The drive there was a revelation to me. I have few memories of West Virginia, through which the bulk of the route winds, and other than the words of that favorite old song, Country Roads (almost heaven, mountain mama and all that), I don't know much about it. Goodness, it is glorious! You should go! A perfect interstate (I-79) threaded through beautiful mountains, over rivers and in and out of several small towns. We saw the eponymous haze of the Blue Ridge Mountains and noticed little villages in the valleys. It really was lovely. I used to love driving mountain roads-I found it so exciting. In recent years, I've grown more anxious and uptight about it and haven't enjoyed it as much. This time, on two sunny afternoons with the wide road carving through this beautiful place, I remembered that previous love of soaring through hills and valleys and kept my grip on the wheel relaxed and my foot off the brake. Sometimes the feeling of flying was real, complete with a wonderful swoop in my stomach when we'd crest a hill or slingshot back up after crossing a river.
I got to see my sister's beautiful house for the first time and felt happy for her success there at the university. My other sister is a amazing cook, so some fabulous meals were also on the agenda. Great setting, good food, and family. Check. Check and Check.
The Spoonbread festival was a charming local festival with authentic bluegrass music that we could have listened to all day, lots of great arts and craft booths (naturally I found some yarn), and of course the famous spoonbread. It's a kind of cornbread, but so soft and almost pudding-like that you really do have to eat it with a spoon and get every bit of buttery, warm and melty-in-your-mouth goodness. Ask me and I'll make you some.
My kids wanted to go to see their cousins and I'm glad they came along. They had time to hang out a bit and we all went and invaded the DQ where my nephew works and had Blizzards on a Saturday night while he had his break. I went the mini-blizzard route and tried two different flavors. Yessss.
It was a super-quick trip--we drove in on Friday and home again on Sunday, but it was worth the time. With all my siblings scattered over the entire nation, having 3 of us in one spot was a watershed moment and I'm glad we got the chance.
|My cute niece tries the spoonbread...|
|and doesn't see what the big deal is.|
"It's just cornbread."
|My sisters and I, on the other hand,|
enjoyed it thoroughly.
|I love this picture of Niece and Sister|
getting ready to watch the parade.
|The three of us. I like this photo best of me...|
|but this one is better all around. So you get both cuz it's my|
|My kids just really, really love her kids.|
They're so fun together.