The day started with gem mining. The process of digging up rocks in hopes that one might glint just the right way and bear good fortune. For kids, the entire process from start to finish is a gold mine, regardless of any fortune. From getting dirty and digging in mud, to washing the finds out in screens and water troughs, to finding a beautiful shiny stone, gem mining is a child's playground.
We drove a total of 4 1/2 hours for gem mining (to and from), and the treasures I took home (along with a lovely, genuine, VA speeding ticket), were more of the memory kind. The happiness, the engagement, and the joy on the faces of my children were all I needed to know that the drive (and speeding ticket) were well worth it.
On our drive home, we decided to swing by a beautiful vineyard not far from where we are staying. We left with two bottles of red. Never in my life have I ever tasted a red wine of chocolate and raspberries that tasted exactly like chocolate and raspberries. Called Aurora, it is a perfect combination and I love this wine. Hubs did not share my affinity so brought a nice bottle of cab home.
When we did get home, our evening was topped off with a nice walk around the neighborhood and a quiet sunset. With such a fulfilling day, it would be easy to pick a favorite part. But my favorite part was not any of the above. It was the four of us sitting together in front of the fire this evening, each of us doing our own thing, but together. Now that makes this, the finest day ever.