Sunday, September 29, 2013

Out and About in Historic Abingdon, Virginia

After getting unpacked at Black Fort's Inn
B & B (see previous blog post), Judy and I
set out to see the town. Over our two day stay
we got very familiar with this historic place.

We started with a visit to the town welcome
center, where I got maps and information.

This little side street has a perpetual stream
running across it, with pedestrian bridge.

Abingdon is home to the Barter Theater,
State Theater of Virginia.

Just across the street is their second venue,
Barter Stage II, which offers up-close drama
in an intimate setting with stadium seating.
Not a bad seat in the house.

On the second day of our trip we opted to
go to a 10 a.m. matinee of "Little House on
the Prairie" in its opening performance.
The cast mingled with the audience, largely
school groups, both before and after the show
  Judy and I loved the creative production.

A 20 square block area of downtown
Abingdon is designated as the historic
district.  Virtually every old house and
building has its own story.

In front of the famed Martha Washington
Hotel, someone had erected this giant
LOVE sign.  It set a nice tone for this
welcoming town.

We were delighted to find the town's 
Farmer's Market open on the day we arrived.

What a wonderful site they have for their
local farmers to exhibit their wares.

Let's make a note of those times for
future travels here.

Since our breakfasts were included at
the B & B, dinner was our meal out.  And
we had two delicious meals at local restaurants.
The Wildflour Bakery was more than just a
bakery-- we went back for a great supper

We always like to check out local libraries.
This one was well-stocked and was open
till 8:30 at night.  Very user friendly.

I couldn't resist this cemetery that dates back
more than two centuries-- in fact, all the way
to the Revolutionary War in 1776!

The Cummings House is the restored home
of the very first minister of the Sinking Springs
Presbyterian Church.

I love the unexpected and imaginative settings
of many graves in old cemeteries.

This monument honors unknown 
Confederate soldiers buried here.

This is my kind of cemetery-- not that
I'm in any hurry, of course.

Our other fine dinner out was at 128 Pecan,
on Pecan Street, of course.  At both of these
fine restaurants, regular customers entering
at the same time as us assured us how pleased
we would be with our meals.  How right they
were.  Some of these folks were local, but
others were frequent visitors from out of town.

Besides the eateries I've mentioned, there
are other notable places of fine dining in
Abingdon.  Maybe we'll try them in the future.

Before returning home, we would take
advantage of the comparatively low gas
prices in Virginia.  We saw similar prices
in Tennessee, and closer to home, filled up
in Sanford for a mere $3.19 a gallon.
Now the prices in Southern Pines,
Pinehurst and Aberdeen were another
story, but I shouldn't need gas soon.
My next two blogs will wrap up the trip
by highlighting the outdoor opportunities
of the Virginia Creeper Bike Trail and
Backbone Rock Recreation Area.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Our Abingdon Adventure begins at Black's Fort Inn B & B

Our latest travel adventure took us to the quiet
historic town of Abingdon, Virginia.  It was the
first incorporated town west of the Blue Ridge
in the United States.  Our home away from home
was Black's Fort Inn Bed & Breakfast, where we
were made right at home.

Jimmy and Cindy Patterson were our gracious
innkeepers and did every little thing to make
our stay comfortable and memorable.

Here's our B&B from the road view.

Here is the one acre pond out back, home
to countless waterfowl.

Here are two of Cindy's precious Gypsy
Vanner horses.  More about them a little later.

Chickens were among the Patterson's
other domestic "family."

Judy and I enjoyed quiet mornings on the
patio outside our room.

Each morning at breakfast we headed upstairs.
When I saw the piano, I offered to play while
Cindy made final preparations.  She enjoyed
"My Blue Ridge Mountain Home" and "Take
Me Home, Country Roads."

One of the views from the upstairs balcony.

The breakfasts couldn't have matched my 
tastes better if Cindy had asked me to order it.
Imagine such delights as country ham, special egg
 creations, bacon, pancakes with banana-walnut
sauce, apple-cinnamon danishes, and more.
And it was all you could eat!

The syrup caught my eye because Whitetop
Station is the highest point on the Virginia
Creeper Bike Trail, which was our main
reason for this trip.

Our "room," called the Waterfall Room,
was actually several rooms-- half of the 
downstairs of this large home (built by
Cindy's grandfather!).  Here's the front
room, adjacent to the patio.

This hallway with bookshelf and writing
table accesses the bathroom, kitchen, and
master bedroom.

Cindy's creative fingerprint is everywhere.
As she says, details are everything.

The country kitchen was a dream.

Here's our spacious master bedroom.  Both
bedrooms had television and couches.

We slept very well indeed.  Like royalty!

Here's a glimpse of the waterfall (right end
of the pond) which gave our room its name.

You don't have to be on the premises two
minutes to learn of Cindy's great love (besides
Jimmy).  It's the wonderful Gypsy Vanner
horses that she breeds and nurtures.  On her
website you can learn the fascinating journey
with these gentle, intelligent creatures, a journey
that is still going on.

I asked Cindy to write the names of her
four horses for me to share with my readers.
She provide names and nicknames:
"Queenie":  Royale Queen of Heart (from the upside down white heart she bears on her left side in the black spot, and for her sweet, kindhearted nature)
"Royale":    Her Royale Highness
"Blue":       Out of the Blue
"Princess":  All the Queen's Silver Princess

 Peppy (their blind dog) says,
"What about me?"  He's as gentle and
sweet as the horses.

The morning of our departure we got a real
treat.  Cindy took us out to get to know her
"children" personally.

Cindy has an amazing gift with horses. On
her signal the children will "smile" or give
her a kiss.

Judy gets to know Fred, the gray
and white, and Puddin', the orange
and white.  Loretta, their white cat
didn't make it for the picture.

Here, all four horses graze tranquilly
in their Garden of Eden.

In truth, Jimmy and Cindy have a little 
paradise here.

And for 48 hours, Judy and I were blessed
to claim part of it as our own.
Our Waterfall

You can learn all about this wonderful place at
I will have three more blogs following this one
in which I'll take you on a tour of historic
Abingdon, The Virginia Creeper Bike Trail,
and the unique Backbone Rock.
Stay Tuned!