Matt and I headed to the Virginia countryside after work on Friday to celebrate our 4 year anniversary! Our destination? Our old friend Fort Lewis Lodge in the George Washington National Forest. This place will always have a special spot in our hearts because it was where we went for a 3 night “mini-honeymoon” immediately after our wedding! (Recaps: Mini-Moon Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) We have a ring picture just like this from that trip – decided to recreate it. 🙂
We hadn’t been back to Fort Lewis Lodge for a few years and we missed it! We went back for our 1 year anniversary trip but then decided to mix it up for years 2 and 3. It was good to be back. 🙂
This place is such a gem – it’s rustic and homey, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by gorgeous countryside. Perfect for outdoorsy adventurers like us! 🙂
We arrived on Friday around 8:15, just in time for a late dinner. One of the things we love about this place is they include dinner and breakfast in the room rates. The food is delicious, too!
After running 22 miles for marathon training on Friday morning, this food was especially awesome – and I definitely slept well that night! I was asleep by 9:30 and we didn’t get up until 8:30 on Saturday – amaaaaaazing. Breakfast is around 9 – perfect!
We had a pretty lazy day on Saturday because the weather was rainy – good excuse to relax! We spent the morning reading and lounging in the hot tub in the rain (we figured we’d be wet anyway, so what’s a little rain?) before venturing out for a late lunch in the closest town about 30 minutes away.
After lunch, we came back and did a short late afternoon hike – it was still soggy out but the rain had stopped!
The hickory loop trail is only a 5 minute drive away from the lodge. It’s a short but steep hike to an overlook with gorgeous views. That’s the lodge down below!
We also made sure to stop by our old friend the tin man, who lives on the trail. John, one of the owners of Fort Lewis Lodge, found him somewhere in North Carolina at a side of the road sale and installed him on the trail. 🙂
Also: every time we do this hike this “TURN AROUND” sign cracks us up – it’s meant to just tell cars that they have space to turn around here, but we always interpret it as a horror movie sign. “TURN BACK… BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!” Lol.
We returned to the lodge in time for happy hour at Buck’s Bar before dinner. 🙂
Red wine for both of us – followed by this delicious dinner about an hour later!
Post-dinner warming our hands by the fire:
On Sunday we were excited to wake up to a gorgeous morning! Hooray – now THIS is the kind of weather I expect in October in Virginia!
One last awesome breakfast!
We were sad to say goodbye – but excited for our next stop on the adventure: a hike in Shenandoah National Park, which is on our drive home!
We’ve been making our way through our “Hiking Shenandoah National Park” book and decided to hike Hightop Mountain in the southern district this time – we knew the park would be crowded on such a lovely day and this hike isn’t super crazy popular. It also has a lovely view from the summit – perfect for such a clear day!
The hike is a 4 mile out and back along the Appalachian Trail. Lovely and wooded!
As for the summit, it was stunning – but it was a really windy day and it was CRAZY windy out on the rocks! Hold on to your hats!!
I was rocking a new 1/2 zip top that Brooks gifted me recently – perfect timing because it’s windproof! Made a big difference to not have that cold wind going right through my top!
We were planning to sit and eat lunch on the summit (packed sandwiches from Fort Lewis!) but it was so windy we retreated and ate in the woods. Didn’t want us or our lunches to fly off the mountain. 😉 Especially not this delicious freshly baked cookie!
Our final stop on our adventure, about an hour outside of DC, was a quick stop at a pumpkin patch! 🙂
Matt found this fun farm called “Cows n Corn” right on our way back – perfect! We got some pumpkins for carving and for decorating, and picked up some fall-ish mums too!
Such a fun weekend with my best guy. Perfect way to celebrate our special day 4 years ago! Here’s to many more. 🙂
(Psst: if you’re interested, you can find all our wedding-related recaps here: our wedding.)
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