Shenandoah National Park

by Sarah on September 4, 2014

This weekend marked our annual trip to Shenandoah National Park with my parents. Unlike the past few years, the weather was perfect: warm during the day and crisp but comfortable at night.


We made a point of enjoying the warm weather with two day hikes. Our first hike was to down South River Falls trail before looping back and heading north on the Appalachian Trail for a few miles.

The South River Falls was only unremarkable as the view was obstructed by trees the Park Service no longer trims.  Like many Shenandoah hikes, this one went from the drive, down the mountain, requiring us to hike a mile uphill on a fire road. The AT, which snakes along the drive, was a welcome change after the steep incline.


Per tradition, my parents joined us Saturday evening at our campsite for dinner. We all think the nine miles caught up with Honey as she curled up on her blanket and didn’t move until it was time for bed. Of course the next morning she was back to her chipper self, ready to take on our next hike.


Another one of our traditions, is to eat breakfast each morning at Big Meadows Lodge. Between training Friday and hiking Saturday, you better believe Jay and I ate all the bacon Sunday morning.


Sunday’s hike was determined by my Dad, who choose to hike down to President Hoover’s Rapidan Camp via the Mill Prong Trail.


The hike down was very pretty as we crossed a few streams and saw some lovely little waterfalls. The trail meets up with a Horse Trail and then a Fire Road before descending on the camp. We took several pictures of the hiking scenery, but unfortunately we didn’t take any pictures of the camp.


The two volunteer caretakers are very knowledgeable about the property and the three remaining buildings are well preserved. Both Jay and I walked away from the camp discussing how interesting and much we learned about the Hoover’s. We may just pick up one of their biography’s as our next books.

If you have time next time you visit Shenandoah National Park, I strongly encourage you to visit the Rapidan Camp. The hike was gorgeous and you are guaranteed to learn a lot about on of our forgotten Presidents.

How was your Labor Day weekend?


Summer Lovin’ Part 2

September 2, 2014

Last week I came back from my blogger sabbatical and filled you in on our summer. Besides my wonderful husband, I spent a lot of my summer hanging out with my wonderful girlfriends. This summer I was blessed with several opportunities to hang out with my best friend Val. One of which was our tubing […]

Read the full article →

Student Loan Update: You Win Some, You Lose Some

August 28, 2014

In my last resolution check-in, I concentrated on our goal to pay off our highest interest student loan. In August, as promised, we paid off that sucker with a final payment of two hundred dollars and some change! Now that we have conquered our most daunting resolution, it’s time to reevaluate our other resolutions. One […]

Read the full article →

Summer Lovin’

August 26, 2014

Wow this summer flew by! Is Labor Day really next weekend?!?!?! By popular demand (i.e. my mom), I am making it a goal this fall to drop in weekly and chat with you all. I am going to be super lame and throw in a few summer recaps… don’t judge. Then we will be back […]

Read the full article →

Newlywed finances: What Works for Us

July 25, 2014

Besides moving in and sharing closet space, marriage can also mean sharing finances. Primarily, there are three ways couples tend to manage their finances after marriage: they keep everything separate, they merge everything, or they choose some hybrid. We choose a mostly merged hybrid, but let me explain. For the most part, we merged our […]

Read the full article →

Tubing with the Girls

July 23, 2014

Last Friday I met up with my friends Val and Brigette to go tubing down the Gunpowder River. You may remember, Val and I went on a similar outing with Jay last summer. Like last time, we rented our tubes from Monkton Bike, Tube and Kayak for $25 each. The rental was all day so […]

Read the full article →

By the Numbers: Why We Choose the Income Based Repayment Plan

July 3, 2014

I have my June Smarterbucks blog post for you today. This post was inspired by Marketplace’s By the Numbers segments. I hope you enjoy it. We get this question all the time: why did you choose the Income Based Repayment (IBR) plan? By definition the IBR plan brings our payment lower than it is under […]

Read the full article →