Posts Tagged ‘Tourism’

I am going away for just a week and departing over a month from now, but believe it or not, I am packing.

This is ridiculous I know, but THIS time I vow to have the right clothes and accessories with everything kept at a pared down minimum!  It will all mix and match and will fit into my very light, versatile carry-on bag that will also fit into the overhead.

Dressed to impress, and with ultra-lithe grace and beauty, I will be able to easily lift my suitcase to its lofty heights as we board the plane.  No more looking pitiful so the young man behind me will offer to do the lifting.  I am woman after all and I am strong.

Taking into account that my personal body weight may fluctuate (probably upward) anywhere from two to five pounds between now and then, and that my feet will probably swell on-the-go, I am determined to put together the perfect Carry-on that has everything I need to survive a week in comfort, high style and elegance.

Who am I trying to impress anyway?  Well, my family, son, daughter-in-law, brother, sister-in-law, niece and her family, and a very dear friend are all joining us in San Diego for a mini-reunion.

So I am packing now.

This morning. Early.

Over a month in advance!

And as always, I am facing the insanity of indecision.

Why is it that men do not have problems DECIDING?  My husband is so infuriating because he packs the night before departure!  He (literally) throws in two pairs of slacks He wears jeans on the plane and takes only two sets of shoes – one for comfort and one for dress.  He tops it all off with an all-purpose jacket and three or four shirts and he’s good to go.  Aaaargh!

Not me.  I have to be color coordinated and always prepared.

-I did manage this morning to put together a casually elegant, look-how-comfortable-I-really-feel outfit after trying on all my favorite things to the point of exhaustion.

–  But then I agonized over a second, more concentrated ultra elegantly casual  tourist outfit, sporting carefully selected jewelry and accessories. There is a very fine line between casually elegant and elegantly casual by the way.  Anyway, tourists have to walk I guess, so elegant walking shoes are also a must for this second outfit.  Fortunately I found a pair of those, but the outfit itself is still pending.

– Aaaargh –  I also need glamorous evening apparel “in case” we go somewhere elegantly elegant and that requires more elaborate jewelry with a bit of glitz.  That outfit is also still pending.

– And what about cover-ups in case it’s chilly? Haven’t even considered that yet.

– Like Bill, I could try bringing only two pairs of shoes – one on my feet and one in the luggage, but I always wind up with at least one pair on my feet and three, preferably four more for different heights and color and style. The carry-on suitcase is already bulging and getting almost too heavy for me to launch into the overhead.  I will try to keep it to four sets of shoes even though three’s a crowd in a carry-on.

– What about purses?  I would like to bring only one, but what if we do go somewhere elegantly elegant?  My travel purse looks well, utilitarian – Bleh!  That means I need to pack another purse “for dress.”

Ultra Casual Travel Purse

–  A bathing suit is a must of course, and coverup and sandals for the beach.  That could bring things up to five pairs of shoes.

– What about the weather where we are going?  It may be chilly.  I will need long-sleeved tops and short-sleeved tops and jackets and cover-ups.


Now I am already worn out from all this thinking and trying on, and I may not be able to zip the suitcase closed!

Worn Out from Packing

The only positive thing to come out of packing over a month in advance is the exercise!

To be continued…

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The Natural Bridge
Rockbridge County, Virginia

“I sometimes think of building a little hermitage at the Natural Bridge (for it is my property) and of passing there a part of the year at least.”   ~Thomas Jefferson, former owner of the Natural Bridge to William Carmichael, 1786

It has just occurred to me that the name of this blog is Virginia Views and I haven’t developed any posts with a touristic flavor.   I never tried my hand at travel writing, so this may be a challenge.  It’s definitely a departure from memorable meanderings around the countryside.   Well, “What the heck!” That’s an old fashioned way of saying, “Take ur chances.”  So, here goes!

Not far from me in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is the awesome Natural Bridge.  The Bridge is an immense overpass formed by nature over hundreds of years ago.  It’s old!  Very Very old!  I still go there (and not just because I am THAT old!).  If you come for a visit, I will surely take you there too.  Ha!

Popular with Europeans in the 18th and 19th centuries, the two biggest sights to see were Niagara Falls and you guessed it – Natural Bridge.  The latter has even been listed as one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” and is one of the oldest tourist destinations in the U.S.  I repeat, “This bridge is OLD.”


To illustrate my point, note that guests at The Bridge (before the horseless carriage – the automobile) rode on horseback or by horse drawn carriage to explore the country side.  Braver guests could be lowered over the edge in a hexagonal steel cage to the accompaniment of a violinist!  Talk about an exciting vacation!  This could be the earliest precursor of bungee jumping!


AS the legend goes, in 1750 young George Washington surveyed The Bridge for Lord Fairfax.  They say he even carved his initials on the wall of the bridge and yes, by golly, you can see them from across the creek – “GW” – Gee Whiz!  That’s an old saying meaning “Wow!”


And this is not a legend.  This is true.   In 1774 Thomas Jefferson purchased 157 acres of land including The Natural Bridge from King George III of England for 20 shillings.  Wouldn’t you love to own a bridge?  It would be almost as good as owning an island.  Jefferson was a brilliant fellow, that’s for sure.



A serene nature trail along Cedar Creek goes right through and underneath the great stone archway of the Magnificent Natural Bridge! You can amble along this trail that eventually leads to the waterfall that once helped to form the bridge.  It’s a lovely walk and when you look up, the tendency is to stop in awe.  Like a physical blow to the gut, there is a stunned, almost overwhelming reaction to the sight of this enormous structure.  You see, the creek carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain to form a natural arch 215 feet high with a span of 90 feet!

How’s this for my first travelogue?  If you come this way for a visit, don’t miss The Natural Bridge!

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