One of the best things about entertaining out-of-town guests is it always reminds me why I chose to live in the Roanoke Valley in the first place. Besides eating our way through the valley, (put on four pounds!) I tried to fit in as many "natural" places as the weather would allow.
One of the first stops was to take my cousin along the Roanoke River Greenway in Salem where I try to walk daily. It almost looks like I photo shopped him in the picture.
Naturally one of the stops has to be the view from Mill Mountain and posing in front of the neon star...
We walked around downtown but there weren't any vendors out. We did get to go to the afternoon No Shame Theatre in the library, which was enjoyable. My cousin felt I should have gotten up there and read a chapter from my book, a G-rated chapter. The evening No Shame is probably more appropriate and if my cousin was still here I'd get up on that stage.
I drove up Sugar Loaf Mountain to show him Valhalla Vineyards and Happy Hollow park, both were closed. I don't think he enjoyed the ride up there...too scary and no guardrails. "You must go through a lot of brakes here," he said as he clutched the door handle.
Back on terra firm we walked from my house to Jamison's Orchards where I was reminded once again how lucky I am to have fresh locally grown produce right in my backyard.
The night before he left we decided we would go see a local band. He's in his Dead Boys shirt, me in my CBGB's.
Although the band was fine, I wish we had stayed home instead. Our glory days of standing, watching a band, are over. I couldn't stand the cigarette smell that hung in my hair, I couldn't get a drink without yelling for the bartender, and got jostled by drunken dopes too many times. We would have had more fun playing Pictionary at home.
A week long visit was nowhere enough to get through everything I wanted to show him and the weather wasn't exactly conducive to spending time outdoors. Hopefully he'll be back soon and we could pick up where we left off. By the end of the week he looked much more relaxed than he did when he first arrived.
I have to say I was very sorry to see my cousin go, but oh so happy I get to stay.