The Drive to Wanaka

After organizing 7 people and packing up 2 cars, we were off to Wanaka (sounds like Monica or Hanukkah).  As is typical for New Zealand roads, the route was curvy and the scenery beautiful.

A brief stop along the way allowed Siddy to get a(nother) treat.

By 2pm, we were ready for a late lunch, and Monteith’s Brewery Bar in Alexandra was the perfect stop.  We enjoyed puppy friendly al fresco dining accompanied by Murphy’s Irish Stout (for me) and followed by a yummy flat white.

Soon enough, we were back on the road but another brief stop, this time at the Clyde Dam, offered some nice photo ops. The Clyde Dam, New Zealand’s third largest hydroelectric dam, is built on the Clutha River near the town of Clyde

With 45 minutes to go, we let Siddy enjoy the breeze.

And THEN we arrived at our temporary home.

What an incredible gift this week in Wanaka will be!

Where in the World is LB and Where is She Going?

Forgive me, WordPress Friends, but it has been 5 Weeks since my last confession … er, I mean, post!

In the almost 6 years that I have been blogging, that may just be a record.  So! Where have I been?


In early January, we traveled to Richmond, Virginia’s Capital City, to see the Inauguration of our new Governor.

It was a cold, but beautiful winter day and we were all so excited to be there!

As you might guess, I took a ton of photos.  Sadly, I just haven’t had time to work through them yet.  This image, though, shows the impressive sight of all 1600 Virginia Military Institute Cadets march by in the Inaugural Parade.  Our new Govenor, Ralph Northam, is a VMI Grad.

The Women’s March in Roanoke

One week later, I hit the streets of Roanoke for the Women’s March.

From the Women’s March to the Swearing-in of Delegate Hurst

We left the Women’s March a bit early and drove straight to the swearing-in of our new Delegate, Chris Hurst.

I loved catching this image of the Delegate in concentration,

and of course, enjoyed a quick visit in his office.

It was a long, exciting day and I’m so glad to have had this man to share it with.

Puzzle Time with Family

 I enjoyed a quick run to Williamsburg to spend time with some of my family,

followed by a brief stop in Richmond on the way back home.

8 weekends in a row of travel, with work in between, and suddenly blog posts take a back seat.  As much as I have loved all the road trips, some of which I didn’t include here, I was grateful to be home this past weekend.  Why?  So I might be able to plan the BIG TRIP:

New Zealand and Australia!!

I am the luckiest gal to be leaving in just 12 days for the Southern Hemisphere!  Even better, I’ll be spending time with dear blogging friends: Pauline from The Contented Crafter, (and her awesome daughters), Alys from Gardening Nirvana, and Boomdee from Boodeeadda.

I anticipate lots of laughter and love, good food and drink, gorgeous scenery and many, many photo ops.  I’ll be traveling on foot, and by car, plane, train and hopefully motorcycle, and I simply cannot wait to share it with all of you!

2018: Here We Go!

Hello from Southwest Virginia!  And a belated Happy New Year to all of you!

2018 is starting out much like the last few months of 2017 ended:  full of travel.  We are just 8 days in and I’ve already spent both weekends on the road, including New Years Eve in Washington DC and Alexandria, Virginia.

Despite the subfreezing temperatures, we spent several hours of the weekend out of doors.  We visited National Harbor, a multi-use waterfront development on the Potomac River in Maryland.  With temperatures hovering around 20 degrees during the day, we did not take the opportunity to ride the Capital Wheel, but it made for a great photo subject.

It was a beautiful evening!

Someday, in warmer weather, we’ll come back for a ride,

Later that night, we went to the National Mall to see the National Christmas Tree and the 57 trees that surround it, one representing each US State and Territory.  With the wind whipping about, it felt colder than 17 degrees and these next images were taken with my cell phone, held by my shaking, freezing cold hands.

The National Tree

The Virginia Tree with the Washington Monument in the background.

Selfies are a challenge when one of you is 6’4 and one of you is 5’0.

On NYE, we counted down to midnight on the Alexandria, Virginia waterfront.   The subfreezing temps kept some folks at home, but the atmosphere was festive and there were still hundreds to celebrate with.

(More cellphone photography)

Check out that frozen water!

Happy New Year!

Unlike 2017, the beginning of this year is filled with hope.

Last year: devastation.  This year: motivation to continue the resistance!

 I am ready!

Riding ‘Round Virginia

While it can be a challenge to be away from home for several weekends in a row, the benefits include the opportunity to visit with family and friends.  Two weeks ago I was in Williamsburg celebrating my mother’s birthday.  Last weekend, for a mix of meetings and fun, I rode the bike from Blacksburg to Fredericksburg to King George to Richmond and back home.  The weather was bright and beautiful and I enjoyed 600 miles of happy!

My meeting was in  Fredericksburg, an historic town that I had not visited in decades.  Sadly,  I wasn’t able to do much exploring since I arrived late on Friday and had to be in meetings first thing the next morning. I did stay in a hotel that I now hear is haunted, although I saw no sign of ghosts.  The Inn at Old Silk Mill was built in the 1930s and was one of the largest motor lodges on the east coast.

The Silk Mill was built in 1889 and was a factory that employed over 200 women. The women spun silk that was imported from Italy to go around spools for sewing. Originally the C.W Tholtz Throwing Company, The Mill has been recently renovated to host weddings and events.

All the meeting attendees were able to attend Senator Mark Warner‘s annual BBQ.  Located in King George, Senator Warner’s home is located right on the Rappahanock River.

The Senator, and Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, and current candidate for Governor, Ralph Northam, and Attorney General Mark Herring stood in line for hours greeting the many hundreds of people in attendance.

What a wonderful way to say thanks to the many people who have worked to keep Virginia blue.

Next post: Riding Through Civil War History

Brewery Ride – Day 2

When Ike and his partners opened Old Bust Head Brewing Company (OBH) two years ago, there were only 40 other craft breweries in Virginia.  Today, there are over 100.  The craft beer industry is clearly booming, and I was ready to explore a few.

In my previous post, I wrote about my visit to OBH.  On the second day of my trip, I took the road south, back toward home.  Before doing that though, I stopped in Warrenton for coffee and breakfast.  Located in the horse and wine country of Fauquier County, this town of less than 10,000 people is just an hour from Washington DC.

The current County Court House, built in the 1800s, is the 6th one in Fauquier County, several before it having burned to the ground.


As always, I prefer to visit a local restaurant or diner, even if it means bypassing the free continental breakfast at the hotel.   I sat outside and enjoyed a delicious cold brew coffee and egg croissant sandwich at Deja Brew.


Before leaving town, I walked around looking for photo opportunities.  Historic buildings, quaint shops, and local restaurants abound in Warrenton.

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Warrenton is also an historic train town, and like many communities, converted an old rail line to a walking trail.  Phase 1 of the Warrenton Branch Greenway was dedicated in 1998.

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Lots of folks were out walking that morning, proving that local governments who invest in their communities improve the financial health of the locality, and the physical health of their citizens.


After leaving Warrenton, I made a quick stop in Culpeper, another historic town in Virginia.

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Heading onward, I followed Rt 151 through Nelson County.


Located at the base of the Blue Ridge, Nelson 151 is the home to Seven Wineries, Three Breweries, One Cidery, and One Distillery.  I definitely didn’t have enough time to visit them all, so a return visit to Nelson 151 is in order!  My next stop was Wild Wolf Brewing Company, where I kept it light with an American Pilsner.



Check out those hops!


From there I rode onward to Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, makers of Vienna Lager, one of my favorite beers.

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What a fabulous day to be on the bike!

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By the time I pulled into my carport at the end of this brief but oh so great ride, I’d put 620 miles on the bike and a whole lot of happy in my heart.  Thanks for sticking with me through this long post.  Be sure to let me know if you’re going to be in the area. We’ll check out some more of Nelson 151 together!

Brewery Ride- Day 1

The sun streaming through my window had me awake and excited about a weekend on the bike.  Since I only planned to be gone for 36 hours, I was packed and on the road in no time.  Just 45 minutes later, I met my sister for breakfast, and then continued the trip by avoiding the interstate and riding the old state road, Rt 11 North.  The purpose of this trip, after all, was to have unscheduled, unplanned time.   To take my time, stop where I wanted, ride where I wanted, and to explore with no schedule.


When I stopped in Buchanan to check out the swinging bridge, I saw that I had a Voice Message.  A good Samaritan had found the wallet that I didn’t know I’d lost 45 miles back in Salem.


So much for leisurely riding!  I hit the interstate hard and fast, thinking the whole time how fortunate I was to have a good guy find my wallet.  It could have been a disaster! It turned out to be an hour and a half detour, but I was definitely not complaining.  Besides, the weather was perfect.


The only definitive plan I had was to meet some highschool friends at Old Bust Head Brewing Company.  It had been over 35 years since I’d seen Ike, and I was looking forward to visiting the brewery that he and his wife had opened.  After riding 340 miles under clear skies and on dry roads, I rode the last 10 minutes in thunder, lightning, and rain.  Thankfully, Ike directed me into an empty garage space and I was able to keep the bike dry.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the Chinquapin Chestnut Porter, although rest assured that I am extremely careful when I ride the bike.


Bill, another highschool friend, and his son Bobby, also came out for a mini-reunion.


After hours of conversation, it was time to check into my hotel.  It was then that I realized that I’d only taken a couple photographs, and I decided I’d return to the brewery early the next day.  Despite being less than an hour from Washington DC, much of Fauquier County is rural, horse country, and the roads back to Old Bust Head made for heavenly morning riding.

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The brewing company is located on property that has changed hands and purposes several times as the centuries rolled by.


When the U.S. Army moved out of the secret listening post they had installed on this old Virgina farm called Vint Hill, they left behind warehouse buildings full of history and intrigue (this from the Old Bust Head website).


   Ike and his partners have reclaimed these buildings and have plenty of room to brew, imbibe, and expand in their 30,000 square foot facility (again, from the website). With so much redevelopment going on, directional signs are needed.

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Even with backtracking to reclaim my wallet, Day 1 of the ride was a blast!

 Stay tuned for Day 2!

Sit For a Spell

Last night, I actually did sit for a spell and visit many of your blogs (although I have many more to visit!). For now, I’m off to volunteer at a Dress for Success workday, and THEN I will attempt to work on the photos from my brewery ride last weekend.

** 36 hours / 620 miles / 3 breweries / old friends **

For now, I’ll share this image from Warrenton, VA.


Is “sit for a spell” a term that you use, or are familiar with?