~*The Road Trip Continued*~

Day 3 (Saturday)

Amazing.  Part of me wants to simply leave it at that because it really was.  Amazing.

But I can’t.

So Saturday morning I was up and on the road pretty early.  The day actually started off a little rough.  Leaving WV, I got pulled over by a Sherriff.  Apparently I was doing 55mph in a 40mph zone.  The funny thing was, I could literally see a sign that said the speed limit was 50 five feet in front of where I was stopped.  I politely said as much and the Sherriff informed me that it was 40mph where I was.  The 50mph limit started at the sign.  Seriously??!  It turned out okay though.  He was nice enough and let me go with a warning, thank God.

I think they must’ve had some sort of quota to fill that morning though.  As I was sitting there waiting for the Sherriff to return with my license, insurance, and registration, I saw another car get pulled over just ahead of me.  When “my” Sherriff pulled out on the road, I saw him stop another person just down the road.  Three cars within 500 feet, probably.  Ridiculous.

Anyway.

I had a 3 or 4 hour drive to Louisa, Virginia.  By the time I was getting close, I had butterflies in my stomach.  I felt like it was a first date or something.  That sounds silly, but in a way it was.  Like a first date, I mean.  I was meeting “the Community” for the first time.  I was hoping it would go well.  I was hoping they would like me & I wanted to like them.

I arrived a little early so while I was waiting for others to gather, I sat outside.  It was absolutely beautiful and nearly 80*F.

At 2pm the tour started.  There were 6 others there for the tour.  Our guides were Rusty and Arizona.  I felt a little out of the loop, for a while.  Two of the people on the tour were parents of one of the members of the community and had already been there, visiting, for several days.  One person was a former member of the community and the other three were friends of said former member.  But it was fun and interesting all the same.

Notice the solar panels, in the picture above.  The community is extremely eco-friendly.  One of the residence halls is completely off the grid.  The others are as efficient as possible.

The community grows a lot–most, even–of its own food.  If I remember correctly, they estimate that 60% or more of the members’ food is grown or produced on their own land.  On top of growing their own food, the community also produces tofu which is then sold in the surrounding areas.  I imagine they consume some of themselves, as well.

I took so many other pictures and I could ramble on for hours about the community but I won’t.  I promise.  In short, like I said: Amazing.  I loved it!  I could seriously see myself there one day.  Who knows…

When I finally tore myself away from Twin Oaks, I drove another 1.5 hours to my last hotel.

Day 4 (Sunday)

Yesterday, I woke up pretty early and hit the road.  It was a long day of driving (about 8 hours) so to break it up, I stopped once and went for a hike.  And then I stopped again in Rivesville, WV and went to my family’s property in “The Hollow.”  I love that place.  I’ve never actually lived there but it’s felt like home since the first time I visited with my dad when I was about 11 or 12 years old.

I got home around 7 last night.  I was exhausted but didn’t end up going to sleep until midnight, after getting settled and then ready for this week.

Back at work today but dreaming about Twin Oaks.

It was  a wonderful week’s vacation.  More, please?

~*The Road Trip*~

Day 1 (Thursday)

I didn’t do a lot of driving the first day.  I made my way South, to Columbus.  I went to Pattycake Bakery.  All vegan and all AMAZING.  Well, the two cookies I bought were amazing, at least.

I went to the James Thurber house in Columbus, as well.  The Thurber House was very interesting.  Honestly, I don’t know a lot about Thurber but a friend who died last year told me once that I’d like Thurber and I felt like I needed to check out the place while I was there.

I’m glad that I did.  The Thurber House actually offers various resources for writers and there is a writing workshop coming up that I’m pretty interested in.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing the tuition this time around, but at the very least, I’m glad that I’m aware of the potential opportunities.

Next, I found my way over to the Greenlawn Cemetery.  A little strange, I admit, but I was in the area, and so was Thurber’s grave.

That night I stayed in Cincinnati.

Day 2 (Friday)

On Friday, I made my presidential rounds.  First stop was the Taft house.  Next up was the birthplace of U.S. Grant followed by his childhood home.

The rest of the day was full of driving.  This is when I found myself traveling the Byways.  See Rules of the Road.  😉

It was absolutely gorgeous.  I found myself wondering how people who live in West Virginia (where I was at the time), ever get anything done–with such beauty surrounding them.  The photos simply don’t do it justice.

Friday night I stayed in Ghent, WV.

Day 1 (Friday)

Friday night was my first taste of “stamping.”  I enjoyed it.  More than I thought I would, honestly.  Part of that was simply seeing the end result.  The cards turned out well, I thought.  Maybe I’ll post a picture of them later.

Day 2 (Saturday)

RELAX!  I did nothing.  It was amazing.

Okay, I think I might’ve met a friend for coffee…But it was a long time ago and I’m not sure anymore.

Day 3 (Sunday)

I drove to Cleveland and went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  It was very cool.  I’d never been there before.  Lots of Beatles stuff.  Lots of Elvis stuff.  Lots of lots of stuff. 😉

I also went to the “A Christmas Story” house.  That was a lot of fun, too.  Such a classic movie.  I got the best mug ever in the gift shop.

Day 4 (Monday)

I think this was another relaxing sort of day.  It feels like forever ago and I can’t quite remember.

Day 5 (Tuesday)

I went to my favorite restaurant with myFavoriteMedStudent for lunch.  We ate a LOT.

Later that day, I met up with a different friend and we went out for coffee then to the dollar theater to see a movie.

Day 6 (Wednesday)

I spent the day washing clothes and packing for my road trip.

…to be continued….

After spending the last couple of days road tripping, I’ve come up with a few “Rules of the Road.”

  1. When it is mid-60’s (F) or higher, one must roll the windows down.
  2. Music is essential.  It doesn’t matter what genre or artist.  It can be country, dance, techno, pop, Bob (Dylan or Marley)…Whatever mood the road puts you in at any given time.  Dancing in the car is also a plus.
  3. Drive the Byways whenever possible!!

I cannot stress #3 enough.  I’ll be honest–I didn’t set out with the intention of driving the Byways; it just sort of happened.  I realized that I had no money on me and therefore could not drive toll roads.  (Well, that and I think it’s silly to pay to drive on any road, as I’m already paying for gas, insurance, etc.)  I informed my GPS of this and off we went.  The Byways are not necessarily a direct shot from point A to point B but they are well worth any extra travel.  At least, that’s my opinion, based on what I’ve encountered so far.

I stopped at a number of places to take photos and I’m sure I’ll post some later but right now, I’m ready to relax.  Eight hours on the road will do that to ya.

I haven’t written in a while…Not because I didn’t have anything to write about but because if I’d written about what was on my mind, I would’ve gotten into trouble.  There’s been all kinds of drama at work the past few weeks.  Serious drama.  Not just the, “Omigod, ican’tstandher!” kind of thing (though there has been some of that).  But like, people are in serious trouble, kind of drama.  It’s a mess.

The only thing that’s been keeping me going has been the thought of VACATION TIME!  I had to wait a year to take vacation and even before the year was up in January, I was thinking about what I was going to do.  Next week is Spring Break at our School so I figured it would be the perfect time to run away.  At first, I had big plans to go to DC… Gradually that turned into–Save money & stay in Ohio.  Do things I’ve never done around here.  Then sort of randomly, I decided to go to Virginia. Well, it wasn’t entirely random:

It started with this book called Walden Two by B.F. Skinner.  The book is fiction but depicts an “Intentional Community” (see commune).  After reading that book, I came across a community that was, in the beginning anyway, based on Skinner’s ideas.  This community is known as Twin Oaks.  One of the members of the community wrote two books.  The first was called A Walden Two Experiment.  The second was called Is It Utopia Yet?.  I devoured each of these accounts of the community, and began to think about visiting the place to see what it was all about for myself.

The community, as you may have guessed, is in Virginia.  I’ve planned a sort of road trip that will allow me to take my time getting down there over a few days.  I’ll stop in a couple different cities, do some interesting things, eat some good vegan food, and then end up at the community next Saturday if all goes according to plan.  I’m very excited!  I’m looking to find Utopia there, or something closer to it than what I know here, anyway.

My vacation starts tonight when I leave work.  I have quite a bit planned for the next week and tonight’s festivities will include stamping with LibraryDiva and then out to eat afterwards.  I’ve never done the whole stamping thing but I’ve always admired the creativity of those who do.  LibraryDiva assures me that it does not require all that much creativity but if my cards turn out crappy, I’m blaming her. 😉

While I fully intend to keep this as closely related to law/law school as possible, I thought I’d allow myself this little side note since it sort of is–in a round-about way–related.

So about a month ago, I went to a local Italian festival and ended up really loving this one band that played.  They’re called Ray Massa’s EuroRhythms.  They have a lot of energy and a lot of talent.  They have a big band sort of feel to them with a trumpet, a sax, an accordion, a variety of percussion, a trombone at times, a guitar, a bass guitar, and a number of other instruments that are used for certain songs.  I think it was stated perfectly in their History:

They have been acclaimed for their ability to captivate the younger “Pop Culture” audiences while simultaneously thrilling established fans of Italian and Swing music.

It is that type of music where you could feel comfortable going with your friends or your family; something in it for everyone to enjoy.

When I saw them the first time, it was downtown, at a large, out door amphitheatre.  There were quite a few people in the audience and the stage felt distant.  However, the band still managed to project a familiar and relaxed sort of attitude that drew the crowd in.  They were funny and personable.  It was, overall, a really great show.  I’d originally gone to see a group of performers that weren’t playing until later that evening and ended up more impressed with the EuroRhythms than with the group I’d been looking forward to.  I bought all three of the EuroRhythms’ CDs and went home that evening to look up their tour schedule.

The only time I was able to mesh their shows with my own schedule was this past weekend so I made a little road trip of it.  I had quite a bit of reading to do for school so I took my books with me and spent all day Saturday getting the majority of it done.  Then, around 6pm, I left my hotel and went out in search of this San Rocco Festa.  It wasn’t at all what I expected.  A relatively small park with a number of booths set up with food and a couple with shirts and little fair-type-souvenirs.  The stage was about as small as it could be with a 8 man band and it was roughly constructed.  I had my doubts at first but the EuroRhythms went on to do a great show and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

EuroRhythms

During their break, one of the members of the band came over to talk to a group that I was sitting next to.  When he saw me, he asked if I’d been at the other show.  I said yes and we went on to talk for a few minutes.  I was flattered that he’d remembered me and he said he was flattered that I’d driven two hours just to see them perform.  He told me that I should come up to the front after the show and meet the rest of the band.

So of course I did just that.  All of the guys seemed genuine.  They were very funny and laid back.  I stuck around to talk and take pictures with the guys, and actually ended up hanging out with some of them for a while.  At the end of the night, I was even treated to an a cappella version of one of their songs, as we walked through the parking lot.

It was the perfect way to end my life.  I say that jokingly but honestly, with school I don’t know how often I’ll be able to do things like that anymore.  And that makes me really sad.  I suppose I’ll just have to make the time for little weekend trips.  I’ve already got it in my head that I’m going to somehow manage to get all of my work done during the week and have weekends to myself…so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I am a very nontraditional student in the number of classes I’m taking.  My school is very flexible, for which I am eternally grateful, and I am only taking two classes this first semester–Contracts and LARW.  That should make life a little bit easier than it might otherwise be…but I’ll still be working from 7-4 Mon-Fri and in class 3 nights a week.

Anyway.  This week has been Orientation.  AKA crazy.  I’ll definitely post about that within the next couple of days.

So until then–