Soooooo, while I was sitting on the computer, loving the wi-fi at the Holiday Inn in Morehead, KY on Day 2, someone posted on facebook about Joel Salatin. Joel happens to be one of our family heroes. He owns Polyface Farm in Virginia. Our Day 3 stop was supposed to be on the border of West Virginia and Maryland, but I decided to look up what kind of a jaunt it would be to get to Polyface instead. Strangely enough, it only added a few minutes to our trip! I was starting to get excited, but decided to see how far it was from Scranton, PA (our Day 4 stop) as I didn't want to get to Allan any later than we had planned. Again, it added only a few minutes. So at the very last minute, we changed our plans and tonight we are in Staunton, VA-which is an amazing little town! Tomorrow morning we will have a hotel breakfast and head on out to Polyface to spend the first part of our day. I am SO.STOKED. to show the kids this method of farming. We would absolutely love to own a farm like Joel's one day!
Second massive score of the night was looking for hotels. When I searched, I came across the usual contenders; Days Inn, Holiday Inn, etc. Further down the Google list was a swanky-looking hotel called the Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center. I knew there was no way we could afford it (well...at least not in good conscience) but I decided to look around the site anyway. Absolutely amazing looking place! I looked up rates and scoffed at 185/night+. Not when the kids like to watch Spongebob on the TV and jump on the beds...maybe with Allan, but I was not paying that for them! That's when I noticed the government rate. The last 2 hotels we stayed at were much pricier at the government rate than the regular internet rate, but THIS hotel is only $77/night with the government discount. SCORE!! Sometimes it really pays to be married to a disabled vet ;) haha.
So here we sit at the Stonewall Jackson. We've absolutely loved it and can't wait to eat breakfast in the morning. The hotel itself is gorgeous, the staff is super sweet, the people of Staunton seem so genuine and warm (we walked all over downtown to find dinner/window shop) the room is amazing and I wish we could stay here a few more days. Turns out the rate is for a single person, extra people are supposed to up the price to $115, but I suspect the internet form only logs adults as actual people, haha. They gave us the room at the price we were quoted on the internet :)
|This so doesn't even capture a fraction of the beauty|
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Today's drive has been absolutely stunning. The kids were off of the electronics most of the day as the sights were to live for! The Appalachian mountains are so beautiful. I have been through these states before, but the last time I was pregnant with GraceAnne and I think I slept 22 hours of that 26 hour trip. The time before that I was 13 and my eyeglass prescription wasn't quite right (I called some round hay bales buffalo) so this has been an amazing gift. I only wish Allan were driving so I could really enjoy it ;)
GraceAnne decided (multiple times today) that she wants to live on a farm in the Appalachian mountains. I concur. It certainly is gorgeous here. We got a close up look when we stopped on the side of the road because Corbin had to go potty RIGHT.NOW. Let it never be said that the Virginia State Patrol aren't the most helpful cops in the U.S. We have peed on many a roadside and we've been broken down on a few of those roadsides, as well, but we've never had a trooper stop. Until we stopped on a mountain pass in Virginia.
|For the boy's potty viewing pleasure|
The kids were antsy today, but we had some really good moments, too. They are absolutely in love with everything we see and they have so much excitement for life, I can't help but share it. I will say they are arguing more and acting exhausted (though they had 11 hours of sleep last night) and I've had to correct them a lot more frequently. I know this is hard for them, and it can be difficult to process sadness and happiness all rolled into one. They haven't gained that sweet coping skill I've learned of completely blocking things out for survival. I am trying to make the trip as fun for them as possible and I know they appreciate it, but they are definitely ready to be with daddy. Even so, we have sweet times like these:
|As if they sensed the joy they brought their mother, they immediately began squabbling after I snapped this|
For lunch we stopped at a really neat travel center with loads of local artisans' shops and I had a vegetable platter. The chef talked me into fried green tomatoes (when in Virginia, right?) and they were really good!
|The kidlets are always happy to get out of the car|
|I don't know why this is all stretched out...but that's a lot of veggies!|
|a little bridge over a creek in downtown Staunton. We saw wild strawberries growing out of the wall|
|The kids with the car and the hotel in the background|
|we chose the Clocktower Restaurant for dinner. EXCELLENT food and better service. We were all very happy, which is saying something, considering we were all over-tired and under-exercised|
|cute downtown Staunton|
|view from our room on the top (fifth) floor|
|Could they BE any cuter?!|