Five years ago today I fell in love with my soulmate. I certainly wasn’t looking for love, but love found me. Starting a new relationship was actually neither of our intentions, and especially with a 3,000 mile distance between us. Yet as we look back on it, we know we were destined to find one another, and the distance was tool to prepare us for a long life together. If we could get through being separated by distance, we pretty much could get through everything else if he put our heart & soul into it…and we did!
Paul surprised me last night with matching glass evil eye bracelets which he made for us. I was overjoyed! We both love evil eyes not only for their ancient symbolism and our favorite cobalt blue color. They always remind us of our trip to Turkey with friends back in 2011, which besides a trip to The Bahamas, was our first trip abroad together.
We’re simple bears. We like a lot of the same things. I think that’s what’s so awesome about us. So instead of going out to buy a new suit to wear at an overpriced Washington, DC restaurant, we threw on our typical wardrobe, and hit the road for a fun-filled day trip.
Destination: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Why Harpers Ferry, you might ask? We picked Harpers Ferry because we love history and nature, and it’s only an hour north-west of us! The history of Harpers Ferry is multi-layered – involving a diverse number of people and events that influenced the course of our nation’s history. Harpers Ferry saw the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown’s attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of former slaves in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States.
English colonist Robert Harper was given a 125-acre piece of property ca. 1750 and established a ferry across the Potomac River in 1761, thus making a new town in the Shenandoah Valley for settlers. Then comes industry, railroad, and the Civil War. The geography of Harpers Ferry is situated where Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia come together, as well as where the Potomac and Shenandoah River split. Walking through the “lower end” of town was absolutely fascinating, as we couldn’t help but to carry our imaginations into the past. What were the smells and sounds?
Like children running free in an amusement park, Paul and I took to the historic buildings, churches, cemeteries, trails, etc. We stumbled across a cute outdoor patio at the Cannonball Deli for a vegan lunch…a falafel wrap with curly fries. After gaining some more energy from eating, we hiked back up to the “upper town” and decided to simply drive where it looks even more awesome.
As we’re driving, we’re passing endless areas where we would love to pull over and take a photo of, but realize we would never get anywhere…so we keep driving. In attempt to find a higher vantage point overlooking Harpers Ferry, we get a little lost and accidentally stumble across another amazing town, Shepherdstown. This 18th century town is still a very active community offering an abundance of shops, eateries, and points of interest. We came across a historic building with a big wood sign which read, “O’Hurley’s General Store.” Curious, (and hoping they’d have a bathroom) we stopped into check it out. Little did we know this shop and the kindest shopkeeper would become one of the top three highlights of our trip!
After getting some more history lessons from the shopkeeper (who had no clue what falafel was), we headed out to explore more of the town. This meager little town was so full of life and filled with history, personality, and character at every angle. In 1787, James Rumsey was said to have engineered the first functioning steam engine propelled boat. So of course he has a quite fabulous monument built in his honor. Shepherdstown is also home to Shepherd University and it even an opera house which is still used to this day as a picture house.
After some more shop browsing, we headed down to the trails lining the Shenandoah River and simply enjoyed our special day – reminiscing, talking about the things we are passionate about, and enjoying the beauty which was surrounding us. Can it get any better than that?
So here we are at the five-year mark. Still in love. Very much in love. Engaged, but without a date set. Where will we be next year or in five years from now? Only, God knows that. However I believe in the depths of my heart that our love will still be burning strong. Perhaps we will think back this day in future anniversaries and reminisce on this newest memory to our adventure in life together.