I’ve gotten way behind in posting, but it’s a good thing at least for us, as we’ve been enjoying life and visiting with my parents in my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. This post is much longer than usual as I’m basically covering most of the month of October since we’ve gotten back from our September trip to Argentina. It’s getting a bit cooler in Virginia now, but actually quite pleasant for us coming from Florida. We were hoping to see the colorful Autumn leaves, but the trees haven’t changed color as much as expected this year, possibly due to the lack of Summer rain, and warmer temperatures. We did had some pretty evening skies set amount the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as well.
In the last few posts, we were touring wineries and eating nice meals in Mendoza, Argentina. Since then, I had a quick trip to Georgia for work, and a couple office weeks at home in Orlando. This week Steve (DOS) and I are back up in Virginia visiting my family. As I’ve posted many times, we are staying at my parents former home in Roanoke, (just up the street from my brother Andy’s house), and see my parents in Bedford Virginia during the day, which is an hour or so drive away via the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.
I took an unpaid week leave of absence from work this month, (FAML Act) last month, and plan to again in November, as well as a few days PTO at Thanksgiving. My parents are doing as well as they can, although my Dad is starting to get dementia, and his hearing is terrible. We all try to get him to wear his hearing aids, but he seems to forget putting them in. My Mom, meanwhile patiently repeats everything a few times in her soft-spoken voice, and after 64 years of marriage, they are used to it and understand each other well.
Today we picked Mom and Dad up for lunch at their assisted care facility; English Meadows in Bedford, (formerly the Elk’s Home) and took them out for lunch. We went to the Liberty Train Station which is the best restaurant in this small town, and is conveniently located near the Elk’s Home.
The 100 plus year old Elk’s Home has a beautiful and quiet campus, and every Christmas they have an elaborate, yet simple, Christmas display of lights and Christmas scenes, which people drive by to seen from miles around.
The staff at Elk’s Home starts decorating approximately three months before Christmas, as it’s quite a humongous project. The staff had already put many lights on the bushes, and were just starting today putting a couple trees and stars out on the lawn.
They still had room for some October and Halloween decorations, though, such as the Wizard of Oz “Tin Man” on the front porch!
We hand an enjoyable lunch at the Liberty Station Restaurant with Mom and Dad; the restaurant so named as it was a former stop for the Liberty station train stop. The restaurant is themed with lots of train memorabilia, and the service is always friendly with great food.
Here are some pics from our lunch today at “The Train Station” as most people call it.
In the evenings, DOS and I enjoyed the beautiful Fall weather, and spending time with my Brother Andy and newly married parter, Art. One night Andy and Art hosted an Octoberfest dinner at their home which was a hoot and pretty authentic as Art lived for a few years in Germany, way back when he was stationed their in the service. He even wore the traditional Bavarian outfit, which we told him was just like the guys in the band at EPCOT! LOL!
Here area few photos from the Octoberfest dinner with Andy and Art, an friends, including Barnabas, their adorable two year old toy Poodle.
Last night, Steve (DOS) and I had Andy an Art over to Mom and Dad’s house, and grilled and served dinner outside on the patio. DOS had bought some overhead string lights, which with the overhead and open are canopy, gave a feeling like a Napa Valley vineyard.
We lit the tiki torches and lights, and had a most wonderful Fall evening eating dinner outdoors. We had crab cakes for appetizers, followed by salad and then a huge Tomahawk ribeye cooked on the grille.
I slowly cooked the huge Tomahawk Ribeye on the grille, using the reverse-searing method of starting with low heat and finishing off with a high heat. This was only the second time I had cooked a huge Tomahawk Ribeye, but it did turn out very good if I do say so myself. While it was only one HUGE steak, it was split between the four of us, and there were leftovers still!
On Thursday night we went to a nice wine pairing dinner at Billy’s Restaurant. Billy’s has been having a series of wine-themed dinners throughout the year, and this one featured Virginia wines. While Virginia wouldn’t be on the top of my list for full-bodied reds, they actually had a very nice 100% Petit Verdo, which is traditionally used as a blending grape.
I missed covering last months Billy’s California themed wine dinner when we were also in Roanoke, so here are a couple photos from that one too. Billy’s Roanoke never ceases to disappoint!
We saw my parents several times this week, and on Thursday we took them up to the Peaks of Otter. We also took one of their fellow dining companions Edley with us. Edley is a delightful and sharp lady of 95, who was a former school teacher. Edley had grown up in the Bedford area and I had heard her mention she wanted to go back to the Peaks sometime for a visit. She has several sisters and a brother, and they are all in their 90’s – talk about good genes!
We picked Mom, Dad, and Edley up at Elk’s Home, and it was a short (but curvy) 15 minute drive up to the Peaks of Otter from the Elk’s campus, also along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were hoping to see some colorful Fall foliage, but this year it’s either late happening, or won’t be as colorful this year due to lack of summer rain, and warmer fall temperatures.
Once at the Peaks of Otter, we had lunch in the large country dining room, which overlooks the lake and surrounding mountains.
After lunch we walked went outside for a walk by the lake, but not for too long as it was a bit cool and breezy the day we went.
After a wonderful and leisurely lunch outing to the Peaks of Otter, we headed back to the Elk’s Home, and visited with Mom and Dad a while longer, helping Mom to get her iPad updated.
On the way out, we reminded Mom and Dad we would both be back up in mid-November for our next visit; doing our best to get up to Roanoke once a month.
Later on . . . It’s now Saturday evening at 5pm, and DOS and I are waiting on our flight back to Florida. We are on American Airlines this trip vs the Allegiant Airlines nonstop (Allegiant doesn’t fly to Orlando on Saturdays), so we have to connect in Charlotte, arriving into Orlando around 10:45pm.
Anyway, sorry for the long October post. DOS and I will be back up in Virginia again the week of November 11th. Until, so long Roanoke!