Wow – 1,619 miles in 5 days! We recently headed out to Lake Lure, North Carolina for a family wedding and made several other stops along the way. It was a lot of driving – and seemingly too little time at each of our destinations!
We left on a Thursday after the kids got out from school and drove all the way down to Lexington Virginia – without a single stop! That’s a little over 425 miles – which is still within the range of the minivan on a single fill-up! We stopped at Lexington because it seemed like an interesting town and it close proximity to the Natural Bridge State Park.
Lexington seems like a very quaint little town. We didn’t have a whole lot of time there – so we stopped at the visitors center and got some suggestions with regards to what to see. It was a pleasant town to walk through and there are a lot of historic buildings on every street! We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites just outside of the historic part of the town.
Natural Bridge State Park was a wonderful stop! Both of my business partners have been there – and I have seen pictures of the place – but honestly – the pictures just don’t do it justice! There is a beautiful gift shop / admissions building – and then you walk down quite a few stairs to get to the path that leads to the natural bridge. At one point Thomas Jefferson owned the property and George Washington surveyed it. It was a very enjoyable approximately 1 mile walk out past the bridge and to the water falls (with another mile to return to the gift shop). It was a wonderful time to be at the park – as farther northeast we were already past the peak of fall – and the fall foliage was just approaching full bloom down there! The outdoor Indian settlement museum was very interesting as well. All and all it was a great way to break up a long journey, get some exercise and see something new! I would definitely go back here in the future and would recommend you stop if you are any where close. It is literally just a few miles off Interstate 81.
Lake Lure was our destination for Melani’s cousin’s wedding. It was quite a serpentine route to actually get to the Lake Lure Inn – which is where we both stayed and the wedding reception was hosted. The Lake Lure area was beautiful and definitely reminded me of the Adirondacks – just approximately 880 miles southwest of them!
When we arrived and checked into our room – we were shocked to find that despite expecting a suite with a couple of beds and a jacuzzi, there was in-fact – no second bed! The Inn had no vacant rooms! No way 6 of us were going to be able to sleep in that room! Graciously, Melani’s sister & her husband swapped rooms with us and we were able to gain an additional bed. That, and a hammock we brought just in-case proved adequate sleeping surfaces – but left absolutely NO open floor space! We were packed in like sardines – but survived!
Jennifer Grey & Patrick Swayze Suites
Apparently Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey stayed at Lake Lure Inn while filming Dirty Dancing.…
For breakfast I was hoping to get some cinnamon oatmeal, or maybe some peaches & cream. Instead these were the three primary options…
So much for breakfast…..
Michele & Glenn’s New House
On the way back from Lake Lure we stopped in the Williamsburg area to see my sister and brother-in-law’s new house. Gorgeous! It has a wonderlful view of the river and a very livable layout! We were glad to be able to spend a little time with them – but as has been for this entire road trip – not enough time at any stop!
What really caught Melani’s eye was my sister’s laundry room. I’ll save the 1,000 words and just provide the picture….
The water temperature @ Aunt Michele & Uncle Glenn’s pool was 66 degrees. Uncle Glenn & cousin Katie “incentivized” the kids to go all the way in (head under water). Dominick was the first to take the deal – which really surprised me. He got a double bonus!. I guess they are training to for the Polar Bear Plunge!
Poor little Sophie had to have a mole removed on her leg last week. We had really tried to avoid having to resort to removal – since we feared it would be traumatic for her. But Sophie proved to be a real trooper! At one point after the mole was removed and the Dr. was suturing the back of her leg she could feel the pulling and exclaimed loud & clear “What are they doing to me?”
Sophie bounced back really quickly – thanks in large part to her Aunt Annette! Aunt Annette bought her a new stuffed animal and gave it to her right after the procedure. Sophie promptly named the puppy Hershey Kiss and proceeded to show the entire nursing staff her new friend. Melani, on the other hand, is STILL recovering…. Definitely harder on the mommy than the kid…
Another successful year of begging for candy from the neighbors & family! Annie had made a popcorn costume – but she didn’t want to wear it after the school parade – so resorted back to last year’s dalmatian costume.
New Stories by the Kids
Gracie & Dominick are working on new stories. Dominick’s is a Sci-Fi and Gracie’s is a realistic fiction about school. The intros sound really compelling! I just hope they finish them and that these are not yet more famously unfinished stories of theirs … Link to Gracie’s story is here: Gracie’s Page (She says it will be another couple of days before she is able to post the first chapter….). Link to Dominick’s story is here: Dominick’s Page.
Insulting Each Other’s Animals…
We noted this week that when the kids are upset with each other they tend to insult and disavow each other’s animals. So if Gracie is upset with Annie – she will call all bunnies stupid and say she doesn’t like bunnies…. I guess it is better then them insulting each other!
Home Depot Workshop
Kids have been participating in the Home Depot workshops when we can. I like the experience they are getting assembling things and following instructions!
Artwork by Sophie
Fall in Upstate NY!
Try Out Linux
We found a cool site that allows you to try out various versions (flavors) of Linux online without installing them. Please note – they restrict you from having internet access through the flavor of Linux you are trying out – because others have abused that feature. The website is located here: https://distrotest.net/. Give it a shot!
Wrist Band Competition
Yes – It still appears that I, much to my wife’s chagrin, am still in the lead (let alone participating) with regards to our Great Wolf Lodge / Kalahari wrist band competition! YES – these have been on our wrists since the end of JUNE!!! You can read about it more here: Adventure Update # 019: Boobies – You Better Run!