on school, but it’s hard to concentrate on school while Jackson is awake during the day. He requires a lot of attention and wants to get into everything that I’m doing. So, weekends and evenings have become a time of schoolwork already! I just have to remind myself that this will all be over in 9 months!

Jon made us steaks in the sous vide last night, but they ended up not being my favorite. He didn’t let them rest since the recipe said you don’t have to with the sous vide, but then there ended up being blood on my place. It grossed me out too much so I didn’t really eat the steak. Unfortunate, too, because grassfed steaks are not cheap and I hate to waste expensive food!

I went to bed by 9:30 last night. Jon and I were going to watch something on TV together but I couldn’t even think about looking at another screen for any longer after spending my entire afternoon on the computer. An early night in bed was much needed though!

MONDAY

This morning, we woke up and headed to the gym together! Thankfully, Jackson has been in a great mood in the mornings, although our afternoons lately have been pretty rough. I think we’ll head to Barnes & Noble this afternoon. I’m about to put him down for a nap and shower and get more schoolwork done.

The Last Year of Grad School

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! This week is flying by. Yesterday I started back to school! Ahhh! I’m already kind of stressed out looking at all of the assignments for the semester. I just have a hard time picturing a schedule that incorporates work, school, Jackson, fitness coaching, working out, and a long distance marriage that doesn’t run me ragged. And I’m even considering applying to a management position where I work, but I don’t know if I can even fathom that right now. I feel like I’m way under qualified anyway, so maybe I should apply just to feel like I tried.

When I checked my school email yesterday, I had an email from our program coordinator reminding us to apply for graduation! The deadline is October 1st. I can’t believe it’s time to apply for graduation! I know this year is going to be tough, but in nine months, I will be done with this chapter of life. I’m really proud of myself for pursuing this master’s degree. No idea where it’ll lead me, but I’m okay with that right now.

I spent yesterday morning running errands, as always. I returned my horrible adjustable weights to Wal-Mart and opted for two 10lb weights, two 15lb weights, and one 25lb weight. I have 5lbs and I think I may invest in 8lb weights also. Now I have a nice little workout area in my garage!

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I’m kind of bummed that this space is temporary. Since I’ll be moving back in with my parents in a few weeks, I’ll be doing my workouts in one of the bedrooms there. Or I could take them to the deck once it cools off a little bit. But I like this little area. It has been so nice getting my workouts in at home and not having to go to the gym. I still love the gym, but when I’m in a hurry, this has been huge. I’ll discuss this more in my 21 day recap that’s coming up soon.

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Jon and I decided to cancel the surgery to get tubes for Jackson’s ears. Well, Jon decided to. I’m just kind of going with it. He hasn’t had an ear infection in the last few weeks and typically, he’s not too miserable with the ear infections anyway. If Jon doesn’t want to do a surgery, then I’m okay with it.

But speaking of my little terror, life is rough with him lately. We’re in a huge hitting phase and it is driving me insane. He also is throwing tantrums when I pick him up and flails his body around. The kid is a big boy! He can be hard to handle. I’m feeling like I need to read some parenting books on how to handle these outbursts in a way that he’ll understand at this age. I definitely feel myself getting impatient and frustrated much more easily than I’d like at times. If we have a slow day at home, I can handle anything. I don’t get frustrated at all. But when we’re in a hurry or I’m trying to do stuff, he really gets on my nerves.

Last night, my neighbor (Ashley) was having a gender reveal party. I picked Jackson up from his sitter and got dinner together before we headed over there around 5:30. We ended up staying until close to 7pm. It was fun! I’m feeling sad about leaving Charleston! I know I haven’t met a ton of people here yet, but I have met a few people and I’m just content with where we are right now. I want to stay and pursue friendships with the people that I’ve met and build up more of a network.

Anyway, I should be hopping off of here. I’m trying to get some schoolwork done and I have a feeling Jackson will be up soon. I plan on making some Paleo pumpkin muffins this afternoon. Jon should be home around 4:30 and I’m excited to see him. I was in Atlanta all weekend and then Jon stayed in Savannah last night, so I haven’t spend any time with him lately. My sister-in-law and her family will be here tomorrow night.

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! This past weekend was a pretty busy one!

Jackson and I left for Atlanta on Friday morning. The drive took so long because my McPooperson didn’t stop pooping along the way!

When I got to Atlanta, I got ready really fast before heading out to Blue Moon Pizza for Kassie’s 31st birthday celebration. We rode together since we’re both staying with our parents and they only live a few minutes away from each other.

Kassie’s birthday dinner was a lot of fun. It’s always nice for everybody to get together and just catch up. We ended up hanging out for a few hours before we all headed home by 10pm, just like the old folk that we are.

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Kassie and me.
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Gina and Laura.

I was up pretty early Saturday morning with Jackson. I was on call at work from 7a-11a but didn’t get called in, thankfully. I hung out and did some work on the computer and drank my coffee slowly until Jon arrived in Atlanta around 10:45. Once Jackson went down for his nap, Jon and I ran to Target and Kohl’s before we both went our separate ways.

My friend, Alex, was in town this weekend. We’ve been best friends since high school, although she moved to Connecticut five years ago and I haven’t seen her since. Laura and I met up with her for the afternoon. We started at Atlanta Bread Company for some lunch and then ran some errands for Alex at Home Goods. We decided to head to Ponce City Market (a new-ish shopping/living district in the old Sears, Roebuck & Co building) since Alex had never been there before.

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One of the stores has a white backdrop for photos so we snapped a few and then went for coffee at my favorite place ever, Dancing Goats. They brew Batdorf & Bronson coffee and I love their coffee beans. I stock up on their decaf when I come to Atlanta so I can brew it in Charleston.

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I was so tired since I didn’t sleep well the night before, so I headed home for the evening.

Shockingly, I still did one of my Shift Shop workouts for the night. I had planned on taking a rest day but ended up doing my workout because of my This Is Me: Love Yourself Naked challenge. I bought cheap adjustable weights at Wal-Mart though and they’re so bad. I’m going to have to return them, but I made them work since I didn’t have anything else.

I had to work from 7a-3p on Sunday, so I woke up nice and early to head into work. It was a super slow day and my supervisor actually called to let me leave at 2pm, so I got home a bit early. I had thought about meeting up with Crista, but I was kind of pooped when I got home. I’m just too old for so much fun in one weekend!

I spent Sunday night hanging out with my parents and Jackson and doing another workout for my challenge group. I’m almost two weeks into the challenge, so maybe on Tuesday when I get back to Charleston, I’ll have Jon snap some quick photos and do a two week update!

It’s Monday morning now and I just put Jackson down for his nap. We ran some errands this morning and I got my workout in while he was still awake, surprisingly! We have a vet appointment for Rascal at 2:30 and then I’m meeting up with Laura and Alex for dinner. Tomorrow I head back to Charleston!

 

 

Four Night Camping Adventure in Vermont

Back to mine and Gina’s trip recap!

On Saturday morning, Gina and I left Philly in the mid-morning after finishing our breakfast. It was about a six hour drive from Philly to our campsite, which we didn’t actually have booked yet. We actually had to find our campsite the morning we left on our phones (way harder than we were expecting), but we managed to find one that had availability. Our destination ended up being Half Moon Pond State Park near Lake Bomoseen.

We got to the park around 6pm, just in time to check-in. We really lucked out with our site. We didn’t get a spot on the water, but we could see it from our site and we were right next to the bathroom.

Gina and I set up the tent and built our fire for the night. We actually built some really good fires while we were camping. I was super impressed.

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The first day in Vermont, we decided to head out to Burlington since we wanted to hike the second day and go to Montreal on the third day. We stopped for breakfast in Shelburne at Rustic Roots but it didn’t really meet our expectations. It had come up on a bunch of Google searches for brunch in Burlington and we decided to stop early to avoid the Sunday church crowd, but meh. Not necessarily somewhere I’d go again.

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It was actually pretty chilly in the morning, but it was much needed after such a hot day in Philly! We mostly just walked around and explored. I bought a necklace that’s made out of the shells from bullets in the Cambodian killing grounds. I love it. Also, the guy at the store was talking to me for so long and when he walked away, I turned around and Gina was cracking up. I was so confused, but she had put her hat on top of my hat (that I was wearing) to try on necklaces, and the whole time I was talking to the guy, I was wearing two hats.

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Gina really wanted to go to a brewery in the afternoon, so we decided to go to Citizen Cider. I had a Cider House Mules (similar to a Moscow Mule) and it was so good! Gina got a flight of ciders and I really liked all of them, so I’d definitely recommend Citizen Cider!

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We decided to get back to our campsite since it was over an hour away and we still had to build our fire.

On Monday, we had planned on doing a bigger hike, but the weather wasn’t looking great. Gina really wanted to check out Woodstock, so we headed out there for breakfast at Mon Vert Café. I have no idea why, but I was expecting a bagel sandwich and instead, I got a regular sandwich. But the menu totally did not say that it was a bagel sandwich so it was my fault that I was kind of disappointed in my sandwich. It was still really good though. And my latte was delicious.

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We explored Woodstock a little bit and then headed to Sugarbush Farm. We had planned on doing a short hike in the afternoon, but I had a pretty bad headache and the weather was still a little iffy. The farm was pretty cute and it was interesting to learn all about maple syrup. Fun fact about me: I love maple syrup. I drink it in my coffee every day. We got to taste the different types of syrup and we did a little cheese tasting too. It was fun to try the cheddar that had been aged for different lengths of time.

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By the time we left, my headache was really bad. I’d been having headaches all week and I thought it was from doing something to my neck at the gym earlier that week, but Sunday was the first day that Motrin wasn’t even touching it. We decided to just go back to the campsite, where I fell asleep for a little while. I can’t remember if we did anything else that evening or not, but if we did, I didn’t take any pictures because I wasn’t feeling well and now I can’t remember. Oops!

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I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. I was nauseous from my headache and the pain was miserable. As soon as Gina woke up on Monday morning, I told her I wanted to go to the ER. I felt so ridiculous, but I didn’t want my migraine to ruin our trip and I’d had it for over 24 hours. I knew I could get some quick meds and feel better, so despite knowing that it would be an expensive fix, I still went. We went to Rutland Medical Center and their ER was great! It was pretty quick and we had a wonderful nurse and an awesome doctor.

Gina and I were hungry after leaving so we went to Speakeasy Café for bagels. The bagels were too dense for my liking, but the flavor was good (I got rosemary) and that was probably the best latte I got in Vermont. It was super good.

Since I was basically in my pajamas still, we headed back to the campsite to get ready for the day. We ended up hanging out at the campsite for a while, reading our books and napping. It was so nice to just sit and relax for the afternoon. We ended up going out to Manchester for the evening to get some dinner at Ponce Bistro. Our salads and sandwiches there were so good! It was such a nice evening to sit outside and eat too. Gina wanted some drinks, so we went to Gringo Jack’s and sat outside on the porch. The food there looked so good.

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We both woke up before our alarm clock and packed up our campsite on Monday morning. We did it surprisingly fast and even got the tent to fit back in the bag! We were so impressed with ourselves!

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Our original plan was to drive to Charlotteseville, VA, but we decided to go to Richmond instead since we didn’t want to go out of the way to make a stop for the night. We booked our AirBnB on the road again. Then of course, we had to stop in New York for bagels! We went to Lox of Bagels and Moor and holy moly, do they use a ton of cream cheese! Even too much for me and cream cheese is probably one of my favorite foods!

The drive was uneventful and we arrived to Richmond in the early evening! Stay tuned for Richmond, as I think this post is long enough!