On Thursday we left early (8AM) for a long (468 mile) drive to Lexington, Virginia where we had dinner reservations at Cafe Michel. We would stay in a hotel (Comfort Inn) tonight since the temperatures were predicted to go below freezing and there were only a few campgrounds open. Plus, we had dined at Cafe Michel two years ago and loved the food, service and closeness to the hotel. It was worth the stop in Lexington!
Our next trek was to Gettysburg PA where we stayed on Friday and Saturday with Gretchen and Joel Plotkin who are our daughter's in-laws. They live in a community that they were instrumental in organizing and building called "Hundred Fold." All of the houses are environmentally-wise with solar electric, solar hot water, and an ingenious sewerage treatment plant that produces certified drinkable water. We arrived by mid-afternoon and spent a wonderful leisurely time talking about our children, our grandchildren, and about Gretchen and Joel's upcoming trip to Greece where they plan to visit the sites of ancient Greek theater.
On Saturday, we drove to a fairly new vineyard (6 years old) and winery with tasting and lunch. The cider was especially pleasing as well as a red called "Devil's Den" which has a label photograph of a local landmark taken by one of the vineyard's owners. On the way back we stopped at a small goat farm where Anne hoped to get some goat milk for cheese making, but the goats were "kidding" and the milk was going to the more than a dozen baby goats. We did buy a delicious goat cheese.
That night we met the community at a dinner which was held at the common house. It was a special night when they celebrated the newest member of the community who had just made the final commitment to build her house on one of the few remaining lots. Another night of conversation back at Gretchen & Joel's house rounded out the day.
When we left around noon after a sumptuous breakfast, we had to give RV tours to the curious members of the community. They were amazed that we could live in such a confined environment for so many months. We explained that of course, the RV is both a vehicle and when we are camping, we have the whole outdoors - so it is not that confined.
We arrived home in time for dinner and Anne insisted that Tom bring the Koolatron "cheese cave" in from the RV before we sat down. In it was a surprise! When we were at the Plotkin's, we had brought the cheese cave in to run on their electric power rather than run the RV's batteries down. When we asked if we could bring the cheese cave in, Joel thought we had said cheesecake. Well, he had gone off on Sunday morning to buy the New York Times and at the same time picked up two pieces of cheesecake which he planted in the cheese cave as a practical joke. It was a delicious joke!
We are now home and preparing for our next trip. We leave on April 18 for Africa.