The Trip to Virginia

Mom thinks of Jerry’s children as her ‘step children’ so she wanted to go to Lexington VA to visit David and his son Jacob. She particularly wanted me to see his lovely house, and I said sure, let’s go. I e mailed Alison and invited her along, so mom and I began the trip by flying directly from Kelowna to Toronto.

We were picked up at the airport by JT and Alison and taken to their comfortable Victorian house on Summerhill Ave. That’s only the second time I’ve stayed there yet I feel perfectly at home. Any house with a commercial-grade coffee maker is my kind of place.

On Sunday the weather was warm and sunny, so the four of us spent the late morning and early afternoon driving through the Ontario countryside looking at the foliage. We had a picnic beside a burbling creek. Later back home JT barbecued a turkey and we had Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, and were joined by their son Paul.

We were flying from the Billy Bishop airport to Dulles, so didn’t have to leave quite so early for our flight as it’s not very far away. The flight left at 10:30 and by 11:30 we were already landing. We rented a car and then looked for the signs for Shenandoah National Park.

This is a huge park, and apparently contains one of the largest black bear populations in the US. We didn’t see any animals at all, but the views down into the the Valley along Skyline Drive were breathtaking. There are many overlooks, so we pulled over here and there, taking photos that couldn’t possibly capture what we saw.

We arrived at David’s around dinner time, and he was in the final stages of preparing the guest rooms for our visit. He said there were three choices. One was the living room couch, the second Zoe’s bedroom upstairs, and the third a room with en suite over the garage. I could see it was time to exert some influence over what could become a precarious situation.

I said I doubted I could sleep in the living room, given the vast amount of space between it and the bathroom. But I said could cope with that if needed, it just meant everyone had to be out of the living room by 8:30 PM and I didn’t want any noise early in the morning.

Naturally this produced resistance due to the early hour people would have to vacate the living room. Alison bravely said she’d sleep in the living room. I said mom can’t really go through a cluttered, dark garage and upstairs to a room, so it was settled she’d get Zoe’s old room, and I got the little suite above the garage. Sweet!

The rest of the visit to Lexington involved visiting the historic downtown, touring Stonewall Jackson’s house, seeing Robert E Lee’s sarcophagus at the Washington and Lee University and touring a landmark called Natural Bridge. The weather was sunny and very warm the whole time.

David made gourmet dinners for us each night except for one when we went to The Red Hen for dinner. By Friday it was time to reverse our trip and make our way to Toronto. The next day, giddy with joy over the impending election, we made our way back to BC. And then, joy of joys, we won!