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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Memorial Day Drive - Feels Like Home

Sometimes I can't remember where I have been.  I studied these photos to jog my memory and realized we drove up to see Swannanoa Golf Course.  MG needs a place to swing his clubs.  This is a privately owned golf course.

Across the road someone has decided where some lucky people will live someday.  To get ready for them, they have divided up the lots so people like us can have a look at something we will never have.  Gotta satisfy the old curiosity.  Some future homeowners are going to have an outstanding view.

Swannanoa Palace was not open for tours so we drove on.  We saw a lot of places that would be so cool to live in.

Some places it seems no one wants to live in.

Some places have been lived in by people far more interesting than I.

And some places are just too beautiful to imagine living in.

Sometimes old things find new homes while waiting for yet another home.

MG and I decided to make ourselves at home for a while and have a little fun.  We pretended some of the stuff was ours.

Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, VA was our next stop. Lots of good stuff here. Like peaches.

Back on the road.  Another once-a-home.

And a family that seems right at home.

Time to head home.  Let's take the road less traveled.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Labor Day 2017. Picture perfect day here in the Shenandoah Valley. No plans. We had talked about going to look for a pair of New Balance walking shoes and Google says we have to go either to Charlottesville or Lynchburg to find them. Clearly we have to go to Lynchburg because we have been saying we wanted to go there for months now.  Rita tells us she is not available for lunch, but we are going anyway. Taking Rt. 11 down to Lexington and then Rt. 60 to Lynchburg is a sure bet for a beautiful drive so off we go to guy those shoes.   No matter how many times we drive Rt. 11 from Staunton to Lexington, we are preoccupied by the beauty of this part of the Valley. Lexington is never a disappointment either.

Continuing on we soon arrive in Buena Vista.

Apparently a parade had made its way through town prior to our arrival.  People had dispersed, signs and cones were being removed and the traffic was "heavy".  Everything is relative.

Our curiosity was peaked by something up on a hill.  We too the next right that seemed to go uphill so we could investigate.  What! 

So this is where the old Southern Sem College, now Southern Virginia University. The school was first founded in 1867 as a school for girls. The name was changed to Southern Virginia College for Women to avoid confusion of being thought of as a school for ministry.  The school name was changed to Southern Virginia College in 1994 when the school went coed.  It is a liberal arts college that was purchased in 1996 by a group of Church of Latter-day Saints in Virginia when the school fell upon financial hardships.  That year the name was changed to Southern Virginia University.  I know a couple of women who attended Southern Sem, but today is the first time I have ever seen the campus.  It is a beautiful campus.  There was no resisting the urge to walk around and a self guided tour.  The magnificent building below is the Buena Vista Hotel, which was purchased in the early 1900s when the school was moved from Bowling Green to Buena Vista. The history of the school is very interesting. Just ask Google.

We were invited to have a look inside the auditorium where work was progressing for an upcoming play.

We are so happy that we drove up that hill.

Back on the road heading toward Lynchburg and finding those walking shoes.  Only we found a couple of diversions.  ...for we may never pass this way again.  Chances are we will find those roads with no lines. And we did.  AND a one lane bridge.

The plan is to get back to Staunton around 3:00 PM. It is well past Noon.  We are hungry. We have to find the shoes. For all that to happen we need to get off these roads that we love and get to Lynchburg.  OK Google.

Who recognizes this?

Google suggested we go to Riverside Runners for New Balance shoes, but did not mention they are not open today. Asking again, Google says we can find New Balance shoes at JC Penney for $44.99.  It took a while, but we found our way to River Ridge Mall.  Only we did not realize we were there until after we had lunch at Shakers.  It was 1:30 and if we were going to get back by 3:00ish, we needed to get on the road.  Driving around the parking lot to find a spot that allowed us to get a photo of the LU logo on this hillside, we saw Belk.  If there be Belk, there be JC Penney.  I no longer cared about finding the shoes. We asked Google to get us back to 29 North.  Before long, we turned onto Rt. 151 for a beautiful drive home. What a great shopping experience.  Anyone that has ever shopped with me knows I could not have been happier with this shoe shopping trip.