Lost and Found Dec29

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Lost and Found

You know the feeling just before you decide you’re officially lost? First, you consider if you should just stay the course, then you decide that you really do need directions. If you’re lucky, for a brief moment, you may consider yourself fortunate that you are wandering freely and maybe even excited about being off the beaten path. Well, after a long goodbye with Brendan and Meg, we pointed Lucy toward Williamsburg and Lin’s alma mater, William and Mary.cheeseshop2 It was a quick tromp around the campus, full of plenty of sentences that began with ‘I remember when…’. But when we approached the Cheese Shop for lunch, we had arrived at our destination – exactly where we were supposed to be. The Cheese Shop had provided her a mountain of memories over the years while she attended W&M. We dined on specialty sandwiches with a side of Original House Dressing and bread ends. This place is famous for its dressing and has a reputation that goes far & wide, including Frommer’s Travel Guide. Ah, sweet perfection to satisfy a craving to re-live a favorite memory and to share it with someone else.



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On the famous Crim Dell bridge

On the famous Crim Dell bridge

Just a bit further down the road and we landed in Virginia Beach, VA where we were set to camp for three nights. It didn’t feel like the 39th largest city in the US, but we did feel the presence of several military bases. Although tourism is the major industry, it felt pretty desolate in mid-October. The most notable item of our campground were the Halloween decorations.

Campground festivities

Campground festivities

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With literally zero knowledge of Virginia Beach, we had arranged to tour another B&B for sale. This one was particularly interesting as it was just three blocks from the beach with high occupancy rates and very profitable. Unlike so many others, the style and decor was very much in line with ours. A true potential turn-key operation for us; we wouldn’t need to change much. The downsides were the small lot size and the shoebox of a kitchen. So tiny in fact, they had devised makeshift counters to temporarily place on top of the sinks to use during breakfast service. The innkeepers quarters were nice and even had a small view of the ocean. For the better part of a week, we spent the majority of our waking hours discussing why it would be a smart move immediately followed by why we should keep looking. I couldn’t tell if we were lost of if we had actually arrived. In the end, despite the oh so tempting profitability, we found our answer and concluded that Virginia Beach wasn’t the future hometown for us.

Bach in September while attending the B&B conference in Lake Lure, N.C., we met a fabulous gal named Tanja Bean. As luck would have it, her hometown, Raleigh, N.C. was exactly on our route. She invited us to park Lucy in her driveway and stay as long as we wanted – a gutsy move given we’d spent very little time together, a sum total of less than two days. Though we had already shared a few bottles of wine by that point. About an hour after we arrived if felt like we were friends from grade school. We were definitely not lost.

We were treated like queens with fabulous meals, copious amounts of wine, enough to cause slurred words, and our own private balcony seating with twinkle lights and candles. (Note: According to T. Bean, slurring your words is like speaking in cursive.)

Ms. Tanja

Ms. Tanja

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Our big outing was visiting Duke University in Durham, home of the Blue Devils, in honor of my mom. She was a huge fan of boys college basketball. The cathedral is big and beautiful and the organ pipes filled the room with glorious noise. Lunch at a Mediterranean joint satisfied our bellies and then a quick jaunt downtown gave us a feel for the local vibe.

Blue Devil Spirit !!!

Blue Devil Spirit !!!

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Raleigh Trolley Pub, so everyone can drink WHILE going from one bar to the next.

Raleigh Trolley Pub, so everyone can drink WHILE going from one bar to the next.

Two fabulous rescue dogs balanced the household chick energy and were exceptionally good at giving kisses, love, and helping do dishes. Three days later when saying goodbye, we couldn’t help but look forward to the next get together. We had found a lifetime friend.

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Next stop Fancy Gap, Virginia and yes, there really is a town called Fancy Gap and that’s exactly why we picked it. It was an easy day’s drive of just 2.5 hours, first on I-40 West to Winston-Salem before heading north on US-52 or Andy Griffith Parkway. All was going according to plan until… we exited just before the campground and headed up Lambsburg Road. Everything changed about a mile up the road. It was wicked steep and oh so narrow and there was no turning back!! Honestly, there should have been a sign warning anything longer than 15′ to use the church parking lot and turn around. It was so serpentine in some places that our tow vehicle hadn’t even finished completing the curve before the RV started into the next curve. The incline was probably 25% grade, which left us going about 30 mph, and real braking would have sent us to maybe 15 mph, with no ability to increase speed. So I drove in the middle of the road with the pedal to the floor and prayed all the while I would not meet another car mid-curve. Lucy was like Thomas and the little engine that could.

Not too far into this 20 mile “shortcut”, GPS quit working. It was more than a wee bit scary and a provided some mystery in terms of where we were and where we’d end up. Also of concern was the chance that we’d find ourselves in a place where the RV simply didn’t fit. I shudder to think at how we would have solved that dilemma. There was simply no room to turn around. Eventually, we connected with the Blue Ridge Parkway and were able to pull over to assess our whereabouts. Crap, still no GPS signal and our cell phones had 1 bar each. We decided to Rochambeau (rock, paper, scissors) to determine which direction to head. We were indeed lost and had made one crucial wrong turn, which led to a handful more. However, it wasn’t long before we found our way to the KOA. It turned out to be a very hard drive, full of wonder and only now not so scary memories.

The following day we went for a hike and a long drive to take in the autumn colors.

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So whether we are lost or found, the real trick is to find a comfortable way to move through it. So far, we’ve been blessed in our ability and capacity to adapt no matter the circumstances. We’ve found our way! Go us.