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'Worry Less. Live More.' Words to live by...

Holy wind Batman! We are currently sitting in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley in Luray, VA. And although it is absolutely beautiful, we are currently experiencing some inclement weather that includes winds that make me more than uncomfortable. So in order to distract me from anxiety, I have defrosted the freezer, put on my favorite trio - James, Jezza, and Hamster- and got out my laptop to update you on our latest adventures.

We spent 2 weeks at Walnut Creek Campground in Stuarts Draft, Va - just outside of Staunton. Staunton holds a special spot in our hearts. We have been coming here as much as possible for the past 3 years. And now you are thinking -why? Well, I'll tell you.... It's called Skipping Rock Beer Company and the Brewmaster is Ben, his wife is Lyn and their kids are as adorable as they are hysterical. They used to live in Keene, and were given the opportunity to help start something new in Staunton, and although they are sorely missed in Keene, they have done very well for themselves, and I for one am, super happy for them. The added bonus: This was a great place to go for an emergency beer run weekend! What's even cooler, is that Stella was able to hang out in the taproom with us, and after a bit it was like she had been there forever.

Fredd joined us for our last visit to Skipping Rock so we thought it would be cool to introduce you to another one of our 4 mascots. Chilly the stuffed penguin- our nod to Linux- Not to be confused with Penguin Bob, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, like D-day from Animal House.

Our campground was one of my favorites so far. The site was easy to level up in. They had a slew of ducks wandering around, which was cooler than I thought it would be. There was also a 9-hole disc golf course. We had never played disc golf before, so we had to give it a go! As with all other sports, I try to embrace my Seymour grace, style, agility....and pray that I didn't break something. Good news- nothing broken, and even tho it said it was a 3-par course, it was clearly a par-5...just sayin! They had a pond to fish in, but because of the season, and the fact that they were dredging it, there was no fish to be had. I also cooked my very first batch of fried catfish, and damn it was tasty.

Throughout our journey we have kept our friend Larissa up to date as to where we were going to be, when we would be there and for how long. It was assumed she would catch up with us at some point and since she had been to Staunton with us before it was no surprise that this was the spot that she would choose to visit. And when the day arrived and she showed up, she brought along a surprise. The surprise was Mike's best friend Bob. We totally did not see that coming! We were left speechless, - for a minute anyway. So for the next 4 days we toured, we ate, we even went to a Sake Brewery- which was wildly unique and where I tried my first Ramen bowl and it was fantastic! And of course we spent some time at Skipping Rock where we helped them celebrate their 3rd anniversary. We got there early and were glad we did, by the time we left the line to get beer in the taproom was out the door.

I know what you're thinking, there's got to be more to this visit. And you would be right! Larissa and I decided that we both needed a pedicure, so Friday we set out on a girl's day. Since I had not driven since September - no lie, September was the last time I drove. Mike is an excellent driver and I am logistics. (Or as he says "I'm driving Miss Daisy").

Our first stop was Walmart. Larissa needed some flip flops for after our pedicure. She asked our cashier where we should go and since it was just down the street and they took walk-ins we gave it a go. We both chose an herbal pedicure, where we were treated to an menthol-like rub on our legs, paraffin on our feet and a scrub of sorts on both. It was the best, if not the longest pedi ever!!

With our pedi complete it was time for a visit to Veritas Winery. We had some really great wine and toast points with yummy goodness. While sipping wine, we did some people watching and in general had a really great visit, until it was time to leave and head back to the campground, where the boys were hanging out and Mike was cooking on the grill. Larissa got wine and I grabbed a Charcuterie

Board to go and that's when it happened....

So I'm driving, Larissa is on logistics and we were going to be back at camp in about 35 minutes. Yeah, that didn't happen. About 40 minutes later out of Larissa's mouth came "Oops". I said what do you mean Oops? As it turns out way back at around the 3rd stop we should have gone left not right. This is the point where Larissa was giggling and I was panicking. Why? Because in my world of traveling, less that 1/4 of a tank of gas is bad, we were below that. To be fair, there was a gas station we passed because I thought it looked sketchy. Note to self: Beggars can't be

As it turns out it was a really great area to get "lost" in. In the middle of the nowhere Virginia we came across many vineyards, cider breweries and beautiful farmland. Once we got our bearings and Larissa assured me that we would not run out of gas -even if the gas light came on, her car could go another 40 miles before coming to a stop- I was able to get out of "old lady" mode and enjoy the sites. To top it all off the gas station we stopped at had a slew of wines to choose from including some from The Trump Winery. We wanted to stop there the day before, but ran out of time. And yes, the wine was awesome.

We chose Staunton as a stop on our way back to NH for a couple of reasons. One was to see our friends Ben and Lynn, the other to hang out in a really beautiful part of our country....In the end, what we got was something even more special. Time with some really great friends, and a surprise we didn't see coming. A big shout out to Larissa and Bob for making this visit to Staunton the best one yet! Love you guys!

And just when you thought I was done, there was one last treat...When we were headed out of town we made one last stop at Skipping Rock. On the way there the wind was horrible and I was instantly full of anxiety. As it turns out Skipping Rock has become a Harvest Host stop, and because the weather was shit, we ended up spending the night at Skipping Rock-Once again testing our boondocking skills. As you can see, it was not a good day to be a camper on the road.

As my nephew Jason so eloquently put it "You can run, but you can't hide". Trust me when I say that next year, we'll be running farther and hiding better! Until then..... Be Well, Be Happy and Safe Travels!

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Stewart McGuire
Stewart McGuire
04 abr 2022

Sounds like you are having fun! I wish we had more time when we will be passing through Virginia later this month but we have to make a bee-line from SC to Hershey, PA! I would have loved to stop at your friends' brewery!

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We are full-time RVers...there's always time when you go back through!

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