Friday, June 13, 2008

Day Seven - Crossing Virginia

June 13 - We're at the Wilsons' in Chester, VA. I worked and partied (and watched football and played Frisbee golf) with Allen in South Carolina about 20 years ago. The 430 mile trip took 9-1/2 hours. Props to the girls for being ready to go at 8:00 a.m. We ate a late breakfast on the road; the girls at Subway and Kay and I at McDonalds.

We drove on I-40 and I-81 as far as Lexington, VA where we found US 60, a two-lane road that headed dead east to Richmond. We ate lunch at Nick's Italian Restaurant in Buena Vista, VA, just east of Lexington. Owned by a pair of brothers from Montenegro, Nick's food was surprisingly good given that it's in a drab-looking town of 6,000 in the middle of Virginia. There was a sign proclaiming Buena Vista as the home of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. It's been a good year so far for Charlie.

We let Kallie drive out of Buena Vista, not realizing just how far up in the mountains we were. Her 25-mile stint consisted almost entirely of curves and downgrades--another new driving experience. She took it slow and did quite well, even though six or seven cars passed her, a couple even going across the double yellow lines. Near Amherst, VA we saw a sign warning of a roundabout ahead (Sac told us about it as well). Not knowing what this might entail, I suggested that Kallie pull into the CVS on the corner and let me take over. The roundabout turned out to be not much more than a curve in the road, but better safe than sorry. My leg of the trip--about 100 miles, was much straighter and flatter, what I had in mind for Kallie when I looked at the map.

Sac provided excellent directions and we pulled into the Wilsons' driveway without incident at about 5:30 p.m. We visited for awhile and then went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Chester. We considered a Mexican restaurant in Buena Vista for lunch, but Kay, who was driving at the time, opted for Italian. Good choice.

All the kids (Kallie and Erin and the Wilsons' two sons, Riley and Owen) went swimming after dinner. Riley and Owen provided the entertainment with a water basketball matchup and a diving contest. We called out scenarios and they tried to dive them. Among my favorites were "YMCA" and "speedboat wreck".

The Wilsons have a Noah's Ark scene going here - two horses, two dogs, two cats and two sugar gliders (flying squirrels). Their property was a working dairy farm in a previous life, so there's a barn. The house dates back to 1877.

Here's our route from Pigeon Forge, TN to Chester, VA

Pigeon Forge to Chester

On To Day Eight

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