For the Health of the Community

Just when I was finding the time to get back to blogging, I jumped into a State Senate Campaign!

How did this happen, you might wonder.

Tragically, State Senator Ben Chafin from the 38th District in Southwest Virginia died, as have over 400,000 other Americans, from Covid. My thoughts have been with his family and friends, as my thoughts have been with all those who have suffered in one way or another from this dreaded virus.

The Governor of Virginia called a Special Election to be held on March 23rd, and despite my inordinately full schedule, I decided that I could not let a race go unchallenged. So, I am off and running! If you like, visit my website for information about my platform: Laurie Buchwald for Senate

I’ll take some photos of my socially distanced / masked travels throughout the district and share them when I can. I’ll look forward to visiting you and your blogs in late spring.

Stay Safe! Mask Up! Listen to Dr. Fauci!

Cleanse Our Earth, Soothe Our Spirit

Most of us in the United States are in a state of anger and disbelief.  I won’t desecrate this blog space like the insurrectionists desecrated the US Capitol and our country.  I will however share the beauty of the snow that fell the day after, snow that helped to soothe our spirits to a small degree.

It wasn’t much, but it was a heavy, wet snow that clung to the leaves and branches.

We took a walk and felt the snowflakes on our faces, and the fresh, cold air gave us energy and gave us hope.

The next morning, I was outside in my PJs trying to capture the early sun on ice.

Even an error in camera settings somehow was a good thing.

I hung my new RBG Ornament in a tree and reflected on her words and the work we need to do.

We are worried.  We are angry. We are frightened.  We are appalled.

But somehow we must find the energy to keep on fighting, keep on persisting, and keep on resisting hatred.

Atlanta: Decorated for the Holidays

My son’s negative Covid test meant that we were able to travel to Atlanta for a 48 hr stay over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Despite being home to over 6 million people, we were able to remain socially distanced and follow precautions while thoroughly enjoying the outdoor festive decorations.

These images are a mixture of Fuji and Android, most taken on the fly in cccoooolllllddddd temps.  I’m definitely not bragging about these shots … just trying to give you a taste of the city!

We stayed in Midtown and despite the frigid temps, the sun was shining and we braved the cold to explore the area.

We stayed at the Georgian Terrace Hotel which opened it’s doors in 1911.

The Georgian Terrace Hotel is right down the street from St. Marks United Methodist Church which was erected in 1902.

 

We spent Christmas evening at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens which boasts an incredible light show set to music.  Truly magical!

What a joy it was to be with family in such beautiful outdoor surroundings.  I am a fortunate woman indeed!

Stay healthy, my friends!  Wear a mask!  Do it for others if not for yourself.

24 Hours in Bristol

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing. 

We are doing our part to keep ourselves and therefore, others, safe!

*****

Bristol Virginia and Bristol Tennessee are two cities that share more than a name.  They share a Main Street!  State Street, which runs through the middle of these two cities is the official state line, and the iconic sign shown below is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bristol, Viriginia was officially designated the Birthplace of Country Music by the U.S. Congress in 1998, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, attracts 75,000 visitors per year.

Bristol, Tennessee is the home of the Bristol Motor Speedway, a place that hosts a fantastic holiday light show which runs for 8 weeks throughout the holiday season.  Part of the proceeds from the lightshow support the Speedway Children’s Charities.

Recently, Greg and I spent 24 hours in Bristol … both Bristols!

We stayed at The Bristol Hotel, a “Virginia remix of a Tennessee Classic” built in 1925 and recently renovated into a gorgeous boutique hotel.

We enjoyed cocktail hour on the rooftop bar, enjoying the views of the city and of the Appalachian Mountains.

After that, we spent a couple hours winding our way through the lightshow at the Motor Speedway.  What fun!

Brunch at Vivian’s Table the next morning offered delicious food and fun photography.

It was a quick, but super fun getaway in the middle of this busy holiday season.

I truly hope that you are finding some moments of happy during these difficult days.

Stay Safe! Wear a Mask!

Mount Mitchell

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

On our way back home to Virginia from South Carolina a few weeks ago, we decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop in at Mount Mitchell State Park.

At 6684 Ft, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the MIssissippi River and offers incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As we climbed in elevation, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up.

We didn’t have time to get out on the trails, but we plan to return to do some hiking another time.  Thankfully, we were able to get back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and appreciate the views along the way home.

 

Wilderness Road State Park

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

Wilderness Road State Park is just about the farthest western point in the state of Virginia.  The park lies astride the Wilderness Road, a route carved by Daniel Boone in 1775.  The route, which followed a buffalo trace, opened America’s first western frontier.

Overlooking the park are the White Rocks, a ridge of 500 foot sandstone cliffs overlooking Powell Valley.  Follow this link to see an image of these gorgeous sandstone cliffs from the air.

The park is also home to a small herd of buffalo.  It broke my heart a bit to see them behind an electric fence.  I tried hard to capture an image that did not include the fence, but no such luck.  These impressive animals seemed sad to me, so I have to confess that I was glad when one of them stomped a foot and showed anger when I got a bit too close.

The park also features a replica of Martin’s Station, a colonial frontier fort that was on this site in 1775.

State Parks are the perfect way to combine the beauty of nature and a love of history.

 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

Two weeks ago, Greg and I spent the weekend exploring some of Southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and part of that time was spent in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

“Where the borders of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia converge, a path to new worlds appears. Early native Americans traveled through it along a game trail, before English-speaking settlers, including Daniel Boone, came through in the 1700s to carve out what became known as Wilderness Road. According to many accounts, between 200,000 and 300,000 settlers came through the Gap into Kentucky and beyond from 1775 to 1810” – https://www.nationalparks.org

I was standing in Virginia when I took the next photo and looked upon Kentucky.

In this last photo we celebrated Life and Election Results ❤

Skyline Drive

Historic Winchester, Virginia

VA / KY / TN Celebrated, too!

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

We spent last weekend traveling the roads of Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The colors on individual leaves and trees were so varied and drew my eye again and again.

What a glorious way to spend Election Weekend!

Mother Nature was celebrating, too! ❤