Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Buchanan Swinging Bridge

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After picking up Christian's girlfriend in Buchanan on Friday I wanted to walk around a bit and snap some pictures with my new camera. The boys wanted to cross the bridge. So we did. Ashlyn's boyfriend carved their initials somewhere on it a while back. We tried to find them but couldn't. It was cold. We were walking fast.

Here's some history on the bridge:

"The Buchanan Swinging Bridge is 366 feet long, 57.5 feet tall, the only one of its type to cross the James River and owned by VDOT. In 1999 the Swinging Bridge was recognized as a National Register Historic Landmark as part of the Town of Buchanan National Register Historic District.
Portions of the large stone piers were constructed in 1851 for the Buchanan Turnpike Company's Toll Bridge. Toll for every person was five cents with an additional five cents for each horse, mule or oxen and five cents for each wagon.

On June 13, 1864 the covered bridge was burned by Confederate General McCausland in an effort to prevent Federal troops from crossing the James River on their way to Lynchburg. The bridge was rebuilt but washed away in a flood of 1877. At this time, the R&A Railroad Company rebuilt a toll free covered bridge. In 1897 this wood covered bridge was replaced with a steel bridge that remained in use until 1938.

In July of 1937 construction of the current concrete James River Bridge was started with an agreement to maintain pedestrian access. On July 4, 1938, the bridge was dedicated. The bridge is adjacent to many shops & restaurants in downtown Buchanan."

Took the boys back to Buchanan yesterday to see EPIC at the old Buchanan Theatre. I've shown you a picture HERE. It's my favorite place to catch a movie! Oh, and EPIC was so cute so I rented it for today and invited Ashlyn and her boyfriend over for lunch and a movie. You should watch it!

Hope you all have a very happy New Year and be safe if you are headed out tonight to celebrate!


I'm adding a photo here that Sunnybrook Farm sent me of the Buchanan Bridge back in the day:

How cool is that?!! Thank you Sunnybrook!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Mural - City Market Building Roanoke

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One of 4 mosaics at the City Market Building. Read more about the artist and the mosaics HERE and see more murals by visiting Oakland Daily Photo's Monday Mural :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 10-Chillaxin

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Enjoying each other's company at the Lodge...take a look at THIS, a fun New Years Eve Celebration with a delectable menu..yum!

And now for some of Miss Nancy's Random 5's:

1) Amazing how much planning you do for Christmas, then it's over in a flash! Do you take all your stuff down now or wait for Epiphany? I'm ready to take it all down now and get settled back in.

2) What did you get for Christmas? I got a new camera and P90X3 that I've been wanting! Yay me!

3) Have to run out to Buchanan shortly to pick up Christian's girlfriend for the day. Thinking of taking the new cam with me to try it out there. I love Buchanan's quaint downtown.

4) We had ham for Christmas dinner. Today I will make THIS with the leftovers. YUM!

5) I am reading THIS BOOK right now....It's a page turner.

A few highlights from Christmas :)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

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Taken at Mountain Lake Lodge.... CLICK HERE to get a looksie at their Christmas Buffet.

That's my sweet family and the really tall guy is Ashlyn's boyfriend! I'm going to go on a teency blogging break for the next couple of days. Have to run out shortly and grab a couple of last minute gifts and drop off some jackets for a coat drive...then I will commence baking! Here's a recipe that I've been using for years for Oatmeal Choc Chip cookies. They are Ashlyn's favorite and they are the easiest cookie to make, I swear! CLICK HERE for the recipe!

Ho, Ho, Ho....Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 9-Wintry Walk

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Let's jump into our time machine and backtrack a couple of hours. Ashlyn and Chris arrived at the Lodge at about noon. They parked in the Lodge parking and we drove down and picked them up to bring them up to our cabin in Blueberry Ridge. After we showed them around our beautiful weekend digs I was excited to take them on a tour of the grounds. These were taken before our family game time photos and my Lodge trail're following right?!

Well first we jump back into our vehicle and drive back to the Lodge because that is how we know to get to the was soooo foggy that you really didn't want to take a new trail or you could get lost, or maybe that's just us lol...anyway.....

Dirty Dancing fans will recognize this as "Baby's Cottage"...yep, that's the cottage Baby's fam stayed in in the movie. There is a sign that says not to enter the porch as it is a private residence, or something like that...I don't know if someone lives there, if you can rent it or what the deal-i-o is so then....

a very QUICK game of Tether Ball. Who doesn't like Tether Ball? I loved playing in elementary school! At recess we had a few Tether Ball games going on and we'd all get in lines to play the winner!...ohhhhh...where was I? It was much too cold to play Tether Ball so....

Christian and Braden decided to play a game of Lawn Chess while the rest of us decided to walk down to the lake. Along the way we saw....

...a poor, frozen Magnolia was thinking "brrrrrr"....then....

photo op at the boat dock, Ashlyn and her boyfriend Chris. It was then that Ashlyn said she couldn't take the cold anymore and wanted to go back to the cabin (it was FREEZING) so we headed back...

I wasn't lying, it WAS freezing!

you can barely see the gazebo!

Linking with Friday Fences because I think porch railings count as fencing of some sort right?!

Now time for some Randoms!

1) I am soooo glad Nancy is back and hosting Random 5 Friday again. I always enjoy blog hopping and reading random thoughts lol

2) Today, in just a few short hours, Christmas break begins! Yippee!!

3) I'm not finished with Christmas shopping. Still have some stuff being shipped to me but I do have to visit a few brick and mortar stores.

4) This is funny:

5) A Christmas miracle:

Merry Christmas!!

For more on Mountain Lake Lodge Click Here and for more Randoms Click Here . Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 8-Lodge Trail Scenery 2

Further down the pathway I came across the old Historic Cabins. It's almost like a little ghost town. It didn't appear that any were rented out so it was really neat having this whole little "village" all to myself for a few minutes. Then I saw Nick heading back up towards me from the Lodge so we went back to our cabin.

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I loved how the little lights were glowing, kind of reminded me of a Thomas Kinkade painting...

I read this about the Valley View cabin on the Lodge's website: Built in 1918 for the Moody Family who purchased Mountain Lake in 1930, this rustic three-bedroom cottage features a wood burning fireplace, spacious living room and wraparound porch offering views of the valley.

That was the surprise I was telling you about yesterday! If you know me, you know I have an affinity of old things so these made me happy, happy, happy!

If you want to read more about the historic cabins CLICK HERE

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 8-Lodge Trail Scenery

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After checking in at the Lodge, the desk clerk told us that we could either drive back to the Lodge or take the walking trail from our cabin, each way he said was approximately 8 minutes. After our game time on Saturday, while Nick was still at the Lodge, I decided to take a little stroll along the walking path. I told you the weather was very cold and icy that weekend. In the photo above I am passing the Blueberry Ridge Conference Center.
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It was a nice, quiet walk. I really enjoyed it. Looks a little "Sleepy Hollow-ish" dontcha think? Tomorrow I'll show you a nice surprise along the pathway!

For a list of seasonal activities CLCIK HERE!

Linking up with
Rurality Blog Hop #44

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 7-Family Time

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Playing Sorry with my boys...

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And now an intense game of Monopoly...

It was SO, SOOOO cold that weekend. And it was wonderful that the cabin was stocked with lots of board games. We laughed so hard and had so much fun! Nick, who's not much into games, nor has the patience to play for any length of time, grew hungry so he walked down to the Lodge to try one of the Bison Burgers that Chef Michael had told him about. He LOVED it!

You can view their lunch menu RIGHT HERE!

And coming up this weekend is a Sunday Brunch with Santa! You can read about that RIGHT HERE!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 6-Banquet Facilities

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Chef Michael took us downstairs to show us the grand banquet rooms. Aren't they ginormous? There are 6 of them. And again, I can't get enough of that gorgeous stonework. In our cabin there was a book about the history of the lake/lodge. I wish I could remember the name of it but anyways it talked about how they used to store ice for the lodge down here, back in the beginning days of the lodge. I also wish I could remember more about that! How interesting!

Find out more info on the banquet rooms HERE

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 5-Changes

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It was a downpour when we left the Lodge to head back to the cabin. The front desk gave us umbrellas to use so we could stay dry! We are expecting snow and sleet tonight/tomorrow. Darn it, the Buchanan Parade is tomorrow. If we end up going, we'll be freezing our tookuses off.

In Lodge talk today I'll share with you the changes that have been made at the Lodge. Although much of the staff and management team are new, you wouldn't even be able to tell. I mean that in a good way. Everyone got along great with each other and things just flowed so naturally like they've been working together for years!

I found this article that explains all the changes taking place:

"The famous resort from “Dirty Dancing” has undergone many changes in hopes of becoming one of southwest Virginia’s premiere vacation destinations.

Mountain Lake Lodge, located about 30 minutes from Virginia Tech in Pembroke, Va., reopened on May 3 after undergoing design, vision and management changes......." Read the rest of the story HERE

CLICK HERE to view all the fun Christmas and New Years events going on including the Open House tomorrow from 6-9 FREE!!

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 4-Christmas Decorations

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What does "House of Moody" mean? I'm glad you asked!:

"Calling Mountain Lake his family’s summer home since 1918, William Lewis Moody Jr. of Galveston acquired the property in 1930, and built the large stone Lodge which still stands today. Stone quarried from the surrounding mountain property was used to construct the Lodge. Lumber and hardware from the original hotel was repurposed and used in construction of several cottages and the car barn in 1937.
Mary Moody Northen developed a love of Mountain Lake as a young girl spending her summers at the resort. Upon her father’s death she purchased Mountain Lake. Upon her death in 1986, trustees of her estate established the Mary Moody Northen Endowment which presently owns and operates the resort. Mrs. Northen’s final wishes were to maintain the Lodge and surrounding land as a place where future generations could connect with nature as she had as a young girl."

You can read more about Mountain Lake's interesting history RIGHT HERE

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The lodge looks so pretty decorated for Christmas! We're getting our tree tonight. I'm so late this year on getting things done. Christmas really snuck up on me! Are you ready? Tomorrow afternoon Christian and I are going to go out and get a little shopping done. Hopefully I'll get the majority of it finished.

Christmas activities start this weekend at the Lodge. CLICK HEREto see all the fun they have planned, including a brunch with Santa!

Linking with Signs, Signs

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 3- More Friendly Staff

So now it's Saturday. We slept wonderfully in our super comfy beds. Our daughter Ashlyn and her boyfriend Chris were able to drive over and spend some time with all of us. What a treat!

So we took them back to the lodge to see the beautiful arhchitecture and came across Marcus:
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I didn't get a chance to talk to Marcus much since I was visiting with my daughter but I think my husband talked his ear off....sorry Marcus ;)

We had dinner reservations for 7:30 and had Ashlyn and Chris join us. The boys stayed back in the cabin with pizzas. Yeah, that's how they roll....

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This is Joel. Joel specializes in "pre-prohibition-era cocktails" cool is that?! He made us a Sazerac, which is known as "America's First Cocktail"! It was pretty fact, we ordered another round of Sazeracs! You can read the history of the Sazerac RGHT HERE!

Ok, now it's time to grab a bite to eat so we head into the dining room:
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Food, glorious food! I ended up getting the Rockfish. I had never tried Rockfish before and I think it's a Virginia thing...I was feeling adventurous after my Sazerac(s) and I'm glad I picked it! Oh YUM! Nick ordered the Rib Eye because he's more of a beef kind-a-guy. We decided to go halvsies on our plates, him and I, so we could get the best of both worlds. Ashlyn ordered the Pasta dish, which was a Risotto with Crab, Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops (I think, don't quote me!) and Chris ordered the Shrimp and Grits. We were all beyond pleased with our meals! Not one complaint!

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Group photo! Our waitress was Ree, which was short for Rhiannon (I hope I didn't butcher her name) but she said we could call her Ree! Then there's Cindy! Cindy is the one hugging on Nick's neck! Cindy just made you feel at home and was hilarious, and fun, and nice, and wonderful!

Another photo of Cindy:
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This photo, though you can't tell by looking at it, had us all laughing so hard we were crying. Nick was telling Cindy about the Triathlons he's competed in and showed her his Triathlon card. The card, in big letters tells us that Nick is an "adult" and I can't explain the whole scene like it played out but take my word, we were all laughing hysterically over it!

Sorry for the blurry pictures by the end of the night...after a Sazerac or two it looked good to me! To check out a menu CLICK HERE!

Oh and Cindy, if you are reading this, remember you are supposed to be my Candy Crush Friend!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 2-Friendly Staff

After we checked in and got settled in our room, we headed to the lodge to walk around. And the very first person we met was:
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Chef Michael! Chef was SO nice and fun to talk to. We all enjoyed his company! Thank you Chef!
You can read his interesting bio RIGHT HERE!

He then took us on a tour of the kitchen:
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Another Michael. My husband loved the Cajun Peanuts he made!

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Miss Kate the Pastry Chef...I didn't get a chance to try any time!

This is Fidel with my husband Nick. Fidel has been working with Chef for 15+ years!
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My husband ESPECIALLY loved the tour of the kitchen. He's a total foodie! Some of you know he plans our trips according to food ;)

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Oh wait a minute, look at that! Some yummy appetizers heading out!

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Our super nice bartender for the evening, Elizabeth!
It was raining buckets when we decided to head back to our room and Elizabeth went to the desk and brought us all umbrellas to use. Didn't I tell you they think of EVERYTHING?!

Don't go away, more Lodge talk tomorrow!
CLICK HERE to read about the FREE Open House this weekend!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mountain Lake Lodge-A Series-Part 1-Accommodations

Remember on Friday I was telling you how we had fabulous plans for the weekend? Well this is what we did...We spent the weekend at Mountain Lake Lodge! Some of you might remember my first time there, just a couple of months ago for the Appalachian Festival. You can find my pictures of that day Right Here. Anyways, I had to come back and stay, it's just so beautiful there!

Today I will take you on a tour of our home away from home:

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You can see how big and spacious the rooms are. We stayed in Blueberry Ridge. These cabins are fully loaded with everything you need to feel at home! You can read about all the different types of lodging Right Here.

The name of our cabin was the Fincastle. We thought that was pretty cool since we live in Botetourt County and Fincastle is our neighboring town!

Mountain Lake Lodge is under new management and is now open through the winter for the first time in like 70 years! They have lots of fun stuff planned for Christmas and New Years so check it out! I will introduce you to the friendly staff tomorrow.

I apologize for any typos in this post. It's icy in my world today. School was even cancelled. I wanted to share with you a lot more in today's post but the ice has affected my internet connection and every little thing is taking forever, even little things like fixing typos! So join me tomorrow for more Lodge talk!