Onto Western Virginia

Thanks for the great comments about our White House shenanigans. I have to admit that while in the middle of those stressful moments, I DID make myself feel better by thinking, "You know Michelle, this is going to be a great blog post."

And now I hate to admit that the rest of the vacation was almost perfectly seamless, with no great stories to bust out. Instead, you're just going to have to be happy with beautiful pictures and the occasional Zane/Annie antics (oh the horror).

Sunday morning we found ourselves in Roanoke/Salem, Virginia (I never could keep it straight. The signs said Salem. But maybe the hotel was in Roanoke? And then the church was in Salem. Except not the Salem at the first exit. No, in fact it was actually in Roanoke. But not according to the signs. And north, not south. Or something.) where we churched (the Mormons are everywhere, remember!), then began a lovely journey through Grandpa Dale's family's old stomping grounds: Pulaski and Carroll Counties. Dale wasn't too picky: he had a few landmarks he wanted to see, but nothing ridiculous like the White House.

We made our first official stop at the county sign. Brandon got a kick out of taking pictures of people who were taking pictures. You'll see a re-occurring theme of this, actually:

This meadow seemed to have great picture potential, so we all tried our hand, including Zane (who took this first shot, gotta love things from his {lower} perspective):

This next one is the only one we managed to get of our whole little family the entire trip:
(Happy Mother's Day to me, says Michelle.)

After this first spot, we drove around (and around and around) on the most beautiful back roads I've ever been to, gazing out at the old homes and daydreaming about the family members who might have lived there years and years ago. It reminded me of Anne of Green Gables or something. (Or wait, did that take place in England somewhere? Oh well, it still reminded me of it.) We passed MANY places we could have stopped and pondered, but Dale was very wise, knowing that we had a loooooooong drive back to eastern Virginia ahead of us that day, so we didn't stop much. However, there was one little cemetery we just couldn't resist getting out and taking some pictures:

Ever since Dale retired from the school system in Rawlins a few years back, he's become a full-time Genealogist; Brandon loved capturing this moment of his dad,walking among perhaps some of the very folks he'd spent so much time researching these past couple of years:

Finally, we made one more stop at Mabry Mill, who is a part of Dale's family tree. Another very beautiful stop:

Western Virginia, who knew? I just kept feeling sorry for the brave pioneer folks who left these beautiful valleys for the west. The faith they had was remarkable.

We felt very lucky to be with Dale on this day, who feels so deeply tied to those wonderful people.

After all that sightseeing, we drove something like 6 hours and arrived in Williamsburg after dark. We won't talk about the adventure finding our motel that evening...even after a week or so, it's not quite to the "funny" stage yet. :)

Tomorrow: Colonial Williamsburg!! (aka yes Ann Marie and Lindsey, Michelle really is this hopelessly ignorant about our American History. At one point in the day I remember asking, "Now, where was Gettysburg again? New York, right?" sigh. Not to mention that Gettysburg was big news during the CIVIL war, and Williamsburg during the REVOLUTIONARY war. what a girl I am.)


Ginger said…
It all sounds wonderful!

And just so you know...because I love Anne of Green Gables too....that movie is based in Canada.

Great pictures!
Brenny said…
Beautiful pictures -- it makes me want to go live there. So quaint.

I'm so glad I'm not the only person who has a hard time with history. I once mortified some friends because I thought Custer's Last Stand was at the Alamo. History just doesn't stick in this brain of mine...
Debbie said…
Awesome pictures Michelle! All that green and the scenery looks so beautiful. Besides riding in the car for so long (I'm a carsick kind of person) it sounds like a lot of fun.