This weekend we took off on a spur-of-the-moment beach trip. This mural was taken inside of Harpoon Larry's Oyster Bar in Hampton, Va. Totally recommend this awesome little place. Nick and I split the "Killer Combo" which had plenty o' GREAT food: 4 oysters, 4 clams, 4 crawfish, 6 mussels, 1/4 lb shrimp and 1/2 lb snow crab legs...yum! We ate at a couple of other seafood restaurants but this one was the best in our opinion in both ambiance and meal! Fun, FUN place. We also had an oyster shooter which was surprisingly yummo and I absolutely LOVED the way they served my bottle of beer in a brown paper bag, very cool!
In yesterday's post I was telling you about our visit to the Historic Sandusky House . The name has nothing to do with the evil Sandusky which first comes to mind. Charles Johnson built his Sandusky home in 1808 and named it "Sandusky" taken from the site of his Indian adventures in Sandusky, Ohio. You can read about that here if you'd like.
When we arrived at Sandusky, we had picked up some tacos from Taco Bell for lunch and pulled the tailgate down and ate in the back of the truck as we had some time to kill before the tour started. I walked around the grounds after lunch and came across this gorgeous tree with the rope swing. Behind me, from where I took the picture, sits an old farmhouse and I imagined a child that lived there plays on this rope, thinking nothing of it, but liked the summertime image I got from it.
During our tour, which was given by Major Hutter's (the Hutter family owned the house for 5 generations after the Johnsons, including during the Civil War) Great Great Grand Daughter, a woman chimed in and asked "why is there a noose on your property?" very accusing like and the woman giving the tour had no idea what she was talking about. I asked her "Do you mean the rope swing out back?" and she said "Yes, it's a noose. It has a noose at the bottom of it and needs to be removed". I told her that I thought it to be a child's rope swing and she wouldn't have any of that and insisted it was a noose and needed to go. The woman giving the tour was quite upset about being told she had a noose hanging from the tree. After the rude woman left, before our tour was over, I told her I had seen it before we started the tour and it wasn't a noose at all, that it was just a simple rope swing hanging from the tree. And wouldn't you know, when my boys saw it, they immediately jumped on that rope and started swinging, just like it was meant for!
That little brick building is the "privy" or "outhouse". I didn't get any pictures of Sandusky as it's undergoing some restoration and there was a lot of ugly scaffolding around it so I didn't bother with pictures. I'll get some another time!
On Saturday afternoon we drove over to Lynchburg to visit the Historic Sandusky House. There was a guest speaker, Ms. Iceman. Ms. Iceman portrayed Mrs. Buggoughs who lived on a tobacco plantation down the road in Franklin County, which is now the Booker T. Washington National Park. Mrs. Burroughs told us the story of Hunter's Raid in Lynchburg and of the role the Sandusky house had in it. After listening to Mrs. Burroughs wonderful story telling, we were then able to tour the house, with an actual Hutter descendant!
Ms. Iceman researches, writes and performs historic programs for Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, VA.
Today's barn comes all the way from West Virginia. I didn't actually take this photo, a relative of this barn sent it to us. We were at the Salem Red Sox game on Friday night and there was this nice little family sitting behind us. They were on vacation from West Virginia and had stopped over to take their little boy to the Red Sox game before heading back home. Well, as we were chatting with this couple, for some reason the subject of barns came up and Misti was telling us about her Uncle's barn which sits on the property adjoining theirs. She said that after 9/11, her cousin, if I remember correctly, painted a big US Flag on the top of the barn and it was even featured on the cover of Country Living magazine! Nick asked her if she would send a picture to me so I could use it for my blog and she had one on her phone and sent it right to my husband's phone! I just sent her a message on Facebook to let her know I'm using it today. I did do a little Google search and found this on it, which also has a good picture of the flag on the barn. Pretty cool huh?!
To see more barns from all over the world, visit Barn Charm!
This is on Glebe Road in Daleville. I use this little road as a short cut to get to Food Lion. I love the simpleness of this fence, these are really one of my favorite styles. Right next to this fence is a fancy fence made of brick and iron. Someone took a lot of time and money last year to put that up and to me it looks so out of place sitting next to this plain but perfect little fence. I obviously prefer this one to it's hoity toity neighbor next door!
That's a field of Queen Anne's Lace growing on the other side of the fence.
This is from Explore Park (yesterday's post). This is Brugh's Tavern. From what I can gather on the internet, this tavern was constructed between 1780 and 1800 as a private residence. It also served as a tavern during the early decades of the 19th century while under the ownership of the Daniel Brugh family. It's been closed since we've lived here and I've always been excited for the place to open back up. I hope it will be soon! We packed the cooler and then brought it up here on this nice porch and had a picnic lunch in the shade while watching the living history demo. We had perfect seats!
A couple of soldiers from the 60th Virginia Infantry Co K giving a living history demonstration at Explore Park.
Explore Park is along the Blue Ridge Parkway, in Roanoke, mile marker 115. Explore Park is home to the Blue Ridge Parkway visitor's center and there is a nice museum that tells the history of this part of Virginia. There's a couple of reconstructed buildings on site and hopefully those will open back up soon. There's been a lot of commotion since we've lived here about what they will do with the park. I'm happy to see them getting it up and running again.
Explore Park also has about 1100 acres of biking and walking trails. We've packed quite a few picnics to have there and hike around :)
On the 4th of July we drove over to Lynchburg and toured Point of Honor . Dr. George Cabell started construction in 1806 and finished in 1815. Dr. Cabell was the physician of Patrick Henry and neighbor/friend to Thomas Jefferson. I'm always amazed at how many important Amercians lived in this area and were so intertwined!
more of our front yard. early in the morning on saturday a crew came around to cut logs that were in the way. that big one was laying across the road, from our yard to the neighbors' yard. there's christian down there in the red shirt beginning our clean up.
Last Friday night, we just had dinner and sat down to watch a movie. There was no sign of a storm coming, no rain, nothing. About 15 or so minutes into the movie we hear a loud crash at the front of the house and the power went out. We jumped up to look out the front door and noticed a large limb had broke off one of the trees and the wind was whipping like crazy. It was scary enough that I actually took the boys down to the basement which we've never retreated to the basement before. Ash was at work, she works about 10 minutes away and I called her to see what it was like over there and told her to wait it out there, not to drive home in this. I was watching the back yard from the sliding doors in the basement and could see the trees just bending from the winds. The wind would suddenly change direction and come towards the house and it was so strong that I'd move away from the sliding doors for fear of them breaking. This storm brought wind gusts in excess of 80 mph.
We didn't have many candles and really thought the power would go on sometime during the night while we were sleeping. I ran down to Kroger after the storm to pick up a few more candles and in the short drive to the store I was shocked at how it looked. It looked like a war zone, broken trees everywhere, some laying in the road, broken telephone polls, downed wires. I have never seen anything like it. Saturday morning is when we started to hear how severe the storm was and the damage it caused and that we possibly would be without power till Wed, then that started to change till Sun/Mon of the next week. We still weren't really believing that we'd be without power for that long. We cleaned up the yard as best we could and headed to Roanoke to find some lunch as most of our restaurants were closed due to no power. We were surprised to find Roanoke the same way. So many restaurants were closed and without electricity. Some that did have power were having problems with their air conditioning. We ate at a Sonic that we found open and decided to head back to Botetourt and look for a hotel to stay the night in and swim. Unfortunately EVERYONE had the same idea and there wasn't a hotel room available ANYWHERE, all through Botetourt, Roanoke, and even an hour in any direction outside. We still were quite clueless about the aftermath of the storm since we had no power/news.
We ended up finding a hotel (thank goodness Nick has wi/fi on his phone)in Roanoke, near the airport. Since we don't really know the area all that well, we figured it can't be too bad, it's near the airport....wrong! NEVER, EVER stay at the Airport Plaza Hotel, ever...it was gross, scary, but it had working a/c. It was dirty and reeked of cigarette smoke, and noticed the cleaning lady cleaning the room next to us while SMOKING! They even have ash trays in the room which surprised me, I thought you couldn't smoke in hotels? We ventured on down to the pool and the pool was the dirtiest public pool I have ever seen so we were all too leery to even swim, as hot as it was. Nick tried and tried to find us another room somewhere else but couldn't. We even considered just ditching the place and going home to sleep in a sweltering house but in the end a/c won and we stayed the night. The next morning as we were leaving we saw a man being arrested and taken out of the hotel by police...yeah, stay far away from the Airport Plaza Hotel. We did find a hotel to stay in for Sunday night in Salem that was much nicer and the pool spotless! Then we came home Monday morning and just decided we'd make the best of the week and it would be like camping and at least the basement stayed cool that we could sleep down there. It was really starting to look like we would be without power until Sunday or Monday like the said we would. Tuesday night I took the boys to the Salem Fair and after a couple of hours received a text that the lights were back on!
We did get our power back on Tuesday evening but so many are still without. We ended up losing everything from the freezer/fridge but are very lucky that we still have a house that is undamaged and nobody was hurt. Yesterday we went to Lynchburg and so many houses that were destroyed because of HUGE trees falling on them.
Ice, water and fuel was in high demand and running out everywhere with people coming as far as West Virginia looking for these necessities since they ran out or couldn't get due to power outages. Some employees at Kroger were telling Nick of a local man who bought the ice that was supposed to be delivered to Kroger and was selling it for $10 a bag. They told him he's pretty well known around here and I would really love to know his name. What a jerk (to put it mildly) but karma will get him in the end, I'm sure. We also saw a billboard on our way back home from Lynchburg yesterday, somewhere between Lynchburg and Bedford on 460. The billboard was an advertisement for Days Inn and someone hung something over the "Days" and painted "Gouge" over it. Gouge Inn. Stories of people taking advantage of others during these times just make me crazy angry. We also were taken advantage of during this. Nick got a phone call from the fraud protection service of our bank. The bank said someone had our card and had charged fuel twice in Philadelphia and also a purchase at a Right Aid in Philadelphia, while we had purchased lunch in Roanoke. Luckily the computer catches these things since we can't be in Philly and Roanoke at the same time. They must have taken the numbers from our bank card and have their own card making racket. We are thinking this could have happened from our gross stay at Roanoke Airport Plaza hotel, or the Howard Johnsons in Salem, or Travelocity. Those are the only sketchy places we were at and used the card. Travelocity was a call center in India. I hate call centers. So beware and check those charges to your bank account carefully!
So that's what's happening around here! Linking up with Nancy and Lisa at Rural Thursday!
One last very important thing. I want to tell you about the goodness of people. People all around are really struggling through this, record breaking temps and no power but they have all been so kind and full of grace through it all. Friends of mine calling to check on us, to see if we need anything, when they themselves were in the same boat. People like Diane over at Blue Ridge Gal . She stopped by on Saturday to check on us. To offer us her house to come stay in. She called daily to see if I needed anything. She also wanted to make sure Ozzy was keeping cool and even invited him over! There is a special place in Heaven for people like her!
On the first of the month is "Theme Day" for City Daily Photo members. The theme that won the vote this month was "chimneys". I had my chimney photo ready for the theme and on Friday, the 29th, a big storm blew threw our area and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of us in Virginia, and all the way to W Virginia and Ohio. They were thinking we wouldn't get our power back on until the 7th but thank goodness we got ours back last night, but many are still without.
Today is the Fourth of July and I haven't a post for it since I've been without power so I'll just stick with my Theme Day picture for the day. This is a chimney on the kitchen @ Greenfield. You could stretch this post into a patriotic post since William Preston, who owned this plantation was a Revolutionary War hero!
It is also my son Christian's 15th birthday!
The City Daily Photo portal is down so I can't share the link with you for the rest of the participants, sorry!
Have a happy and safe 4th!
I'll give you a more detailed account of the storm tomorrow.