Recently, I had an opportunity to travel to Virginia for a few days, traveling with my sister and new brother-in-law. My brother lives in Roanoke, Va. so it’s a long ride through some beautiful country.
The ride down was uneventful other than a few GPS induced side trips and I got to relax in the back seat with my pillow and some books, and had a brief nap. As we got closer, the mountains got higher and the grass greener, our trip taking us past battlefields of long ago, stone houses that have withstood the test of time, and many farms. Roanoke looks huge to this south Jersey girl, a bustling city surrounded by mountains. It has a unique downtown filled with quaint shops, historical buildings, museums, and modern facilities of all types. We arrived late Thursday, had a great Italian dinner cooked by my brother, and then early to bed. Friday, the “girls” went to lunch at the Second Helping Café, sponsored by the Rescue Mission. They had a diverse menu, very tasty, and great desserts. We were joined by my sister-in-law’s sister and their mother, a true “southern belle”. It was so nice to see them again and I consider them family as well. We ate, wandered through the attached gallery and thrift store and then, after parting, went on a car tour of Roanoke. So many southern homes are built with red brick, some so gorgeous and interesting that I would love to own them all! We continued on until we ended up at Black Dog Salvage, the site of the popular TV show, “Salvage Dogs”. If you love old doors and windows, vintage anything, iron work, and repurposed-from-junk furniture, this is the place for you! OMG!! I could have spent days there. What beautiful stained glass! And the furniture! Such wonderful creations like a claw foot bathtub love seat, tables made from beautiful old doors, farm equipment turned into lamps….I could go on and on but you get the idea. It’s definitely worth the trip. They have a website and FB page if you’re interested.
So day 2 arrives and we are off to Rockbridge Winery in Raphine, VA, for wine tasting and a picnic, though it’s pretty chilly! My niece will be meeting us there and it’s a beautiful sunny day for this excursion. We’re piling into the car now so I’ll get back to you later……
Its several hours later and we’re pigging out on Chinese food. We had a wonderful day starting at the winery with the tasting and then our picnic. My niece met us there and she and I were in perfect agreement on what tasted good! We picnicked inside, delicious, and then it was off to Wades Mill where they grind their own flour, which of course we all purchased. Next stop was Orchard Side Yarn Shop which had some beautiful fibers. The setting was perfect, alongside a quick-moving stream, blue skies, fields of the brightest green, hills, flowers. So peaceful. Violets were blooming, willow branches were waving in the breeze…..ahh. Serenity.
Of course, we all hated to get back to reality but Sunday morning, bright and early, we piled into the car and started home. Again in the back seat, I had my camera out as long as there were mountains to view. We came home through the Shenandoah Valley, just beautiful. Looking down into the valley was awe-inspiring and you can just tell that a supreme being had to have created this land. My pictures just don’t do it justice; you have to see for yourself.
The trip totally refreshed me. I slept well, ate good, and got a lot of exercise, something a person with a desk job desperately needs. It was good for my mental health, most of all. Getting away from work even for a short time does wonders for me. And, as I get older I appreciate things in a different way. My family has grown smaller with the loss of my parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. There aren’t many of us left but now our future is in our children, and their children. It was so good to see my brother, sis-in-law, and niece. And to spend time with my sister and new brother-in-law, who drove us down and stopped at the bathroom as many times as we needed! And drove good enough that I could close my eyes for a nap! LOL. So thank you to my family!
I’ll close with love to my family. Already looking forward to Christmas when we can all get together again.
Much love, Your Sister,