This is also part of the Blog Everyday in July link-up with The Other Juliette (and some others, but this is the blog that I read and found it on… I’ve started exploring the other two hosts but for some reason I feel like I know Juliette because I’ve been reading her for months so there that creepy fact of my life.)
Anyway….. today’s prompt is about your city. I kind of feel like I have 2 cities. The one I live in and the one I used to live in but still work in. They’re an hour away from each other. I spend a LOT of time in the car. It’s super. I’m only going to really talk about the city I live in because I think talking about both will be overkill.
Currently, we’re residing in a very cute little town on the other side of the mountain. We’re famous for our Apple Blossom Festival that happens every spring. It is wonderful and kind of my favorite part of living here. The festival kicks off with an Uncork the Bloom event which, you guessed it, is a wine festival. It’s a glorious two days of some of Virginia’s finest wines. Another interesting fact, Virginia apparently has a wine country and I live right in it. It’s great and I do not mind that one tiny little bit. After the wine festival Apple Blossom week really kicks off – there is a carnival, a circus, a couple of live music shows (varying in themes but always really fun), and at the end of the week is the big parade weekend.
There are 2 parades – one on Friday and one on Saturday. The Firefighter’s parade is Saturday & that sign up there saying it’s the worlds largest firefighter parade? It’s not lying. I think the parade is like almost 3 hours long. I’m not sure because we’ve never actually watched it from start to finish. We usually watch the first 30-45 minutes and then start wandering through town and we’ll catch different parts of it because it goes a really, really far distance. I can say that I will never willingly walk in that parade. The parades are almost the same but different enough that we tend to go to both, but Saturday’s parade is only a little bit shorter so we basically do for Saturday’s parade what we do on Friday. We’ve never seen either parade start to finish, but I don’t think that’s really necessary (some people do, but I am not those people).
It’s really a fun time and I’m really sad that I only found out about this awesome festival when we moved here because I feel like I have been missing out my entire life. (although, after some discussion with my parents, this apparently WAS the first circus I attended as a child which I think is awesome because I’m almost certain it will be Sydney’s first circus too… next spring because she was a bit too little this year to really enjoy it).
What else… we have a delightfully cute outdoor walking mall. We refer to it as “downtown” which can be confusing because where I used to live when we said “downtown” we meant DC. Now we mean 5 minutes down the road at the walking mall. It’s lined with various restaurants and little shops. It’s really quite cute. They have been building it up for the last couple years so new and exciting things are coming and they have started to really have a lot of fun events down there. Over the summer they have a Friday Night Live; a Craft Beer festival; a 4th of July event; and a Boundless Bazzar (which is basically an outdoor market of handmade goods). There’s also a Halloween event that I’m pretty excited to take Sydney to.
The summer out here in the country is all about farmers markets and county fairs. I can easily make it to three different fairs in a relatively close proximity to my house. We usually attend just the Clarke County fair because really how much of the same can you see? It also happens to be the closest, which is ironic considering it isn’t even OUR county. I definitely experienced some firsts at this fair…. first tractor pull, first lawnmower race, first real country experience. I’ve always considered myself to favor more towards the “country girl” but yeah…no apparently I really do not in any way compare to these country girls (not in a bad way, but I didn’t even know what the point of a tractor pull was until I saw it first hand.) I’m not even sure we have the FFA (future farmers of america) in my school district… so there’s that. Either way, it’s a really fun time and there are a TON of animals that you can really get up close and personal with. Sydney was a little unsure of these animals last year and I’m not sure how she’ll do this year but I’m excited to find out!
It’s also gorgeous out here in the Valley. I love my drive home because I’m driving west towards and then over the mountain. It’s just really pretty and I get this feeling of calm as soon as I head down the mountain and get closer and closer to home.
These trees are everywhere and they are seriously adorable and make for some spectacular scenery.
I really enjoy the quiet, small town feel of Winchester… but with our family and the majority of our friends still residing over the mountain it can be a bit lonely when no one wants to come see you. We’re slowly (really slowly) making friends out here so
we I don’t feel so alone but that’s hard too because the friends we made when we first moved here don’t have kids so they don’t really understand the whole life revolving around kids even if you don’t really mean for that to happen… and now I feel like I have to start over on the whole making friends thing and that’s just hard (for me, not for normal people, but for social anxiety over here it is).
Anyway… I love my current city. It’s my home. I feel at peace here. I know we won’t be here forever, but it was exactly what I needed when we moved there and it’s brought wonderful friends and experiences in to our lives that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.