They Brought the Party

Oh, what a weekend it was!

This past weekend, Jim and I were deep into a road trip to the Midwest, and that’s not what I’m talking about.

The weekend before that, we received a marvelous gift, named Lorenda, Meg, and Aviva. These are three friends of ours from our former neighborhood AND THEY DROVE THE FOUR HOURS FROM NORTHERN VIRGINIA TO COME VISIT!

It is not an easy trip. They did it on a Friday afternoon, which is a doubly difficult maneuver. But they arrived with White Claws, and wine, some AMAZING applesauce cake and a ton of laughter.

The neighborhood we moved from was one of those neighborhoods that circles around the local school system. Thus, everyone’s kids are about the same age, doing similar things, and you all pretty know the main structural information about your neighbors’ lives. Then, of course, those kids go off to college and some people move to Smith Mountain Lake where the new neighbors might not even know where Robinson Secondary School is located.

Lorenda’s husband is a Virginia Tech alum, and now her youngest fella is a student there. She popped in back in April after hiking with her lad, so she knows a little about Franklin County. Meg and Aviva were real newcomers.

And they were wonderful, enthusiastic, energetic guests. We got up relatively early on Saturday (not as early as Aviva, who took in the lakeside sunrise) and drove into Roanoke for the Farmer’s Market and some exploration of the establishments on Market Square.

We saw the Star getting polished up
We pondered purchases as La-De-Dah
We made it over to Black Dog Salvage
And we had a great time in Floyd
The Floyd Country Store has fantastic food and Saturday afternoon entertainment
We even got up early on Sunday morning for water sports! Look at that paddle board skill! True KICK ASS ROCK STAR BABES!

They were tolerant of the ride over Windy Gap and a little disappointed that the Booker T. Washington National Monument was closed. Homestead Creamery Ice Cream was enjoyed by all. And we are so looking forward to them coming back!

Holiday Business and Beer and Wine

We are nearly ready for Christmas, and took care of just a few more items today.

And it’s a good thing, because the traffic around Tanglewood Mall was impressive.

There are two shopping malls in Roanoke: Tanglewood and Valley View. Valley View is near the airport and was so crowded last Saturday when we went to pick the kids up, it not only threatened to make us late for the first child’s arrival, but gave me flashbacks to living in the Northern Virginia area. (Tysons Corner-loving friends, can you relate?)

But we only had one real errand over on Electric Road today: to pick up some wine for our neighbors. They brought us an amazing pie, made with rhubarb from their garden (!) and how do you reciprocate that?

Well, lucky for us, they mentioned that they like to toast the return of the light on the Winter Solstice (which is tomorrow, y’all!).

I may have mentioned that some of the chain establishments that we knew and loved in Northern Virginia have not made it down here to the Blue Ridge. So, where I would previously have gone to Total Wine in Chantilly for a nice bottle of wine, I had to do a little research to find an enhanced selection around here.

Except the Virgnia’s Blue Ridge Twitter account did it for me, with a listing of the best local places to find holiday gifts. That’s how we found Barrel Chest Wine and Beer. It’s a beer store and a wine store and a bar! They were super helpful and located a tasty looking cabernet for my neighbors. They also carry Cougar Bait American Blonde Ale, from Lexington, KY’s Country Boy Brewing company, for us to bring to Jim’s family’s place on Cape Cod.

Now, as long as our neighbors don’t read my blog, the surprise won’t be ruined.