That was my highlight- seated in the beautiful historic lower level room at the Martha Washington Inn- my parents anniversary dinner in the place where you enjoy the effort of planning and launch- fruits of labors realized! Ahhhh we did it! I had the perfect view of the three tables- could see Mom and Dad happily enjoying their six grand kids singing the “we love you like a love son” lyrics with anniversary theme added to honor the special occasion.
We were all in that happy tired accomplished place after riding 17 miles of the Virginia Creeper Bike Trail. Peter’s highlight. I will highly recommend this activity for others and hope to return some day for a repeat! My Dad/ Pap had riding this trail on his bucket list and it really was an ideal happening as part of the anniversary weekend festivities. Everyone was successful- Nana and Pap on bikes they’ve prepared for by getting to FHCC’s stationary bikes. Six year old Louisa on her sweet little bike and those of us a t-t nervous for all of the above including Sally who worries. Everyone was awesome. The hero of the group was Greg who showed us another one of his passions. He circled back and forth last and first to check in with all. He was in the right place when I noticed Dad’s flat tire. During a rest break for the happy couple with a coke and hot dog (mile 11 on the path) Greg took off the wheel, patched the inter tube and had the bike ready to go- 15 min tops! Peter wasn’t seen much on the ride- he did enjoy the break we did take creek side but went on ahead on his own. He found himself at the carnival and off the trail. He located a map and rejoined our party. Damascus Adventures were our outfitters- I’d recommend and use again! Advice and my next time riding- pack a picnic, take a bit more time to explore some of the views- planning to do some creeking. The timing worked for us- early assent- descending just after 9. Damascus was hopping and had a 2 pm parade- Trail Days- we escaped back to the lovely Abingdon just in time. We had party prep waiting!!
Cousin time- both Clare and Sally’s highlight. How fortunate we are to have six cousins who truly love each other- always have. Spending two nights and almost two days together in a beautiful historic Inn with modern amenities including indoor pool opening to outdoor picturesque hot tub, beautiful lawn with fountain complete with ducks. Add an active exercise to unite and expend energy we made memories and strengthened the bond- joy for all in attendance!
Joe’s highlight was our dinner as well. The evening with extended family- a number of Mom’s first cousins – gathered with us to make the event more special. The Martha expanded from a mansion, girls school and now elegant hotel is a wonderful retreat for all ages! The room we had for our intimate anniversary celebration was perfect- charming, elegant with a darling outside seating area perfect for cocktail hour! Matt and Dawn wrote a great song using Johnny Cash's I’ve been everywhere- to recap the past 50 years of great adventures-ups and downs-and all our gifts- numerous verses were fun to present- all involved. Sarah and Greg with Louisa giving the zinger line- did the “Top Five” that made us laugh and cry. Joe’s dancing made the Newlywed/Anniversary Game all the more festive and appropriate. The ending questions recounting the advice they live to the fullest and inspire their children and hopefully grandchildren- never go to bed mad and the best thing a father can do for his children- love their mother.
Sarah, Greg, Matthew, Dawn, Joe and I all agree we’re lucky to have Jeanne and Mike as the devoted husband and wife they are and the weekend was one we’ll never forget. It took some planning and talking for over a year in my life on Newark-Granville Road and it worked! Mom and Dad found a wonderful location to bring us all together under one roof to celebrate and toast fifty fabulous years and a beautiful love.