Saturday, August 31, 2019

CNN Golden Age Movies and John Wayne

We really tried to watch the CNN special about the movies. But it just wasn’t done very well. What could have been a great review of motion pictures turned in to a boring mess. In spite of that I really wanted to watch the segment about the golden age. Of course there was a segment about John Wayne. I think we saw every movie he ever made. One of my colleagues from the Midwest does a great walking imitation of John Wayne. Every time I see a mention of John Wayne on TV I take a photo and send it to him - just so he knows we are thinking about him. This time was no exception - except this time a movie was sent via text of the famous saunter. Immediately I always get a response. It’s funny the things that remind us of our friends and colleagues and it’s a good excuse to send a note. We have kept in touch since we moved thirteen years ago to DC. We also had a Beavis and Butthead connection but that’s a longer story. (Photos are taken from the CNN special.)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Subaru Forester Check Up

Since we moved to northern Virginia from DC in April we haven’t been for a Subaru routine maintenance check since February. We now live about forty minutes away from Beyer Subaru in Alexandria. We don’t need  to fight the rush hour traffic from DC, but it still takes about the same amount of time to get there. I thought it would be less busy right before the Labor Day weekend, but was really wrong. We once came the Friday before Fourth of July and the place was empty. Today, the waiting room was full of customers - not a good sign. The building has been under renovation for the last couple of years, and today the service area was brand new to us and was on the other side of the building. You now drive in to the garage rather than park and walk around. We are only having oil and filter, multi point inspection and a recall item attended to. I did remember that we have a coupon for ten per cent off. We also have a warranty that probably doesn’t cover anything. The last time we had two tires changed. Hopefully we can get out of here without too much nonsense. I suppose these are the annoyances one has when you won a car. Maybe next time we will go to the Subaru dealer in our new neighborhood. At least then we won’t need to allow so much time to get there. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

From the Back Roads to the City

When I retired three years ago we took a cross country road trip from DC to California along a southern route. The next year we took another cross country trip from DC to Washington state on a northern route. Now we can say we have been in all of the 48 states and really don’t have any desire to see Hawaii or Alaska. Depending on who is driving, I sometimes miss interesting photo ops. More often than not it seems that  the best scenes I see are when I’m driving so I can’t take the pictures. It’s a wonderful time driving from point A to point B - both my husband and I love driving around. So when we went to visit our family in mid Virginia last weekend, we stopped at Walton’s Mountain in Schuyler and have since watched the first episode of the series to refresh my memory of it. We were on the back roads getting there, but I was driving and missed several great shots. Driving back home we took in the sights of the road primarily on US 29. We didn’t have a chance to go the back way this time. But there are always scenes of interest - farms, cows, corn, shops, homes - a very different vibe from what either of us are used to. My husband always says he would go crazy in a small or rural place. I’m not so sure. I suppose it all looks “nostalgic.” I wonder how the folks who live there really feel about it. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Walk in the Woods Here and There

We visited with our family over the weekend. They live about four hours away. Having lived in DC for the last thirteen years, it’s a treat to head southwest. Once we pass Charlottesville, things change to a more rural environment. We thought about moving to this area but decided we needed to be closer to the city - although the only reason we go there lately is for doctor, dental and haircut appointments and the occasional Library of Congress program. We are not for the “great outdoors” - hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing and all that are not on our radar screen. Copperheads, bear, and other wild creatures are only good to read about. But once in a while it’s a nice reminder to explore nature - during the day time. There, it’s down by the Janes River. Here, it’s the Central Park that is just a couple of blocks from our house. It feels like the wilderness, but still in the city - more my style! It seems so strange to us because we just aren’t used to it. I do like watching the birds and observing the seasons as they change. It’s also a great photo opportunity. Leaving the big city for northern Virginia wasn’t a difficult decision for me. Being close enough to it, and the wilderness feels just right. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg

We’ve stayed there several times now. Ever since our family members moved to Virginia five years ago, we stayed at the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg until their new home in a very old warehouse along the James River was renovated. It was quite the project, and the architect for their home was the same person who renovated the old shoe warehouse that became the hotel. It used to be you had to stay at least two nights over a weekend, but since the newly renovated Virginian Hotel opened last year, the competition started - and you can now book an overnight. We have stayed in both places - but really prefer the Craddock Terry for all of its charm and familiarity. So we had an event last week that took us to Lynchburg so we stayed at the Craddock Terry because our room at the inn was otherwise occupied with a big party that lasted in to the late evening. When we arrived, Buster Brown has since retired, so now Penny Loafer pooch was on hand to greet us. The hotel is full of shoe memorabilia - a nod to the hotel’s history.  One of the “perks” is the morning breakfast that comes in a Craddock Terry bag, with orange juice, yogurt, muffin and orange. You put a breakfast request card in an old shoe shiners kit and leave it outside the door at night. It’s just what you need in the morning.  So if you are ever in Lynchburg, this is a delightful place to stay. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Walton’s Mountain Museum, Earl Hamner in Schuyler Virginia

We haven’t taken a trip anywhere since moving in April from DC to Northern Virginia. So we had an overnight adventure planned to visit our family this past weekend, and along the way was a place I’ve wanted to stop in and see. And when we reached Schuyler, Virginia we headed along the back roads to Walton’s Mountain Museum. Schuyler is where Earl Hamner was born, and the series is based on his life in this little Virginia town. Walton’s Mountain was on TV after I started college, but I do remember watching it occasionally at home. It must have left some sort of impression on me - and a sweet one. Most people admit they never watched it, but they did. The museum is quaint - in an auditorium of sorts. There are rooms to visit that copy the sets from the studio in California where the show was made - John Boy’s room, the kitchen, the living room, the post office, and the pony cart. The main focus is on Earl Hamner and all of his accomplishments. A 1990’s thirty minute movie illustrates his remarkable life story and also has several of the actors sharing their memories of the show. It was quite nostalgic. I’m not sure how I would have fared growing up in a tiny town like Schuyler. My husband always says he would have gone crazy and I believe him because he changed countries without even knowing the language. I don’t have that sort of wanderlust. I have moved from northeast to the south to the Midwest and now to the eastern seaboard. But I always think I was born in the wrong century -  although if not for all the modern conveniences I don’t think I would have lived half what I am now. The visit to Walton’s Mountain was better than a lot of places we have been. There was just something charming about it.