Over the 4th of July my husband, son, and I went on a road trip up the east coast to visit family. I haven’t seem some of my dad’s side of the family in close to 9 years so we figured it was time to catch up. My cousins and I have all had children who needed to meet, and I wanted to show off my son to my mom’s side of the family in PA as well. So we loaded up our truck and took a road trip family vacation. One of the things I miss the most about living in the northeast is the views. You’re always surrounded by mountains and valleys, the views are amazing, and some of them most significant things in our nation’s history happened in my “backyard.” My husband is a huge civil war freak, and when I say huge I mean he can wow you with historical knowledge of places you have lived your entire life and he’s never seen. He once met a friend of his at Gettysburg and took him on a tour of the battlefield- and it was my husband’s first time there. Needless to say his friend was a little freaked out. So in true typical King fashion we stopped at as many historical sites as possible so that my husband could breathe it all in. Maybe it’s because of the handful of field trips I took as a kid, maybe it’s because history bores me (yes, I know, you can save your finger shaking…..it’s just not for me) but when my son started freaking out in Stonewall Jackson’s home in Lexington, VA I wasn’t all that sad to leave my husband alone and explore the little town for a bit. I was kind of bummed that we missed the hot air balloon festival by one day, even more bummed that it was raining and we didn’t have an umbrella, and seriously hungry. So as we walked around Lexington we happened upon two fantastic little shops that I would highly recommend to anyone if you’re ever in the area. The first is a little bakery called Sweet Treats Bakery. Ah-mazing. I have a chocolate mocha mousse cake that was absolutely to die for and Justin had a piece of pecan pie. (Note- when in the north the correct way to say this word is PEE-CAN) The owner was so sweet and when he found out we were tourists stopping for a quick snack before hitting VMI (just another place that absolutely leaves my husband in awe) he brought over about 10 pamphlets filled with fun things to do around the area. I can honestly say that if I lived in Lexington this place would be a frequent stop of mine! You can find them here at http://www.sweettreatsbakery.net
The second place that Brody and I found on our walkabout was Lexington Coffee Roasters. I’ve never been in a coffee bar where they have tastings free to you enjoy. Bonus: in the back of the shop is a cheese bar with cheese tastings! The owner let us sample 3 different coffees in these neat little coffee mug/shot glass type of cup and explained to use the roasting process for each. Justin and I are both coffee nuts so this was pure heaven for us. Justin is kind of a spoiled coffee snob as he works with a guy who orders green coffee beans from around the world and roasts his own coffee. He won’t drink anything except this coffee because it doesn’t give him heartburn, like ever. I was amazed when he bought a bag of coffee to take home with us! Lexington Coffee Roasters ship around the US for a fee of $6.00 and you can find them here at http://www.lexingtoncoffee.com
Once we got to our destinations we had a blast catching up with family, eating wonderful food, swimming in the lake, and playing with sparklers. One the way home we took a detour through Skyline Drive in Front Royal, VA (we lived in Front Royal for about a year when we were first married) and even saw a bear! I was so excited but unfortunately couldn’t get a clear picture of him since I was hanging out of the truck as Justin drove by screaming about the bear. I tried though, and will post a very blurry picture for you to enjoy! I mean really, how many times can you say that you’ve seen a bear!?!
All in all it was a very long but very good trip. It reminds me of how much I miss the food, the culture, the views, and my friends and family. I hope everyone’s 4th was as wonderful as mine!!!