The Road from Virginny

Well, today it's "back to the old grind," as Nonnie used to say, after our quick trip to Virginia. The build up to the trip was tempered a little when I was befelled by a 24-hour stomach bug which started around 11pm on Monday night and lasted until 4:30am Tuesday morning, followed by an unexpected day off work spent drifting in and out of sleep all day. As always happens, I felt a bit more human on Wednesday morning as we packed up an headed south to Arlington for a quick overnight with Mom before heading down to Sue and Ken's in Salem, VA. I emphasize the "VA" because of the following exchange, which occurred on Friday:

Annalisse: When are we going to Salem.
Me: What do you mean? We spent the whole day there yesterday.
Annalisse: Are we going to the brewery?
Me: What brewery?
Annalisse: You know, the one near the Witch Museum
Me: That's Salem, MA, not Salem, VA!!!!

After dinner with the Arlington-based branch of the family, we got up early
Thursday and head south on 81 to Sue's. We got in around 12:30, had a little lunch, then headed over to Roanoke College for a tour for Annalisse. (We figured that since we were down there we might as well look at RC, which is the type of college Annalisse will be considering in a couple of years.) It was a beautiful place, just blocks from S&K's
house. On Thursday night we went out to a cute restaurant in Troutville (where Mark should live if he ever moves south) to hear Ken play with is jazz group. They were great!!

On Friday morning we headed back north to Charlottesville to see Monticello. By the time we arrived, around 11am, there were already a ton of people there, and we bought tickets for the 2:40 house tour. So, until our tour time we wandered around the grounds (beautiful!) and generally meandered. Around 1pm we decided not to stick around for the house tour as it was getting colder and beginning to spit rain. I was really not all that disappointed as I believe I'll have the opportunity to visit another time. The grounds and the house from the outside were worth it!

After leaving Monticello we went into Charlottesville to the pedestrian mall, and by this time it was miserable out: steady rain and cold. I was chilled to the bone. We ducked into a diner for lunch, and after lunch went into just a couple of shops as I think we were all tired and cold by then. So we loaded up and headed back south through the alternating drizzle and pouring rain, and fog. We went back to the hotel and just relaxed, and Annalisse and I watched The King's Speech, while Cam went into his virtual world for a couple of hours (it's very stressful to have to relate to humans all day). Mark, who's been battling a cold/cough, fell asleep around 6:30pm and didn't resurface until 8 the next morning. He really needed that sleep.

On Saturday, we went into Roanoke to the market, and did a little shopping until Ken joined us for lunch at a great BBQ place. Then, for some reason, our focus shifted to trying to find Annalisse a dress for the 10th grade dance, which is in two weeks. Alas, after driving around to six or seven stores, we came home empty handed. That will have to be this weekend's focus! After a wonderful dinner at S&Ks, filled with lots of laughs, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel for our 6:30 departure for home. We had to watch the time since we had to pick Jasper up at the Petsmart Pet Hotel (!) by 6pm and it's a 9-10 hour trip.

As an Easter celebration, yesterday was definitely below par with no Easter service or Easter dinner. I may make up the Easter dinner part with a special dinner of ham or lamb this weekend.

All in all, a wonderful trip spent with wonderful family and friends, including Sue's cousin, San, whom we love dearly, filled with great company, great food, and great fun!!


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