Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Girls' Getaway Wintergreen Resort

    The introduction of Airbnb has opened up a new realm of traveling options these days. Decades ago, our options of overnight stays were confined to hotels, inns, and the standard bed and breakfasts. There may have been a hostel here and there, but they were not common in the US. So, if a town didn't have a hotel, inn, or traditional bed and breakfast, we were out of luck. Nowadays, we can travel to any destination we fancy and find a nice, clean place to stay. Over the past few years, we have stayed at several Airbnb's and they have all been exceptionally nice. For privacy, a unique experience, access to out-of-the-way places, and options for families to all stay together in one home, Airbnb's are great.  

The view from the neighborhood at Wintergreen Resort

     Last week, two friends and I rented an Airbnb in Wintergreen Resort, Virginia. This destination is only an hour and a half drive from home so it afforded us a three day getaway without needing to spend a lot of time in the car. We packed our rug hooking and cross stitch supplies and headed to the mountains. Our goal was to make some progress on our crafts away from the distractions of home and duties. We ended up having a lot of fun! The rental house was three stories large and we each had our own bedroom and bath. It offered all the amenities of home along with a huge deck where we could work outside in the sun and shade if we chose. We were renting the house off-season (it's a ski mountain) and we were splitting the cost three ways which made this a very affordable option. 

     I had never been to Wintergreen and I was struck by the beauty of our Appalachian mountains. I was in awe of the multitude of homes built right on the mountainside yet hidden by trees in an unobtrusive way. I enjoyed the serenity of the woods, watching and listening to the variety of birds, walking on a trail nearby, and stepping away from everyday chores. It was good to get away and explore some place new. It was equally good to go back home feeling refreshed and inspired. 

Our view for dinner at The Edge restaurant at Wintergreen.

The waterfall at Upper Shamokin Trail, a loop trail open to residents at Wintergreen Resort. We could hear the falls from our deck.

Current rug project approximately 2x3 feet in size. I hand-dyed the background wool for my interpretation of a punch needle pattern by Kathy Barrick. I wanted a very simple color palette for this rug.

Almost finished with this counted cross stitch pattern by Stacy Nash. Stitched with one strand of thread over two strands of 32ct. linen. The white thread of the house and fence show up brighter in person, thank goodness.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

"Goodbye Reality, Hello Vegas"


     I found the quote for my title online and it reflects my Las Vegas sentiments precisely. Reflecting back on my week in Las Vegas leaves me with so much to contemplate. The environment is so foreign to my reality in every way, the geography, the opulence, the sadness of the human condition, the noise, the lights, the fun, that I still find it hard to wrap my mind around the place. Judging it by my own experience, I had a great time. I met nice people, the food was fantastic, I saw an exciting Cirque de Soleil show, I enjoyed the warm sunshine, and I didn't bet one penny. We stayed at the MGM resort and each day I went out exploring the area. Our room was nice and quiet but once one steps off the elevator to the main lobby and casino, it is an explosion of noise and music and people. How crowded this place is! I found the the array of humanity to be the most overwhelming. The scene from the cantina in "Star Wars; A New Hope" kept flashing through my mind. All the languages, styles, and craziness of humanity swirl about within a few square miles. 

    The week prior to our trip was filled with a visit from all our children and grandchildren. It was the annual, "Everyone Come Visit at the Same Time" week. We had two bonfires that week, ate lots of food, didn't break much of anything, managed to stay out of the poison ivy, and mostly laughed. The grandchildren are growing up but not so much that they didn't enjoy some Cotton Candy Explosion ice cream. (Violet is missing from the photo.) They also still enjoy the blow-up swimming pool. The weather was so hot for two days that we dragged it out and blew it up and the kids had a blast in the water. Chelsea found some good, local, family friendly hikes and I accompanied them on one hike to a wetland area and waterfall that isn't too far away from our house. We had all the woods to ourselves and it was lovely.

     Now that the house is empty again, I see all the signs that our little people left behind. There are hand prints on the windows, a Lego block under the chair, a carefully constructed fairy house, a collection of stones in the garden bed, chalk smudges on the wall, and crayon pictures hung on the fridge. I'm taking my time putting everything back in order. It's gardening time so I divide my day between inside chores and outdoor fun. These perfect, seventy degree days won't last long and I want to enjoy every moment. It's back to reality, which after Las Vegas, is pretty swell.