United States of America · 309 Days · 279 Moments · August 2017

Laurie & Gary's Year in Lynchburg

16 June 2018

On our way to live in FLORIDA. Only 20+ years after we decided that this was our desire....better late than never! And so ends this chapter in our lives. Our year in Lynchburg lasted only 10 months and while it was far from perfect it was a wonderful experience. We have many fond memories and will enjoy reliving them when we look back in this journal.

15 June 2018

For the 2nd time in less than a year, we are packing to move! Ack! At least this move wasn't nearly as huge (or stressful) as the last one! (We only needed one 26' truck rather than two!). We are already looking back on the little living space that 3 of us shared and thinking, "How did we do that for 10 months!"

14 June 2018

We spent our next-to-last night in LBurg having dinner with Kayla. We'd planned to eat dinner and dessert at Altus Chocolates but their only entree option of salad was unavailable due to the fact that (apparently) someone fell short on the job and allowed at the lettuce to rot! So instead we journeyed next door to Market At Main and ate there. We did go back to Altus for dessert....flourless chocolate cake and gelato. The cake was a bit dry but gelato was good. It was nice to be together one last time (for the next few months).
We wanted to visit the Skyine Restaurant at the Virginian Hotel before we left! Overall, it was a bit underwhelming. Pretty pricey and the view good, but not great.

12 June 2018

We had a wonderful time with Charlie & Emily (from our small group) at RA Bistro! Good food and even better conversation! We love this sweet couple and will miss them!
Sweet Kim, from our small group dropped by to give us a goodbye-card and bag full of traveling snacks! We so appreciated her (and Jordan's) thoughtfulness and will miss them both very much! Hopefully, they will come visit us in Florida!

10 June 2018

Venue Cinemas, from the outside. This is most likely our last time here (to see Ready Player One) and we are sad thinking that there isn't one of these in Mt. Dora 😩.
Our last Sunday in town means our last church service. We have so enjoyed our time with the folks and in the building at Gospel Community Church Rivermont. It is a beautiful, historic building and the teaching & worship were wonderful. We were privileged to step into the life of this church at the time when two congregations were coming together as one, and to create relationships with folks from both. We hope to find a similar community in Florida.

9 June 2018

The rains kept us inside on our last Saturday in town but thankfully we were able to watch two fellow Lynchburgians get married out in California. Congrats to Tyler & Katie Bentley! Sorry we won't be here when you get back to town but hopefully you will get to do some of the terrific things here in Hill City that we have documented. Thank you, Holly Bentley for sharing this with us on Facebook. It was great to see the ceremony and all those men up front with Tyler that we know - Dave, Schuyler, Nathan, Stephen & John, along with Belinda, you and Chris in the audience!
Viewing rainbows from the roof of our apartment never gets old for Gary. Might as well enjoy it while you have it!
We are so appreciative on this hot summer-like day (it's not summer until June 21st) for John & Sharon Tallman to be out of town so that we could sneak into their backyard and use the pool ... Kidding! They are out of town but granted us the favor of using the pool and boy, did it feel good! It is interesting how much more you enjoy the time in the pool when you are not the ones responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. 😉

8 June 2018

Our favorite thing to do in Lynchburg - wine tasting at Magnolia Foods - one last time.

7 June 2018

CAPS WIN! It only took 44 years but... THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!! We wish that we were with our boys to celebrate.
We struck gold this evening... On the first Thursday of the month The Great Room at the Kirkley Hotel has their Pint Night. For $5 you get to sample four of their craft beers on tap (out of 20) and eat whatever appetizers they put out - on this night it included chicken wings (buffalo & BBQ), cheese & crackers, and bacon-wrapped shrimp. The room is more of a lounge than a restaurant so you can pick your spot and spread out with your friends - we were going to play cards but were a bit too focused on our food. All-in-all, this was probably the best deal we found in Lynchburg.
The library on the LU campus is huge and practically empty, but Kayla and Gary are able to find each other even though neither one knows the other is going to be there.

6 June 2018

We said goodbye to our Small Group friends tonight! It's been wonderful having the opportunity to get to know this terrific group of folks and we so appreciate them welcoming us into their group. We will miss them.

5 June 2018

Here's a place we didn't even know we wanted to visit before we left town but we stumbled across it while wandering down Timberlake road. We almost ate here a few years ago - it was after a show and the girls were trying to find a place that was open for desert and we had Dean with us and he was sick, but the place was closed! - anyway, this is nothing like the store in Boonsboro. It's all soft serve here and they have these funky swirl designs - we got a strawberry cone for Gary and a banana sample for Laurie. The ice cream is okay (it's not custard, yo) but the atmosphere is awesome - we can see why it was a favorite of the college crowd. If we were to be here all summer it would be a regular stop of ours.
Mom (again!) had visitors from Maryland! Her sweet Brunswick friends, Sandy, Kay, Pat & Jackie came for an afternoon visit, enjoying a time of catching up. We so appreciate them driving so far to come see Mom! ❤️

3 June 2018

More Crabtree photos.
We had only 2 places we wanted to hike before we left Lynchburg and we almost didn't go to either one because the weather didn't look too promising. But we figured if we didn't do it on this day where the rain "should" hold off for a few hours then we may not get another chance. We choose Crabtree Falls because it was closer and we were hoping it would be better than Panther Falls. On the way there it started to rain at a pretty good clip but we were determined to get in one more good hike from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thankfully, the rain subsided by the time we got there and we were encouraged by the throwback National Forest sign. Well, this trail did not disappoint! It is a moderate trail with plenty of handrails & steps to help get you up. But the view is what makes this one special. The lower falls are a nice display (already better than Panther) but the more you trek the steeper the falls, and the better the view! Well worth the trip!

2 June 2018

Darryl and Jody Horner, friends of mom's from Glenelg UMC in Howard County, came to visit mom and take her out to lunch! The enjoyed some delicous food at The Depot Grille and had a wonderful visit. It meant the world to mom that they would drive 4 hours (one way!) just to spend an afternoon with her!

1 June 2018

Brauburgers offers some interesting craft burgers so we decided to try The Berliner. It was delicious but it could've used a bit more sauce to offset the fried egg on top. We made this our #2 burger in Lynchburg. Oh, and the happy hour deals (see the sign behind Gary) look pretty good. ;-)

28 May 2018

We figured that we need to get our picture taken at the Craddock Terry shoe before we leave. We walked through the hotel lobby afterwards and were very impressed with the decor and antique items. It seems like it would be a lovely place to stay!
Memorial Day 2018 - the war monument in downtown Lynchburg.
We are in Roanoke with Kayla to peruse the local shops and meet up with Kevin & Sherry Williams for some lunch. We found many nice items but were taken back a bit by their prices. But the time with with the Williamses was terrific and lunch was tasty.

27 May 2018

One of our family's favorites comes to the Venue. Kayla joins us to take in the best summer of Smalls' life. Also, we like to hear the name of the one character with the name of our previous home street (Wendy Pfefferkorn).

25 May 2018

This evening out of the city consists of a burger for Gary from the Colleen Drive-In to go with a picnic dinner on the grounds of the Blue Mountain Barrel House in Arrington. The entertainment for the evening was a bluegrass group crammed on a tiny stage, but the food and beer were yummy. As a good-bye present we bought a case of Dark Hollow to enjoy in Florida!

23 May 2018

This conversation took place on the LU campus: "Dad? I didn't expect to see you in the library!" "I didn't expect to see you ...with child!" "Well, there's something I have been meaning to tell you about.." She was babysitting. So, it turns out that we were both working!

21 May 2018

One last Bentley get-together! We missed seeing you guys on graduation so it was nice that Holly & Nathan came back down to help Tyler so that we could all meet at Maylynn's Creamery for some yummy over-priced ice cream. It was such a good time sitting and sharing about life and Lynchburg!
This is interesting. A bear sighted on Percival Island where we have walked many times and where Laurie does so by herself on a path off of the paved trail. Time to research what to do when you come face-to-face with a bear!

20 May 2018

Back to hiking on Liberty Mountain. It is nice that there are many trails to choose from and we can stop off at the monogram for a picnic and enjoy the view.

19 May 2018

She walks! Later in the day we are back on campus for the ceremony of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. It was supposed to be on the baseball field but the university decided to move all afternoon outdoor activities inside. The Theater Arts class was last among the groups and Kayla ended up being the very last graduate in the school to walk across the stage. She was adorable. First she ran up the steps and then with arms flailing did a happy-walk over to Linda Cooper, the school's Chair, to give her a big hug. Her smile beamed for all to see as she posed with the Dean of the school, Scott Hayes. Lastly, she pumped her fist and shouted "Woo" In a perfect stage voice. We could not be more proud of her.
We take Kayla to Bootlegger's for a celebratory dinner and while our time together and the view were enjoyable the meal itself was disappointing. We met there early to allow for plenty of time to get to the ceremony back at LU and to avoid the typical dinner time rush. The restaurant was busy but not overcrowded (we were sat right away) and we all ordered salads - Gary was going to get a burger but the menu states that they take 20 - 25 minutes so he decided not to, in case time became an issue. We waited over 40 minutes to receive our salads and two of them were missing ingredients - it was almost if we caught them off guard by not ordering burgers.
Graduation day had rain forecasted (after raining much of the week) so we were surprised to hear that they decided to keep with the scheduled plans...but with the exception of some light drizzle, the rains held off! We sat high in the stands while Kayla sat with her friends down on the football field; at one point getting the whole row to stand and wave so that we could see where she was located. We aren't sure why Kelsey's name is in the program (you DID graduate last year ...didn't you, Kelsey?) We were very fortunate to hear Dr. Ben Carson and President Jimmy Carter speak - neither of whom are great speakers, but that is not what they are known for. We were impressed with 94 year-old President Carter and all that he has done and continues to do to further the Gospel of Jesus. We also appreciated the reflection into the history of the Falwell family and how tragedy helped cause the school into existence. Later in the day Kayla would walk across the stage...

17 May 2018

Our Gospel Community Church Rivermont small group!

14 May 2018

Kayla's Advanced Musical Theater class held a cabaret for their final and invited family & friends to watch. Each student was to perform a solo, duet and trio as well as the final number which included the whole class. We have become familiar with most of these talented young people so it was a treat to hear them perform in an intimate setting, although not perfect as the piano tended to be too loud most of the time. It was a terrific way for us to see her perform one last time with her college classmates.

13 May 2018

The final show of the LU theater season and the last of Kayla's college career was terrific. She and the rest of the cast did such a terrific job with the show - we laughed throughout (except when they announced that the king had died, of course). We are truly excited to see what happens next for Kayla... well, after graduation, of course... and then we DO know she will be in 'Hamlet' in Lynchburg - but after all THAT!
Mother's Day 2018 and we have 3 generations of Moms in our apartment: Ruth, Laurie and (for her vert first one of many) Courtney. We celebrated with a delicious brunch and a game of Settlers of Catan. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Courtney, Ryan & Jackson - it was wonderful to have that time together.

12 May 2018

Ryan and Courtney gave us some two-on-one time with Jackson while they went to see Love's Labor's Lost which they enjoyed immensely.
Brother Glenn brought nephew Ben down for the day to see Kayla's show and join us for lunch at the apartment (and to say 'Hi' to Ruth) and dinner at Poke-E-Joe's BBQ. We were so grateful to have time with them - thanks, boys!
Saturday morning and we are taking Courtney & Ryan & Jackson on a walk downtown, which is the best way to experience Lynchburg. We stop in the farmers market to see what the locals have to offer then head down to see bluff overlook for views of the James River. We wind down to Jefferson Street then back up the steep hill on 9th. As a reward we pop into Mrs. Joys for a cinnamon roll - we tried to get a picture with some perspective to show just how large these things are but the photos still don't do it justice. And what you don't see in the pic is just how delicious they are! Now, they do come at a high price, but one served the four of us easily!

11 May 2018

Magnolia Foods on Rivermont Avenue offers wine tastings for $1 on Friday nights and we are happy to have the opportunity to share it with Ryan & Courtney. If you like to try different wines then this is a worthwhile investment as they generally have 5 or 6 different ones to sample each Friday night and the owner will give you detailed information about each.
Courtney & Ryan are in town to see Kayla's show which means we get to spend some quality time with Jackson! We love how he looks in the Beatles bib we bought for him. And we could not capture how cute he was wrapped in the towel after bath time but this is close. He is adorable and cute (which is what every grandparent says), and we love to have the opportunity to feed, play, bathe, burp, change, walk and talk with him!

10 May 2018

Multiple showers blew through town today giving us another beautiful rainbow view from atop the building where we had a nice little 'picnic'. But it also gave us our first hail storm here (zoom in on the last photo to see the tiny little hail balls on the ground).

8 May 2018

The best cheesecake in Lynchburg! It's not saying much since we haven't had too much cheesecake since we moved here but nonetheless it is really, really good - soft and creamy in the middle and smooth around the outer edge with a bit of cream and fresh fruit. Oh, it can be found at My Dog Duke's Diner.

6 May 2018

Showers in the early evening give way to full rainbows here in Lynchburg and for the select few of us who live in the Gish Flats lofts we are treated to a pretty spectacular view from the rooftop deck. If you look closely you will see the second rainbow outside of the first one.

5 May 2018

This was quite a day. For the first time since Ryan & Courtney's wedding we had all four of our kids together along with Jackson (unfortunately, Courtney had to stay back in MD to work). Kyle had planned a trip to MD to play in a show with some old friends of his on Friday and then decided to come to Lynchburg with Ryan to see a show. We kept this a secret so that he could show up at Kayla's show & surprise her, which he did and she was! To add to the fun we got to see the Bentley family along with Tina & Savannah Perry, who also saw the show, in the lobby afterwards. We did get some time together to reminisce about family vacations - it is interesting how some of us remember different events while others do not - whilst eating Chinese food at Shanghai Express which was just okay. We also got to have some time with Jackson, even taking him for a stroll through downtown.

4 May 2018

Opening night of Love's Labor's Lost - fun show and Kayla was beautiful! While we are admittedly not huge Shakespeare fans, this show was very energetic and funny! Kayla was so great in the role of Roselin and the production was well done and enjoyable!
Another trip to Fifth & Federal with Kelsey to celebrate - this time it is for her to say 'goodbye' to Lynchburg. For the second year in a row she will be acting with Student Life at camp in various locations from Georgia to Texas and various places in between. While we have bid Kelsey 'adieu' for the summer before it feels a bit odder this time around as we aren't sure if she will be joining us in Florida after her summer job. We are very excited for her and look forward to hearing about the opportunities she has to share the love of Christ with the kids at her camps.
Laurie discovered a new trail that we missed when previously walking on Percival's Island - the Seven Rails Trail. It juts off the paved path on the island and takes you down closer to the James river. It is a terrific little trek that reminds us of the types of paths we would wander down during our childhood. Eventually you end up back on the path just short of the bridge at the end of the island.

28 April 2018

Today we needed to take a bunch of Kelsey's stuff to our storage unit as she soon heads out for her summer (dream) job with Student Life Ministries, as an actor traveling from camp to camp across 7 states. We loaded up our friend's truck (thanks, John!) and our SUV with her treasures and headed to the unit. Unfortunately for Gary, who was driving the truck, the mattress decided to make a break for it (in an attempt to escape its pending captivity) by leaping over side the of the truck, landing in the street. Poor Gary had to drag the rogue mattress out of the road and onto the sidewalk while irritated drivers drove around the truck. After borrowing straps from an auto mechanic shop across the street, we were able to deliver the mattress and the rest of Kels's crap to the unit safely. Job well done. 😊

27 April 2018

Tonight we headed up the road a ways to the Blue Mountain Brewery Barrel House for some local brew, food & music and we were not disappointed. The atmosphere was fabulous, sitting outside on a warm spring evening listening to some live music watching the old and young intermingle. Gary enjoyed his favorite brew and was surprisingly satisfied with a bratwurst & fries while Laurie brought her own libation & 'picnic' meal. We would be here regularly if it weren't so far out of town - but we will be back before we leave, just so we can get the 20% off a case of Dark Hallow to take with us!

26 April 2018

We ended up at My Dog Duke's Diner tonight because...well, we didn't want to eat at a different local establishment - not because we didn't like it but because we weren't prepared for the type/style of food they offered. Anyway, we didn't realize that Duke's was now open for dinner and while we have had mixed reviews on what they have served before we thought we'd give their dinner menu a try (mostly because Gary heard Adam Snavely say that they have the best fried chicken in town). So naturally we ordered a turkey club, which was not very good. But the waitress did bring us extra turkey which did help (still wish we had gotten the chicken). But the green beans were delicious. If it weren't for the beans and a very good waitress this night would have been a disaster. There are two things that will cause us to go back to Duke's: the coffee is only $1.85 and bottomless, so we want to give it a try,and the cheesecake looked delicous!
This is in the window of The White Hart Cafe downtown. It's so weird seeing your child's face plastered up on a wall in public. Just thankful it isn't a "Most Wanted" poster!

23 April 2018

Gary is back in Roanoke meeting with Kevin this time at Jack Brown's Joint which server burgers, brew and classic rock n' roll. While their menu features some memorable names (The Greg Brady & The Daniel Laruso top the list) they don't make up for the fact that the patties are small and over cooked. Thankfully the food wasn't the reason he went and time with Kevin was pretty solid.

22 April 2018

We are back on campus to hear one final (well, two, actually) play reading. Kayla is at the table with many familiar faces reading first as a mom who is dealing with kids afraid of the monsters in the dark, and then as a girlfriend with food allergies meeting her boyfriend's family for the first time - at Thanksgiving! Another entertaining evening, and cheap date!
As a treat for our efforts on the trails today we stop at Sluggo's Sundae Drive for some homemade ice cream. It is smooth & creamy but doesn't quite measure up to Vandewende's (on Route 404 in Delaware). However the staff is very nice and the spoons will be brought back to be used again.
To make up for the disappointment of Panther Falls we drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway (hard to believe this is our first time down this road since before Kelsey started attending LU!) to pick up the Appalachian Trail at a place called Punch Bowl Mountain Overlook. Here we have plenty of trail to walk down so we are able to get our hiking fix in for the day. The trip out and back took us by Elon, VA which received the worst damage from the tornado last Sunday. Here entire homes were wiped clean and all that is left is the foundation slab with debris, while others received only minor or no damage at all. That last picture is the foundation of a home on Route 130. It was an eerie sight to see from the road as it looked like what you see on the news after a devastating storm. We didn't want to gawk but it was impossible not to feel empathy for the people who are having to put their lives back together.
It's a Sunday with decent weather so we are off to do some hiking. We make the hour long trip to Panther Falls only to find there are more rapids than falls in the water. Also, the hike was more like a leisurely stroll which included passing 3 shirtless young men whittling spoons out of oak and a couple in shorts and sandals carrying Solo cups filled with their beverage of choice. We were not impressed. It looked like it might be a neat place to cool off but based on the traffic on this day we're guessing that the place gets pretty crowded on hot summer afternoons. The most excitement was the 3 mile trek down Panther Falls Road which is single land, unpaved and includes some pretty steep drop-offs. Yeah, we won't be back.

21 April 2018

It's a beautiful Saturday and we have found a trail in Lynchburg that we have not traversed. The Woodland Trail in Ivy Creek Park is a simple little trip around a lake which seems best suited for fishing families. The park is quaint but rather small, and the trail is far too short for us. But we were glad to be able to get out and enjoy the weather!

20 April 2018

We are at Thomas Road Baptist Church (which is NOT on Thomas Road) for the Hillsong Worship 'There Is More' tour. We really enjoy these worship concerts and will look to do more of them in our future.
Something that we really appreciate in downtown Lynchburg are the Japanese Cherry Blossoms. There are streets which have stretches of them planted, including Court street directly across from our apartment, and they have come out in full bloom this week. This was the same tree in our front yard back on Pfefferkorn and it is a nice memory for us as we LOVED that tree.

18 April 2018

Adventures of living with Ruth: Tonight as we walked toward the front door, returning to our apartment, we could hear music blaring into the hallway. Gary joked that mom was having some kind of party. But when we opened the door we found that it was indeed coming from our apartment! Somehow someone activated Alexa and turned the volume up on the speaker ... a lot! And so we walk in to see mom sitting in her chair watching 'The Voice' (strictly for the male eye-candy) with the volume turned all the way down and music blasting to the level of a college frat party, but she has no clue about the noise. Then, trying to tell her about what was going on and how it possibly could have happened, well it was a combination of charades, an explanation of phonetics and an acceptance of the supernatural or sneaky neighbors.
LU officially announced that Kayla's play will be presented next May as one of their academic productions. We are so proud of and excited for her!! So, it looks like we will be back here in Lynchburg for a couple of days in 2019.

17 April 2018

Back to the Venue theater this time with Kelsey & Kayla to see 'Jumanji'. We recommend it for a good night of laughter.

16 April 2018

While we were driving back from MD a tornado hit Lynchburg. Thankfully, it did not come straight up route 29 otherwise it would have hit us! These are from a neighborhood just 3 miles away, on the street where John & Sharon Tallman live!

15 April 2018

MD pt. 5 - Campbell/Reichard family reunion. Jeff & Lynda graciously allowed us to share their home with Ryan, Courtney, Jackson, Glenn, Cinde & Steve, and Kathie & Tim. What a great time of catching up on the lives of our relatives and getting to relax in a comfortable, open environment. And to take lots of pictures of Jackson!

14 April 2018

MD Trip, Part 4.... We went to see Stagelight 's (our old theatre group) production of MY FAIR LADY. We really enjoyed the show as well as seeing many friends and former students! We thought John Dransfield and Nathan Bentley were wonderful in their roles!
MD trip, pt. 3... We meet up with the MD Reichard's at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. There were preparations for a big event in the evening - hence the sign. Best of all...we stopped in Shake Shack for burgers & shakes!
MD Trip, Pt. 2.... We met up with Janet (at Panera - good food) & Glenn (Dempsey's - overpriced and nothing special) in Olney on Saturday morning. It was a great time of catching-up . And Stephanie even dropped by to say Hi! :)

13 April 2018

Weekend in MD, pt. 1. We arrive at the house of Jeff & Lynda Wellen where we are joined by Ryan & Jackson (sadly, Courtney had to work), and Michael W. We enjoyed sitting around a fire pit with food & drink and reminiscing. The Wellen's live in the neighborhood across the street from our old house which allowed us to see how it looked (...the same!)
Debbie Mobley, from Glenelg United Methodist Church (and one of our theater buddies), sent these for Ruth. This is the second floral arrangement she has sent (what a sweetheart!) and they truly brighten Ruth's day, and ours as well!

12 April 2018

We hit Bootleggers for their happy hour menu. The burger was very good - in the top 4 of Lynchburg - but the Garlic & Parmesan fries, while tasty, were undercooked and a bit on the soggy side. We think next time we go, Laurie will ask to oversee the fry-prep! Note: While their HH drinks are okay, Fifth & Federal are considerably less $$ (and the same size). ;) That said, the VIEW from the restaurant is great.... one of the best in the city!

9 April 2018

It snowed again. Maybe this will be the last one!

8 April 2018

We all went to Chantilly, VA, to attend the wedding of Justin & Heather Moe, which was appropriate considering that we brought the two of them together. They met at Ryan & Courtney's wedding where he was the videographer and she the photographer (and Kelsey sent Justin's number to Heather when she inquired). There was a great mix of people we knew there from Stagelight Productions, Howard County Summer Theater and Liberty University, including Hans & Lisa Meeder! The reception was in Vienna,VA, and included Mission BBQ (yum!). We truly enjoyed catching up with the Dransfield & (not pictured) Custis clans. And somehow Tom Sankey made us feel missed.
On April 8th we drove to northern Virginia for a wedding (more on that later) and met up with Ryan, Courtney & Jackson as well as Kelsey & Kayla. This was the first time that the girls got to hold their nephew and they were both ecstatic!

6 April 2018

Back at LU to see another show and an old friend in his last production, Tyler Bentley. The show, 'Kin', is based on a true story which took place not far from here in Madison Heights and Charlottesville. It was very intriguing and enjoyable to watch - and quite sad knowing that we sterilized people whom we judged to be inferior.

5 April 2018

Displayed on the fridge are the results of our second paint night ... they look much better in the photo than in person.
This is the poster that LU created for Kayla's upcoming show and we love it!
On their way to North Carolina Ann & David Wood stopped by to share lunch with Ruth. We are so grateful for the loving friends from Glenelg United Methodist Church back in MD who write letters to Ruth all the time; and especially thankful for these two who went out of their way to pay a visit and brought a bouquet of daffodils from their garden. This made her so happy.

3 April 2018

For a quiet dinner out at the Emerald Grille we chose a simple menu for ourselves - the Emerald Club sandwich split between us with a side salad (instead of fries) and an extra side order of mashed sweet potatoes. The food was quite good and there plenty for the two of us. The wait staff was not only attentive (which is not surprising for a slow Tuesday night) but also very generous - when Gary requested to sample some of their beer on tap our waitress perked up and was willing to offer as many samples as we wished to try. The bourbon barrel and coffee stout brews were both excellent. We will plan on returning to try other menu items and beer!

1 April 2018

We celebrated Easter in the apartment with Kayla and her friends Lucia (a roommate) and Aiden, both of whom were such a joy to talk to and hear their stories (Aiden's family is military and has lived all over the US while Lucia's parents are missionaries and she is from Italy). We spent some time teaching them to play Sevens but then broke out the cupcakes - Lemon Lavender and Vanilla - then everybody's tastebuds were happy!

31 March 2018

We like to take walks but on this day our walk was interrupted, and we didn't mind! We were strolling across the LU campus which was pretty quite since it was the Saturday before Easter and we stumbled upon the softball stadium where the Flames were taking on some poor Big South contender, but there wasn't much of a contest as the home team won 8 - 0. However we enjoyed watching the game from the outfield grass as well as in the stands - they have a beautiful stadium - all at no cost! This is something we plan on doing again before the season is over.

30 March 2018

Dublin 3 has such nice designs in their coffee that you almost hate to drink it. But since I can't take the cup home with me ...

28 March 2018

Gary said to Alexa "Play Kari Jobe." Over the speaker came: "Knock, knock." "Who's there?" "Monster." "Monster who?" "I don't know. I don't like knock, knock jokes." Apparently Alex has trouble interpreting Gary's morning voice. From now on he is not allowed to talk to Alexa until after his first cup of coffee.

25 March 2018

There are moments when living with Ruth brings out its own special brand of comedy. Like these notes that she left and signed them with "M" & "Mom", as if we wouldn't know these were written by her. Then there was the incident yesterday after Gary slipped passed her chair in order to get to the fridge to which she commented "you are the quietest person!"

24 March 2018

This is the tipoff of the LU vs. Central Michigan men's basketball quarterfinal game in the CollegeInsider.com post season tournament. Yeah, it's not the NCAA tourney but it's a home game during spring break and we have awesome seats. All told there were somewhere between 200 and 300 people in attendance so we would have had to work hard to sit in some bad seats! We had fun watching and listening to the coaches & players...plus the Flames won to advance to the semifinal game!

22 March 2018

We read reviews online that the Cavalier Store has excellent burgers ("the best in Viginia") and fries ("worth the trip"). So when our friends John & Sharon Tallman invited us to meet for dinner we were anxious to go and try the food. We had a bacon burger with fries and coleslaw and, no, it is not the best burger in VA - not even the best in Lynchburg. And while the fries have a nice seasoning on them they are not going to get our return business - they are not "bad", it is just that there are many other better options in town. However, it was worth the trip just to hang with John & Sharon. And the place has a pool table and dart board and it did remind us of joints in Wheaton that we went to ... Well, that Gary went to ... with his Dad.

21 March 2018

March 21st - the first day of spring and Lynchburg gets 3.5 inches of snow. We are hoping this is the last significant snowfall that occurs where we live ... for the rest of our lives!

18 March 2018

Jackson, Courtney & Ryan showed up the day after Gary got home from Texas and surprised Laurie. It was only 90 minutes together but the kids got to rest and we got to be with Jackson again! A bonus was that Ruth got to see her latest great-grandchild and Gary got some more play time with Riley Mae. The time together was too short but it is good to know they are only a four hour drive (not two days) away.

17 March 2018

While Gary was lounging about in Texas playing with Jackson, Laurie was left to fend for herself in Lynchburg, Thankfully, Janet came to the rescue and spent two nights here, keeping Laurie off the Funny-Farm (for now anyway). Laurie & Janet did the "Bakery Tour of Lynchburg" over two days (our own form of entertainment), shopped, walked around downtown and spent hours talking and catching up. It was wonderful being together!

14 March 2018

Gary finally makes his way back to Lubbock, TX (he and Ryan were there in 2012 for a visit to the Texas Tech campus) and gets to see Jackson for the first time when the family picks him up at the airport. What a beautiful boy - he smiles at Courtney when she makes funny noises and like to look at Ryan and cell phones. Gary was there to help them pack up and move out of Texas, although they did most of the work and he just drove their car back east for them (more on that later). While in Lubbock Gary was treated to some deliciously yummy cheese sticks (pictured) at Spanky's, and fabulous Mexican food at Chuy's. The family poses in front of their cute (first) home for the last time. Brian Campbell joined them on Thursday - that is him asleep on the wood floor - to help with the ride back.

13 March 2018

It's the night before Kayla leaves on her missions trip to Europe and we are on the LU stage being treated to the music, skits and testimonies that her team will have on display while over there. It was so encouraging to see the work they had put into this and to give us a vision for what they will be doing so that we could pray specifically that their message would be received.

12 March 2018

Super-sad day today as we had to put our beloved Maddie down. We'd known her health was declining over the past several weeks, and trips to the vet and meds did nothing to help. She was a sweet, loving dog and will be missed very, very much.

4 March 2018

Before taking Kelsey back to the train station so she can head back to Atlanta we headed back to LU for another play reading. It is such a great way to be entertained at no cost whatsoever! Tonight's play was quite funny but (of course) not as good as Kayla's.
We finally took an opportunity to INDULGE in a cup of European Sipping Chocolate at Altus Chocolate. Oh. My. It's was sooooo delicious! An added plus was the samples of chocolate cheesecake they were offering! YUM.
We love being able to spend time with our kids, and they love when we take them out for food! Back to Panera after church for some delicious lunch

3 March 2018

Saturday turned a bit adventurous, okay not really but for us right now it was just a little bit as Brian texted that his train to Charlottesville was cancelled and all the buses out of town were full. So we drove him up the road then spent the afternoon shopping at two of our favorite food places - Trader Joes and Harris Teeter!

2 March 2018

We told you Kelsey was in town! And here we are back at the Tower Theater to see Kayla again in 'Bye Bye Birdie'. Before the show we took the girls to Chipotle for dinner and some 'Reichard theater talk'. After the show we went out with Brian to share food & drinks and talk about life.

1 March 2018

We begin March by making two trips to the Lynchburg Amtrak station - the evening of the first Gary picked up Brian Campbell who came in town to see 'Birdie', then the next morning Laurie picked up Kelsey who had traveled all night from Atlanta. No pic of coffee, but Kelsey & Laurie had a nice time catching up over java at The White Hart. But there is a pic of Brian at Dublin 3 with a beautiful cup of coffee and the best (and most expensive) cinnamon roll in town, which comes from Mrs. Joy's.

27 February 2018

We made the trip out to Forest to try The Best of Lynchburg 2018's best burgers at Brauburgers. We created our own with hard cider apple bacon, lettuce, tomato & mushrooms and paired that with chipotle citrus bbq chicken wings. This was worth the trip - excellent food and terrific atmosphere! We will be back for more!
The name of the salon got Gary's attention and eventually his money. How can a Beatles fan not go into Billy Shears to get his haircut? Tony has owned the place for 35 years and is a very nice, personable guy who did a fine job, but he did have a little help from his friends.

25 February 2018

The quest for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe continues... This go-round included an almond variety as well! However, I (Laurie) wasn't satisfied with the result, so the tweaking resumes. Practice not only makes perfect but also makes a lot of (now frozen) cupcakes!

24 February 2018

Many folks down here rave about Rivermont Pizza so we decided to wade in to give it a try. We chose to have bacon & mushroom while Ruth had just cheese. The verdict: it was good; not great; not awful; and not going to keep us from going to try a different local place for the best pizza (outside of Ledo's, says Gary).

23 February 2018

Back to LU to see Kayla in 'Bye Bye Birdie'. She made us laugh with her portrayal of Gloria Rasputin - and she made us smile as she danced and sang through many of the numbers. We can't get enough of her on stage so we will go back next weekend to see the show again!
Another work date at a coffee shop - this time it's Dublin 3 located downtown. It is a very nice looking shop with some good coffee and a quite atmosphere. The table we sat at wasn't the most comfortable so next time we will be at a low-rise table. Overall, it is a terrific place and worth a visit or two... We will be back.

17 February 2018

We celebrated Laurie's birthday with an assortment of her favorite foods - shrimp, wings, veggies, salsa & wine. It was a great end to an otherwise dreary day (Laurie doesn't like cold and rain). She received a couple of cute presents from her brother, Bruce, which she modeled for him to see.

16 February 2018

Friday night and we ventured back to Venture Theaters to take in 'The Last Jedi'. We both enjoyed it but couldn't help thinking that these are all starting to kind of have the same look and feel to them. We also think that if there isn't a $2 theater in Florida then we will open one ourselves so that we can do what these guys are doing here in Lynchburg. We love seeing movies on the big screen, and not just the recent releases but the classics and cult favorites as well.

15 February 2018

The Farm Basket is a cafe & store that sits along the Blackwater Creek. We have been here a few times now and today stopped in to sit and work in the cafe area. There is a nice upstairs section with quaint tables & chairs that has a pretty view of the creek. We missed out on the cafe as it was closed by the time we arrived but there were still plenty of beverage offerings to choose from, however not too many low calorie options. Another negative is that there is no internet. All of these negatives added up to a nice, quite, empty space where we were able to get work done without interruptions.

14 February 2018

We "celebrated" Valentine's Day this year by making cupcakes for our small group, exchanging chocolate (the picture taken is more about the boxes than what is inside of them - not pictured is dark chocolate truffles from Altus) and looking at the cute picture of Jackson. Pretty much stuff we do all the time these days! Regarding the cupcakes, Laurie is getting pretty good at making a "I'd pay money for that" cupcake. If you come to visit you may be privy to a free version of one of these - just let us know you're coming!

13 February 2018

February 13th Gary drove back down to Roanoke to get together with Kevin Williams, eat some delicious food, drink some craft beer and take this cool picture at the Blue 5 restaurant.

11 February 2018

We went to see the dramatic reading of Kayla's play, Treason with a Cup of Tea. It was so, so great and we really enjoyed it! Hard to believe that our 20 year old wrote (a terrific) two-act play! The audience loved it and she received lots of well-earned praise! After the play was read Kayla came down on stage with the actors to answer questions from the audience. We're hoping she'll continue to write, as she. clearly has a of talent for it.

10 February 2018

We spent a rainy Saturday watching the Olympics, baking cookies, working on a video and having our own wine & paint night.
Friday night and we are back on the LU campus for Star Wars night at the hockey game against Alabama. The team wore Rebel Fighter jerseys and took it to heart as they rolled over the Crimson Tide 7 - 2.

9 February 2018

Laurie and Kelsey have started on a quest to bake the perfect cupcake and on this day the first two samples were created. A very promising start as both samples were tasty with one clear winner between the two. But there is still room for improvement so back to the kitchen for more testing... But not until we have had the chance to devour these first!

6 February 2018

Fiesta Tapatia was recommended to us from the folks at Photoworks in Forest. Tuesday & Thursday are margarita nights so we decided to give it a try even though it has been less than a week since our last Mexican restaurant outing (but we needed to erase that memory from our mind!) We had a quesadilla filled with chicken, steak & shrimp and it was yummy. We enjoyed this almost as much as Lola's, but the drink specials are much better.

5 February 2018

February 5th marked Maddie's 13th birthday - which makes her and Ruth the same age, if you are using dog years.

2 February 2018

Magnolia Foods scores again! Not only was this cupcake delicious but we also enjoyed another wine tasting, which is such a great deal - for $1 you get to sample multiple selections of wines which adds up to just about a full glass when all is said and done.

1 February 2018

Kelsey packed up some of her things and headed south to visit a seminary, some friends in Alabama and ultimately to go live with Kyle for a while. She knows how much we like her to keep us posted on her progress when she takes long trips so we received this photo montage detailing her emotions. Does it get any better than this?
Here we are perusing the aisles at the Fresh Market grocery store. We love to come in and sample their coffee, which they usually have four options to choose from including one that is a tasty, often seasonal, flavor. They also allow you to graze the different snacks from their barrels (they simply ask that you use a scoop when doing so). We also love their bakery items! And, it is here that Gary purchased his Fred water bottle.

31 January 2018

On January 31 we went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant with our small group. Mi Patron is a local chain with a few locations in the area - we went to the one on Boonsboro Road. We were not very impressed with the food - Gary ordered a shrimp cocktail entree (it should only be an appetizer!) and Laurie had a bland shrimp avocado salad. We also shared a skinny margarita which was too sweet and way too expensive! We give it just one star out of five.

30 January 2018

The full moon shone brightly on January 30 - 31. Unfortunately we were not able to view the super-blue-blood moon because it had already set below the horizon here in Lynchburg before the eclipse occurred.

25 January 2018

In the evening of the 25th we both took Kelsey out to dinner at Fifth & Federal. Once again we had the delicious smoked chicken but instead of BBQ we chose to order a Hogtown burger (comes with pulled pork, smoked bacon & a bacon bourbon jam), and it was fabulous! This place does not disappoint with the flavor of their food.
Luckily for Laurie, Kelsey's friends were all either in class or working on the 25th (Kelsey's 23rd birthday) so Laurie got to spend the afternoon with Kels. We started out thrift store shopping, followed by a quick cup of (great) coffee at The Muse, then on to a wonderful store called The White Brick House - a historic home which houses 14 (or so) artisans selling all sorts of great items (pics included). Got some great ideas for future creative projects! We then headed to Lynchburg's Humane Society (really NICE facility!) to love on some kitties and doggies. We ended up at Tropical Island Smoothie. :) Fun afternoon!

23 January 2018

Gary went on another business trip, this time to Chicago where it was cold and snowy but still rather pretty (everything looks better from 35 stories up!). Whilst in the Windy City Gary got to see the Broadway tour of "Beautiful" (for only $25!) and eat at his favorite burger joint - Shake Shack.

22 January 2018

Some of the sunrises are so colorful from our apartment.

21 January 2018

As DQ is one of Gary's favorite "restaurants " we had to stop to get a pic in front of what may be the most nostalgic (read, old) DQs left! Sadly, it was closed (probably because it's Sunday). Check out the old advertising phrase on the side of the building.
We continued our hiking-weekend by visiting Sharp Top Mountain, part of the Peaks of Otter (which is compromised of three mountain peaks), about 45 minutes away from us. It was a challenging hike, only 1.5 miles but a straight-uphill-climb the entire way! We were exhausted by the time we finally reached the summit, but the view (and the food we brought) made it worth it!
Jackson looked so good for his one month birthday!

20 January 2018

We decided to catch the third Indiana Jones movie at Venue Cinemas. It was SO great seeing The Last Crusade on the big screen! Of course, we brought our own popcorn, lol! We were happy that friends from our small group, Ellen and Stephen, were able to join us. 😊
After the hike around the park, we ventured onto the campus of Randolph College. It's a relatively small campus, but the structures (the original ones built around 1891) are beautiful!
Given the promise of a 60-degree day, we took advantage of the mild weather and went hiking in Riverside Park (only a few minutes from our place). It was a very pretty hike, albeit a bit tricky at times,as it was quite muddy (and slick!) due to the recent snow accumulation. If you look closely, you can see deer in one of the photos.

19 January 2018

We are back at LU (along with the thousands of families who have driven onto the campus to drop off their students for spring semester!) and while we wanted to harass Kayla at her audition we ended up at the LaHaye Ice Center to watch the Flames take on Rutgers. It was a terrific game to watch if you were rooting for Liberty as they clearly outmatched their opponents. We really enjoyed being so close to the action and the fact that (once again) someone gave us a free ticket to get in (do we look needy, or is it that we are approachable?) Happy to report a 5 - 0 Flames shutout. We hope to go back in February for Star Wars night.

18 January 2018

We are back at The Waterdog and, contrary to the look on Kayla & Laurie's faces, are quite happy about it. This is still our favorite food bargain in the city: delicious, artisan grilled cheese sandwiches at half price between 3 and 6pm. But, their water tastes terrible! Next time we are bringing our own.

17 January 2018

The first snowstorm of the year hit on the 17th and we got 4 inches on the ground. It was a heavy, wet snow which made for pretty images but difficult driving as evidenced by our icy street the next morning. This was a reminder for us that we love the beauty of the snowfall but don't want to live in it anymore. Gary was very thankful that he didn't have to shovel the driveway at Pfefferkorn!
That's us at Panera. We regularly get away for a couple of hours to work outside the home. We like to get here a little after 9 to avoid the breakfast rush but on this (snowy) day it was super quiet and we were happy that they hadn't run out of their hazelnut coffee, which is what usually happens by the time we arrive!

15 January 2018

We found a cute little Mexican restaurant with yummy food (we had the Seafood Taco Salad & Ensalada Cancun) and delicious (but pricey) skinny margaritas. We give Lola's four stars! We had seen the place before and talked about trying it because it looked cute from the road, however tonight we were going to go to The Stoney Badger mainly because of its name. But there were a few things that made us go elsewhere for food this evening... first, they have two sections, smoking & non-smoking, that are on opposite ends of the restaurant; second, there was not one other person in the non-smoking section which was a bit awkward; third, it just felt like a place that our fathers (mainly Gary's) would have frequented and this did not elicit good feelings; and lastly, the menu was not that appealing (except maybe for the deep-fried cheesecake... says Gary). Thankfully Lola's was close by and we are glad we chose Mexican on this night!

11 January 2018

We truly dig having a cheap movie theater close by. This week we caught two flicks, "Thor, Rangnarok" and one of our all-time favorites "Raiders of the Lost Ark" which is soooooo nice on the big screen!

8 January 2018

The deep freeze hit Lynchburg this week as was evidenced at the big fountain in the James river and the Blackwater creek falls at Hollins Mill Park.

6 January 2018

Another year, another show. 2018 marks ten straight years that Gary has been on the stage - a nice run after 25 years of not performing. Once again he is on stage with the girls appearing as Egeus in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Nights Dream" for the first two weekends in January. Not only was he the only grandfather in the cast but he was more than double the age of anyone in the group. It made him feel young and old at the same time.
Another basketball game at LU, this time it is the ladies and we were able to get a couple of seats down close to the court. This made the experience rather enjoyable, along with he W notched by the Lady Flames.

5 January 2018

We braved the frigid temperatures to walk across the street for a Lynchburg First Fridays event at Vector Space. Here we were shown how to make a bracelet and key ring out of leather. It was a lot like being back in middle school, but we really enjoyed ourselves. We are hoping to be able to take a class at Vector Space (like welding) sometime in 2018.

4 January 2018

This note says it all - after a week in Lubbock Laurie returned home to a grateful husband.

1 January 2018

What do you do on New Years Day when your spouse is away? Start looking ahead!

30 December 2017

Winterfest 2017. We were sad to miss Grace Link's wedding to some guy named Andrew this day but because Laurie was away Gary decided to stay home. The benefit was that he went to the first night of this event on LU's campus and got to hear 2 excellent bands, a speaker with an awesome testimony and see a pretty cool magician. Crowder was the first group to perform and they were excellent, showcasing an eclectic mix of rock & roll, rap and bluegrass - well worth the price of admission alone! Switchfoot was the band he wanted to see and they did not disappoint. Most impressive was the magic of Justin Flom - just look up his "Card Trick Wonder" on You Tube to see why. While the event is somewhat geared towards church youth groups there was still quite a bit for Gary to enjoy (even though he was by himself).
Once again Laurie's brother, David's family stopped by to spend time with Ruth. What a special blessing it has been for her to see all of them, especially her great-grandchildren (that's Victoria in pink). We are so grateful to Ginny, Kristin & Scott and Melissa & Chris for coming over from Richmond.

29 December 2017

Gary gets bold and takes Ruth out for dinner at RA Bistro. The food was not too bad (Mahi burger & Louisiana crab cakes) but the value was terrific (3.5 stars overall). We will definitely come back and take advantage of some of their specials, and try one or two of their unique burgers.

27 December 2017

Laurie left on December 27th to go hang out with Ryan, Courtney and baby Jackson! Flying out of a small city into another (relatively) small city makes for a VERY long travel day! But after two layovers, including a almost two hour delay while the plane's right brake was replaced, she finally made it to Lubbock! She thoroughly enjoyed her stay...Ryan and Courtney were super hospitable and Laurie got to both hold Jackson lots AND tackle a pretty big house project when she and Ryan teamed up to re-face the kitchen cabinets... does it get any better than that?? The scope of the project turned out to be pretty extensive, so Gary graciously agreed that Laurie should extend her visit two extra days while he held down the fort in Lynchburg. It was a bummer not ushering in 2018 together, but the circumstances warranted the sacrifice and we trust that we'll have many New Years together in our future!
The 27th was a tough day for Ruth as both of her children left town. Gary dropped Laurie off at the airport in the morning so she could go be with her new grandson (and Courtney & Ryan as well). Then later in the day Bruce & Brian said goodbye on their way out of town, headed back to Wisconsin.

25 December 2017

The second part of our Christmas was spent at Kelsey's exchanging our gifts (Kyle got a wookie suit) and eating dinner. To add to the differences we decided to forgo cooking a traditional Christmas dinner and instead ordered turkey breast and sides from Honeybaked Ham - YUM! Oh, and we did get a tree (a 7-footer) for Kelsey's place - here is where we put all of our family ornaments. We don't like not having everyone together on Christmas but are thankful for video calls so that we could be with Ryan, Courtney and Jackson across the miles. We look forward to starting new Christmas traditions next year when we can (hopefully) all be together again.
Christmas was quite different for us this year. We couldn't quite fit a 14 foot tree into our apartment so we settled for Colleen's little tree - which we love. The kids came over in the morning to open grandma's gifts & stockings, eat monkey bread and watch Charlie Brown. We received more nice flowers for Ruth from her friends back it Glenelg UMC - Arnold, Vicky, David & Ann - and they looked beautiful in our living room. Later in the day Bruce came by to spend time with Ruth and we exchanged gifts with him.

24 December 2017

Christmas Eve service at Gospel Community Church Rivermont.

23 December 2017

On this day we all banded together to root for our hometown Ravens. Our support however was not enough and there will be no playoffs this year.
We try a new restaurant in town, My Dog Duke's Diner - nice look, good coffee, terrific presentation, just-okay food. We will head back for the coffee & atmosphere.

22 December 2017

Late Friday night Kyle arrives from Atlanta and we celebrate with food and games at Kelsey's place.
We enjoying traipsing around Williamsburg and hearing about the history but again, it was cold! We were excited to see The Cedars bed and breakfast is still going strong - we stayed there for our first anniversary back in 1989.

21 December 2017

On December 21, 2017 we became grandparents when Jackson Tobias was born (two weeks early) to Courtney and Ryan in Lubbock, Texas. We are so excited and look forward to spending time with this beautiful boy!
Day 2 in Bush Gardens Christmas Town.

20 December 2017

We were able to uphold our new tradition of getting away as our anniversary/birthday/Christmas presents to each other with a trip to Busch Gardens and Williamsburg. We loved the decorations, lights, rides and shows in BG but we did not care much for the cold (hence, the impending move to Florida!) An old friend, Ben Walsh, surprised us - he was working as stage manager of one of the shows (it was the best in the park with some excellent effects and beautiful songs). We highly recommend Christmas Town.

19 December 2017

Laurie helped Kayla move from her townhouse she was sharing (with too many girls) into an apartment which she will share with just a few others.

18 December 2017

On Monday the 18th we attended a reading for Kayla's play writing class and were both pleasantly surprised. Each of the students had up to 10 minutes of their play read from the stage by (primarily) other students. Some of the entries were quite enjoyable, but Kayla's was the best! We are hoping to hear/see it in its entirety in the spring. We highly recommend this for anyone even remotely interested in attending!
Oh how we love the Links! Stephanie and Allen are in town to see David in "Arsenic and Old Lace" then take him home for break. We took advantage of an evening out with them by having grilled cheeses at The Waterdog.

16 December 2017

On December 16th we met up with Kayla (Kelsey was back in MD visiting friends) to enjoy dinner and a show. The food at McAlister's Deli was yummy and plentiful - we give it 4 stars. The show was familiar to all three of us - 'White Christmas', which we were in back in July 2016. The show was presented by a community theater, Masterworkx, and had some pretty good talent, especially Kayla's friends from LU: Shelby (who was a regular at the Reichard Ranch in MD), Adell & Brandon.
The flowers were a surprise for Ruth from Debbie Mobley who used to see her at Glenelg United Methodist Church. All of us loved the colors and the festive mug! The horrible picture of the to of us is to show off our first round of Christmas cookies for 2017 - M&M bars.

15 December 2017

We braved the cold in the LU hockey area for an event called "Praisefest on Ice" and had no idea what was going to happen. It was a showcase of the LU skating teams, which we never knew existed (nor did our daughters)! Each of the presentations were set to Christmas music which helped to warm things up for us.

13 December 2017

Our last small group of the year includes a lot of food and a white elephant - good times with good people.
We could not be more pleased with our present from Cinde - she gives the best gifts! We are ready for Christmas in central Florida next year!

11 December 2017

On December 11-12, Laurie ventured to Richmond for an overnight (shopping trip) with her pseudo-sister, Janet. They had a blast shopping, talking and just hanging out together!

10 December 2017

Sunday the 10th we head down to Alta Vista for a Christmas open house at the Avoca House. The home is beautiful, the decorations were very nice but the treats were outstanding! We look forward to going back to another event at this place. NOTE: we arrived early and there were very few people around; by the time we left it was getting pretty crowded)

9 December 2017

December 9th the first snowstorm of the season hits the east coast (it came up from the south and Kyle got more snow in Woodstock, GA then we did in Lynchburg). Gary's 7AM flight out of Philly was cancelled and for a while it looked like he might get stranded at the airport; so, what better way to pass the time then to get some Philadelphia cheesesteak!
This is the first snowfall for us in Lynchburg, although Gary was in PA and missed out as it melted by the time he returned.

8 December 2017

At the end of the week Gary had a company meeting & Christmas party to attend outside of Philadelphia (Laurie would have gone with him but we couldn't get anyone to stay with Ruth). The highlights of the trip included a meal at a nice restaurant (including a bottle of wine with his name on it!) and an inspirational talk on leadership from Dick Vermeil (former coach of the Eagles, Rams & Chiefs).

5 December 2017

December 5th we attended 'Christmas on the Boulevard: Christmas Ornaments' at the LU concert hall. This was a wonderful evening of music presented by all the choral & music groups - at times separately and a few times altogether. Our favorite moment was a student's arrangement of 'Angels We Have Heard on High' involving everyone - it was moving! If you are in Lynchburg next year we highly recommend you attend this show

3 December 2017

We capped off Thanksgiving weekend with a trip back to Point of Honor with the girls where we took in some treats (more hot cider!), old-fashioned music, and decorations. Then it was off to get our tree which was about half the size of the ones in Pfefferkorn, but Gary was happy that he didn't have to cut & move a fourteen footer around.

2 December 2017

December 2nd we attended (first, with Ruth, then later with Kayla) the first annual Deck the Hills event in downtown Lynchburg where businesses displayed their own decorated trees as well as offered some food & drink (that's a guy stirring up a batch of kettle corn). The evening culminated with the lighting of the big Christmas tree outside of the Craddock Terry Hotel. We really enjoyed the night and the hot apple cider. Our favorite display was the 'A Christmas Story' inspired tree. We hope that this is a Lynchburg tradition for the years ahead.

1 December 2017

We welcomed in December along with one of our dearest friends - we have known Stephanie Link since high school where we did choir, theater & Young Life together. On this night we shared a meal at Waterstone Pizza and took in a show at LU. But not just any show - we came to see Stephanie's son, David, in 'Arsenic and Old Lace'. The show was a lot of fun - LU did a great job putting together an entertaining production - and David was terrific!

28 November 2017

If you come to Lynchburg, this is where you can find us.

26 November 2017

Another hike on Liberty mountain has just about put Laurie over the edge!

23 November 2017

Thanksgiving Day - we enjoyed a walk through the city in the morning then football and food at Kelsey's lace with family & friends (Austin, Andy & Nate).

22 November 2017

We finally hit a local legend, Benny Scarpetta's, for the biggest slices of pizza we have ever seen! Now, we don't want to lie to you and say that this is the best pizza we have ever had, so we won't. (Two-and-a-half stars)

20 November 2017

This year we decided to make some Harvest cookies...and they were awesome! Too bad you weren't one our list of recipients, but if you stop by at Christmas we may have one for you!
One of the things we have loved about the girls attending LU is that they have the entire week of Thanksgiving off and we get to enjoy a little extra time together. This year we invited Kayla to come hang out at the apartment and rest (which she did!) while watching the 'Gilmore Girls' marathon on TV. We had the show on all week, much to Laurie's delight.

19 November 2017

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving we invited some locals (Kelsey, Kayla, Kim, Jacob, Westover & Andy) over for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving - the show and the meal. We at popcorn, toast, jelly beans and pretzels while squeezing into our living room in front of the television.

18 November 2017

Found a new trail down by Lynchburg College.
Kelsey introduces us to Blue Ridge Bagels, a yummy bagel shop (four stars). So to show our appreciation we help her buy a car.

17 November 2017

Laurie, Kayla & Gary head to Roanoke to meet with Kevin Williams. The boys had a terrific dinner at Blue 5 (the picture is from their menu; the burgers were excellent) and the girls enjoyed their meal at the Leonore Restaurant (much quieter than Blue 5 and the food was very tasty). Unfortunately the shops were closed by the time we got there, but that just means we will have to go back again!

16 November 2017

Back to Liberty mountain for a hike along the Lake Trail.
There are hundreds of church's throughout Lynchburg; five of them are visible from our balcony and all within a couple of blocks of each other. This is the beautiful Saint Paul's Episcopal church.

15 November 2017

We are finally getting connected to other people (although you don't see them in this picture). Here we are in the Tallman kitchen where we meeting with a small group of people from our church. And that caramel popcorn was delicious!

12 November 2017

Back to LU for another showing of 'Millie', this time with Ruth. It wasn't all that enjoyable for her however - she said that she forgot that she wouldn't be able to hear the show. It is fun to see a big picture of your child displayed in the theater's lobby.
More hiking along the Blackwater Creek trail, including suspension bridges.

11 November 2017

Another Saturday, another football game - a cold one this time! We left early (they were blowing out Presbyterian) to warm ourselves with some barbecue at Poke-E-Joes. We disagreed slightly on the quality (Laurie favored the flavor a bit more than Gary) but we got a good amount of food at a fair price (three and a half stars).
Saturday, November 11th we had our first set of visitors from MD join us for a meal in our apartment. It was such a blessing to share breakfast with the Robinsons (Dave, Belinda & Zane) and catch up on their lives. we have certainly missed friendships such as these

10 November 2017

We attended the opening game of the basketball season for the Liberty men's team, which Gary enjoyed much more than Laurie - but the highlights of the evening were the halftime show from the Soar Dunk acrobatic team, and coming across the Mystery Machine in the parking garage (no sight of Scooby and the gang though).
We were hoping to take in some beautiful scenery during the fall while living just a few miles from the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the weather has not cooperated. Much of the afternoons has been filled with clouds and rain. Gary did capture a nicely colored tree downtown during one of his walks, but the long afternoon drive on the parkway to take in the colors of autumn never materialized.

9 November 2017

On the 9th of November Gary attends the first rehearsal for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' along with Kelsey & Kayla... And no one in the room is more than half Gary's age!

7 November 2017

November 7th we attend a chamber concert at LU which included David Link (just to the right of the conductor).

5 November 2017

We try the Waterdog restaurant again but not the happy hour menu, and it wasn't nearly as good this time around.

4 November 2017

Football vs. Duquesne and another Flames victory... We are really enjoying being season ticket holders1!
Gary brought an old friend down from Maryland, Brian Campbell. Here they are having breakfast in Market at Main (four stars for tasty food, but a bit noisy). Later they met up with Laurie who provided a treat from Mamma Crockett's Donuts food truck (Gary enjoyed them, Laurie was unimpressed). On, Sunday Gary accompanied BC to Charlottesville to watch Brian's son in 'Romeo and Juliet' at the local community college.

3 November 2017

On Friday Gary drove back and we attended 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' at Liberty University to watch Kayla sing and dance. The show was fun to watch and Kayla was fantastic in her role as Ruth!

1 November 2017

On November 1st Gary headed back up to Baltimore for work. That night he dropped by the Dransfield house to watch the World Series and mug it up with John.

31 October 2017

Halloween night we volunteered at our church to give the kids in the neighborhood a place to play games and get candy. We got paired with Barney but wished we could have participated in the kick-the-velcro-covered-soccerball-against-the-two-story-dart-board.

28 October 2017

Gary, Kelsey & Kayla auditioned for a local production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by the girls' friend, Austin. All three were cast for the show which takes place in January.

26 October 2017

We spent Wednesday & Thursday nights in the home of Barb & Doug Shipe - to whom we are deeply grateful for their generosity. We do not know of two better people in this world and cherish our friendship. Unfortunately we do not have a photo of them to share!
On Thursday, October 26th, we met Jeff & Lynda Wellen in old town Ellicott City - our first trip back since they opened Main Street after last year's flood. The city looked terrific and we got to hear about their trip to Europe and walk down the Camino trail. We were unsuccessful in finding a Maryland t-shirt but did get to enjoy treats and coffee in Bean Hollow.

25 October 2017

Our time in Maryland was FULL! Took Mom to visit family and friends in Maryland, which she seemed to enjoy! Had a HUGE glitch with the adorable B&B we'd reserved b/c of handicap access issues, but our awesome friends, Barb & Doug (shout out!!) came to our rescue and let us stay in their amazing home for two nights (Bless you both!!). We had a chance to visit with friends, which was awesome. Mom had a chance to visit with church-friends and more MD relatives. Completely exhausting but good trip!

24 October 2017

Gary stayed with Brian Campbell for his first two nights back in the Baltimore area - here he is enjoying the start of the World Series (Dodgers vs. Astros) with BC, his daughter Suzannah, and a man whose name Gary cannot remember. Oh, and a deliciously cold brew.

23 October 2017

Early morning, Monday, October 23rd, Laurie drops Gary off at the Amtrak station in town. A quaint, little stop - not much there but it is only a mile from the apartment. It was nice boarding onto an empty train and since not many people in Lynchburg use the train it was a quite ride (until we reached D.C.). This was a business trip to Baltimore - more to come on that!

22 October 2017

We capped off the weekend with a little Wii and a new dessert recipe. Earlier in the day we had breakfast with Glenn at Dudley's Family Style Restaurant - a tiny, very casual place which Glenn & Laurie were okay with but Gary didn't care for very much.
Another place to hike in Lynchburg: Liberty Mountain, on the LU campus. There are many different walking and biking trails to choose from and some lead to Hideaway Lake
Sunday, October 22nd, is the first day of Gospel Community Church Rivermont. We have the privilege of participating in the merger of two congregations (Gospel Community Church & Rivermont Avenue Baptist) and attending worship in a beautiful 100 year-old building. And, we get coffee from The Muse to boot!!

21 October 2017

Saturday night, October 21st, Gary's brother, Glenn, stops by on his way home from a job he was working on in Raleigh, NC. We went to dinner at Bootleggers and were able to get an outdoor bar table right away (the burgers were good but I would recommend coming by during happy hour when you can get them for only $7). Afterwards we sat around for a while catching up on life - it was good to spend time and share life with him!

19 October 2017

We hiked around some trails in Rivermont Avenue Park and enjoyed how there were sets of steps which had been built into the trail along the ridge above the James river - another enjoyable hike in Lynchburg! Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with a $1 wine tasting at Magnolia Foods!
Date night at the $2 theater to see a classic just in time for Halloween.

16 October 2017

On October 16th Gary started a new job with Wilson Legal Solutions. He is doing pretty much the same work as with his old job, just making a little more money.
Downtown Lynchburg at night during one of our many walks together.

15 October 2017

After Appomattox we drove to Holliday Lake State Park for a hike and picnic to commemorate our 29 years as husband and wife. It is a beautiful lake with trails all around (too big for us to traverse all the way around on this day) as well as picnic areas, a boating dock with rentals (in season) and a beach (although they do charge to swim). We were two of only a handful of people there and thoroughly enjoyed our hike and picnic consisting of smoked meats and some sweet wine (we forgot a wine opener so had to force the cork into the bottle which made for a brief bit of comedy). On the way out we were pulled over by the park ranger for speeding (doing 30 in a 15mph zone) - thankfully the ranger let us off with a verbal warning.
October 15 - our 29th anniversary - we went to the Historic Appomattox Railroad Festival where there were many vendors selling knick-knacks, antiques and foods plus rides for the kids. We enjoyed perusing the town and a few of it's shops, but refrained from purchasing anything more than smoked meats for our upcoming picnic. We also popped into the Appomattox Courthouse for a brief visit because Gary had to pee.

14 October 2017

Another Saturday night football game only this one included a rooting interest from the other side of the field as well. Kennesaw State University is where Kyle attends college; so, while we are Flames fans it didn't hurt so much that they lost to the KSU Owls on this night.

13 October 2017

One of the best things you can spend your money on in Lynchburg is a cupcake at Magnolia Foods. They also offer wine and beer tastings on Friday and Saturday nights respectively for only $1.

12 October 2017

We planned a day of hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains at a pretty location called Peaks of Otter. Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day so we missed out on any mountaintop views. But, we did get in over 3 miles of trekking in! We visited the lodge by the lake which was picturesque, and the Peaks of Otter winery where we tasted an assortment of wines including the "kiss the devil" wine (infused with ghost pepper).

9 October 2017

For relaxation and entertainment we break out the Wii to play Mario Kart!

7 October 2017

We kept busy the weekend of October 6 - 7 ... A trip to the community market downtown, taking in "A Day at the Point" (with llamas and other animals at a petting zoo, vendors where we purchased beautiful wine goblets from a local artist, demonstrations and food trucks) at the Point of Honor which is an historic house/museum, a bike ride where we ran into AJ & Emily Colkitt, taking Mom to the Snowplex at Liberty Mountain, and delicious salads for dinner out at Crisp.

6 October 2017

October 6th was Gary's last day with the company he had work for the last 18 years, Data Fusion Technologies. He was not looking for a new job but his former boss contacted him and he was given a very nice offer. When his last day came the president of DFT told him "let me know when you finally do retire because I want to sign you for a one day contract so that you can retire as a Data Fusion employee." - we take this as quite a complement.
October 6th we took a tour of Thomas Jefferson's home in Poplar Forest and learned mostly about the beer and wine that he enjoyed. It is a beautiful property and we hope to return for a wine festival in November.

3 October 2017

Sharing a moment at the local Panera with Kelsey.

1 October 2017

October 1st we are visited by Laurie's oldest niece, Kristen, and her family.

30 September 2017

The last week of September was pretty quite - Gary went to Syracuse (for the first time) for work, and Laurie was excited to drop him off at the airport in Charlottesville so she could make a trip to Harris Teeter.
September ends with another LU football game.

24 September 2017

Sunday, September 24th we took Mom to the Blackwater Creek Bikeway and the (cancer) Awareness Garden for a short stroll. Afterwards we treated ourselves to some truly delicious homemade ice cream at Mister Goodies.

23 September 2017

After going out with a group of Stagelight friends who went to see "Newsies" on the 23rd they asked to stop by our place on their way out of town. Thank you Holly, Chris, Nathan, John & Zane for putting a little bit of Maryland into our weekend!

20 September 2017

Gary drove to Roanoke on September 20th to have dinner with Kevin Williams and admire the downtown market area.

19 September 2017

We went to see 'Wonder Woman' on Tuesday the 19th (for only $2 apiece at the Venue theaters) - Gary loved it and Laurie liked it. Wednesday Gary drove down to Roanoke to have dinner with Kevin Williams. Thursday we watched 'Newsies' at Liberty. Friday night we went back in time and played Po Ke No with Mom, who seemed to really enjoy it. Saturday the 23rd we spent exploring Lovingston, VA, just north of Lynchburg. We went on a hike/walk on the Blue Ridge Railway Trail then on to the Mountain Cove Winery for a wine tasting (buying a bottle of their Blackberry wine!). We then went to Drumheller's Orchard to buy freshly-picked apples and then to Colleen's Drive In for some (really good) burgers. Fun day!

17 September 2017

We celebrated having no more teenage children with cake & ice cream (plus dinner) on Kayla's 20th birthday.

16 September 2017

We were a part of Kelsey's birthday adventure for Kayla playing Emily & Richard from 'The Gilmore Girls' to Kelsey's Lorelai and Kayla's Rory whilst having tea & scones at the Ploughcraft Tea Room.

15 September 2017

Friday night wine tasting (6 for $1) and happy hour dinner at Magnolia Foods is an excellent deal!

14 September 2017

Dinner outside at El Jefe. Yummy tacos - buy 2 get one free during happy hour!

11 September 2017

Gary had to deal with the effects of hurricane Irma on Monday, September 11th because his flight out of Charlotte was cancelled (all flights from Lynchburg go to Charlotte). He ended up going to Minneapolis on Tuesday and returned late Wednesday. Thursday night we enjoyed dinner outdoors at El Jefe's restaurant - terrific view, $5 margaritas, yummy tacos (thumbs up on portobello & beef). Saturday the 16th we had a pot of tea and delicious scones at the Ploughcraft Tea Room (pricey menu, but the atmosphere was cute) with the girls as part of Kelsey's birthday day out for Kayla. That evening we enjoyed a thrilling football game at Williams Stadium watching the Flames edge out Indiana State 42 - 41. Sunday we purged more items from our storage unit then returned home to have a birthday dinner for Kayla's 20th.

10 September 2017

After Anne Spenser's House we went on a picnic down to Hollins Mill Park. There was a crane (we think) perched on a log on the river across from our table. And Ruth absolutely loved the waterfall.
We took Ruth to the Anne Spenser House garden in Historic Pierce Street. It was very pretty but we showed up too late in the year to see many flowers, and it is not handicap friendly. On the bright side, we got a workout moving Ruth's wheelchair around!

9 September 2017

Williams Stadium at sunset.
The first LU Football home game of 2017 - we are ready for some action!

8 September 2017

"Get Downtown" is an annual event in Lynchburg. They block off Main Street and put up multiple stages featuring live entertainment, have a couple of parking lots with food trucks and the vendors have booths outside promoting their wares. The street was packed and we had a great time with Kelsey (three of her friends were there doing improve for an art studio).

7 September 2017

Full moon in view from our porch.
Dinner outside at Waterstone Pizza - we split excellent salad and delicious pizza, and even took some home!

6 September 2017

On Thursday, the 6th we went to WaterStone Pizza, sat outside on the terrace and had a wonderful dinner - sharing a great salad and pizza. Friday (the 7th) was GET DOWNTOWN - a fun and VERY crowded street festival on Main Street. Kelsey joined us and we all enjoyed checking out all the vendors and tasting some really yummy food! On Saturday, the 8th Laurie's niece Melissa and her husband Chris came to visit mom, bringing their 8-month old daughter, Victoria. We went biking along the James River (on Percivals Island), again enjoying both the views and the exercise. That evening we got to use the 1st of our LU season football tickets! LU won, 58-17. We really enjoyed being able to be there and root the Flames on! On Sunday, we went to Gospel Community Church then took Mom to the Anne Spenser (House) garden, followed by a picnic lunch at Hollins Mills Park. We ate by the river then rolled her down to see the waterfall. She really seemed to enjoy the outing. :)
A full rainbow from our rooftop - it appeared after a full day of rain and was beautiflul!
This is another picture of the rainbow on September 6th.

3 September 2017

One of the cool-looking buildings in downtown Lynchburg.
We stopped on our bike ride to enjoy the waterfall at Hollins Mill Park.
A great bike ride along the Blackwater Creek.
A visit to Old City Cemetary, where there are a lot nice buildings with historic information but it was not a great place to take Ruth as the paths were not paved and the information was mostly audible (via recordings).
Just us.

2 September 2017

Kelsey & Kayla stop by to play idiot (a card game).

1 September 2017

September 1st we walked the streets downtown for our first "First Friday" in Lynchburg where we viewed various pieces of artwork in many galleries and other artsy venues; we ran into Austin, a friend of the girls who has been at our house in MD many times and even came up to help us with our move. The girls visited on the 2nd and we ate dinner together & played cards - woot! ON Sept 3rd, we took Mom to Old City Cemetary to see the gardens and then to DQ for ice cream. Then we went biking on the Blackwater Trail. Very pretty and good excecise too! On Sept 4th, we did our weekly date at the Storage Unit (getting rid of crap we should have never brought). That evening we walked around Downtown. Wednesday the 6th brought really crappy, rainy weather but that evening, there was a stunning (double) rainbow! Gary went up the the rooftop deck and took picutures! Mom LOVED seeing it.

31 August 2017

Fifth & Federal - we recommend the chicken, pulled pork and ribs!

30 August 2017

Pizza with Kevin Williams. Grog like!

29 August 2017

At the Hillcats game.

27 August 2017

Sunday August 27th we made our weekly storage area clean out visit and took mom to the Lynchburg Museum. That night we watched Ryan & Courtney's baby gender reveal on Facebook live (it's a boy!). Tuesday the 29th we attended the Lynchburg Hillcats (the Cleveland Indians A minor league team) but left early because it was unseasonably cold! Wednesday Laurie started giving plasma (but has to get some more paperwork in order) and Gary had dinner at Ledo's Pizza with Kevin Williams, who drove up from Roanoke. Tonight (Thursday the 31st) we walked mom up to Fifth and Federal for delicious barbecue then the two of us walked downtown for some extra exercise.
Lynchburg Museum

26 August 2017

Riverside Park

21 August 2017

This is a picture of the eclipse taken from the ground at our apartment.

20 August 2017

August 20th we took mom to Liberty U to show her the campus before the students arrived. Last week - we watched the eclipse ... on TV! Gary was in NYC for work; Laurie took mom to the roof to see the view, then with Kelsey they went downtown to shops and went to the Emerald Stone for lunch. On Saturday we biked to Magnolia Foods (where Gary tasted beer and bought some bourbon barrel brown ale) and explored the area around Rivermont Park. We went to the Crosspoint church service that evening.
We got a tour of the library and got to see the robot in action. See if you can spot Laurie & Ruth on the campus!
One Community Church - it was nice but not what we are looking for.

19 August 2017

The girls stop by for dinner and a view from the roof.
Strolling over to Percival Island and posing in front of the LOVE sign.

17 August 2017

First rainbow, and a full one!
Mom joins us for grilled cheese at The Water Dog. Half priced sandwiches during happy hour and outdoor seating were great - the flies were not.

16 August 2017

The morning view from our balcony.

15 August 2017

The Texas Inn - 8/15/17.
Kayla visits the apartment.
Kelsey in her new place.

12 August 2017

Our first night out - The Depot Grill - 8/12/17
Day one.

11 August 2017

We moved in August 11th and spent the bulk of the first week unpacking and settling into our new apartment. In addition we explored town and found many places to try. Our second night we ate dinner at The Depot Grill (4.5 stars for cool atmosphere and tasty food), then later in the week we had food from The Texas Inn (3 stars for being right across the street and cheap food...plus, the admission that their spaghetti side dish is Chef Boyardee, straight out of the can!), and then The Water Dog (4 stars for their half price grilled cheese sandwiches during happy hour). We took mom out for a stroll and found Mrs. Joy's bakery - she invited us in as she was closing for the evening and gave us leftover cream puffs and a cinnamon roll which were fantastic! We also took our first long walk down the trail by the James River...beautiful scenery! We even got our Lynchburg Library Cards!