I hate to keep using the phrase “on the road again,” but the fact is, there is quite literally a ribbon of highway strumming and humming under our wheels and sending its vibrations right up into my spine. This time, those wheels are pointed southwest.
Both ways on our journey, we’ve passed through the snow-blanketed Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia -- the most scenes part of our journey. HIghway 81 cuts through rolling hills sprinkled with farm houses, silos, and cattle grazing patiently through the snow. We don’t have time to stop, but signs along the road tempt us with their announcements of Civil War Battlefields, presidential birthplaces and libraries, and natural caverns. Argh. We must return. Either that or UVA in Charlottesville could make the Professor an offer.
(Also. We passed within scant miles of Polyface Farm, which you’ll know by name if you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma. I could almost smell that purely organic chicken manure.)
Here are some of the ways we’ve been passing the time as we lap up the miles: Reading. Listening to Adventures in Odyssey and an audiobook of The Goose Girl. Watching movies after dark. Drawing. Cross-stitching. Snacking. Singing. Sneaking bits of dark chocolate from the private parental stash in the glove compartment. Playing “Categories,” in which someone chooses a category and we name its members in turn until someone draws a blank or contributes a repeat (try this with everything from African Animals to British Monarchs to Star Wars Characters).
We’re using the return journey to visit relatives and friends along the way, which, as it turns out, is oodles more fun than a night in the Super 8 Motel.
Oh, and foodwise? Giant improvement since Christmas Day. After an evening on the Tennessee-Virginia border eating fast food at possibly the nation’s most unalluring mall, I swore off the grease. Hooray for options like Chipotle and Panera Bread (and occasionally a Whole Foods) and a GPS Navigator on my phone for hunting them down!