Virginia State Parks has a catch phrase, Family, Friends, Fun and I have taken it to heart in my quest to find that land somewhere over the rainbow. In my non-stop travels across Virginia and beyond, I often catch up with so many friends, but July 4th weekend I got to be with family and what fun! I got to see Mom, Dad, all 4 of my sisters (I said 4, 2 older, 2 younger), brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews over a 4 day period. Not an easy feat since we are spread out from Virginia to Arizona. Here are a few highlights from my trip to Ohio area, incase your travels take you that way:
A decent portion of my family in Canfield
July 4th-I was in Canfield, Ohio with most of my family at my sister's beautiful 1840's house with wrap around front porch. Canfield is a small town that plays BIG! Their July 4th celebration isn't one day, but stretched out for several. On this day however, a nearly 2 hour parade was the highlight. My little niece with a BIG tuba marched with the high school band down the street and my Brother-In-Law was also in the parade. The town and its' residence really embrace our Independence Day, what a great venue.
Dr. Eberly (my Brother-in-Law) in his 1960 Corvette in the parade
July 5th- I was in Cleveland to catch an Indians game with 10 family members and a couple friends. Through the years and in recent headlines, Cleveland has gotten a bad rap. However, if you never been there, you may want to change your thinking. Besides sporting venues, you can see Broadway Shows, visit the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, incredible museums, great restaurants, a casino and wonderful, passionate, long suffering sports fans like me. The suffering continued as the Indians lost the night I was there, but it still was a great night. It was $1 hot dog night and I think I consumed 6, or was it 7, or was it... There was also a great fireworks show after the game to make up for the lack of activity on the field.
One of the most beautiful ballparks in the Majors!
July 6th-Fishing is a great sport, whether you catch anything or not. I was lucky enough to have a great day on Lake Erie on a charter boat with family and friends. I caught the largest walleye of my life, a Fish Ohio citation at 29 inches. My nephew out fished me, a rare feat, as he caught a 31" walleye. Way to go Chris! Most of our State Parks have water features for a reason: Whether you are fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking or just sitting by the water, the therapeutic qualities are incredible. Walleye are great eating and if you are interested in trying to catch one try New River Trail, Hungry Mother, or Lake Anna State Parks.
L-Lisa my niece, R-Chris my nephew and the famous John Haney
in the middle with big walleye
While I was away I missed something BIG: Virginia State Parks opened their 36th park, Powhatan State Park. What a great thing to have preserved more open space for our future and provide another place for folks to escape. So now there is one more place for you to live our catch phrase of Family, Friends, Fun!
Speaking of fun, catch me at the Bristol Sox minor league baseball game on July 26th, I'll be the one in the Raccoon costume. There will be all kinds of prize giveaways at the game including, annual passes, camping and even a cabin stay. If you want to make a weekend of it, stay at Natural Tunnel or Hungry Mother State Parks, as they are an easy drive to Bristol.
My New River Trail Challenge triathlon workout update:
Since the last Episode:
2,200 sit ups, 1 mile of biking
TOTAL since May 20th:
6,000 sit ups, 14 miles of hiking, 1 mile of biking, 22 miles of kayaking/canoeing and countless hours of my mind telling my body it doesn't hurt!
Until our paths cross at a Virginia State Park, hang onto your pants!