Monday, June 15, 2009

Vacation - Part 3

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day. We were going to visit Monticello again (we had been there several years ago), but out wonderful host Chris suggested that if we had enjoyed Monticello we would probably be interested in visiting Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson's summer retreat. We thought that sounded like a good idea so we set off over a winding mountain road toward Lynchburg. Believe me the road wound around and around in very serpentine directions down and up the mountains - it was actually worse than any of the curves on the Skyline Drive. I had to close my eyes and lean back against my seat and even then I felt nauseous. I was glad when we reached the main road again!

Poplar Forest was fascinating. Thomas Jefferson was ingenious in his architecture and designs. He had a penchant for octagons and so this house was also built as an octagon. Quite intriguing, really. The site is a work in progress, so even if we go back in several years, it will be different.

After visiting Poplar Forest we came back to the B&B via Bedford, VA where we stopped to see the D-Day memorial. It is quite a moving monument to our men and women who served during the invasion of Normandy. Back at the B&B we relaxed and read for awhile before dinner at the Southern Inn. I am certain that the world's best pecan pie is found there!

This morning after breakfast and visiting some more with our hosts, Chris and Linda Best, we headed home. If you are ever in the Lexington, VA area I would highly recommed their B&B, Applewood Inn as a place to stay. Out in the country, back a dirt road it is a picturesque place to relax and rest. This was our second opportunity to stay there and if we are in the area again, we will certainly make that our place to stay! By the way, the picture at the top of this blog was taken along the narrow, winding road leading back to the Applewood Inn last fall when we visited.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vacation - Part 2

We awoke to a beautiful day. Sitting in the little enclosed porch off our room, I could look out to the hillside and see the llamas. The sound of falling water from the little fountain both refreshed and soothed my spirits. It is just a wonderful place to relax.

After a delicious breakfast of hearty waffles prepared by Chris (he admits he never makes them the same way twice - a little like another cook I know very well), we got ready to go on our llama trek. And for those who wonder, a llama trek is really just a walk with the llama. Because it had been so rainy and wet, we took our trek down the driveway and out in the open area rather than up on the mountain. I was leading Pepe and Elvin had Jonas. Pepe was, in the words of his owners, in a grouchy mood. He did not want to stand still and had a lot of energy. Every time we would stop for a few moments he would go in circles around me. Llamas are interested creatures. They do not like to be hurried and will stop to eat as you are walking along. One needs to be patient and wait for them. It was a fun experience.

After we returned for our llama trek, we changed clothes and headed out for the day. We headed back to Rockbridge Winery, a delightful place we discovered last fall and then took a scenic explore through the back roads of Virginia. We ended up driving along part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, looking out over God's beautiful creation. We were on top of the world - or so it seemed.

Back in the valley again, we decided to stop at KFC and pick up meals to bring back to our B&B for our dinner because we didn't really feel like going out again. It was great to sit out on our little patio and enjoy the nature as we ate. A ruby throated hummingbird came to the lilies right in front of us, but we didn't have the camera handy to take a picture. We spent a relaxing evening reading and talking.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vacation - Part 1

We left home about 6:45 a.m. yesterday (Friday, June 12) morning to head out for a 4 day mini vacation in Lexington, VA. Stopped for breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Chambersburg - Elvin does love when he can have their catfish for breakfast. Since we knew we couldn't check in to our B&B until at least 3 p.m. and the day was at least partly sunny, we decided to drive part of the Skyline Drive.

The scenery was beautiful. It was clear enough to have good views although there have been times we have been on the Drive that we have been able to see much further. As we were waiting our turn to pay to get on the Drive, Elvin glanced in his rear view mirror and saw a bear. As we drove along the drive we saw a total of three bear, ten deer, a grouse, and a turkey. We also saw a blacksnake in the middle of the road - Elvin wasn't sure if it was dead or alive, but there was a car right behind us, so we couldn't stop to take a picture.

We got off the Skyline at Route 33 (about two thirds of the way south) and headed back over to Route 81. Just as we got to Route 81 near Harrisonburg we had torrential downpours. It rained so hard we could barely see to drive. I must say my hubby is a fantastic driver in adverse circumstances and weather conditions. I probably would have pulled over and hoped it went away. Instead he chose to continue on carefully and we eventually drove out of the storm. We had rain off and on the rest of the way south to our Bed and Breakfast.

We arrived here around 6 p.m., checked in, and then went out to find some dinner. This place is gorgeous - not only did we enjoy the hot tub but the view from our room is fabulous. More later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beginning of Summer

I'm not very good at blogging. It seems like I get so caught up in everyday life that I just don't get around to doing this. Maybe it's because I think I have to have a great idea to write about and I can't think of anything. But really, the thought for this blog was just to have a place to journal or write about my day, or whatever. Nothing earth shattering. Just me, experiencing life.

Today was the first official day of summer "vacation." For me that means wrapping up the remains of the last school year and heading full speed ahead into preparations for the new school year. But it was my first day of working at home for this summer. There is something really great about working at home, and somehow I seem to have no trouble working and putting in a full day's work. I like starting at 6 a.m. if I feel like it. I like taking the time out to have coffee with Nean, to watch the grandkids for a bit, and just the more relaxed pace than being in the office behind a desk. Too bad everybody can't have the experience of working at home.

So today, I enjoyed having coffee with my daughter. I was even able to watch Dante while she took Zoë to the doctor - poor little tyke is running a fever and apparently her throat is very raw and red (but no strep!). I was even able to do a few loads of laundry in preparation for vacation in between working.

And now it's evening - and tomorrow is the start of our mini vacation. Four days away - back to the great little B&B we stayed at last fall in Lexington, VA. I am so ready for vacation.