WEDDING DAY AND CHANTILLY, VA TO HOME (Clarkston, GA)—Friday-Monday, July 5-8, 2013

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July 8th 2013
Published: November 14th 2013
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Friday, July 5th--Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Chantilly, VA.

The groom's parents invited all of their side of the family to brunch at Eggspectation a local restaurant. Neither Valerie nor I, were impressed with what we ordered. Since it was our first time there, we may have just not ordered well as others raved about their meal.

Relaxed and visited some more until it was time to get fancied up for the 5:00 wedding to be held there at the hotel. We thought that the venue was a little unusual, but the bride had a lot of out of town guests so the hotel was a good choice from the standpoint of not having to transport guests from the airport to church and then to a reception. The hotel is apparently booked for weddings all year around. Everything is right there.

Colin Jones and Becca were married in the kind of room used for conferences/workshops. The front area was hung with white netting on the wall and a small platform was put in front of that. Large white flower arrangements sat on pedestals to the side. Seating was like a church with an aisle down the center covered with a white runner. Long stems of white orchid flowers were immersed in water in an arrangement of three tall glass vases at every other row with a lit floating candle on the top, which was pretty. The bridesmaids wore long gowns of deep smoky purple/grey and the men were in black tuxes.

After the wedding ceremony while pictures were being taken, we moved to a room for a cocktail hour with really good hors d'ouvres. Then, we moved back into another large room for a sit down 4-course dinner. After dinner, the party got going with dancing and then some Greek dances with "showering" the Bride and Groom with money. We took some family pictures with Colin and his Bride Becca, and after the cake was cut, our mostly family table of 10 called it a night and headed back to our rooms. We understand that the party continued until 2 am.

Chantilly to Greenwood, VA--Saturday, July 6th

Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Chantilly, VA--Starting mileage was 39,071.

Checked the weather this morning and it is HOT--over 90 degrees north of us is predicted for the whole next week. Heat alerts are out for our planned travel route as well as for our destination in Canada. Additionally, we were somewhat concerned about the amount of rain that had fallen in Atlanta with more heavy rain predicted. So, we decided that we would head for home instead of continuing north.

First, we had breakfast with everyone after checking out of the hotel. Then we headed out to get Rosie II some new tires. Valerie hasn't liked the way they were sounding and with it being so wet, didn't want to risk going home the 660+ miles without getting new ones put on. Had planned to go to a tire place/or Wal-mart but couldn't find the one we had selected off the internet, and lucked onto this HUGE Chevy dealer (Pohanka Chevy) where we were going to ask for directions.

Thought to check on their prices and found out that they were only a $1 more per tire than a big box store. They had 4 tires, in the size we needed, in stock plus they said she needed an alignment that our dealer said he couldn't do as he said he didn't have a heavy truck lift. (Valerie says our local dealer probably couldn’t be bothered as she has seen Rosie up on one of their utility truck ramps before.) So, we sat in an air conditioned waiting room with wifi while she got her new tires put on and while they did an alignment, which the machine showed she really needed. Wish this dealer was close to Atlanta as they were very nice and did a good job right away. After paying up, we went across the street to a noodle shop to have lunch and then headed back the way we came, to intersect with I-66 toward Front Royal.

At Front Royal, we turned south along the scenic 340 that parallels the ShenandoahNational Park and Skyline Drive. We stopped at a couple of campgrounds and found them all full since it was the weekend after the 4th. South of Luray, at the community of Stanley got gas for $3.29 a gallon and she took 18+ gallons. Very pretty drive along farms and small very old communities. Some of them were lined along the main drag with chairs set out waiting for a 4th of July parade. We waved at people as we drove along as if Rosie II was a float entry. Probably not quite the Royal wave, but we got smiles and the kids enjoyed waving back!

Many homes had crowds in the yard around picnic tables with food spread out on them. We wanted to invite ourselves to sit a spell and eat some of them vittles. Could we be their lost cousins???

When we got to Waynesboro we pulled close to I-81 and checked the price of a motel. We found them to be very expensive, so got out the campground books, called around, and located a vacancy in a RV Resort just barely 10 miles east over the mountains off I-64 toward Charlottesville. Very nice place called Misty Mountain Camp Resort. Paid our fee of $34.00 for the night, found our spot, plugged in the electricity, and settled in. It was later than usual as it was 7:45 when we arrived.

Greenwood, VA to Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg, SC--Sunday, July 7th

Misty Mountain Camp Resort--Starting mileage was 39,224 and it was 78 degrees out this morning.

Turning left out of the resort we decided to travel down on this side of the mountain range in an area we hadn't traveled before. Taking scenic road 151 and it was an absolutely lovely drive. Vineyards, horse farms, pretty valleys with mountains on both sides, and quaint very old pre-Revolutionary War communities. Unfortunately, 151 drops back onto highway 29 after 50 miles or so, which we then took back to I-85, retracing our route from Danville, south.

Sometime around noonish we found a local restaurant and pulled in to have lunch. Neither Valerie, nor I, can remember the town it was in, only that it was a small town with a number of articles about very old train wrecks in VA hung on the walls. The place was full of the "after church" lunch crowd so it was interesting to people watch as almost everyone but us obviously knew one another. We had southern food from a small buffet--food OK but a bit spendy if you compared it to the chain "all you can eat" buffets.

As is typical, we got into a traffic jam around Charlotte with an accident and rain slowing all lanes. Got gas at Reidsville, NC at $3.259 a gal and she took 15 gallons.

Pulled into Kings Mountain SC State Park late in the afternoon, paid our fee of $20.65 per night, and settled into a fairly level camping spot. It has rained so hard here that many camp spots have serious erosion problems and are no longer level. NiceState Park built in the 30's by the CCC, right at the border of North and South Carolina and adjacent to KingsMountainNationalMilitaryPark, an American Revolutionary battlefield site that was pivotal to the defeat of the British. With three different parks side by side (CrowderState Park in North Carolina) there are an abundance of trails for hiking and horseback riding.

Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg, SC to Clarkston, GA--Monday, July 8, 2013

Kings Mountain State Park, Blacksburg, SC Starting mileage this morning is 39527 and the temperature is 77 degrees.

Stopped in Gaffney to get gas at a Pilot station for $3.009 per gallon; cheapest we have seen in a long time. Took 19.94 gallons.

We made it home in the afternoon with only about 20 minutes of rain falling on us yesterday. House really humid inside and extremely musty smelling. Not sure what to do if we go away in the summer again. Ending mileage was at 39,749.

Valerie was feeling a little under the weather for the return trip so she took only mental pictures of the pretty drive back.

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