Our friends Nate and Holly & Gus and Deanna live in this quaint little town in Pennsylvania called Marietta. Jay used to work with Nate years ago and they have remained close in friendships.
Marietta is a tiny town - two blocks by four blocks or something crazy like that! - which has a railroad running thru it and a river beside it! It's a tiny place where you know everyone and everyone knows you. They have an old main street with shops/businesses and many of the homes have the 'old charm' of yesteryears.
We went to visit for the first time last summer - it was Marietta Day. Just the sound of that is fabulous - it wouldn't work in Warrenton, but it does in Marietta. All the townspeople set up shop down the main drag selling their most prized possessions - it's essentially a town yard sale :) We got a late start and missed most of the fun -- we had even talked Jacqui and her roomie to meet us up there; they never turn down a yard sale so went but left before we arrived. We stayed the night and hung out at Shank's Tavern after a race in the pouring rain! Anyways...it was a fabulous time with Nate, Holly, Maya, Rowan and Sylvie being our gracious hostess.
For the wedding, we received a gift certificate to The Railroad House Inn for one night's stay. We kept never finding the right time to go and it was expiring the end of the year. We decided on Halloween weekend, hoping to see the kiddos all dressed up for some trick or treating. Headed up after Jay got off work on Friday (with Hunter in tow) and the drive took longer than we originally planned, not arriving until close to 2am. Poor Holly was literally writing us a note saying she couldn't stay awake any longer and to make ourselves at home! We said our goodnights and crashed pretty quickly ourselves.
The next morning, Rowan had a soccer tournament -- let me say, these people are avid soccer players -- we made it to game two and Jay took numerous pictures of the team playing with Nate on the sidelines as Coach. Rowan scored his first goal and wanted to see the pictures over and over again - so excited! After the game, we ventured for some yummy lunch at Mexitaly, owned by Greg and his wife (more PA friends, close with the gang). They make delicious burritos - of course I got Mexican!! After lunch, we ventured to a birthday party with the kids and Hunter...hung outside, ate some cupcakes and took Hunter for a nice long walk down to the Railroad House Inn. We passed some gorgeous homes along the way - all on the river and railroad tracks. We checked into the hotel and walked back to Nate and Holly's to drop Hunter off (they watched him for us Saturday night) and grab our luggage. At the hotel, we took a nap and then had dinner in the restaurant downstairs - great, delicious food by the fire!! Afterwards, we went back to Nate and Holly's to hang out for a bit -- the place was jumping...the kitchen was packed! It's pretty much a 'anyone is welcome as long as the door is open' situation. They were playing music and having multiple conversations; the kids were running in and out, up and down. Rowan asked me how many teeth I had; he thought he had 40 teeth in his mouth, which cracked me up. I told him probably not with his small seven year old mouth and then I told him to 'open wide' and counted all twenty of his teeth :) He was thrilled to know how many he had...very inquisitive guy! Things died down around 2am when we ventured back to our room...knowing this Saturday night was no different than most - just that we were a part of it this week.
The next morning, we had complimentary breakfast downstairs and then checked out after a good chat with the owners. They have a dog - evidenced by the kong in the hallway and leash at the backdoor :) Next time, we are allowed to bring Hunter, but he can't stay unattended in the room. That morning was Market - this is the real reason I'm writing this post, so I can remember how wonderful Market is in Marietta! The town puts on a farmer's market during the warm months, selling everything from fresh bread to plants to hand-made clothing. We were lucky enough to catch the last weekend I believe and had a great time, wishing we lived closer or in a town that was so tightly woven. People brought their instruments - Nate hauled multiple guitars/mandolins in a stroller - hahaha! There were about eight or so people in a circle just jamming off each other and singing. It was amazingly beautiful! We walked back 'home' then Maya had a soccer game later in the day with Nate coaching the sidelines again. She's ten but crazy mature - almost like you are talking to an adult mature - plus she's tall and lanky for her few ten years. She played well and towered over most of the other girls with a mean kick. The Bengals played the Dolphins that day (or read: Jay's team played Nate's team that day) so we taped the game during soccer and watched it later with most everyone, except Jay and Rowan falling asleep on the couch/chairs. Once the game was done, we started packing things up and headed home with Hunter exhausted, curled up in the backseat fast asleep before we got thru town.
It was a great time seeing friends and a nice break from the routine! Here are some pics from the trip...
|Maya with her yellow shoes and a mean kick!|