As I ramp back up to posting, I’ll start with a few photos from along the road … this from Culpepper, Va.
She’s still here! In Southwest Virginia!
Between work and play, I’ve found it challenging to keep up with WordPress, and believe me, it is not easy to admit that! I’m not one to make excuses, but somehow, I’ve found it harder to create blog posts now than it was during the time after my motorcycle wreck and during my campaign for office.
So where have I been spending so much of my time, outside of my work as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner?
Riding in the 10th Annual Layne Creed Memorial Ride.
Photo Credit Dale Sands
The family of Layne Creed has worked hard over the past decade, raising money for local charities in memory of their loved one. It is time though for this to be The Last Ride.
I’ve been able to ride in six of the 10 rides, but this was the first on my beautiful candy orange Softail Slim.
Dining with Friends
After riding 220 miles, it was such a joy to spend the evening with friends. They served an incredible Paella, which I now know is a dish which combines vegetables, and meats. The history of Paella is that servants or peasants created rice dishes by mixing the left-overs from royal banquets in large pots to take home. The incredible food was accompanied by great conversation, in a beautiful home with generous hosts.
Supporting Local Business
I attended the first Grow & Gather, a partnership between Hazelbea Catering, the Radford Chamber of Commerce, and Farmers Market vendors.
This Radford Supper Series, offers multi-course meals sourced from local growers and paired with wine from White Barrel, a local winery.
Supporting Local also means catching up with a dear friend at Al’s on First, an independent restaurant, AND putting my cell phone camera to work.
Ah! The perfect summer drink: A Gin and Tonic
What a welcome relief it is to spend the evening discussing an eye opening book, and to escape the media’s focus on the unfit man who is running for President.
I’ve always been a power walker, but somehow I’ve become a runner, albeit a novice runner. The only way to fit exercise into my schedule is to start early in the morning when it is still dark.
Weekends though, give me a chance to start a bit later. As I tell each of my patients, and as you already know, exercise is good for the heart, good for the bones, and great for the energy and mental health.
In addition, I can work on my #cellphonephotography.
Finally, Civic Work
I’m involved with several groups, but one of my passions is helping to elect more Virginia women to public office. This weekend I hosted an event for Women Leaders of Virginia and Emerge, two organizations who work to train and support women running for public office.
I love the passion, the commitment, the vision, and the stimulating conversation.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to visit many of you this week, and I truly hate to miss out on the happenings in your lives. In the comment section, please leave a link to one of your latest posts, and I’ll be sure to check it out!
At the posting of this image, I am attending our locality’s Annual Memorial Day Program.
Participation in this program is one of my most favorite civic activities. I’m honored to serve as photographer and online PR person.
Enjoy these photos from our 2014 program and I’ll share a few from this year’s event soon.
Do you know about the National Moment of Remembrance? As Americans, we are encouraged to pause at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.
Sunday rides are my therapy!
My campaign manager and I have carved out 6 hours in the week for time on the bike and time with friends. While the rest of the week is devoted to work and the campaign, those 6 hours on Sunday are for ME! This ride was extra special because my friends and I were celebrating my birthday.
Dave led us through Craig County, VA on our most recent ride, and as we traveled along those curvy mountain roads, I was wishing I had a go-pro on my helmet so I could share the beauty of this county. We stopped at Fenwick Mines, the site of a 19th Century iron mining site.
Offering a wheelchair accessible trail that winds through woods and across wetlands, Fenwick Mines is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.
The reflections on this overcast day kept me shooting.
The water was so still that the blue sky, breaking through the clouds, was visible in this reflection.
We rode on to Tizzone, a new wood-fired kitchen and wine bar, owned by a friend.
We enjoyed the Charcuterie and Cheese Platter, and I followed it with a Wood-Fired Smoked Gouda and fig spread on Ciabatta bread. Accompanied by a Raven’s Roost Baltic Porter, it was a delicious birthday meal. The extensive wine and beer list will require a return visit with a DD.
We left Tizzone and headed out to Parkway Brewing, a 2 year old brewery with “Fresh Beers, Artfully Crafted in the Heart of the Blue Ridge”.
Riding a bike significantly limits the intake of alcohol for me (obviously) but learning the history of the places we visit and listening to local music always provides great entertainment.
Another Roadside Attraction is a “husband and wife duo from Roanoke who perform mostly original songs on a myriad of eclectic instruments: from the Mexican guitarron, to a variety of ukuleles, to the haunting musical saw, and a homemade recycled percussion setup”. Can you see that Jordan is playing the musical saw in this image? Be sure to check out the link. Another Roadside Attraction travels the length of the US and will be heading to Mexico later in the year.
Sunday Riding: a great way to celebrate a birthday! I walked in the door and the downpour began, as did the campaign phone calls. I’m already counting down to next Sunday!
Our local wine and beer shop, Barrel Caves Wines, devotes one evening every month to women. The Divas gather for wine and tapas and friendship, and my camera is alway ready to capture the fun.
Kathy makes sure that the flowers are fresh,
the food delicious,
and the wine chosen just for us.
This particular night offered an extra treat. As we walked out the door, feeling relaxed after another great evening, we were treated to this gorgeous sunset.
Not a bad way to support local business!
We’ve got a new wine and craft beer shop in our small community!
Barrel Cave Wines is a welcome addition to the locally owned business community in the New River Valley.
Thank you Kathy Jordan and Bill Zuti for opening such a fun gathering place!
It sure is fun supporting locally owned businesses 🙂
The Draper Mercantile is a lovingly restored, 125 year old building in Southwest Virginia. It currently serves as a place to hear local music, enjoy a fine meal, and as a showplace for regional arts and crafts. The Merc has been providing goods and services to Pulaski County and the surrounding communities for over a century and according to the website “visitors could purchase just about anything”.
A receipt found in a desk by the current owners summarizes an eclectic purchase: sugar, burial clothes, salmon, lemons, and a coffin. At various times, The Merc has housed a barber shop, a blacksmith, the post office, and a dress shop. In the spring the farmers brought in their lambs to sell and in the fall their hogs, turkey, potatoes etc., which went towards settling their accounts (drapermerc.com).
One evening last week, I met my friend Amy on the upstairs porch and enjoyed a glass of wine in a beautiful setting.
Some would have used photoshop to rid the images of powerlines. Despite the fact that I don’t have photoshop, I think that the powerlines add historic accuracy to The Merc and the community of Draper.
If you’re ever in the area, check it out!!
After just 48 hours in Charleston, I had gained 5 pounds! Thank goodness I got some exercise riding the bicycle.
Some of you know that I live in a small town and the choice of restaurants, yummy though they are, is limited. So one of the reasons I love to travel is the opportunity to explore new restaurants, especially independent and locally owned restaurants, and new foods.
As I was getting closer to Charleston, Andrew asked if I had eaten. Was he kidding? I was waiting to savor the food of Charleston! Almost as soon as I got into town, we headed to a place called Five Loaves Cafe.
The food did not disappoint! The Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with roasted sweet peppers & asparagus over mixed greens was delicious and the Ultimate BLT Sandwich with smoked bacon, cheddar, thick sliced tomatoes, sweet basil mayo, lettuce & onion was even better!
Andrew had to work that evening, so I spent some time where he works, a restaurant called Taco Boy. I was completely distracted by the cold beer and amazing guacamole and am afraid I didn’t come away with any decent photos. The photo gallery on the restaurant’s website however includes lots of pictures of food, drink, and the wonderful decorations. Much of the artwork and furniture are reclaimed or recycled, and the place has a true feel of Mexico. (Of course, I’m guessing about that because I’ve never been to Mexico). I do however encourage you to check out Taco Boy if you are ever in Charleston … the Grilled Fish Taco and the Tempura Shrimp Taco were delicious!
(this photo is from the Taco Boy website)
The next day, we enjoyed an amazing brunch at The Grocery.
I started with a yummy cocktail called the Negroceri, made from Bombay Sapphire Gin, Aperol, Sweet Vermouth, and Grapefruit Bitters. I loved that the coaster was made from a menu and the drink was perfect for me – not at all sweet!
I enjoyed the Sausage and Egg Sandwich – a Ginger-Sage Sausage, Scrambled Egg, Cheddar, English Muffin, with ‘Dijonnaisse’ and my son had the Hangtown Fry – Fried Oysters and Green Tomatoes, Farm Egg Frittata with Bacon and Toast.
Another thing I love about Charleston restaurants, besides the tasty food, is that most of them are in spaces that are reclaimed / retrofitted. The decorations and artwork are unique, eclectic and beautiful.
Even the takeout was amazing! Basil Thai Restaurant offered me the yummiest Masaman ever (which I can’t get in my little city).
When Andrew moved to Charleston, I never really thought that FOOD would be one of the benefits of having him live there. I can’t wait to check out more restaurants on my next visit!
When walking out of Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen http://www.lucky32.com/cary.htm in Cary, NC this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but notice this veggie cart.
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, under the direction of Chef Jay Pierce, prides itself on serving “southern foodways and locally-sourced food”. Little did I know when I ordered the Black Bean Cakes that they are considered a restaurant tradition. So Yummy! (I didn’t take a photo, but if you check out the website you’ll see one).
I don’t know the name of this leafy green vegetable but aren’t the colors gorgeous? Perhaps one of you gardeners out there can tell me what it is …
The majority of my time in Williamsburg was spent in meetings and seminars related to Nurse Practitioners and healthcare. Thankfully I found one hour of time, early one morning, to walk the restored area and take some pictures.
I’m back home after an 8 day, 900 mile trip for business and pleasure around Virginia! Thanks for following me along the way!