Quiet Adventure in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
I love living in the city, but sometimes I need to step away from the hard edges of the ‘concrete jungle’ and go somewhere with open air. Maybe it’s been this season’s never-ending rain, or sun setting earlier and earlier, or just a general long-AF-year — whatever the reason, the past few months, I’ve been itching to get away.
I wasn’t quite sure where to go, but knew the feeling I was aiming for — calm, nature, quiet. I searched for a cabin or cottage of some sort where my husband and I could take the dogs and there were a surprising number of them! Unfortunately, most were larger spaces that were just too big for our little family getaway (but 100% saving those for future group/friend trips!) and they were too far for a quick weekend road trip…
Then, when I felt like I was at my wits end, I happened upon a super cute little cabin on VRBO right outside of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. A quick search showed me that this seemingly cute town was only about two hours from Baltimore – WIN. It was an affordable rate – WIN. It was dog friendly – WIN. And it was secluded, right in the middle of a wooded area – WIN.
Plus, with a name like Retriever’s Retreat, how could you not love it!
Driving to the cabin, we experienced some torrential downpours, proving to me once again that I needed a break. On our way to the cabin, we passed through the town of Berkeley Springs and it was adorable! (We didn’t end up getting to explore the town, but I can tell you we’ll definitely be back for that.)
Once we arrived, I knew I had made the right choice. Within minutes, the dogs were exploring the cabin rooms and I was opening a bottle of wine by the fireplace. It was quiet and calm and P E R F E C T.
The first morning, I woke up early because…dogs…and was delighted to see the sun rising over the hill behind us. I took the pups back behind the house where there was a small valley that housed Sleepy Creek. We took the (somewhat steep) hill down through the trees at sunrise and I felt amazing. The air was crisp and clean, the fall breeze shook the mostly empty tree trunks and stirred the fallen golden leaves that carpeted the floor underneath us. Of course, the dogs wanted to sniff and investigate every little thing so it took us a few minutes to get down. It did not take us quite as long to get back up, however – although I could have used a slower pace. I quickly remembered what goes down, goes back up – the dogs pulled me up that glute-burning hill in record time!
The air was crisp and clean, the fall breeze shook the mostly empty tree trunks and stirred the fallen golden leaves that carpeted the floor underneath us.
We got back just in time to make some breakfast in the cute cabin kitchen. I love the new era of renting homes vs hotels – it helps you actually feel at home when you’re on the road! For the trip, we packed eggs, bacon and other treats so we could make most of our meals there. It’s not only more intimate but it saves so much money.
Then, after breakfast, we just kind of hung out…weird, right? I read my book, Tom researched a local movie theater poster auction, the dogs sat in the sunlight…it was peaceful in a way that I haven’t had in a while.
Unfortunately, Tom hurt his back loading the dogs into the car, so our hikes in the state park were postponed, but we still had an amazing time. We drove a few miles to the Virginia line and crossed over for some amazingly-delicious Virginia pies from the adorable Virginia Farm Market! Knowing Tom might need some liquid pain relief, I also grabbed some fresh, local apple cider for mixing with our Sagamore Rye (WIN).
My body, my mind and my soul were aching for this break – hoping for some peaceful simplicity to break up the fast-paced, stressful days we tend to put ourselves in. The mini road trip was exactly what we needed. To find peace and quiet and a little calm. To reconnect. To slow down and experience some of the little things that make every day beautiful. I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes while we were out there…
These little things? These little moments? They aren’t little.
I can see us coming back to this area for years to come. I’m already planning trip(s) back — deciding for Tom that we’ll head back with the dogs, convincing girlfriends we need a woodsy girls weekend, and figuring out when we can plan some self-care recharge time in beautiful Berkeley Springs.