Saturday, September 4, 2010

They Say It's My Birthday

All day long on September 3, 2010, my husband and son reminded me that "it's your burt'day" so I couldn't ignore the fact I was now 60 years old.  But no age can keep you from having a joyful heart and a love for life, so I tackled the day with a packed itinerary determined to add to my list of 60 new experiences, which has been my focus rather than 60 years.
© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Donna and Chloe, the Camel at Mountainside Petting Farm - Afton, VA
WOW! What a HUGE blessing to receive all the birthday messages with cards, emails and Facebook posts.  Thank you sooooo much! I was very humbled by the fact that so many people took the time to celebrate with me.  What a grand part of life it is to build relationships and share love with others.

I had an awesome day with my sweet husband and terrific son beginning at James Madison's property (Ash Lawn) with our picnic breakfast. We then headed for the Blue Ridge Mts to a Mountainside Petting Farm to share in somebody else's dream come true. Here is Barbara's story.

Chloe, the camel that is only half the size it will be, was the highlight of my day (other than being able to spend my birthday with our son, Benjamin). Hugging a camel is definitely going to be on my list of the 60 new experiences for turning 60.  She was so loving and cute!  Since you get a bucket of food when you go the petting farm, the animals are all VERY friendly. Chloe has been there since she was two weeks old. She is now 2-1/2 years old.

© 2010 Donna L. Watkins - Chloe, the Camel at Mountainside Petting Farm - Afton, VA
We then picked up sandwiches at Ambrosia Deli in Nellysford, VA, and headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway, where we ate at Raven's Roost - elevation 3200 ft. Further down the Parkway we stopped at the Greenstone Overlook and took a short loop trail through rocks and plants and trees and that was very special. We were totally alone like we owned part of the mountain.

Our next stop on the Parkway was Humpback Rocks Visitor Center and Homestead. It really has a "take you back" atmosphere. They have a typical homestead garden and there were tons of butterflies on the bordering flowers, with one of them qualifying for one of my 60 new experiences.

View the entire Blue Ridge Birthday Album.

We headed back to town (Charlottesville) after that for dinner and then the First Friday Art Crawl. Our last event on the itinerary was to walk down to the other end of the pedestrian mall and enjoy Fridays After Five group that was playing. The group was Abbey Road, with Beatles music and maybe others from that era, which seemed so appropriate for a 60th birthday (although I was not a Beatles fan). Previous photo from the Downtown Mall.

Well ... I decided it was a long enough day. The excitement had stretched my body as far as it was going to go and Beatles music did not warrant the 5 block trek to the ampitheater. We headed home and I opened more cards that were in the mailbox and the gifts that have sat on the fireplace for weeks. A grand and wonderful day from 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM.

And then ... I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to check Facebook because my son told me late last night (when he checked his FB I guess?) that I had a bunch of birthday messages. What a delight to see that and all the emails that were sent throughout this week. Thanks again ... it has sure made my birthday a VERY special one!

We took tons of photos and over the next week I'll get them into my photo gallery and something posted on my blog (which dumps it into here). Our son was uploading as we went from place to place. I'm on the simple slow track ... no worries, be fully present in the moment and relive it through the photos again and again.

Love and hugs to all,

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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