Monday, June 21, 2010

Blue Ridge Parkway

I am in lust with South West Virginia. No, we don't have a plethora of shopping centers or places to eat, but I've never seen the appeal of owning a lot of stuff. I'm a self-proclaimed frugalista, and I love all the free outdoor activities SWVA has to offer.

Today I took my summer enrichment students on a field trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We visited Mabry Mill and the Music Center. I have been to Mabry Mill many times because my dad is a fan of the Sunday drive. Mabry Mill is one of his favorite places to visit. When I was little, I loved to go there because there were ducks around the pond. Luckily, the mill hasn't changed much. The ducks were still around the pond. For those of you who don't know, the mill was a grist mill, and it still runs today (although what you buy there is actually produced in NC now). The park also has a late 1800's cabin on site AND a corn liquor distillery (read: moonshine).

Even though I've been to Mabry Mill twenty times in my life, I'd never been to the Music Center until today. I am in L-O-V-E with the music center. First of all, our ranger was a fantastic speaker. You could tell he is passionate about Old Time music and instruments. I appreciate people with a little passion. Second, the views are spectacular! We sat in rocking chairs on a porch that overlooked the mountains while an Old Time band played. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

We also stopped at Groundhog Mtn. for a picnic lunch. Without planning, I ended up completing one of my 25 goals for the year. I hope to get back to the Music Center sometime this summer to hear one of their weekend concerts. If you live in the area, I highly suggest making use of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It really is a gem.

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