(Here's Meilani taking her first bite of Mama's Filipino pancit dish ala Grandma Cora Lazo. The long noodles with veggies and chicken were a hit. She also tried some of our friend Jenette's jambalaya tonight. She chowed down!)
Before we hit the road to go visit our friend Shawn Young in Baltimore, we thought we'd pause to appreciate a few of our favorite things about life here in Virginia:
1. The motto of this grand state: "Virginia is for Lovers."
2. Everyone waves and says "hi" whether they know you or not. (And that means everyone, y'all.)
3. All you have to do if you're feeling down is lift up your eyes to the breathtaking, smoky blue mountains and your mood will improve.
4. The Hollins University library full of rows and rows of children's picture books and other fascinating reads.
5. The 1.7-mile loop for running/walking around beautiful Hollins University's campus. (Ericlee walked around that path daily with Meilani - probably the equivalent of a marathon since we've been here.)
6. The Hollins pool open MWF 4-6 p.m. (Meilani loved her time in the water and hanging out with her new friend, Amanda, the lifeguard.)
7. The Hollins bookstore where Meilani loves to tear around corralling stuffed animals and picking up birthday cards with dogs on them.
8. The great preaching by Pastor Pete at New Hope Church on Sundays.
9. Ukrops market which is our favorite cross between Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and your local grocery store.
10. The fireflies that come out on the clear, warm nights.
11. The rocking chairs on front porches speaking to a slower view of life.
12. The city parks with paths for running and great slides for little ones like our girl.
13. We have to admit it, we enjoyed having cable and indulging in the Food Network and Versus (Tour de France channel). (Ok, sometimes Meilani watched Animal Planet for a diversion.)
14. Affordable Corporate Suites where we've lived these past 3 weeks and truly enjoyed our one-bedroom apartment, mini-kitchen and neighbors like Lisa & her husband and the manager Jean.
15. All our new friends, including Jenette (Dorina's new editing buddy who has amazing insights), Stephanie & her daugher Maya & her grandma, Victoria and her twins, William & Clarice, and many many more...
P.S. For all our California friends, we'll be home on Friday, August 3rd. Can't wait to see you.