Saturday was largely a driving around day - drove to Floyd & borrowed some internet to post the "Friday & Floyd". Then headed out to the Blue Ridge Parkway to drive the beautiful Blue Ridge Hills, & also to check out a couple of the viewpoints that the locals love so much. On our drive, we visited the Villa Appalaccia Winery, & also the Chateau Morrisette. The "Villa" is set in the Blue Ridge Hills like an Italian Villa - very beautiful, the kind of place that theBean thought would be a great place to visit for a picnic lunch, complete with the gingham patterned tablecloth to sit on. Incredible views, & a small, cozy, family type atmosphere, where they grow all their own grapes (a rarity) & work the vineyards themselves.
The Chateau was the opposite of the Villa - & is the biggest wine producer in Virginia (180,000 gallons/year.) They import from Oregon & California, & have a tour, a tasting, & a 4-star restaurant to go with it (which we didn't eat at.) It was a tourist attraction :), & it was fun to see - ran into people from Massachusetts, Ohio, & Maryland on the tour (the New Clairvaux tour was better...) We enjoyed going at a snail's pace, both on the tour, & on the drive home. We ended up with some breathtaking postcard-like pictures, & also a sense of accomplishment at finding just what it was we were looking for on the drive, even though there were NO identification signs anywhere...
There are a lot of difficult things about being gone from home - the hardest is being away from our kids - they are troopers & for the most part can navigate through just about any & every situation, but it is still really heartbreaking being separated, even for this short 10 day time period - it is hardest when they're in a point of need: when Pasty gets hurt at football practice & needs some bandaging up; when Joey needs a bit of directional attention; when Weez wants to celebrate her undefeated soccer team. Knowing that we have to (get to?) be here for this time makes it easier for me, but not so much for theBean... or for the kids. Sigh.
Sunday - we got up & went to church at The Bridge a Foursquare Church located on the Crosspointe Campus.... It made me miss being home more than ever; theBean & I talked quite a bit about this... esp. how church really is about people - the people that we know & have relationships with... real friendships that have gone through the wringer of pain, hurt, grace, & healing together. People that we love. Can't wait to get home :).
We were feeling a bit melancholy, missing the kids & missing our church family, so we went to Blacksburg for wings & Starbucks... found the "best wings in town" at a place called Sharkey's. Not sure if they're THE best, but they kick butt on Buffalo Wild Wings, & they had a great patio where we got to sit so we didn't have to watch the Olympics. :)
Spent an hour or so walking downtown Blacksburg, definitely our favorite spot of all the favorite spots, & camped for a bit at the Kent Square Starbucks - theBean took a few more pictures of the Square & its outdoor seating area...
Thanks for your prayers - we really need them.
We're going "low-key" tonight - do the laundry & the dishes, vacuum, & maybe watch a little TV. We'll hang around the campus - I might shoot some hoop later on.