So I just returned this weekend from a bit of a road trip. 2,478 miles roundtrip, to be exact. Last week I attended a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’d been pondering ahead of time about driving instead of flying.
I live in Massachusetts, so it’s not a quick drive, but I thought it might be a great chance to see some places en-route that I’d not seen before. And I know it’s not for everyone, but I really love driving. I could quite enjoy being a trucker, I think! Just cruising long distances, listening to my in-car (or truck!) satellite radio……
Anyway, I’d kept an eye on the weather situation – it can be touch and go this time of year in New England, you just never know when the snow is going to make its appearance. And since we had that early snowfall at Halloween, it was anyone’s guess as to what might happen. I decided I could book a last minute flight if necessary, but it turned out that luck was on my side.
My first stopover was Winchester, VA. I arrived a couple of hours later than expected, courtesy of my GPS making some poor judgement calls….But after a good night’s rest, I set off again, but not before taking in some of the local sights and history.
In Winchester I visited Abram’s Delight, Winchester’s oldest home, built in 1754. The Hollingsworths were one of Winchester’s most prominent families. Abraham Hollingsworth was given 582 acres of land here back in 1734, and built a log house originally. Then in 1754, his son Isaac replaced it with this stone house. Inside you get to see some of their family heirlooms and original belongings from the mid 18th century.
Continuing west, I hit the Strasburg region, along with its beautiful scenic views across Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Belle Grove Plantation and the Battle of Cedar Creek are important pieces of this region’s history – the site of the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek, one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War, effectively ending the Confederate invasion of the north.
A wee bit further along I came to the New Market region. Swung by New Market Battlefield with its Virginia Museum of the Civil War. Wish I’d had a day or two to spare to investigate this place, especially while the weather was like it was. It’s the site of the Battle of New Market during the Civil War – the only time in US history when a student body, the Virginia Military Institute Cadet Corps, charged to victory in combat, chalking up a win for the Confederate Army.
Then it was all business as I continued my journey, heading for my next stop, Knoxville. As usual, there were numerous coffee stops, and I was very excited to find a Dunkin’ Donuts Self-Serve store within a rest stop in Woodstock, VA!
One of my troubles with DDs, as much as I love their coffee, is that they add the cream for you. It seems that most Americans like cows in their coffee, since if left uninstructed, DDs serve me anemic coffee. I’ve mastered the art of getting something that looks brown (only took me 5 years), by asking for my coffee with “just one cream” – they tend to add about 5 to the large sized coffees.
But anyway, I digress – the self-serve option was wonderful, I got to add my own cream at DDs for the first time ever!
Clearly I’m easily pleased…….obviously I don’t get out enough!