Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Staycation" at NanaPop's

The Moo and Roo Crew traveled to Roanoke last Thursday to celebrate Pop's retirement after 30 years of dedication and service to his company. Here's a little recap of some things we have done.

Poor quality, but happy family.
Daddy was able to come with us for the weekend so we were FINALLY able to take him down to the Lake.  I grew up 30 minutes from SML and used to "sneak" down there from time to time with friends.(Don't tell Nana. ) It has changed quite a bit in the past %#*% years.  There is now a Downtown Moneta where there used to be only a few old buildings of character featured in What About Bob?  There is now Eastlake as well as Westlake, and some condos next to Bridgewater Plaza. So bizarre.

After exploring around the lake, and perhaps letting the girls sleep a little, we went to one of my favorite spots, Homestead Creamery.  We all enjoyed a little ice cream and the girls enjoyed the animals to pet and the sandbox to play in while I enjoyed shopping  for local meat and eggs. It''s been a challenge to eat real food when travelling because I'm not always familiar with the area. Coming home is a bit different, but still a challenge.   A friend recommended Mountain Run Farm to me a year or so ago, but I just haven't been able to manage the logistics of a pick up there with the girls in tow. Being able to entertain them AND get local meats, eggs, and produce was a wonderful treat for me! It's the little things these days.

We all also enjoyed a yard big enough for us to really play. NanaPop's house sits atop 12 acres in Bedford County. They have about 1.5 acres around the house cleared and that lends itself nicely to adventures, soccer games, and excavations galore. Miss Moo and I were the first ones up on Saturday morning. We spend over an hour outside excavating in the driveway, gathering acorns for squirrels, and cleaning up sticks for Pop. We were both in heaven. The girls were also able to just play. They could run anywhere, go off the deck without rules, and just be kids. No neighbors to watch our volume levels and not disturb, no cars speeding by to be aware of and adjust our behavior accordingly. Just the outdoors and fun.

We also took Daddy to one of NanaPop's favorite Nom Nom spots - Three Little Pigs Barbeque.  Admittedly this restaurant doesn't satisfy all the real food requirements that I should look for these days. But it is local and we know the owners. They have good food, many options for the children that are gluten free, and a simply, family friendly setting. Fun was had by all!

If you are ever in Roanoke, you must visit the Star.

 A neon landmark forever holding a piece of my heart, the Star for me is one of two things that signify home. (The other is the gorgeous "Blue Mountains!!" as Miss Moo calls them.) After dinner, we traveled up the mountain so the girls could see the Star in all her neon glory. Moo was amazed at how big she was after reaching her. Moo wasn't quite sure how all the pretty lights below were the city so I am hoping to take her back up during daylight this week. It was truly special for me to take my kids up to the Star that I always looked for on the way home from vacation and from MBC once I was on college.
Amazed at how big the Star is.

Sadly, Daddy had to return home on Sunday.  The girls and I stayed on for a little Staycation. We have a few more things we'd like to do:

  • Mill Mountain Zoo - admittedly the girls don't favor zoos to farms, but there are animals that are indigenous to the area (cougar, otter, etc.) that I'd like to be able to teach them about.
  • The Salem Duck Pond
  • The Virginia Museum of Transportation for Grandparent's Day
  • Maybe a little trip up the Parkway - the Peaks, anyone?
I'm doing my best to stay connected to the world. After having Daddy here I was spoiled at how easy it was to manage the girls. Two parents is certainly easier than one. NanaPop are terriffic, but nobody, and I mean nobody, can do bedtime like Daddy.
Daddy's little girl.

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