Wednesday, July 01, 2009


We wrapped up staycation by leaving town. A fitting finale, don't you think?

The kids and I headed to Winchester to visit with my parents and a friend of mine from high school. We stayed at a hotel to have more time to explore on our own time. My parents are just not into leaving the house unless it involves a packaged bus tour. And I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want to hang out "downtown", so the kids and I made an adventure of it one morning. It was like returning to my old stomping grounds.

I lived all summer at the Handley Library. Dad would give me a ride into town at some point in the day and pick me up after work. I think that I read every book in the kids' biography section. It was fun to show my kids the building, but once inside, everything was different. And I couldn't really tell what was different and what was my faulty memories - must be what Alzheimer's feels like setting in.

But the library was beautiful. Lots of curves and round shapes in the original part, like these stairs:

Here's the stained glass dome from inside (how could I now remember that!):

And the entrance and view of the original building:

And don't you know that Winchester is the (self-proclaimed) Apple Capitol of the World? Here's the proof, that my daughter is trying to eat:

And a fancy one showing famous locals such as James Wood (founder? and namesake of my high school - Go Colonels!) and Stonewall Jackson (who headquartered there one winter):

We even made it to Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters and discovered that canon barrels are the same diameter as a child's arm:

and unearthed Mary Tyler Moore's connection to the HQ - her great x ? grandfather was the owner of the home and while he was recuperating from a Civil War injury elsewhere, offered his home to Jackson for use as a winter headquarters. So there. It's not really a vacation until momma makes you go through a museum.

All that walking made us hungry, so we hit the downtown pedestrian mall (which used to be filled when I was a kid with mentally ill adults and general riff-raff shopping at the five-and-dime and the liquor store):

to check out the Snow White:

They've installed a pick-up window and added outdoor seating, so we were in seventh heaven. Listen developers and planners: if you want to revitalize a pedestrian mall - add outdoor seating and plenty of restaurants. It's that simple. And cut down on the crazy bums. That helps, too.

Look at all that love on some greasy paper:

And tots! They had tater tots:

Who says you can't go back home?

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That library is stunning. Charming Winchester - who knew?

I love lunch on paper too.

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