Roanoke, Virginia and Elkhart, Indiana; April 26th to May 4th, 2018

…cousins!

So, our “winter” of 17/18 is almost over and we are down to our final week of our US stay, what better way to spend it than getting to know some relatives better.  Our travels this time took us to Roanoke, Virginia.  Technically we were making Salem home but spending most of our time with Darla Schumm, Jonathan Harris and their son, Henry Schumm at their home.  We arrived on Thursday afternoon and after several plans didn’t work out they picked us up and we headed over to Fork in the Alley, their local “go to” pub type of restaurant. It was excellent!  One of their favourites and a place where Henry is a regular!  After a couple wood fired pizzas we went back to their house for some late night chatting.   We have really not talked or seen Darla since our wedding almost 25 years ago.  What a great evening we had connecting with her, her husband and their son. They are a very interesting family, to say the least 🙂

…the Floss!

This was only the beginning of a fun filled weekend.  On Friday, Wanda and Charles joined the fun and pulled up to our front door shortly after noon.  How wonderful it was to see them!!! The afternoon went by quickly and then it was time to head over to the Schumm/Harris household for dinner.  After a nice barbequed dinner, wine and a “floss” dance lesson by Henry it was time to retire to the “library”. It really is amazing how quickly a whole day can go by!

…on the field and the sidelines!

Saturday turned into a very full day.  It started off with a quick trip into Salem to Corbin’s Confections (a gluten/nut/dairy free bakery) which Wanda was very excited about.  Then a rendezvous at the Schumm/Harris residence before heading to Henry’s soccer tournament.  Henry’s team won 3-2 with Henry not being very active in net the first half, but then playing forward for the second half.  After the game we had a special tour of Hollins University where Darla is a professor. It is a small all woman’s college, with a

…on campus!

beautiful campus. Then it was back to their place for another barbeque. Rachel (Wanda and Charles friend from DC now living in Roanoke) and Cindy (friend of Darla and Jonathan’s) joined us as well.  Another nice evening was had, and before we knew it is was 22:00 again!

 

…drinks in the garden!

Sunday was going to be another busy day.  Wanda and Charles had to head back up north to DC and were on the road by 10:30.  We then got organized for brunch at our place for the Schumm/Harris clan who was coming over after Henry’s morning soccer game.  It was a beautiful day and after another win by the Roanoke Stars they arrived.   We had a couple hours of visiting on the deck in the beautiful sunshine before they had to go back for the championship game.  Before they left,  Larry gave Henry a ride around the park on the back of his Harley.  Then off they went to play soccer and off we went to hike part of the

…on the Hawg!

Appalachian Trail to McAfee’s Knob.  With plans for another dinner together this evening.  We had lots to talk about at Ballast Point Brewing Company where we went for dinner.  Henry’s team won the championship game which was exciting.  We filled them in on our beautiful hike up to the point (knob). For our hike we had gorgeous sunshine, perfect temperature and the trail and vistas were stunning.  Since we had a late start and had dinner plans we were hiking quite fast.  We enjoyed the view from the top for about ten minutes and then started down.  With a tight deadline we chose to take the high road (fire road) back to the parking lot which is a little more direct then the trail.  This turned out to be a good decision because as we walked out we noticed smoke rising up from the side of the mountain.  Then all of a sudden there were a couple fire vehicles

…McAfee’s Knob on the AT!

on the trail coming towards us.  The side of the mountain was on fire and the lower trail (which we had hiked up on ) was closed.  We got out to the parking lot as more fire personal were organizing to go in.  We overheard them talking about “getting people out”, so we were very happy that we were safe. The road was closed the way we came up the mountain so we had to take a very windy, steep side road back down.  No one was hurt and it sure makes for an interesting story!  Our final dinner together was great and we will have to make a point of coming back again.  There are a lot of things we still want to do!!

 

…Larry, Darla and Henry photobombing!

It was time to head north with one main stay left in the USA.  After a quick over-night stop in Point Pleasant, West Virginia we pointed our nose to Elkhart/Goshen Indiana.  We spent some time here last spring on our way back to Canada and had such a great time we decided to do it again. A couple hours from Elkhart, Clare got in touch with us and said they are showing their house to prospective buyers at the same time we are planning on arriving.  So, plans were made to meet at the mall parking lot and leave Juergen there.  Once again we were met with friendly waves and hugs, so nice! We then went into Goshen and picked up Laura and went to see Clare and Katie’s new house they had closed on that afternoon. After a wonderful dinner at Maple Indian Restaurant in downtown Goshen it was time to head home and set up in their driveway.  Since we found ourselves back in Elkhart, we took advantage of it with a trip over to Forest River to get a few items fixed in the RV.  There was also a nail that had to be removed from one of the RV tires so we took care of that as well.  We will call it laundry and run around day!  In the afternoon June went with Katie and Laura to one of Laura’s medical appointments.  She is getting prepared for a stent to be put in a heart valve and then surgery to remove cancer from her colon.  Another fun dinner at the Schumm household before it was time for Laura to head back home to Goshen.  Then the four of us got in Clare’s car and headed over to their house in Goshen to see how much work was done on their renovations.

…Clare and Katie’s new house!

Being a retired man in Goshen means breakfast meetings or, at least it does for Clare.  So, Larry got to join him for two mornings of breakfasts.  This was nice ” male bonding” time as well as getting to know a little more of their life in Indiana.  The first  breakfast was with a friend of Clare’s, and then the second was with four of his RVing friends.  Our final afternoon was spent just wandering around downtown Goshen.  It is a beautiful, old, vibrant area. We discovered the used bookstore where we ended up buying six books we had on our list and they were all in good shape and cheap! As June continued exploring shops, Larry went to the Electric Brew to grab a cup of coffee and to start reading one of his new used book and just relax a little.

We wrapped up our visit with another nice evening of dinner, conversation and of course wine!  Before we knew it, it was time to head towards the Ambassador Bridge and back into Canada.

 

2 comments on Roanoke, Virginia and Elkhart, Indiana; April 26th to May 4th, 2018

  1. Sounds like an awesome trip!
    We just loved Virginia when we went last year to Shannondoah Valley, Monticello & Williamsburg and will be going back this Sept for a nephews wedding.
    And great you got to connect with Wanda & Charles too! Glad you missed the fire on the AT – I’ve always wondered what to do if confronted with fire on a hike….
    and you got books?? When do you two have time to read?!
    Arrevadierce from the USA, have fun in Canada!

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