Rosey the Riveter

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Womens Wellness Weekend

I just got back from a wonderful time at the Virginia State Parks' Womens' Wellness Weekend held at First Landing in Virginia Beach.  This was the second one I attended and it did not disappoint.

We departed Friday morning on an excursion to Chippokes Plantation State Park.
We were greeted by a wonderful docent who was full of information about the property.
My favorite, of course, was the summer kitchen.
I felt right at home.

We had lunch at the Surrey House Restaurant, where I enjoyed a BBQ pork sandwich with some amazing onion rings.  I also tried the peanut soup, since we were in peanut country.  It was underwhelming but now I can say I've had it.

After a nice walk on the beach, it was time for dinner, complete with a Sangria Bar.  It was delicious!
I had planned to 'camp' in the back of my van like I did last year, but due to severe weather warnings, we were able to get an empty cabin, which felt like the Hilton!  There was a kitchenette, a warm shower, and real beds!  Needless to say, I slept like a log.

On Saturday morning, I taught a Make and Take Herbals class, and I was so busy I never got to take any pictures.  But it was a fun time making Calendula/Lemon Balm Salve and trying iced and hot teas made with different herbs.

As expected, lunch was as amazing as dinner!
The chef did a salad dressing demo and gave us a recipe for a Copy Cat Olive Dressing.  I can't wait to try it.
After lunch, I went on a Wetlands Photography Walk.  I got a quick lesson on how and when to change the shutter speed and aperture, and it was so great to be able to photograph the beauty around us.  This was an amazing tree that grew along the ground and then made a 90 degree turn to grow upright again!
Our instructor was a hoot!  He was out of York State Park up near Williamsburg and leads similar walks there.  I hope I can attend one!
 He dubbed me the "Angel of Aperture" because once I got the hang of it, I was giddy with excitement!

The trail we were on was called "Bald Cypress", and the Spanish Moss on the trees was just haunting.

We also got pointers on how to draw the eye into the photos.
 And we saw some pretty cool fungus, too!
The last class of the day was a "Lotions and Potions" class with Vickie Shufer, who is a local foraging expert.  I have gone on a couple walks with her at New Earth Farm and always learned a lot.  She's also just a delightful person.
We made a lotion with Mountain Mint, which is an antiseptic... and I got to smell a different kind of lotion she made with lemon verbena.  I can't wait to make my own!
 We learned about several herbs I'd never even heard of before!
 And we got to try some 'energy balls' made with a plant that has 4x the caffeine as coffee!
 We also got to make up some tea mixes using dried herbs.
Afterwards, we had another great meal and got to watch the sunset.  I got to practice my new photography skills.
Sunday morning, I took another class where I finally learned how to make the para cord bracelets that are so trendy right now.
I had a few minutes before Brunch to snap some more pictures.

I forgot to snap a picture of the amazing spinach and mushroom crepes with brunch, but they knocked my socks off.  I may have to attempt to replicate them soon!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and almost feel ready to face my 40th birthday.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful time you had... the photos are great and the weekend sounds so refreshing. (I like the summer kitchen, too!)