Travel PT: Adventures While Living in WV and Working in VA (April-August 2017)

*by Whitney*

Timeline: April-August 2017

This is the third post about this assignment. Check out the other two below if you haven’t already:

Adventures

So, besides being really busy with work and lots of unusual things happening with our assignment, we did find time on the weekends to do a lot of fun things. Here’s an overview of the adventures we had while on assignment in Northern VA and living in West Virginia.

Outdoors

  • We were living right next to the Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park, so we got to do a lot of exploring and hiking there. There is a really neat “old town” portion that’s preserved with some museums, but also some charming local shops/restaurants/homes/churches that are still operational. I did not believe it was a real place at first because the whole town just looks like it’s a museum.
  • We explored some Civil War History at the Antietam Battlefield.
  • We met up with some new friends/a fellow blogger and PT to go hiking in Shenandoah National Park at the Old Rag trail, which was a really challenging hike for us but was so rewarding!

Trips Back Home

  • A big reason for choosing to stay in our home state for this assignment was so that I could attend my niece’s wedding back home. It was great to be there for her special day and see our families!
  • Jared also got to go home for his brother’s high school graduation

College Reunion

  • Another big reason for staying in the South for this assignment was so that I could attend my Undergraduate Alumni Weekend (“A Charleston Affair”) for the first time since graduation in 2012, and it was also my 5 year class reunion year. A huge bonus is that I went to undergrad at The College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, so not only was it a reunion with my friends, it’s also a great vacation destination. It was fun seeing how much has changed in Charleston in 5 years, and I was so happy to see a few of my friends!

Exploring New Places

  • Neither Jared nor I had ever been to Philadelphia, so this was somewhere we definitely wanted to check out while within driving distance. During our drive there, we also stopped for dinner in Wilmington, Delaware and checked that off our list of states where we’ve been. We got to Philly late on Friday night and stayed at a neat Airbnb in a historic “row home,” which was a great experience. Unfortunately, we picked a very rainy weekend, but we made the best of it! We saw a lot of the major sites and tried some local food. It was also Mother’s Day weekend, and my mom was also in PA visiting some family. So, after exploring the city with Jared, I took a train ride to meet my family in Yardley, PA where my cousin lives and my aunt was visiting. It was great to get to see all of them!
  • For my Birthday weekend, we decided to take a trip to Atlantic City, NJ. Jared had never been to New Jersey at all, so he really wanted to check that off the list as well. Meanwhile, I had been to Atlantic City dozens of times when I was younger with my family, because my dad was a gambler. But this was the first time I had ever been when I was an adult, so it was definitely a new experience. Unfortunately, I found that Atlantic City has gone downhill a lot from when we used to go. The Boardwalk wasn’t very lively, and a lot of the casinos/hotels were shut down. We still had a great time, though. I played my hand at Blackjack, and won! We saw a comedy show, explored all the casinos, danced, walked on the boardwalk, and had some good food.
  • We went to Washington, D.C. for our 4-year Anniversary Weekend. We got to stay at a nice Fairmont hotel in Georgetown for free using our rewards nights, and received some complimentary champagne and treats for our anniversary! Washington D.C. was another new experience for Jared, while I had been there a couple times before. There’s so much to see and do there that we barely scratched the surface on our weekend trip. We took advantage of the many free museums, checked out a lot of the monuments, ate some Georgetown Cupcakes, and walked miles and miles and miles!
  • We were living right next to Charles Town, WV and had to drive through it everyday on our way to work. This is where we spent a lot of our time doing the everyday things (groceries, eating out, shopping etc.), but a big highlight that’s made Charles Town popular is the racetrack and casino, so we had to check that out too. I had been there once before with my family, because, again, my dad was a gambler. But this was my first experience betting on the horses and putting down money in the casino myself. (PS, only me, Jared didn’t put down any money 😉 because he likes to keep his!) Sadly, I wasn’t so lucky at this casino like I was in Atlantic City! But we had fun watching the horse races, enjoying some good food, listening to music and dancing!
  • The last weekend trip we checked off our list before we moved (and before I broke my arm) was Baltimore, MD. I had been here for a field trip when I was in middle school, but of course that was forever ago, and Jared had never been. We had another free hotel night to use and were able to stay at an awesome hotel overlooking the Inner Harbor with amazing views! We took in an Orioles game at Camden Yards, which even for not being big baseball fans, was an awesome experience! We again got caught in the rain, but made the most of it and didn’t let that stop us from walking all over town taking in the sights.

We were able to take advantage of a lot of experiences while on this assignment, including going to 7 different states (Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and South Carolina), even while working full time (plus overtime) and being stressed out at our jobs. This is one of the many things we love about working as travel therapists! And the best part is, you don’t have to spend much money to have these experiences while on assignment in a new location. We always take advantage of free things in each new city we visit, and we use Airbnb or credit card rewards to stay in some awesome locations.

Stay tuned for my next post on our adventures in Western North Carolina!

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