So what do two baby boomers do when they retire? Well, for us, it’s time to rediscover Virginia, a state we have called home as a couple for 35 years, a place where we have raised our children who are now introducing their children to the region, and a state where we enjoy residing in opposite corners, allowing us to experience the ocean, the mountains and everything in between.
Bill grew up in Virginia and hails from deep “first family of Virginia” roots, including John Marshall. I reluctantly moved here from Pittsburgh when we were married, vowing to remain a Yankee forever. But there’s something about this historic region that draws you in and gets in your blood. While I will always respect my roots, Virginia is now home.
We like Virginia so much, we’d like to share our experiences with you. We plan to revisit many of the places we have been over the years, as well as discover new spots along the way. If you have ideas about cool areas to see, events worth mentioning or just fun things to do, please let us know and we’ll add it to our list. But we don’t want this to be just a Virginia Is For Lovers travelogue blog. We will also share our lives as retired Baby Boomers…the fun, the problems, dealing with children and grandchildren, whatever. To get us started, we thought we’d share a couple of interesting facts about Virginia you may not know.
- Virginia is the 5th largest region in the nation for wine production. Wine is a staple in the Myers household and we particularly love visiting the many wineries in the state. We have not hit all of them, but we have nothing but time now that we’re retired.
- Virginia only has two natural lakes. When you travel Virginia, there is water all around. But if it’s not the ocean or a river, it is likely man made. The two natural lakes are Lake Drummond in the Great Dismal Swamp and Mountain Lake, where the movie “Dirty Dancing” took place. Unfortunately, this lake often drains so catch it when you can.
- Over half the battles fought in the Civil War were fought in Virginia. There’s no shortage of Civil War history in Virginia. Just asked our kids because we dragged them to all of the hot spots through the years, including Appomattox where the war ended.
- The first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia at Berkeley Hundred (now Berkeley Plantation) in 1619. Ha, Massachusetts!
- The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia. The yummy goober is part of Virginia’s history, dating back to the first settlers. Production is mostly concentrated in the southeastern part of the state, where we hail from.
- Bristol, VA shares the same main street as Bristol, TN. It’s called State Street and each year the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is held there. The 2014 festival is slated for Sept 19-21
We hope you will come to love Virginia as much as we do. We know it has its warts and we won’t be afraid to mention them. Our goal, however, is to share Virginia’s charm, its history, its livability and the many neat places to visit. Enjoy!