This has been a pretty big week in my life. First of all, Monday morning I handed in my final grad assignment for grad school and applied for graduation. I've been waiting four years for this moment (I theoretically could have taken less time but then my school district wouldn't have paid for it).
Second, today is our six year wedding anniversary!
Instead of gifts, we take a little baby mini vacation each year to celebrate (or at least we have so far... that could change soon). This year, I really wanted to go somewhere that was close and relaxing for a low key getaway/Babymoon, although my husband does not approve of that term. We rented a cabin in the Poconos.
Obviously, we used this opportunity to focus on activities that were not child friendly and exclusively fun for adults.
|Roasting marshmallows (should have made s'mores, but there were a lot of good ice cream places around)|
|A giant maze|
|Mini-golf. One of us got a hole in one. One of us didn't. One of us owns their own golf clubs. One of us doesn't ever golf.|
We also did some hiking. However, we made a grave mistake. Two years ago, we went to the Smoky Mountains for our anniversary. The Smokies compared to the Poconos is kind of like the time we first went to Vegas, then later went to Atlantic City. It sets the bar a little too high.
The Smoky Mountains:
Ok, they're both pretty, so let's look at some other comparisons.
Our first day in the Poconos, we went to Bushkill Falls to do a hike, on the recommendation of a local. When we arrived, we found out they charge you to hike the trails?! I'd never heard of such a thing. So we played in that maze (it took us ten minutes to find our way out - if we could have done it in 9 we would have earned a sticker) and left. We found a trail on our own, and it was free, dammit.
We quickly discovered why.
|It appears that the entire trail was a fire road? At least that's all we saw.|
The steep hill was also not what I'd expect from a mountain trail. I'm definitely not some crazy wilderness snob, but I've done a few trail runs in my day. We were just sort of hoping the trails would be, you know, trails. Like with dirt and stuff. Maybe you hear birds instead of traffic. Something like that.
Here's the Appalachian trail we hiked in the Smoky Mountains.
You see what I mean. A few challenges. Since that was a bit of a bust, the next day we decided to pay the fee to see Bushkill Falls. There were four options of trails, the longest claiming to be two miles. There were excessive warnings that it was for EXPERIENCED HIKERS ONLY.
Apparently when you pay to hike, they don't have cheap ass blazes on trees, they have colored squares nailed to trees. These are what you follow to make sure you aren't off course. We were very relieved for them. As you can see in the below pictures, it would be pretty easy to wander off the "trail".
|SO CONFUSING. Which is the trail??|
|Eric did go rogue at one point.|
Bushkill Falls touts itself as "The Niagara of Pennsylvania". There were a bunch of waterfalls which were really pretty. I don't even know how many because you go up and down and see them from the top and the bottom and all different angels so I completely lost track of which was which.
|The main falls|
Another falls, no clue which one.
|The Smokies only had one waterfall, although you could actually get in and swim up to it, which was pretty cool.|
After awhile, we finally got to the hardcore section - no more wooden walkways or handrails, although the benches still continued.
|"For hikers only"|
While the hiking was fun, the relaxing was my ultimate goal. Our cabin had a nice front porch, and I spent every morning living the dream.
|Coffee, kindle, not 100% humidity, and peace and quiet.|
|Biggest threat to America.|
As we were pulling out of the parking lot to do our hike, Eric suddenly yelled and I turned and saw a freaking BEAR like two feet from where I'd just been sitting on our porch.
|We couldn't get our camera out in time, but here's Eric reenacting based on where the paw prints were|
|The best picture we could get - still pretty close (no zoom!)|
Overall, although we scoffed a bit at the trails, we had a great time and enjoyed the trip. I'd recommend it, although I would warn anyone that we got barely any cell reception the whole time, and the place we stayed charged for wireless. If you want to go with your spouse, be prepared that talking and interacting with him will be your only entertainment the entire time.
It was pretty surreal to think that this is our last trip/anniversary as a twosome. We kept pointing out child friendly activities and talking about coming back to do them one day. It's really sinking in that we will be a family of 3 very, very soon!
Do you like hiking? On vacation? Normally I prefer trips that involve pool chairs and drinks with umbrellas, but without the drinks, hiking is a top choice.