Elizabeth and I went down with Buddy and Kay on Wednesday, June 14. Mom drove us to their house and we left from there at 8:00am. The car was pretty full with the four of us loaded into their Subaru station wagon. Buddy also took a guitar, a dulcimer and his octave mandolin.
Our first stop was in Zanesville, OH (which is not an hour away from B &Ks). They hadn't eaten breakfast and wanted to stop at Tim Horton's. Elizabeth and I had never been in one before, and it was the cutest little place. It looked just like the little concession buildings in the computer game, Roller Coaster Tycoon. The two of us shared a banana nut muffin while Buddy and Kay got sandwiches. Buddy also got a long john doughnut with vanilla icing. It had just been iced, so they gave it to him in an adorable little box (meant for doughnut holes). It was so cute! That's Elizabeth holding it when we were getting back into the car.
We passed the Zane Grey Museum, which Buddy and Kay said was really nice. The weather was great for driving. We never had any rain, and the traffic was really only bad in Ohio and Charlotte. The Ohio River was beautifully calm and blue, and the mountains were very green. The southern states don't seem to be suffering from the same dry conditions that Ohio is in the middle of. One of the things that Elizabeth and I really enjoyed was the Capitol Building in Charleston, West Virginia. It has a large dome that is made of gold and has been restored to all of it's original beauty. Wow! What a lovely sight, and we even managed a decent picture.
We only made one "pit stop" and that was in Beckley, West Virginia. It is a large travel plaza with several express fast food chains inside. Buddy and Kay picked Frappuccinos from Starbucks, but Elizabeth and I found a squished penny machine! Our pennies have the beautiful capitol building right in the center of them! We really love squished pennies and have been collecting them since we were little girls. We even got books that hold them all in their own pockets --- which are now almost full! Kay gassed the car up while Buddy washed the windshield, and then we were on our way. The two of us had veggie burgers in the car. We'd packed lots of snacks, too, including a giant carton of Goldfish crackers!
We spent a couple hours on the turnpike, so we went through three tole booths and two tunnels. East River Mountain Tunnel and Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. At the end of the last tunnel was the Virginia state line. I love Virginia. Just driving through it, you can understand why the old "Virginians" considered themselves a notch above the rest of the country. We've done a little bit of sight-seeing there on previous trips and they're some of my favorite places. Monticello, in particular.
We did get to pass through (rather, over the side of by going down a huge mountain range) the valley where there was a nice view of Pilot Mountain on the horizon! The day was so clear that you could see it really well, too. Buddy said that when it's hazy or cloudy you don't get to see it from the highway that we were on. We even passed the "Mt. Airy" exit, so Elizabeth and I had some fond thoughts of the Andy Griffith Show. :)
The scenery changed once we crossed into North Carolina. The ground was pretty flat and the trees were shorter and scrubbier. However, one thing that really impressed the two of us about the South were the fabulous manners. Guys are all SO polite down there!! More on that in another post. We arrived at the hotel by 4:00pm. It was a Staybridge Suites, which we'd never heard of. Buddy and Kay stayed there last time they recorded at Gat3 and really liked it. I've got a bunch of hotel pictures, so that will be another post. More later.