Have you met Mother Earth?

April 10, 2011

She’s REALLY nice!!! I had a great time hanging out with her today.


Faith, Tate, Matt and I drove way out into the countryside


And up a mountain


To Shenandoah National Park!



We hiked to South River Falls, 83’ of gorgeous waterfalls



It was quite sad and gross to see a deer (?) carcass caught in the falls



Our hike to the falls was not very long – only about 2.25 miles. But Tate was ready for lunch!


We brought a picnic of cheese, bread, and sandwich toppings. Plus we shared two apples. The cheese on the left was from my Philly Homegrown kit and was perfectly delicious atop my sandwich! Sharp and ever-so-slightly crunchy. We also had a Gorgonzola Dolce from Feast! that was also incredible, and a cheddar that Faith brought. Plus lots of Dakota bread!


I made a sandwich and had carrots and cheese on the side




Faith brought dessert – flourless almond butter oatmeal cookies and manna bread!!!! LOVE that manna bread and all its malty taste


After lunch we packed in about 4 more miles, including a visit to the Appalachian Trail! Dad this is for you!


Moose Drool representin’. Gotta mesh with Mother Earth’s personality.


GREAT GREAT hike + day!


Afterwards, we headed down more country roads to Sweely Estate Winery where Faith bought me a birthday Groupon for a free tasting and cheese plate!! Yes, my birthday was back in October, and we’ve celebrated it twice this weekend! The four of us had been waiting for a warm free day!


We started with our lovely tasting.



My favorites were the 2007 Sweely Estate Viognier – which had a floral nose and reminded me of watermelon and meyer lemon – and the 2007 Sweely Estate Cabernet Franc, a blend of 78% cab franc, 14% malbec, 5% petit verdot and 3% merlot. The wine maker at Sweely is from Bordeaux and he loves to blend, so I love his wines! I feel that blends make the best wines because the grapes can really compliment each other and create a great balance on the palate. I really enjoyed all of their wines very much!


We ended up buying a bottle of the Cab Franc and enjoying it in the sunshine with our cheese plate




The cheese plates were quite good as well – French goat cheese and brie, grapes and some delicious herby sausage.



These crackers also rocked!



We said goodbye to a fabulous afternoon and headed home.

Matt and I didn’t have much of an appetite after such a large snack, so we just made salads for dinner.


KERF base salad dressed in olive oil and honey with walnuts, cherries and hummus



We went on a walk after dinner to discuss business and digest and then I had a bite of this Philly Homegrown Urban Garden Mint chocolate.

Talk about a bite of a garden! This wasn’t your typical mint – it was like fresh herb mint. Very very delicious and unique!


Evening plans include a bubble bath!! I cleaned the bathtub yesterday and I’m all stinky sweaty from our long hike and wall.

I have less than 100 pages left in The Thornbirds!! I am very excited to read a modern novel after I put this one to bed ; )

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kellyo April 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Looks like a great day!


2 Chad April 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I love this park – I’ve got a brother that lives near it.


3 lynn @ the actor's diet April 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm

i miss doing this kinda stuff so much – hiking and eating and being in nature. when things calm down for me in a few weeks i am definitely taking some inspiration and going to a park! looks beautiful.


4 Eileen April 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Looks like an amazing day! Roughly how far away was the park from Charlottesville? My DH and I are researching anniversary trips somewhere, and we are hoping to hike a small portion of the AT during the trip. So far, I have us either in central Pennsylvania or Va. :)


5 KathEats April 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I think it was about a 40 minute drive?


6 Hilary April 10, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Beautiful, delicious, delightful…looks like a wonderful Sunday!


7 [email protected] April 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm

omgoooodnessss!! I sooo wish I could visit your area someday!! the more beautiful pictures I see, the more I wanna visit. 😀 awesome time!


8 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Time with friends, wine, hunks of brie and crackers and manna bread and salads, time outside, the gorgeous love that is in these pics (both for your friends and your husband)..Kath, such a wonderful post!

Glad you had an amazing day! I love your collage pics, too. It takes me awhile to create them in LR. I need to get faster like you are, obvi!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy your bubble bath!


9 Christine April 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm

So what are you reading next?


10 KathEats April 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Haven’t decided


11 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Room by Emma Donoghue is really good. I’m reading that right now.


12 Lea @ Healthy Coconut April 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

May I recommend “Water for Elephants”. The movie is coming out this summer starring Reese Witherspoon and the book is great.


13 Michelle | Gold-hearted Girl April 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

How fun! Looks like an amazing day! That’s my kind of double date!


14 Joyce @ Flowing to Fifty April 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm

A perfect day of almost-summer, definitely-spring — including good friends and wine! Sweet!!


15 Lauren April 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I have met mother earth…she’s pretty rockin’. I am going to the same park to go camping and hiking in a couple weeks with my dude! It looks beautiful, your pictures make me excited!!!


16 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles April 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

What a lovely picnic! Looks like a wonderful day – especially the wine part! :)


17 Holly @ The Runny Egg April 10, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Those sausage slices and crackers look so delicious!

What a fun day — we took a talk around the neighborhood but I wish we had gone out more to explore. Maybe next weekend :)


18 Cindy April 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

What a fun day!


19 Andrea @ a farmer in the dell April 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm

What a lovely Sunday! That chocolate sounds really interesting and good. I am looking it up right now!


20 Justeen @ Blissful Baking April 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

What a lovely day! The pictures of you + Matt and Tate + Faith are too cute!


21 Dishes of Mrs. Fish April 10, 2011 at 8:57 pm

What a beautiful day! :) I’m jealous of all that cheese and wine!


22 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Aww, what a beautiful day! Yay, for you guys!!


23 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Looks like a wonderful hike! So beautiful. So sad about the deer, though. 😥


24 Zoe April 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Nature happens!


25 B & B April 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Looks amazing. The hike – and the cheese plate of course :)

What’s the topping in the salad picture? It looks like Hummus! (but you said walnuts?)


26 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm

what a wonderful hike! It makes me really miss the blue ridge mountains as I went to college at JMU. sighh Chicago just doesn’t have mountains near by! :(


27 Sarah April 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Hey I was just wondering if you had Faith’s flourless almond butter oatmeal cookies recipe? Sounds delicious!


28 Catherine April 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I was wondering the same! They look so good!!


29 KathEats April 11, 2011 at 6:49 am

I don’t have it but I bet she does!


30 faith April 11, 2011 at 9:31 am

Thanks for asking but there were pretty thrown together and not really “share” worthy, I have a plethora of almond butter though so I’ll experiment and give all the deets soon.


31 Stacy @ Every Little Thing April 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Your intro is funny. It reminds me of being at a Phish show. This major hippie was watching people continuously throw bottled water and beer cans into an overflowing trash can (and thus onto the ground) and the hippie started yelling “What did Mother do to you?!!??!”

It was awesome haha


32 Zoe April 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I thought that spot looked familiar! Four friends and I recently did a four-day backcountry camping trip starting at the South River Picnic Area! It was an amazing experience. Our last day took us 6 miles along the Appalachian Trail, and inspired my boyfriend to begin planning his thru-hike (that’s the WHOLE thing).
I have to say, our hiking fare was not nearly as lovely as yours.


33 Vanessa April 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I love hikes like this!! Can never go wrong with a wine tasting either!


34 staceyhealthylife April 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

What a fun day spent with good friends and lots of good cheese!!!!!!!!!!


35 Dimple Snatcher April 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm

What a fabulous day: good friends, good food! WIN-WIN!


36 Krystina (Organically Me) April 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Wow this sounds like a heavenly day! Gorgeous views!


37 Namaste Gurl April 10, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Looks like a wonderful day with friends! How I adore hiking with nature and pinics :)


38 Carter G April 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

The crackers look just like Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers. I bought some of the whole wheat ones today. Delish and perfect with hummus!


39 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 10, 2011 at 9:56 pm

A glorious day to spend on hiking. It’s freakishly hot here in Florida for such activity. Sigh.


40 Lizzie April 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Those cookies sound so good! Do you have the recipe for Faith’s flourless almond butter oatmeal cookies?


41 KathEats April 11, 2011 at 6:50 am

She might have it on her blog


42 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

What an awesome day! That hiking area looks incredible. And what a perfect day weather-wise to enjoy the outdoors. :)


43 Angel7 April 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I am all about yummy cheese, especially Gorgonzola!

What a fun, adventurous day you all had!



44 Emma (Namaste Everyday) April 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm

what a lovely day! i have really been itching to see a waterfall lately–so gorgeous!


45 Jessica April 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm

The countryside near you is absolutely beautiful! I visited Charlottesville this weekend, and on Saturday we made a drive to Lynchburg. I loved the scenery along the way. Charlottesville was fun!


46 [email protected] April 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm

LOVE hikes!! Especially hikes where you pack a yummy lunch like that!! Beautiful pictures!!


47 JenATX April 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

what a great day :) i’m jealous, its already blazing hot down here in Texas (well, only 90 degrees) so hiking around just doesnt sound appealing even though we do have nice trails in the hill country.


48 Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy April 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I love all your nature pictures!!


49 Buster April 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I would have a hard time hanging out with you. It seems that you unfold your life for the camera which I find to be very narcissistic. How can you enjoy a meal with having to “set” up every shot? Just saying…..


50 KathEats April 11, 2011 at 6:50 am

Well you must be new to the blogging world. Nice to meet you too.


51 faith April 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

I’ve found that I actually enjoy food even a little more than usual when I eat with Kath because we always take the time to look at and appreciate what we’re eating before digging in.


52 JessicaEn April 11, 2011 at 9:40 am

This comment baffles me…. I mean… its a FOOD blog.


53 Bridget April 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

Buster: “unfolding her life” (as you put it) is much more informative, entertaining, and inspirational than narcissistic to thousands, yes thousands!!, of blog readers. If you find Kath’s blog uncomfortable to read; please stop. And once you stop reading, we won’t have to bear your dreadful comments.


54 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

WHat pretty falls :) Love cheese plates as well!!!


55 Hannah April 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Can’t decide what I want more… the almond cookies or your vibrant salad at the end of the post! Just as well I don’t have to decide in reality 😛


56 Alaina April 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm

That looks like such a beautiful hike! My husband has done parts of the Appalachian Trail. He really wants me to hike it with him. We’ll see! :-)


57 Khushboo April 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Good food, great friends, fun exercise = a perfect day to me!


58 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

looks like a perfect day! i was outside from 930am until 6pm myself… love love love the warmer months. :)


59 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 10, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Gourmet eating even when hiking! I love it!


60 Hannah @ Healthy Life April 11, 2011 at 1:03 am

Looks like a fab day! We also spent much of the sunny day here outside- it relaxes you so much!


61 hippierunner April 11, 2011 at 2:38 am

Awwww everyone’s so lovey-dovey! I love it!


62 Amelia (Eating Made Easy) April 11, 2011 at 5:40 am

Kath, I love your life! I love mine too, but your little excursions look like the perfect mix of friends, food, and enjoyment of the outdoors. So fun to see!


63 Simply Life April 11, 2011 at 6:14 am

wow, what a fun day!


64 antigone April 11, 2011 at 6:30 am

Wait. . . Modern novel??? Thornbirds was written in the last half of the twentieth century!


65 KathEats April 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

I mean set in this decade. The Thornbirds is set decades ago


66 Jumanah @ Healthy Living in the Middle East April 11, 2011 at 6:30 am

What a fun day! What a delicious cheese plate! YUM!


67 Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) April 11, 2011 at 6:34 am

Such a FUN day! My brother hike the Appalachian Trail a couple years back, so seeing the symbol always brings back memories of shipping food out to him and visiting him along the trail. Good times for all. 😀


68 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 11, 2011 at 6:40 am

We spent the weekend in the country and it really did rejuvenate us. The fresh air felt so good! Looks like you all had a great time too!


69 Karen April 11, 2011 at 7:09 am

Oh how I love a day spent taking in the wonders of nature…very much enjoyed this collection of photos!


70 Atsuko April 11, 2011 at 7:30 am

Gorgeous hiking! I love hiking, which is my favorite exercise of all. Somehow I always felt that hiking lunch was boring and not tasty as one had to carry, but I learned from this your archive that there are deliciously healthy hiking to-go lunch! There are more than soggy tuna sandwich, lol. Next hiking I will definitely pack a block of cheese and a loaf of bread. Thanks!


71 alana (at) the food April 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

thanks very much…now i’m gonig to spend my workday dreaming of CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!


72 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

Umm can we trade lives? You can study for my exams for me and I’ll go on hikes and drink wine? 😉


73 Molly April 11, 2011 at 7:43 am

Almond butter oatmeal cookies? I need these!


74 Dee April 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

what a fun day!


75 Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen April 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

Aww such great photos of your and Matt- that hike looks awesome!


76 Jess (Sweet Potato) April 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

This post has me wondering why I dont hike more…


77 Lauren April 11, 2011 at 9:30 am

Kath – Have you guys hiked Crabtree Falls? If not, I highly recommend it. It’s the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Check it out…



78 KathEats April 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

Not yet! I bookmarked it. Thanks!


79 Allison @ Happy Tales April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

What a fuuuuun day! And it’s never too late to celebrate a birthday!

PS. I LOOOOVE the sequence of pictures where matt sneaks a kiss on you! SO ADORABLE!


80 becca (bellebottoms) April 11, 2011 at 10:49 am

what a wonderful day! I have to say, you live in a BEAU-tiful part of the country!! :)


81 Shannon @ My Place In The Race April 11, 2011 at 11:52 am

There’s nothing like a day hiking 😀 Great pics!


82 Anne P April 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm

So jealous!!!! Shenandoah is my favorite :) I recommend Old Rag (full day and super challenging with AWESOME views) or White Oak Canyon trail (pretty water)!


83 Becky O'Brien April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Kath ~ So glad you got to have two great birthday celebrations! Definitely worth waiting for. And, after all that wonderful outdoor nature experience, good to know you weren’t surrounded by indoor toxic chemicals when you came home, including in the bathtub.


84 KathEats April 11, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Freshly cleaned with Scour Off the day before!


85 Becky O'Brien April 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm



86 Aundra April 12, 2011 at 8:03 am

Oh, fantastic! I’m about to make my first trek to the Shenandoah area next week. Looks wonderful!! Have you ever camped there?


87 Charise April 12, 2011 at 8:20 am

This sounds like an absolutely fabulous time! Hiking through beautiful scenery, wine tasting, yummy cheese – that’s my kind of day!


88 Lara April 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Ooooh! A new (to me) winery! Have you been out to Delfosse Winery & Vineyard in Faber? My hubby & I had our wedding reception there. They’ve got some hiking trails on the property too. Claude (owner & wine maker) is also from France and he makes a mean Viognier and Cab Franc too! Check it out!


89 KathEats April 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Not yet!


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