Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My best friend from childhood, Hope, lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. I visited her there several times during college, but hadn't been back since just after I returned from the Peace Corps. (We did visit her when she lived in Colorado and thankfully she comes to Memphis at least once a year!) We had to prepare the monkeys for the fact that there would be no wifi, video games or other kids on this leg of our trip. However, Warren did get them pretty jazzed about meeting a real live "bachelorette."

We arrived in the evening and were immediately handed beers. (Warren and I, that is.)


The kids were given Sunny D and exercise balls to play with.


She even gave them ice cream!


It was awesome. The monkeys got their ya-yas out while we chatted and drank beer. After an hour or so we ventured into town for some pizza at the Cellar. The monkeys declared it the best pizza ever, even better than the Trolley Stop (blasphemy!). I think they were just starved, although it was good.

Back at the house we all gathered in our jammies and watched Stand By Me. I tried to explain to the kids how I was supposed to marry River Phoenix, but they didn't get it.

In the morning, Hope got us all going with some music, coffee, chocolate milk, and Greek yogurt. She had a full day of activities planned for us, so we wasted no time. First up, picking blueberries!


Next we went to nearby Mountain Lake, where they filmed Dirty Dancing! I carried a watermelon!


Hope and Warren didn't believe me, but I did actually join the Peace Corps because of Baby. It's true. I saw Dirty Dancing five times in the theater!

Mountain Lake has definitely passed it's prime, mostly due to the fact that the lake on the property dried up. It was pretty dead except for a few European visitors. There are still cabins and hotel rooms for rent, but you can pay $5 and enjoy the grounds and the restaurant. We had lunch right where the Housemans had lunch, which was exciting. Unfortunately the food was awful. No matter, the grounds were spectacular.

The kids loved the life sized chess and checkers sets.


I loved the Dirty Dancing tour, which now includes a Patrick Swayze memorial rock.


Somehow we peeled ourselves away and headed off to the nearby Cascades for a hike up to an awesome waterfall. Warren and I were really impressed with the trails. They were very well planned and maintained.


The two mile hike totally paid off. Look at that waterfall! The water was freezing, but we all swam and soaked up as much of the awesome as we could.


A short cloudburst sent most everyone else packing and we had it all to ourselves for about half an hour which pretty much ruled. After awhile, we headed back down the mountain on the less challenging trail since the kids were just about zonked.

We went to the house to put on dry clothes and have a beer, then headed out to dinner at Gillie's. (I asked Hope to take us to a hippie restaurant.) On the way we noticed that the Cave of Forgotten Dreams was playing at the Lyric, a one screen theater next door, and made a split second decision to go see it after dinner. It was really, really good. And then really, really bad. It was both awe inspiring and guffaw inducing.

The movie did us all in and we went home to crash. Hope woke us up with the smell of bacon and soon Warren was making everyone blueberry pancakes. We ate out in the yard in shifts between showers.


Before leaving town, we went to visit one of Hope's friends and see her amazing garden. (Hope is a plant nerd at Virginia Tech who gardens on the side.) It was huge and had several different "rooms." Satchel said it was "epic" and way better than the Dixon!


Then we had to go check out the nearby skatepark, which was completely empty. Thankfully our pad & helmetless driver did not injure himself.


Shockingly neither did the padless & helmetless monkeys.


(They are so excited about having a skatepark in Memphis. They'll be [padded] regulars, I'm sure.)

By now it was approaching noon and we had a six hour drive ahead of us to Fall Creek Falls, so we had to say another round of goodbyes. It was SO nice to have Hope all to ourselves for 40 hours! Bachelorettes rule!


Sidekick said...

Wow! Stacey, I've been reading your blog for a long time now. I love it! I couldn't help but comment when I saw you had visited Hope. Soccer Buddies! You guys all look great, and I love seeing all that your boys are doing. I'm living near Houston, and have 2 boys myself (14 and 10).
Anyway, just wanted to say hi!

Sidekick said...

Yep, would have been nice to put my name with that comment, huh??? That one was from Carolyn Randolph (Abajian now).
I'm such a dork!!!

Stacey Greenberg said...

hey carolyn!!

Colville Clan of TN said...

I know this is an older post but I just had to comment since it was about my home state! I lived just outside of Charlottesville VA my whole life up until a year ago and worked at a family nursery (where all the family for 3 generations went to Tech)and with many plant nerds who were Tech graduates. So much fun reading a non-natives take on it! Thanks for the memories. :-)

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