Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Everybody's Got Some Country In Them

Doesn't flyin' down an old back road give ya, a sweet taste of freedom?
And that worn out favorite pair of blue jeans - yea ya' just gotta love 'em.
And you can never resist that sweet tea and fishin' til the sun goes down,
Everybody's got some country in them.

And you can't tell me that you don't like a campfire, every now and then.
Riding in the back of an old Ford - hair blowin' in the wind.
It doesn't matter where you're from, who you are, or where ya been,
Everybody's got some country in them.

Some Country - Emma Lynn White

I get that country music isn't for everyone, but this song pretty much nails it. Never heard of Emma Lynn White? Me either - until recently. She's actually from Gum Spring, VA and is studying music at a school in Nashville, TN - pretty much living the dream right? Here's her Facebook, iTunes, some of her music vids, and an old blog of hers. (Her song Nashville is such a fun song and her song Train even incorporates her lil bro's banjo talents! Talented family much?) Totally supporting locals when I can :) 

Where am I going with this? I bought her song sampler Friday night, packed my bag for Charlottesville/Staunton, and read a little of Gone Girl before heading to bed. Saturday I woke up to . . . rain. Boo! I made the best of it though. I arrived in Charlottesville to learn that my girlfriend lost her wallet at Sweet Frog the evening before. We re-traced her steps without much luck, so we headed to Staunton - The Queen City of the Shenandoah, for a breather. 

Pretty much any outlying area within 25-35 miles of Charlottesville is going to be small. Really small y'all - so be prepared. Growing up, my youth group at church used to go to Ingleside Resort for weekend conference trips. We would snow tube, commute to Wintergreen/Massanutten for skiing and snowboarding, and then partake in awesome music and festivities in the evenings.

Why is The Queen City so cool? Well, Woodrow Wilson was born here, it's home to Mary Baldwin College, and has tons of Shakespearean roots - like this theater and this cottage.

I had a few things in mind that I was looking for, so we parked and walked around. This was the only time during our day that we wouldn't experience complete and total downpours. 

At one point, I mentioned to Amanda that Beverly Street (the main street in downtown Staunton) reminded me of High Street in Morgantown - she totally agreed. I love small town feel. I really do. There's still a small part of me that clings to places like Richmond and Philly though - I think its the artistic/urban nature of things. Places like this are artistic in their own special way.

Here's the store I was in search of - Worthington Hardware (here's a documentary that a UVA student made about the store/family - very worth it to watch - it will warm you head to toe). Hands down, it was the coolest store. This older gentleman owns it, and his daughter makes certain that there's no haggling haha. They had tons of old Nabisco cracker boxes, GE fans, vintage soda bottles, worn Remington casing boxes, and more than you could ever imagine. I wanted all of it - my purse nor my car were big enough.

These were what I came for - project post coming soon! P.S. Who knew old plates could be so pricey? The owner's daughter explained that folks will restore old vehicles and they come looking for plates, authentic to the time of the vehicle - makes sense now - totally unbeknownst to me.

Then we went in Queen City Marketplace where I found this. When I say I would loved to have had this riding home in the backseat - I mean I realllllly would have loved for this to have been in my back seat. Maybe no one will ever want it?! HA!

Upstairs I found this ancient Maytag Washing Machine. How lucky are we nowadays?

Since starting pharmacy school, I have accumulated quite the collection of old pharmacy-like goods. Last fall, when driving through Delaware, my roommate and I stopped at this very unique antique store where I purchased an old Rheumatic Fever Remedy bottle for just $10! Things have kinda taken off from there. Also in my collection are quite a few old-school mortar and pestles. At this point, I'm totally running with it. In Queen City Marketplace, I found this gem - an old kit used to remove snake venom for just $9.50! (Not sure if this has been used or not - I'm gonna go with no because the Iodine and Ammonia were still in tact.)

I also found this old Ex-Lax tin for $4. {Fist pump} Two points for Susan!

 We browsed a few more stores on Beverley Street. One store had this neat creation for sale.

When's the last time you've seen a movie theater window look like this?

We made it to the end of the strip of shops when I told Amanda, "There are literally no cars driving down this road. That's when you know you're in small-town USA." She was like, "Stand in the middle and snap that baby up." So you know I couldn't pass that up. While standing there, Emma's song flashed back through my mind. My girlfriend is from WV and she knows all about small towns, but thrifting isn't really her thing. She tagged along though and totally embraced my quirks. Maybe you are from a small town, or perhaps you're from a big city - either way, anyone can identify those precious moments, the simple ones, the country ones, and allow them to totally bless you.

Just over that hill is Mary Baldwin College.

Before heading back to Charlottesville, we decided lunch was in order. We decided on Shenandoah Pizza. Three words - Promise You'll Eat. Seriously. Promise me! Hands down the best pizza I've ever had. We ate, then headed back to Charlottesville to address the wallet sitch. Then, in normal fashion, we hit Anthro and Target. Found this signage near the travel books in Anthro. Absolutely love it! Gonna have to recreate a version for myself. (Post coming about "Things I'm Loving.")

O! On Friday I mentioned I'd get to see a cute little boy named Ryder - well he is cute and he is a boy! He's a nine week old Black Lab. Hims the sweetest yittle man. He's a squirmer - excuse the blurry puppy love.

That evening, Amanda and I hit the downtown mall in Charlottesville. We walked waded into Urban Outfitters because the rain was absolutely relentless. Then we made our way to Citizen Burger Bar for some local meaty goodness. There's just something about local meat, local buns, local shrooms (you get the idea) that just feels - right. Local is seriously a good thing.

At this point, it's no secret that Charlottesville/Staunton rank high on my list of favorite places/things to do. On Sunday, as I made the drive back, I used that time to think and reminisce. It used to be that Amanda would make trips to visit me in Richmond during the summer, and we would make day trips to Charlottesville for shopping/vineyard love. Now, it's the opposite - and I don't hate it one bit. As I was thinking, my eyes couldn't help but wander to the rearview mirror, taking in the beautiful mountains and fog. It hurts my heart a little bit every time I leave, but ya know what they say though . . . once a Mountaineer, always a mountaineer. 

What's your "some country"? Is it campfires, driving down backroads, slamming screen doors, wide front porches, or maybe it's something else?


1 comment:

  1. Aw Suze! I just discovered your blog and I love it!! I looked at all of your Charlottesville adventures first of course. Miss you! <3