We have spent the last couple of days in a sort of pointless wandering near the Blue Ridge Parkway prior to heading to our PATC cabin. Thursday and Friday nights we spent at an inn called The Acorn Inn by Nellysford, VA. For whatever reason, our time here was particularly strange. The inn itself consists of an old farmhouse and stables, the latter having been converted to a group of rooms for lodging. Each bedroom is in one of the original horse stalls. There is also a very nice patio overlooking a field and a room called the "Uncommon Room" with several couches, a wood burning stove and artifacts from everywhere. The owners are a Dutch mega-cyclist and an American photographer, both of whom have traveled all over the world, lived for multiple years in South America and Mexico and now reside in backwoods Virginia on a country road. Either direction down this road brings you past some scenes of poverty reminiscent of Guatemala. It's hard not to think they're hiding from someone.
We really spent Thursday night reading with a short break for BBQ in the puny town of Nellysford. Prior to dinner, we stopped past a winery, sampled a few wines and then grabbed a bottle for the evening. Not much more to say than that.
The next day (Friday) was gray and rainy, and we spent most of the day reading as well. So, come 6:00 we were starving, a little addled from spending so much time in our book worlds and ready to brave the nasty day for some food. Upon recommendation from Kathy (the photographer) we headed to the "local" Thai restaurant. We were told that it was take-out only, so we called in our order and allowed 15 minutes to get there. A half hour later, we were in the middle of NOWHERE on a country road when we came upon Thai Siam. I didn't have the camera or I would have taken a picture of this place - it's hard to imagine how they stay in business out in the country like that. Walking in, we were assaulted with amazing smells and a host of Thai women in a kitchen cooking. There were a few tables, all occupied, so we took our stuff and asked if we could sit down with a guy sitting by himself. Chatting with him, we found he was a professor in Lynchburg doing a paper on Caribbean trading who was also very familiar with Guatemala and had spent some time in Xela studying Spanish. We also learned that the woman running the restaurant was a widowed Thai war-bride and that she was probably the only Thai person around who calls people "honey". I'm not sure if this is coming across as weird as it felt, but it was a little tripped out.
After dinner, we decided to head to a place called Rapunzel's (also recommended by Kathy) to listen to some folk music. The town was called Lovingston, and it consisted of a rundown downtown strip with nothing open and no one in sight. Until we reached Rapunzel's. There were cars all over - the place was a book store/coffee shop/music venue, and once again, I have no idea how it stayed in business. Shady dealings perhaps. We plopped down on a couch near the stage and listened to some great music for a couple of hours.
Which brings us to yesterday - another pointless day (this isn't meant in a negative manner at all). We decided to head in to Charlottesville to see what might be going on, but once we got there and dined, we really couldn't think of anything we felt like doing. We got some coffee, walked around, then decided to see a matinee of Crash. No comment about Million Dollar Baby is necessary - the movie was far superior, light sabers or no. After the movie, beer sounded good, but we hadn't yet decided where we should stay for the night. We were planning on sleeping in the car, but felt too lazy to find somewhere to park. We called a couple of hotels in Charlottesville, but they were all booked due to UVA's graduation. Sooooo, we hightailed it back to Harrisonburg simply because it was sort of on the way to the cabin (sort of), we knew there would be accommodations, and we knew of a place where we could get $5 pitchers of Killians. Yum.
It's now Sunday, and once again we're heading up into Shenandoah National Park and away from the cell phone and Internet. Until Thursday . . .