After Gettysburg, we had to get to 81 in Virginia to make our way south. I did some calculations and realized it would only be an extra 20 minutes of driving if we stopped in Harper's Ferry. I've wanted to visit this town for quite some time. Its history is fascinating, from George Washington who persuaded Congress to establish an armory and arsenal there to John Brown's attempt to raid that armory and seize weapons in an effort to end slavery. People thought Brown was crazy, but many think he got our nation's attention and brought about the Civil War. Later the town established Storer College to educate former slaves.
Today it is HOT in Harper's Ferry! There are many interesting buildings and museums to explore, but none of them are air-conditioned. We visit a few and then walk across the Potomac on a metal bridge that made Fred queasy. It is too hot to really enjoy any activities and Fred is anxious to hit the road because it is going to be a long driving day. We don't stay long.
Soon we get on 81 in Winchester. So many memories from previous trips to Grandma's house when the girls were little! I think we've visited every Cracker Barrel on this highway at some point in time. Arielle still loves the little golf tee game while we wait for a meal. The girls used to explore the toy section and choose some little stickers to keep them busy after they got back in our big green van that had the pull down VHS player. Fred and I would listen to Barney or Disney princesses as we rode along. Someone gave us a DVD player to borrow for this trip, but the girls aren't interested. They are listening to music on their ipods or playing bingo or the license plate game. No fair! I can't see well enough to read the plates before Fred does. He wins every time. The girls seem to really be enjoying each other's company this time and that makes everyone happy.
We drive as far as the Max Meadows/Fort Chiswell exit in Virginia. We find a nice hotel and explore the area. It takes us about one minute to drive through Max Meadows. I find out later it has a population of 562. We see a restaurant--Cinco de Mayo Mexican Grill. Sounds good, and it's the grand opening too! So we are met at the door by big burly Mexican men who go out of their way to make sure we have a great time. The décor makes you smile just walking in. Colorful, whimsical folk art adorns the tables and chairs. It is a fun dinner and the food is fabulous, many varieties of enchiladas made with CORN tortillas! We like this restaurant so much we stop for lunch on the way home. The guys seem happy to see us again and even pose for a picture.
We have a great breakfast to start off our next day of driving and the girls enjoy the hotel like they always have--riding on the luggage cart, fighting over who gets to open the door with the electronic key, and swimming in the pool. They love all the same things even though they are big girls now. I am thankful to have this special time with them and with Fred once again.