Imagine a place where you could get fuel, grab some peanuts, pawn some tools and get Saved all at the same time... (wish I was being facetious but there actually are places like that here!)
When you think of Virginia, what comes to mind? I thought that since I had to leave the metro area yesterday to take the kids to camp, I'd take you along! The things you probably thought of as cliche' are still valid and true here, and they start happening only 20 minutes out of town. Yes, we have the Virginia Beach Resort Strip, all the Colonial "stuff", NASA, shipyards, and the largest Naval Base in the world - but all of the above put together is such a tiny part of extreme southeastern Virginia, the rest of the state is agriculture, the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, the Appalachian Trail and the wonderful culture of the people that live there. Here's a little mini-tour!
First we had to actually get out of the city - no small feat! Actually it's not too bad leaving our house, that oncoming traffic is everyone headed TO the beach, we're leaving! Fun fact: we live off the very last exit on Interstate 64... the freeway just plain ends there at the Atlantic Ocean. I never really thought about it until one of the kids asked!
The town we went to for camp is known as the Peanut Capital of the World
there are peanuts at every stand, market, gas station, and store
Lots of places to buy your watermelons, collards & Confederate Flags... I wish I could say "just kidding", but I'm not :)
Of course, Virginia Hams...
Lots of ammo & guns & fishin'
If you ever wanted to know what many of the Virginia farms/plantation homes looked like, here you go. Unfortunately, since the shutdown of the major peanut plant, pork packing facility, and paper mill out here many are falling into disrepair and becoming choked by Kudzu and the like, but there is no hiding their charm and there still are many that are very beautiful.
I noticed this while driving... I have no idea how a bobber got outside my windshield, but it seems like a good thing to have onboard supply-wise :)
Here we are turning into the drive that leads to camp! It is right in the midst of plenty of agriculture, but it looks so different since this is on the edge of part of the Great Dismal Swamp, so it is lush and treed here with an abundance of water and canals.
Does anyone remember my comic fascination with kids at camp that arrive with rolling suitcases bouncing down the dirt paths? We saw a little girl that absolutely takes the cake on this one, look at the size of that thing! It's a weekend camp! Hubby deploys for 9 months with less crap than that LOL! I bet her mom is at fault here :)
In contrast, "bad mom" here only lets my kid take this much...
Loch making his bunk and begging me to just leave already!
Finn's counselor looks like a giant around all these little shrimps!
I checked with the mess hall before I left camp to see what was on the menu... wait for it.... Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Collard Greens!
I sure will miss all the true cliche's about this area, we live in a special place. Although I don't want to live here forever, I sure am lucky I got to experience it all for so many years.
Last night we enjoyed a kid free night at a friend's house. Nothing special except a bonfire, drinks, and catching up with friends we hadn't seen in far too long - which made it very special after all!
This evening, we are headed to another garden party at someone's house, I just love to spy on other people's gardens, so much fun! The weekend is going far too quickly, and I'll have more photos I'm sure of the kids when we go to pick them up tomorrow - I can't wait until "full-week camp" !
I will also admit that the whole drive home yesterday I felt an urge to load up on ammo and trade the Outback in on a lifted pickup truck, and holler a few "yeehaaaaawwww"s out the window :)