Category Archives: Nature and Scenery

Belle Isle

Recently, Peter, Abby and I enjoyed a really nice day together down in Richmond.

First we had a delish meal at Kitchen 64. We’ve only been here two times but each time has been excellent. Great food, always busy, quick service.


We then went to explore Belle Isle. It’s a 54 acre island on the James River that used to be where a POW camp was used during the Civil War (also previously home to a hydroelectric plant). It is now a park with paths, an area for rock climbing, and apparently the most popular thing to do is lay out on the rocks in the sun and/or take a dip in the river. To get there from the north side, you have to take a suspension footbridge under the highway. Earlier in the year, we visited just across the way at the Tredegar Iron Works and we’ve also been across the river at the Hollywood Cemetery.

Here are some pics I took from Belle Isle:









Someone has such long hair right now!













Afterwards, we figured oh, we might as well make a stop by Legend Brewing Co. We weren’t hungry for dinner yet but it was too nice out so we sat out on their deck and enjoyed an appetizer and some lagers before heading back home. All in all, a great day!





Oh man, I’ve been neglecting the good ol’ bloggy blog! Not on purpose – just enjoying the fun and sun of summertime. We’ve been having fun with daytrips, family visits, trying new restaurants, concerts, swimming at the pool, visiting the lake and “beach”, working around the house, cookouts, ice-cream consumption, walks in the neighborhood, a vacation at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, playing outside and more. Our first summer at our new house and new neighborhood. ūüôā

This evening I was scoping out some more places for daytrips and found a whole lot of wildlife refuges and state parks I want to check out with Abby (and the hubby if he isn’t working). Plus there are a number of breweries to look into, heading out towards Charlottesville and west, toward the Shenandoah Mountains. Lastly, maybe not for this summer but for next I’d like to go to Virginia Beach and Sandbridge which is just south of VA Beach… and maybe further south to OBX since we are not so far away as we once were. I want to take advantage of the rest of the summer/early fall while we have it because before we know it, it will be back to school time and the weather will be getting cooler. Why can’t summer be longer?

Maybe I will try to start blogging / photo blogging a little bit more, not sure. It’s fun to look back on older stuff but at the same time it’s annoying to find the time to update on a regular basis and sometimes bothersome to even publish a blog entry. However, it’s sometimes therapeutic to document some of this stuff we do as a family. Whatever happened to good ol’ scrapbooking? HA!

Here are a few recent summer-related pics I took:






Maymont Maybe?

Since we’ve moved to Fredericksburg and closer to my brother and sister-in-law in Richmond, we’ve been talking about visiting Maymont Park with them. Well la-di-da, we finally did it! The husband had a rare day off on Sunday and it was so nice out, so we took the opportunity to go with Abby, my parents, and Chris and Jennifer down to Richmond.

First, we met up for lunch at Kitchen 64. First time there – it was very busy. I ordered the Rhysdale sandwich which included smoked turkey, cranberry spread, herbed cream cheese and mixed greens. And a side of potato salad. HUGE-mongo sandwich and very good.

So, off to Maymont. It was so pretty there! There are approximately 100 acres and includes various gardens (Japanese, Italian), ponds, waterfalls, fountains, statues, big ol’ trees, lawns, horses, petting zoo, wildlife (bear, bobcat, eagles, bison, fox, etc.), and the Maymont Mansion, or Dooley Mansion. James Dooley was a wealthy Richmond lawyer and he and his wife left their house and land to Richmond to enjoy after they passed.

There was lots to see as we made our way around the grounds. Abby had a good time and of all things, she especially liked the trees that had “skirts” on them (see picture below), even though at the end she told me she was a little bit afraid of them. We look forward to going back again sometime!

“Some” (haha) pictures:

























Historic Tredegar Day Trip


Yesterday we took a trip down to Richmond for the day, as Peter had a rare Saturday off with us. First order of business was lunch at Q (BBQ). I think this is my favorite place to eat pulled pork sandwiches. So yummy, and their mac n’ cheese… yes please! I wish one would come to Fredericksburg.



After Q, we saw the site where Jeb Stuart was mortally wounded and then headed to the Tredegar Iron Works area, down by the James River. We walked around outside, as well as inside the visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park (NPS). During the Civil War, the iron works was the primary iron and artillery production facility of the Confederates, and the remaining structures is where we visited. It was a really nice sunny day so it was great to be outside after a week of rain and gray. Abby was quite energized to say the least.





Barney had fun here too and wanted to see how the cannons worked.


Tiny snowman!






We walked around the Riverwalk Park too, getting some close-up views of the James River and let Abby run around. Lots of people were out biking, running, or segway’ing.








Abby on walkway






We had some time to kill so we drove around in the car throughout Richmond while Abby took a catnap before meeting up with Chris and Jennifer at Red Robin for dinner. After we woke up Abby from her nap she was in a crabby, dramatic mood but towards the end of dinner she was ok, as she shredded her napkin and placed strips of it on Barney’s head and laughed at him. After a somewhat tough day with her, of course on the drive back home she was really good and just talking with me the whole time.

Spotsylvania Battlefield

Too tired/lazy to write –¬†¬†here are some pics instead!¬† Will be back soon with some updates and pictures on Abby’s 2nd birthday, Prince William Forest National Park, Children’s Museum of Richmond, Hollywood Cemetery, Memorial Day Luminary event at Fredericksburg, and some food updates.¬†














Gari Melchers: Art at Belmont Estate

Took a nice little visit to the home and art studio of Gari Melcher the other week.¬† His home and studio is a national historic landmark at Belmont in¬†Falmouth¬†and is 1 of 30 of America’s most significant artists’ spaces included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios consortium.¬† It’s just on the “other side” of the Rappahannock River and not far from Chatham Manor where Peter sometimes works.¬† It was their spring open house so it was free to get in and it was nice (but hot)¬†to walk around on the grounds.¬†



Welcome to Virginia Julie!

I’m so excited that another Maugle has been transported from Pennsylvania to Virginia, adding truth to the fact that Virginia IS for Maugles.¬† Welcome Sister-Sister/Aunt Julie!¬†

A little while ago Peter, Abby, and I headed up to Alexandria, VA to help Julie move into her new place.¬† Well, Peter helped and I helped Abby stay out of the way and occupied her on the swing and chased around the cat, plus two diaper changes in the back of the Prius.¬† Groovy and the Dynamic Darlene were there as well to assist.¬† It’s a cute lil’ apartment and I’m sure Julie and Betsy kitty will feel right at home very soon.¬† There’s so much¬†to do around the DC/NOVA area and we plan to see Julie so much more now – that is¬†the best part of all of this.¬† Julie and I are on the hunt for a good concert to attend in the area but so far we’ve only come across Marilyn Manson or Michael Bolton.¬† It’s a¬†shame that¬†Manson isn’t the opening act for Bolton.¬†¬†That would be the ultimate concert experience.¬† ¬†

Anyway, the move was pretty quick and simple with no injuries or catastrophes and then we helped Julie return her Budget rental truck to some warehouse ghetto area.  We then went on a hunt for pizza and after avoiding some sketchy places we settled on Pizzeria Uno where a server dropped his drink tray and gave us minor splishy splashy.  After paying for the overpriced fake deep dish pizza, we were offered apples on the way out.  Odd.

Before we met up at Julie’s to help w/ the move, we¬†arrived a bit earlier to check out Huntley Meadows Park which was nearby.¬† It¬†is home to¬†1,425 acres of forest, wetlands, and meadows – good for walking, birding or¬†checking out turtles, beavers, snakes (like the one we saw; no pictures¬†to post here though or my mom would likely faint), herons, etc.¬† There’s a boardwalk trail which was easy for Abby.¬† We saw some red-winged black birds, a bunch of beaver dams, turtles, ducks, a blacksnake, and some kind of skink or salamander.¬† We also¬†visited the nature/visitor center.



Abby and Peter deciding which way to go on the boardwalk trail through the wetlands.



Busy, busy beaver dams!





Blub, blub, blub…





Nature girl enjoying nature!!




A walk in the woods (great book btw).



Learning about frogs, turtles and other fun things at the nature center.¬† ūüôā





Zonked out after a busy and fun day!

Cherrylicious Blossom Festival

Earlier this month, no – ¬†make that late last month (time is f-l-y-i-n-g), we took the opportunity to drive north to Washington, D.C. ¬†to partake in the popular Cherry Blossom Festival.¬† We’ve been to DC before but I’ve never been there to see the cherry blossom trees and experience any of the month+ long festivites.¬† I’ve always heard people talk about it before but I just thought – eh, trees that are budding.¬† No biggie.¬† But now that we live closer and I’ve heard more about it, I wanted to go and see what all the buzz was about.

Peak time arrived earlier this season so we wanted to take advantage of it.  I took a 1/2 personal day and away we went with Abby and my parents.  The first part of the day was cloudy, almost rainy, and not very spring-like but in watching the forecast, we knew it was going to spiff up to be a beautiful day.  It worked in our favor because it was not super busy or hot.

Well, I must say, it is much more than just trees that are budding.¬† It’s one thing to see it in pictures but to¬†be there in person really is scenic.¬† The cherry blossoms were beautiful and I didn’t realize just how many there were until we walked around the whole Tidal Basin and stopped at a number of national monuments along the way.¬† Paddleboaters were on the water, people from¬†all over the world were walking around taking in¬†our nation’s capitol, and it was simply a fun, spring day.¬† We didn’t experience any¬†actual festivities but I saw in the schedule that there are concerts, performances, parades, contests, food, etc.¬† I am glad we got to see those budding trees.¬† Abby had fun too!

Enjoy the following slideshow (about 20 pictures)! 

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Traipsing the Trails

Springtime is in the air and so is the pollen.¬† We’ve been enjoying going out and exploring some of the nearby fields and trails.¬† Abby likes running around and waving to the birds, finding the moon if it’s visible, picking up rocks, looking for flowers and little itty-bitty bugs, chasing after Sophie when she comes along with us… she’s our little nature girl!











Still Holding Onto Fall

Fall is my favorite season and it goes way too fast.¬† I’m still holding on for a bit longer since it’s been mild (up until now) plus we have zero Christmas decorations this year since we’re in our temp home and all decorations were packed in storage.¬† That means no tree, no lights, no nothing… and that is making it feel less wintery around here still.¬†


We went for a walk on the Bloody Angle trail of the Spotsylvania Battlefield before all of the leaves turned crunchy brown and fell to the ground.  It was a lovely fall day!





There were some nice rubberized paths to go on and then we headed onto the road as the sun was going down.¬† Not knowing exactly where we were, I wasn’t sure we’d get back to our car before it got dark but all was safe and we didn’t get attacked by rabid deer or anything.







Since we aren’t required to rake any leaves here, Abby has enjoyed playing in leaf piles in the driveway and marching through them making lots of fun crunching sounds.¬†