Steve (DOS) and I celebrated Mother’s Day with my parents in my hometown of Roanoke, VA this past weekend. Mom and Dad have recently moved to assisted living in Bedford, which about 45 minutes from Roanoke, but we made drove down and picked them up for meals and outings over the weekend.
It was a beautiful summer-like weekend in Roanoke, even though it’s still late Spring. Although I’ve been in Florida for nearly 20 years, I still call Roanoke ‘home’. Here are a couple photos from downtown and Mill Mountain, with Roanoke’s landmark 100 foot tall neon ‘Star’ atop the mountain, which is illuminated at night.
We flew up to Roanoke Friday afternoon on Allegiant Airlines, not because they are a great airline, but they go nonstop from Orlando’s other airport (Sanford) and while they nickel and dime you for everything from making a reservation to luggage to selecting a seat to carry-on luggage, they are still pretty inexpensive compared to the other legacy carriers required a connection somewhere. The biggest drawback to Allegiant is they only fly a couple days a week to Roanoke from Orlando and a couple days to Roanoke from Tampa. Once you’re onboard, Allegiant is actually ok with friendly Flight Attendants, and since it’s an all Coach configuration, we at least pay extra for the exit row with more legroom. We flew up on an MD80 aircraft, although they also fly some Airbus aircraft as well.
Our flight was slightly late, arriving around 4:30pm, but unlike Orlando, the luggage was offloaded quickly, and my brother Andy picked us up at the Roanoke Airport.
After a quick shower and change of clothes, we then headed out with Andy and his partner Art to downtown Roanoke for a night of dinner and theater. We first had an early dinner at Frankie Rolland’s, our favorite steakhouse in Roanoke. Unlike normal though, we didn’t have steak this time, due to our new dieting, but also as we only had an hour and a half before heading out to the theater. We did have appetizers, wine, and a Salmon main dish, but no salad or desserts tonight.
We left Frankie’s around 7:10pm, and had a short walk to the Mill Mountain Theater, so named after the local mountain with the legendary ‘Star of Roanoke’. The show tonight was a Chorus Line, and it was absolutely outstanding! While we couldn’t take photos in the show obviously, we took a couple photos while waiting to be seated, and ran into some friends of Andy and Art’s. It was a wonderful Friday night, and although a long and hurried day with travel, dinner and the show it started off the weekend marvelously.
On Saturday, Andy picked up Mom and Dad and brought them out to their old house in Roanoke. We were a little worried how Mom and Dad might react coming back to their old house, where they haven’t been since they had their falls last year, but they didn’t seem to miss it, as they are really enjoying their new apartment at English Meadow’s (formerly Elk’s Home) in Bedford. They were surprised, actually that there was so much furniture left in the house. DOS and I had taken a few things recently on our visit when we took the Auto Train home to Florida, but there remains quite a full house of things. Mom and Dad took some summer clothes with them, as they only had the winter clothes with them up until this point. We stayed for awhile before heading out to lunch, and Mom and Dad were both glad to see Andy’s dog Barnabas! He’s so adorable!
We had a leisurely lunch at Red Lobster in Roanoke. We were glad to see Mom and Dad eating so well, and both of them are on regular meals now, as they had formerly been on mechanical diets. They are both walking now as well, although they use walkers, having formerly been confined to wheel chairs. I can’t say enough thanks to the physical and occupational therapists that have helped them out so much over the last few months; they are truly angels here on earth.
After lunch, DOS and I drove Mom and Dad back to their apartment at English Meadows. We brought the clothes in for them, and helped them arrange their closets. We also packed up some of their winter clothes to take back and store, until they need them later in the year, to save space in their closets. After visiting for a while, DOS and I headed back to Roanoke.
On Saturday night we went to Montano’s restaurant in Roanoke, and had a wonderful dinner. We had our favorite waitress Kelly, and as always she puts on a good show for us. As it was Mother’s Day weekend, it was quite busy, but unlike last night, we made a 3 hour meal out of the night.
It was funny the two tables adjacent to us, one a table for eight and one for two, both ‘turned over’ 3 times with different diners while we were there! We like to take our time, and I guess some people are more rushed.
As we left Montano’s Andy, Art, and I made a fateful attempt at a scene from A Chorus Line we had seen the night before. LOL!
On Sunday morning, DOS and I drove to Bedford and took Mom and Dad to Church there. We went to a local Presbyterian Church they had been to once before and really enjoyed it. The congregation and staff were very friendly and welcoming, and I chatted with the Pastor a bit before the service. I inquired if they had some transportation options for my parents, and he said not officially, but he would get back to me via phone to see what he could do. While they have service at their community at Elk’s Home, they would like to find a Church family in the area, and this Church seems like a great fit.
After the service, we drove Mom and Dad back to Roanoke and went to Andy and Art’s Church for their after-service coffee hour. We got there as it was finishing up, but still had a chance to see quite a few people we’ve have gotten to know from our previous visits to their Church.
For Mother’s Day Brunch, the six of us went to Billy’s Restaurant in downtown Roanoke. Billy’s had a huge Mother’s Day buffet, and here we all overdid a bit once again on the calorie intake, but this was a special occasion! Mom and Dad both ate really full meals, and Dad even went back for seconds on the prime rib! After eating, the manager presented Mom with a long stemmed white rose, and I wondered if she would get a photo of her for tradition sake (like old times!) and she did! Mom – you’re the best!
We were so glad to spend time with Mom and Dad, and see how much better they have improved health-wise over the last few months. It was a bit sad saying goodbye to Mom and Dad after lunch (as I have to be in New Jersey this week for business), but I promised to come back soon. Lately DOS and I have been coming up once a month or so, and will continue to do so as we can fit it in our schedule.
So thank you Mom for being such the most wonderful Mom I could ever ask and hope for, and to all you Mother’s reading this, I wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day as well. Hugs and much love to all!