Okay...I left you faithful readers in Lexington. I pray I'm not boring any of you. I think back to the old days when after having dinner with friends, they hauled out the projection paraphernalia for everyone to sit and view 2 hours of their vacation in Bora Bora (15 minutes of actual film and the remainder a narrative during which you all had to secretly keep nudging each other to keep from nodding off). I personally never experienced this being so very young, but I did watch The Wonder Years religiously.
Just randomly, I'm posting a picture of a certain restaurant/pub that a certain son of mine is an investor in right across from the University of Virginia. He has personally never seen it so we stopped, had a few beers and I sent him pictures. He was quite moved.
Ahem. We arrived in Charlottesville, VA., on Tuesday (I believe), it's all a blur now as it's Sunday. First stop was the Hollywood Cemetery and all joking aside, it was an eye opening, solemn experience that I am so very grateful that The Husband insisted be on our itinerary. No, not homage to any movie stars..,just a very introspective, humbling and eye opening experience as we wandered this peaceful resting place of thousands of Confederate soldiers who fought for this country so long ago. I was hot and sweating but I just simply followed behind The Husband as he searched and searched for the grave site of his own personal hero since childhood, Jefferson Davis. I have nothing else to add right now because I have photos and I want to share them when I have time. I just want to say...my husband is the most intelligent, well informed, well read man I have ever known in my life. His thirst for history is only challenged by his knowledge of so much that has been a part of our past and all things relevant to our present and future. I have followed along with him on this journey for the past few days, seeing the places where the civil war began and ended and as we moved south, the courage and devastation of those that not only played a huge part in the war, but in the different yet quite relative civil rights movement much later....very different but all a part of the intricate map we've followed on this journey to the South. Can I say what a great and intelligent man I had as a guide? Thank you A.
We had a wonderful B&B in Charlottesville, just a hop, skip and a jump from Monticello. I've always had a love/hate relationship with Thomas Jefferson because he had a love/hate relati0nship with John Adams and I simply love Adams. Very complicated. A triangle of sorts. Oh, these past presidents just wreak havoc with my little mind. Anywho, I loved the inn, I love our room until I went into our bathroom and saw this.
It took a moment but I finally figured out it was a cat. Try as I might, I couldn't convince this gal (Daisy) to give me some privacy for God's sake. Now please, don't get me wrong people (and cat lovers), I love all critters with the exception of bears and alligators for the simple reason that they maim and eat people whole. We are just a family of allergic people and it's not a great experience if you've ever been through the reaction. So we're dog lovers and cats are sort of foreign to us. And can I please say without hurting any cat lovers that their eyes sort of freak me out? And the way they sort of "swish" their tails? Okay, while I'm at it, can you trust an animal that doesn't run to the door when you come home? All tongue in cheek mind you.
Well, The Husband eventually told the B&B owner that the cat hadn't moved from it's preferred spot on our bathroom rug despite our use of the facilities, which felt somewhat like an invasion of privacy at the time. The owner sort of laughed when we informed him of this and went and retrieved the critter, but I thought it was sort of weird that he didn't seem to mind ...I mean inhabiting guest's rooms? Especially allergic paying guests.
On to Monticello the next morning. Just 5 minutes away and up a mountain. Of course we drove right past it and after 30 minutes realized we needed to turn around. The B&B owner said many guests hiked to the site and before getting lost I had nudged The Husband a few times saying, "We could definitely do this hike." Then we were three towns away and my confidence waned.
Well, this is the gift shop. Don't you just love hanging out in these before you go on a tour? I think the buses or shuttles are purposely schedule 45 minutes (rather than the actual 5 necessary) apart so you have no choice but to buy souvenir mugs and collect maps for obscure places that sound much more interesting than where you are. Apparently, Jefferson and the staff at Monticello inspired many a cookbook and beautifully photographed books of the gardens at Monticello. Sadly, I found the visitor's center and restrooms better landscaped than the mansion. I'm sorry, I don't want anyone to be dissuaded from experiencing this adventure themselves...I never even mentioned my thoughts to The Husband. I'm a firm believer that our opinions are best left to ourselves, our private journals, our BFF's or our blogs that can be read by anyone that has access to the Internet. That said...work is being done on the surrounding landscape and they may just be updating that kitchen that inspired all those cookbooks with some stainless steel appliances.
Did I mention Jefferson loved his wine? A man after my own heart. Funny, I actually had a bottle of wine that I bought in Charlottesville that I would have a little nip of every evening as we got ready to go out for dinner. I'd pack that same bottle up every morning and it would travel along with us to the next town. It actually made it to Raleigh with us. The Husband said I should have marked each slug with a marker, sort of like a child's growth chart. Ha!
So...I'm skipping ahead to Raleigh, N.C,. I'll get back to Richmond one day soon. Loved Richmond, just couldn't figure out all the districts, in Chicago we call them parishes but then again we're all Irish Catholics in my neighborhood.
Here's Mary and I, my wonderful, sweet friend from A Breath Of Fresh Air. We have been blogger friends forever and I had the pleasure of meeting her once before in Asheville. She lives in Raleigh and even though it was a little round~about for us, The Husband knew how much I wanted to see her and her wonderful husband, Bob, again. And I have to tell you...The Husband has confessed that he has really enjoyed meeting the blogger friends we've had the opportunity to get together with over the years. He and Mary's husband get along like they've known each other for years. And Mary and I...well, I love her to pieces. And again...I have more pictures to share of the lovely evening we had dining together at a wonderful restaurant in Raleigh and then going back to their home for dessert and coffee. Her home is simply out of sight and I could spend hours in her English/cottage style garden, complete with the cutest potting shed that you could eat off the floors in and a gazebo that again, I could spend all day in. Much more later, but you might want to visit her blog as she has already posted about our visit. Oh...and the boxy jacket I'm wearing in this photo...Fashion Police would wonder why I'm wearing my father's old bowling shirt (if he had bowled). Well, it looked good hanging in the shop. And truly, I have lost weight, it's just hidden under 40 yards of a linen/cotton/polyester blend.
Tonight we're home. In Asheville. Our home sweet home away from home. A tease of a picture. I truly believe in the old adage that you aren't blessed by what you have but by what you've done. Well, maybe we've done something right to have this gorgeous place in the mountains. We bought it last September, incredibly through emails and phone calls with the realtor. Of course we had been here before...we stayed in a studio around the corner. We had only seen "our place" in pictures. This is a sort of an inn, a "premier hotel" as they call it. Studios, one and two bedroom units. So it's sort of strange, it's ours but people...tourists stay here pretty consistently. And that's The Husband...always thinking ahead, investing our little nest egg so that we'll have a comfortable retirement. And wow, we get to have a slice of this paradise every once in awhile!
Okay...a long day behind me and five more days until we head home to Chicago. I'm dragging him out this week for some horseback riding and a visit to a botanical garden. And I have a few more blogger friends to meet up with! Of course he is going to fly fish one day...he better after the h*** I went thorough trying to get his stuff on the plane. Not knowing it was his gear. Or maybe I should just hide it. Hmmmmm...