Virginia is for Lovers

I am writing this at 8 a.m. in a hotel room with the sand man still in my eyes.

For some reason the inspiration always hits at times like these.

A year ago Monday I was walking down the aisle to meet my future husband.

Now he is snoring in my ear next to me. Slumbering like a baby with that innocent look on his face.

We decided to get away for a few days for our anniversary.

I booked us a hotel room in Virginia. It came highly recommended for anniversaries. It seems a lot of blissfully married (or at least married) couples have stayed here over the years.

Rob was skeptical about Virginia. He swore it would be racist.

I told him I’ve dealt with racism. I can handle it.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

As we drove through the mountains we came up over a hill and fell silent.

Holding hands in the car we just took in the beauty.

The rolling hills and grassy savannah reminded me very much of the African plains I once called home.

“Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley.”

L’Auberge Provencale located in White Post, Virginia is a converted 1780’s house situated on 660 acres of land. Surrounded by horses, cows, flowers, herbs and birds there is no better way to feel in the middle of nowhere.

Quiet.

I haven’t heard this kind of quiet in a long, long time.

The first thing Rob noticed was the air. “Do you smell how clean that is?”

Being out in the wild outdoors, drinking beers under the sun put a spell on us.

It’s like the world just melted away.

At dinner we were treated to the masterful chef that is Benedict Zappone. His culinary skills are so impressive that it is hard to say when I have ever, in my entire life, had a better meal.

After dinner he talked to us round the fire about his philosophies on health, nutrition and sustainability. We sat under the stars drinking beers until the wee hours.

This place is amazing, we both thought.

The next morning we were having breakfast (superbly prepared by the owner Chef Alain Borel) sitting next to two couples.

As the first got up to leave the other couple wished them a “happy anniversary.” We did too, saying it was our anniversary too.

The couple leaving said they had been married 17 years. The couple at the table said they had been married 42. We replied we had been married a year.

“Cheers,” said the lady at the table.

“Whether you’ve been married one year, seventeen or forty two, marriages take hard work,” said the man who was about to leave. “But it is worth it. Enjoy it.”

The older couple agreed. We waved goodbye.

Words could nor have been more true.

I looked back on our year of marriage. We had some rough times, we had some great times, but all the while we put each other first. We listened and talked. We argued and made up. We struggled with finances, job loss, moving, health problems, stress, anxiety, death, but love…the love never stopped.

And now here in the great outdoors we are renewing that love, forgetting our city dweller problems and getting back to our roots.

Because Virginia…it really is for lovers.

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