Not The Fresh Start I Was Hoping For

Sometimes days, or weeks in my case, don’t go as planned.

Last Sunday I was sad to see my 3 day weekend coming to an end, but I was looking forward to the fresh start that the new week and the new month of March were sure to bring. I was so ready to write out my goals for March, start a new yoga challenge, and get creative in the kitchen with my meal prepping.

Well, Monday morning I woke up feeling off balance and a little sick. Not sick with a cold or the flu, just kind of meh. I thought about calling off work, but it was too close to when my shift would start, so I went into work hoping I’d feel better as the day went on. I should have known that since I didn’t even feel like having my morning cup of coffee that things were not going to get better. Work was a struggle for me, but I struggled all the way through my shift. And then Brendan told me that he wasn’t feeling well either. And that night it hit us – food poisoning.

After a weekend of eating out to celebrate Brendan’s birthday with his parents, it’s no surprise that something made me sick. I always feel terrible if I eat out several times a week, let alone a couple of times in one day. My body just does not thrive on that kind of food. We think the cause of the food poisoning were the French fries we had on Sunday night. So, I guess I’ve learned my lesson about eating out too often. This was the very first time Brendan and I have gotten sick at the same time since we’ve known each other and the first time we have been sick since we’ve gotten married. I guess I’m thankful it wasn’t the flu though because literally everyone has been getting that. We both decided to call off work on Tuesday because we both felt terrible. We literally just laid around on the couch all day.

Brendan seems to have recovered more quickly than me. He also didn’t eat as many fries as I did, so maybe that’s why he wasn’t as sick. But I have been sick on and off again all week and I can’t remember the last time I have felt so bad. Since Sunday, I have lost 8 lbs, been able to eat very little, and haven’t really had any coffee this week (I have several cups of coffee every single day, so that’s a huge deal for me). The bottom line, food poisoning is no joke.

Thankfully, I am feeling much better today. I have the weekend off from work, my man is back in town after being gone for work, and I have the time to catch up on all of the things I had planned for earlier this week. Through all of this I have definitely learned not to take my health for granted. This is why I strive day in and day out to nourish my body by feeding it the clean, healthy options it needs and also why I try to move and get outside every single day. Since taking my health more seriously, I rarely get sick. But when something like food poisoning happens, I am reminded that taking care of myself is of the utmost importance and that the choices I make have consequences. I definitely won’t be getting French fries for quite some time.

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On a different note, here are some pictures from last weekends adventures with Brendan’s parents when they were in town visiting us. 🙂

Ms. Judy and Mr. Dan at the Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke.  

First thunder storm of the year rolling in. Taken on the balcony of the Taubman Museum of Art.



Lunch at The Village Grille in Grandin (not the fries that made me sick). 

Brendan and me and Black Dog Salvage. 

Since this cow picture at Black Dog Salvage is way more than I can afford, I took a picture of it, featuring my almond milk latte.

Almond milk latte from Cups in Grandin.



Look at these gorgeous blooms in downtown Roanoke. 

I’m looking forward to this month and the warmer days that are on the way. Happy Saturday everyone!

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The Greatest Adventure is What Lies Ahead

Happy Tuesday!

My goal for my blog this year is to post once a week, and so far I’ve missed the mark.

One of the reasons I haven’t posted on here in a while is because I’ve been busy trying to accomplish some of my new year’s goals I set for myself – two of those being getting a job and getting involved in the local community.

Within the past couple of weeks God has so graciously blessed me with a part-time job, an offer to write an article for a local magazine, and an opportunity to volunteer in my local community. How amazing is that?

Brendan and I moved to Roanoke in June last year and it has been quite the struggle looking for a job. First of all, I was a little nervous about moving to a new city and looking for a job. I wasn’t at all familiar with the area, and I knew that jobs in my field were scarce. I looked for some local writing jobs, but could never find much. I did apply for a few retail/food service jobs, but if I’m being honest, I really, REALLY didn’t want to work somewhere like that.

I tried not to be close minded, but I just genuinely didn’t feel ready to get a job and start working. Brendan was so sweet and never rushed me, or made me feel like I needed to get a job right away (I was so thankful for his full-time job and that we were able to live off of one income). But there was this part of me that felt guilty for not wanting to get a job just yet. I felt guilty for staying home and doing everyday chores like dishes, laundry, sweeping, grocery shopping, and cooking. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to help out. And I hated when people would ask me (or ask Brendan) what I was doing and if I had a job yet.

“Yet” – I hated hearing that word. It was as if these people were thinking “What is this girl doing with her time if she doesn’t have a job?”. It made me feel belittled and useless and there were times that I cried because of it. Believe it or not, I am rarely bored, even if I’m just at home by myself – I know how to occupy my time and I don’t feel the need to constantly be planning outings with friends just to fill the void. I’m not afraid of alone time, in fact I need alone time to recharge.

But back to the whole job thing. I felt like I needed to get a job because I didn’t want people asking me about it anymore. Which is really a terrible reason to get a job. I know it may sound kind of hippie, but I just wasn’t getting the feeling that any of the jobs I applied for were the right ones for me. I wanted to trust that God had the right job out there for me, and I would just know it when I saw it. I knew some people would roll their eyes at that – I didn’t want to use that as an excuse to not get a job, but that’s honestly how I felt deep down.

And I was right. The new year was right around the corner and I had this new surge of motivation and inspiration. I was determined to find a job and get to work. Little did I know I would find that job within the first week of the year. And I knew I should pursue it because it just felt right and I wasn’t dreading it.

So, within the past couple of weeks I started a new part-time retail job at a chocolate shop (kind of ironic because I don’t really like chocolate and most all of the chocolates they sell are not vegan), I have been writing a magazine article, and I also met with a lady in charge of the community gardens in the Roanoke area and talked about areas that I can get involved in and volunteer at the gardens.

My planner went from empty to filled almost overnight, and I’m totally okay with that. I want to get involved and make a difference in community.

To be honest (I’m trying to be very honest about my feelings in this post), there was this part of me that was still holding onto the city of Lynchburg. Over the course of my 4 1/2 years of college, I came to really love the city of Lynchburg. I loved the people, the local businesses, and the familiarity of it all. But that was the problem, it had become too familiar and I was stuck in my comfort zone. When I first moved to Lynchburg I hated living there. It wasn’t until I invested myself into the community that I really grew to love and appreciate the little Lynchburg bubble. And even though I tried to deny it, I knew it was time to break free of that bubble and have a fresh start in a new city.

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Downtown Lynchburg – home to some of the cutest shops and cafes. This city will always hold a special place in my heart. 

So even though I’ve been living in Roanoke since June last year, I’m just now allowing myself to let go of Lynchburg an immerse myself in this place they call the Star City. I don’t know why I tend to resist change (sometimes unknowingly), but I’m working on not dwelling on the past. From here on, I want to really put my energy into the present and and learn to be at peace with where I’m at instead of looking back to the past. J.R.R. Tolkien once said “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead”, and I’m learning to believe that.

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Downtown Roanoke – My new home. 
Sorry for rambling on, I just had a lot of thoughts I wanted to get out and share. Have a great day! 🙂

Exploring the Star City and Other Things

Happy August! I have been so excited and eager to get the computer to write my weekly blog post! Brendan and I had a great weekend spent with his family who were in Virginia for a visit and I am still on a weekend high haha! Since we were hanging out with Brendan’s family on Monday, yesterday felt like the start of the week to me. I made sure I sat down yesterday to write a list of goals and healthy habits that I want to incorporate into my life this month. I’ve got a couple blog posts that are in the making and I hope to have them posted soon in addition to my weekly recaps. And speaking of recaps, let me sum up what I’ve been up to this past week. 

Wednesday July 27 – Last Wednesday I opted out of going to the gym because I had some things to get done around the apartment. I decided that an in-home workout would have to do, so I did hula hooping for cardio (yes, hooping is a thing. Look it up!) and did various leg workouts on my yoga mat. It was actually a nice change of pace to workout at home instead of at the gym. I cranked up the music and hooped my heart out 🙂 I was also able to do some meal prepping for the week and I made my homemade Cajun-spiced sweet potato veggie burgers. 

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Thursday July 28 and Friday July 29 – Besides going to the gym on Thursday and Friday, I really don’t remember what else I did on those days haha. Sometimes I feel like my days revolve around going to the gym and working out. I really worked hard this week at the gym because I knew Brendan’s family was planning on coming for a visit and I knew we would be eating out. So after I finished my workout on Friday I felt so beat and warn out. And I don’t usually get like that. I’m starting to see results though, so the exhaustion I felt this past week was worth it!

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Saturday July 30 – On Saturday morning, Brendan and I woke up early to go on a budget meeting breakfast date! Since August was right around the corner, Brendan thought it would be a good idea if we sat down together and discussed our spending this past month and look ahead and figure out what we should be spending the coming month. Brendan is great with money and budgeting (he is an accountant after all) and has really helped me understand how to handle money better. We are using the free app Every Dollar to help us keep track of our spending and to know exactly where every penny is going. Brendan is really into listening to the Dave Ramsey show and has now got me reading his book Total Money Makeover! While money can be stressful at times, Brendan and I seem to agree with how we want to spend and give our money, which is a total blessing considering money seems to be one of the biggest things couples argue about. Maybe in the future I’ll do some blog posts on how to do healthy grocery shopping on a budget. 🙂 

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Brendan had a coupon for a free Chickfila breakfast and I had a reward for a free coffee from Panera, so we decided to use our rewards and enjoy them during our meeting. I think I could get used to this being a once a month thing. 🙂 

Since I woke up earlier than normal, I was able to get a few things done around the apartment before heading to the gym. I’ve been really into children’s books and teen novels recently! Don’t ask me why, because I’m still trying to figure that out haha. Here I am, a married woman, reading the Gossip Girl series and Coraline. Maybe that’s just my way of reminiscing about my years as a teenager now that I’m an adult. Anyway, I finished reading Coraline before lunch time. I ordered the book from Amazon last October so I could read it around Halloween time. But alas, school and work got in the way and I never finished it. My brother and I loved the movie Coraline before we knew it was a book, so once I discovered there was a book I just had to read it. Overall, I’d say it was a good, creepy book with all the October vibes. 🙂 

After my workout I was completely exhausted but I still had a lot on my to-do list. So I fixed myself a nourishing dinner and rested for a bit while watching some TV before pushing forward. I ended up baking some Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread and cleaning the apartment until late that night. After all of my chores were done I was so ready for bed, but I felt satisfied and accomplished. 

Sunday July 31 – I was still tired Sunday morning when Brendan and I went to church, but I managed to make it through the morning with just one cup of coffee haha! Brendan’s mom and brother were supposed to be arriving in Roanoke around dinner time, so I thought it would be a good idea to squeeze in a quick ab workout and some cardio after lunch. 

We picked up some pizzas for dinner and then brought it back to the apartment. This was Brendan’s family’s first time visiting us since we moved to Roanoke, so it was fun getting to show them our home. 🙂 

Monday August 1 – What a great way to start the month of August! We spent all day Monday hanging out with Brendan’s mom (Ms. Judy) and his brother Kevin and exploring Downtown Roanoke. We started our day at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. Brendan has always been really into trains and was so excited when he found out we would be living near the museum. Transportation isn’t really something I’m interested in, but I do like history and seeing Brendan get excited about all of the trains was worth it to me. 🙂 I love all of the history there is in Virginia and there is still so many historical land marks and museums I haven’t visited yet! 

It was about lunch time after we finished up at the museum, so we headed to a little local burger joint called the Texas Tavern. It’s one of those little hole in the wall restaurants (when I say little, I mean it seats 10 people) that looks kind of dirty and sketchy but everybody loves. It’s like an old fashioned diner where you sit on bar stools at the counter and get to watch the cooks fix your food. This place was definitely not for me. As soon as I walked in I got slapped in the face with the stench of grease and burgers, which just turned my stomach.

When we sat down at the counter and the cook took our order, he got to me and asked what I wanted and I politely told him that I wasn’t getting anything. When he asked why, Brendan told him that I was a vegetarian. The cook said that he could fix me an egg if I didn’t eat meat (he also offered me Raisin Bran and oyster crackers), but I told him that I really didn’t eat eggs and that I was trying to incorporate more vegan foods into my diet and avoid eggs and dairy when I can. The cook stopped and stared at me and then said he felt sorry for me and told me that I should “come back” to meat eating. Really? I find it funny that people “feel sorry” for vegans and vegetarians, like I’m missing out on life or something. Um, quite the opposite. I feel bad for people that don’t know how to take care of their bodies (or don’t care to) by eating healthy. I am the healthiest I have ever been and I feel great! I actually love it when people ask me about being vegetarian and why I choose to eat the way I do though, because those questions open up the opportunity to teach others about how they can take care of their bodies.

Sorry for babbling on and on about this. Perhaps I should write a whole post on this subject! Anyway, after a little while, the cook went into the kitchen and came back out and handed me a huge white peach! I thought that was really nice of him. 🙂 Even though I didn’t like the restaurant the people were nice and Brendan and his family said the food was good.

After lunch we headed up to the Butterfly Deck which is located on top of Center in the Square in Downtown Roanoke. Brendan and I had been up there a couple weeks ago, but we wanted to show his family. The view of Roanoke from the deck is gorgeous, and there are also some cute rooftop gardens and even a small fish pond up there as well. 

We then decided to stroll the streets and visit some of the little local shops. Brendan and I have been living in Roanoke for two months now and we still haven’t really visited any of the downtown shops or local restaurants, so having his family in town was a good excuse for all of us to be tourists for the day. We visited several shops, but to be honest I really wasn’t impressed with any of them. There was one shop called Chocolatepaper that we all enjoyed. They have the neatest assortment of stationary, chocolates and little gifts for all occasions. I think I know where I’ll be doing some of my Christmas shopping this year! 

Once 4 p.m. rolled around, my feet were tired from walking around and I was in the need for a caffeine fix, so we headed to Starbucks to get a pick me up. I had been saving a Gold Card reward for a free drink, so I treated myself to a free venti iced coconut milk mocha macchiato and it was perfection. We hung out at Ms. Judy and Kevin’s hotel room while we decided on where we should eat dinner. Since it was still a bit early for dinner, Brendan suggested that we walk the Rail-Walk and also take a look at the Hotel Roanoke before going to dinner. It really was the perfect evening for a walk.

We decided to have dinner at Alejandro’s Mexican Grill in Downtown Roanoke. I got the taco salad without any meat and it was just okay. While I thought their salsa bar was pretty cool, it just didn’t compare with La Carreta in Lynchburg. After dinner we drove up to the Roanoke Star to show Ms. Judy and Kevin the beautiful view of the Star City and the surrounding mountains. 

To wrap up our day, we all went back to Brendan and my apartment to play card games. We really had a wonderful time having Brendan’s family over and showing them around our city. There are still a lot of things we want to do with Brendan’s family in the area, so we are talking about doing this again in the fall, which is actually just around the corner! 

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Tuesday August 2 – Tuesday was catch up day for me! Brendan and I did some grocery shopping before he went to work. I felt like we were almost out of everything! I stocked up on some more fruits, veggies and of course Clif Bars (which are on sale at Kroger, by the way). 🙂 Brendan also surprised me by taking me to Barnes and Noble to buy the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book! I was just a little excited 😀 Brendan definitely got some brownie points for that. 

And after my two days absence from the gym, it was time to get back into my normal workout routine. I guess I was still a little tired from all of the excitement over the weekend, because I didn’t feel as productive as I usually do at the gym. But hey, at least I got my workout in! 

I spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympic trials and reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

Wednesday August 3 – Today I decided to stay home from the gym and workout at home. It’s been such a cozy, rainy day and I’ve absolutely enjoyed it. ❤  I fixed myself an egg, toast, avocado and coffee for dinner because there’s just something about rainy evenings that make me crave breakfast food! Since I had the time, I also made a pot of vegan corn chowder for tomorrow and the rest of the week. 

And to wrap up this cozy rainy night, I’m going to watch the new episode of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, read some more of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and maybe do a bit of journaling. Have a lovely night everyone! 

 

Week in Review

This week has been good for the mind, body and spirit. I have really needed some motivation and rejuvenation, and I think I found both.

On Monday (July 11) Brendan and I went to the gym! We signed up for a gym membership last Saturday so that we could start working out together. I’ve gained a little weight since we moved and I’ve lost the muscles I had been working on before my wedding, so I really felt like I needed a fresh start for my workouts. While I actually prefer doing my own at-home workouts a lot of the times, I just wasn’t getting the results that I was looking for. For me, I’m more likely to workout if it means getting out of my apartment for a change of scenery and also because I know we are paying for our membership! I’ve been to the gym everyday this week besides Friday, and I feel great.

Friday morning (July 15) I woke up feeling super happy and I had the best nights sleep I’ve had since moving to Roanoke! Brendan took off work Friday so that we could spend the day with our friends Brady and Lora who were visiting from Georgia. Brendan and Brady have been best friends for years now and they were roommates for two years. Brady and Lora got married right after Brendan and me and then they moved to Georgia, so it’s been hard being so far away from them. But it’s so exciting to see how God is working in their lives down in Georgia.

We met Brady and Lora for lunch at La Carreta in Lynchburg. La Carreta was one of our favorite places to eat together when we were all in school, so it was kind of like old times eating there together again. 🙂

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After lunch, Brendan and I decided to head to Liberty University to walk around campus to get some vitamin D and to burn off some of the calories we consumed during lunch! It was our first time being back at Liberty (the place we met) since we got married. As we walked through the Jerry Falwell Library, where we spent countless hours studying and writing papers, I couldn’t help but think back to last fall and my very last semester of college. Under the pressure of work and school, I kept thinking how wonderful and easy things would be if I could just finish school and then get married – sometimes it felt like that time would never come. But here we were, college alumni and husband and wife walking around our college campus. It felt surreal. I never thought I’d say it, but I kind of miss Liberty and college classes! A lot of good memories were made on that campus and I wouldn’t trade those 4 1/2 years of college for anything.

We ended up getting a good walk in and sweating in the heat of the day. We kept having to take detours around all of the construction that was going on on campus (when is there NOT construction going on Liberty’s campus?). At 2:30 p.m., we met up with Brady and Lora and their friend Shannon at a local bookshop called Bookshop on the Avenue. This bookshop is one of my very favorites! The shop is basically an old house with used books from top to bottom. Definitely a haven for bibliophiles.

After we shopped for books, we went downtown to peruse the streets and cool off with some sweet treats. I got an iced coffee from The White Hart Cafe and Lora and Shannon got gelato from CAO Artisans Chocolates. We enjoyed our treats while shopping around at an antique shop and a pawn shop. The thing that I love about downtown Lynchburg is that it seems to be a thriving hub for creatives. There are so many new crafty shops and every time I turn around I feel like there is a trendy cafe or restaurant. I love the creative energy and everyone’s desire to shop local. I’m still getting to know the Roanoke area, but I feel like Roanoke is more for business people. I definitely miss Lynchburg’s talent and writing for the local magazines there.

At 4 p.m., Brendan and I met my brother Jon after he got off work. The three of us hung out for a while before grabbing a bite to eat and then heading over to the mall to meet back up with Brady and Lora. After we shopped around at the mall we all went to see Ghostbusters. The movie was actually really good – I haven’t laughed that much in a movie in a long time. 🙂 We had to say our goodbyes with Brady and Lora after the movie. 😦 They headed back to Georgia today because Brady has to be back at work on Sunday. It was bittersweet to watch them go, but Brendan and I are excited to start planning a trip to Georgia to visit them before too long.

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Jon came back to Roanoke with us to spend the night! We picked up some Talenti gelato and rented a movie from Red Box on our way back home. But before we settled in to watch a movie, we hit the streets of downtown Roanoke to take a walk (I think Brendan and Jon just wanted an excuse to keep playing Pokemon Go haha). The nightlife in downtown Roanoke is always in full swing on the weekends, and the amount of people playing Pokemon Go keeps growing with each passing day. After we all changed into our comfy clothes and pulled the sofa bed out, we fixed some gelato and watched 10 Cloverfield Lane.

This morning (July 16) we all slept in until around 10 a.m., had some breakfast and coffee and then headed out to go on a hike. Brendan and I have been wanting to hike up to the Roanoke Star since we moved here, so we figured that today would be the perfect day for it. It was also a great way to get some exercise in. Did you know that the Roanoke Star is the largest man-made star in the world?! I had no idea. I guess you learn something new everyday.

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The trail took us about an hour or so to hike – not bad at all. I really enjoyed being outdoors surrounded by the lush greenery. And I think Jon and Brendan had a blast playing Pokemon Go as we hiked. Ha!

Since I was sweaty from hiking and already in my gym clothes, I figured I might as well go to the gym to work out for an hour or so. Since I got my cardio in from our hike earlier in the day, I decided to focus on working my abs, legs and arms. I think tomorrow will be my day of rest.

I spent the rest of the evening doing some chores and just chilling. I’m currently watching Maid in Manhattan while I finish this post up. I might fix myself a bit of gelato here in a bit and do some reading for the rest of the night. I really hope this coming week will be as awesome as this past one! 🙂

Autumn Beauty

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. School work and my internship kept me from blogging for the past couple months, but now that I’m home for Christmas break it’s time to get back at it! Last month my roommate came to me and asked if I could take some pictures of her. So one Friday afternoon we drove to Downtown Lynchburg for a quick photo shoot. Portraits are not my area of expertise, but I did like the way these pictures turned out. Krista made my job so easy and she made such a gorgeous model! 🙂

Downtown Ocean City

After a gloomy day on Wednesday May 14, the sun came out and the weather was a bit warmer on Thursday (May 15). Brendan and I hadn’t gotten the chance to go out and really photograph anything in Ocean City yet, so we decided that it would be a lovely day for taking a stroll and exploring the area.

Brendan and I took a lovely walk which started from the beach house we were staying at on 18th street. We walked all the way down the boardwalk past the shops and then strolled down Asbury Avenue until we made our way back to the house again. We made a couple stops along the way; we had lunch at Manco & Manco and then I stopped at the Starbucks on Asbury Avenue for an afternoon pick-me-up.

I’m going to come right out and say that I am not the biggest fan of the beach (or at least I wasn’t). Visiting the beach is nice, but water doesn’t appeal to me very much and swimming is definitely not one of my strong points. But I never really thought of all of the other things there are to do near the beach and in the local area. I love exploring new places and visiting local shops and eateries and there was plenty of places to explore in Ocean City. The shops along Asbury Avenue are charming and I particularly enjoyed the two bookshops I visited.

During my week long stay with Brendan and his family in Ocean City, we got to taste some of the wonderful foods from the local eateries. A few of the places we visited include Manco & Manco (as I mentioned above), Monkey Bread, Sunrise Cafe and Bongo Grille. While these places are small, I love the cozy atmosphere of them. There’s just something appealing about small local shops and restaurants and chances are if I have a good experience when I visit one of these places there’s a good chance that I will come again. It’s not always about the merchandise or how good the food is, atmosphere and scenery play a big roll in my opinion. One thing that was a huge plus for me was that Bongo Grille has a separate menu of Vegan friendly foods! As a vegetarian, I sometimes have a hard time finding restaurants that have vegetarian/vegan friendly options (which also makes it difficult for the people I am eating with), so I was all for trying Bongo Grille for dinner when I read all the tasty foods on their vegan menu.

Another thing I adore about Ocean City is that most of the shops and restaurants are within walking and/or biking distance. To me, the idea of being able to wake up in the morning and take a bike ride down the boardwalk for some exercise and then ride over to a local cafe to get a bite for breakfast is absolutely lovely! Oh, and walks on the beach at night…I can’t forget to mention those. These are just a few of the things that have me re-thinking my opinion of life by the ocean. I don’t know how to put it into words…it’s just so charming. A romantic summer dream. After spending a week in Ocean City I really wasn’t ready to leave.

Anyway, here are a few photos from me and Brendan’s photo walk. Enjoy soaking in some of the local character!

Exploring the Hill City

Last Saturday (May 3) Brendan and I went on one last date before going home for the summer. We spent the day exploring Downtown Lynchburg and the local area and documenting our adventure through pictures.

First we went down to where the Depot Grille is located along the river to check out where the train derailment happened on Wednesday, April 30. There wasn’t much to see. There were still a few train cars that off the tracks, but the area had been cleaned up for the most part. After looking at the scene of the accident, we went to see the LOVE sculpture that is at the entrance to Percival Island. I had written an article about the sculpture back in February, but hadn’t had the chance to see it myself.

We then strolled around main street and went to the Farmer’s Market (where I tried lemon honey lavender goat cheese for the first time and it was excellent!), the White Hart Cafe and Scarlet’s Main Street Antique Mall. We also got to see the new beautifully painted pianos that now grace main street with artistic beauty. The pianos are a part of an initiative known as “Keys for the Hill City”. It was so lovely to walk down main street and hear the beautiful melodies that were being played by people passing by. I think it is a wonderful way to promote art and music and showcase the talent of the local people of Lynchburg. Brendan was able to play a couple of the pianos and put on a show for several people that were passing by.

I always take the little town of Lynchburg, Virginia for granted, but after exploring downtown and all of the awesome local shops, cafes and artwork around I have a deeper appreciation for this town.

Later in the afternoon, Brendan and I went to the Farm Basket and then the quaint little Bookshop on the Avenue. We went to an early dinner at Olive Garden and then decided to drive to Nelson County to visit my family and get some ice cream from the Dairy Isle. It was the perfect day and a wonderful last date of the school year!