Hawk Mountain | Memorial Day Staycation

I’m sure of only two things in this life:

1. If there is a mosquito within a 30 mile radius, it will find me. And bring his friends. And relatives. And long lost cousins twice removed. To feast on my delectable blood.

2. When you have three kids, invariably one of them will be having a bad day at any given time. This means that any time you plan a fun family outing, one of them will be doing his or her best to make it miserable.

Nevertheless, we set out on Saturday with a) one ornery child and b) no bug spray.

We are gluttons for punishment, yes.

As I explained in a previous post, I desperately wanted to spend this Memorial Day Weekend at the beach, but my husband’s work commitments prevented us from that luxury so in an effort to stay close to home in case work should beckon, we opted instead to take a couple of day trips. On Saturday, which turned out to be a glorious day weather-wise — sunny and high of 82 degrees, we took a drive out to Reading and visited Hawk Mountain, a bird sanctuary for hawks and eagles in particular.

Located in east-central Pennsylvania, Hawk Mountain is the world’s first refuge for birds of prey. Open year-round, visitors enjoy scenic vistas, 8-miles of ridge and valley trails, a Visitor Center, Bookstore, and native plant garden, and each autumn, the chance to observe large numbers of hawks, eagles and falcons as they migrate past our lookouts.

Despite the vengeful mosquitos and the cantankerous child (and the fact that there was no beach), it was actually quite fascinating. We made it there in time to enjoy the Raptors Up Close! event in the outdoor amphitheater, where we got to see a live hawk and owl up close and personal.

The kids got to hold a real talon.

And we managed to obtain our obligatory family photo. You will likely see this again on our Christmas card, so don’t say you weren’t forewarned. Can you guess from those smiling faces which one of our children was less than enthusiastic about this outing? Let’s just say that I’m not above using bribery to get my shot, and that is all I have to say about that.

After the demonstration, we took a short hike to an overlook where we could see raptors flying around. This location is right on their migratory path in the fall so there is a lot more to see at that time of year, but we still enjoyed the view.

The rest of the weekend, we spent lazing around the house, reading and enjoying the weather. Saturday night we enjoyed mojitos on the neighbor’s patio, and after church on Sunday we had asparagus frittata with salad fresh from our garden.

This morning the kids and the huz went fishing bright and early while I enjoyed my coffee on the front porch before the heat gets too oppressive. We have plans for a cookout later today, and if I get lucky, I might manage to sneak in a nap.

Granted, it’s not the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, but I can’t complain.

What are you up to, this official kick-off to summer weekend??

Comments

  1. DeAnn says

    Looks like fun. Yes, there is at least one who is grumpy on those outings with us, too. Sometimes, it’s me. ;)

    More than once, I have said with gritted teeth, “If you will all just smile and act like you are happy I will get you each a lollipop/ice cream/ whatever, after the picture. I bribe, it usually works, then I get a glass of wine or two. Every Christmas I threaten to do a collage of all of the pictures it took to get to the one less-than-perfect shot we end up choosing. I think people would appreciate the effort that it takes to get 7 kids to smile and look at the camera and why they only come around every other year!

    We are in Corolla, NC right now. (Outer Banks) One of my favorite places on earth. We decided to stay for two weeks instead of one this year. We’ve never done it before but I have to say it’s amazing. It always takes at least 4 days for me to settle down after preparing and packing and driving…so now I feel like I can actually dig into my beach reading and relax a little. Ahh…

  2. says

    Ah, Hawk Mountain. So close to our old home in Reading! Beautiful area. Sometimes I miss hills and mountains. But I don’t miss snow.

    We’re having a big cookout/party today too. Mike’s smoking some delectable meats. Funny though, it’s already too hot for us to actually sit and eat OUTSIDE for the party, so aside from the meat it’s more like a cook-IN.

    • Jo-Lynne says

      It’s even too hot for that here. It’s going to be 92 today and it’s really sticky outside already. We don’t even have a place to eat outside, so we’ll be grilling and eating in. :-)

  3. says

    I loved all the pics on FB and here! What a fun day trip. I am actually looking forward to my kids being older and doing day trips (without having to pack up all the baby toddler gear and necessities)!

    You asked what I did….well, you’ll have to stop over at Slice of Heaven (http://scoopofreality.com/2011/05/total-relaxation/) and find out! I can just say it was GLORIOUS! Today, we are headed to a friend’s house for a cookout and my first swim of the season.

  4. Sarah says

    We had a staycation too! Saturday, drove out to a small town nearby and visited a natural food store that sold the best apples we’ve ever had. Yesterday, visited the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. We only have one child, and he takes turns being the enthusiastic one and the not-so-enthusiastic one. He was both during these little trips!

  5. Megan says

    I had to work part of every day but we did manage to get to the Devon Horse Show on Saturday afternoon. A was in heaven there! Dare I say that I see lots of money going out to horseback riding lessons in the future? Other than that, we’ve been hanging at home in the sprinkler (our pool is closed this weekend – long story) and gardening/grilling. Lots of quality family time is just what we have all needed!

  6. says

    Much prettier than the Hyatt! :) We finally got some sunny weather today and it promptly jumped to 93 and 48u329% humidity. wooot I see a storm in our future!

    I’m so happy you had a fantastic weekend!

  7. says

    THAT is a stunning view!

    We just arrived in Pennsylvania on Monday and it’s gorgeous here. I love the rolling green fields and the farms in every direction.

    Speaking of PA, are you up for a girls night out on the 27th, 28th, or 29th? Can’t wait to meet you!

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