Taking Over Shenandoah Valley

I really do love living in the city, but sometimes getting away from the city can’t be beat. Especially when the view from the back porch while you’re drinking your morning coffee is this:

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I’d been to the Shenandoah Valley once before for my birthday last year, but this time was very different because there were.. 22 of us! A bunch of friends and I rented a huge house from Absolute Perfect Escape properties… and the name really says it all.

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We rented a 9 bedroom house that had the works. A huge kitchen, a fireplace, a hottub, a fire pit outside, a pool table, air hockey (!) and so much more. Somehow, almost every single person got a bed and we really made the space work to our advantage.

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Outside of the features of the house itself, the views were just breathtaking.

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We all spent a lot of time just staring out in awe and breathing in the fresh air.

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And also went on a “nature walk” (gentle hike) despite the cold. Some of us even balanced in yoga poses on fallen trees.

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To be honest, I was a little nervous that I was going to feel super overwhelmed with the number of people there since I’m used to living alone by now, and was worried I might not be that pleasant to be around towards the end of the trip. But, it really turned out great because the house was so huge that there was plenty of space for all of us. A bunch of people did their own thing on Saturday during the day, but it really didn’t even seem like there were that many people there which was great. That is, until breakfast time.

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But who can blame ‘em? Check out this spread for our last day:

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From the top:

    • Veggie and Cheese Strata
    • Breakfast hashbrowns with cheese and sour cream
    • Cinnamon crunch french toast
    • Orange zest french toast
    • Regular Bacon
    • Maple Bacon
    • Fruit Salad (the one remotely healthy thing)
    • Tater tots (hiding in the WAY back)

Overall, the weekend was really fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I do wish I had made some healthier choices, especially with eating, because there were a few times over the weekend where I literally ate to the point of feeling sick because there was so much good food. I tend to do better with that when I control my own environment, but you gotta live a little, right?

Have you ever gone away with a group of friends? Where’d you go?

9 Comments on Taking Over Shenandoah Valley

  1. Diandra
    February 14, 2012 at 9:12 am (9 years ago)

    I spent the last weekend in Amsterdam with a friend, and have got the full story (with pictures) over at my blog. ^^

  2. Jennifer
    February 14, 2012 at 9:33 am (9 years ago)

    My girlfriends and I take a trip together every couple of years. The last 2 times have been to St Maarten (I think you said you love it there too). Not sure where we’ll go next. We rented houses there both times, which was awesome because of the whole you have your own kitchen, pool, space, etc. Your place there looked amazing!!

  3. Laura
    February 14, 2012 at 10:04 am (9 years ago)

    Its been too long since I’ve taken a trip with friends. Your pictures are breathtaking. It would be hard to not have a good time in such a beautiful place as that!

  4. Heather
    February 14, 2012 at 11:29 am (9 years ago)

    Looks like a great trip! I just got back from NYC with a group of girls, so much fun!

  5. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    February 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm (9 years ago)

    How awesome- Shenandoah is soooo pretty. I need to take a mini vacation out there this summer! I haven’t taken a big group trip like that in forever, but would love to at least go rent a house or cabin with a few other couples.
    I don’t know how I would fare in a house with 22 people, but I do know that I would most definitely overeat. I’m really horrible at being mindful in situations like that- especially when everyone else is mindlessly eating also (it’s a lifelong goal for me to tame this and just be able to stop eating when I’m full in social situations!). The important thing is to just move forward and get back into healthy habits!

  6. Hilary
    February 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm (9 years ago)

    That breakfast looks pretty epic and it sounds like a pretty awesome weekend…I hear ya about healthy choices,vita so easy to get carried away when away with a bunch of people. I went to a cottage with friends in northern Ontario a couple times….great views and good times.

  7. Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not
    February 14, 2012 at 10:03 pm (9 years ago)

    I feel like I fall right back into my own habits sometimes when around a group of people and eat WAY too much. Glad to hear I’m not the only one that struggles with this! I just figure, this is not my normal routine and don’t try to beat myself up when I go overboard like that. The views look amazing btw!

  8. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 15, 2012 at 8:37 am (9 years ago)

    I’m thrilled you had a great experience with your friends and it ended with an awesome spread like that. Yum!

    I wish I had a better experience to relate. I’d vacationed with my best friend twice. Once when we were sophomores in CA for a week and once for a long weekend trip to Chicago. It was delightful. We decided to treat her by paying her her to go to Hawaii with us for 3 weeks. On night 2 I was calling the airlines to ask how much it would be to change a ticket to send her home. She completely ruined the trip with her crappy attitude and my Mr had to end up having a big talk with her to cool the tude because I’d put 2 years of planning into that trip and she was tanking it. I could never fully enjoy myself after that fearing one of her meltdowns. Every since then we REFUSE to travel with others. We are just too set in our ways and our vacation time (and money) is too precious to be subjected to other people’s moods.

  9. Michael
    February 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm (9 years ago)

    My Aunt lives in Shenandoah and I love going out there to visit. Especially since I live in the NYC/NJ area. It’s a really nice break from city life.


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