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Things to do

Food Truck Thursdays

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BBQ food truck on Food Truck Thursday

Enjoy BBQ on Food Truck Thursday in Miller Park

Food trucks are a part of American life and can be found in every major city, over the past several years we have started to see more and more of them in Lynchburg.  Typically they are scattered around the downtown area but on Food Truck Thursdays they all head to Miller Park (in front of the old Miller School at 301 Grove Street if you need an address for your GPS).  Food Truck Thursday was the brain child of Lynchburg Parks and Recreation Department and has been a great success.  The day we visited we took a blanket and after buying our lunch we had a picnic under one of several dozens huge oak trees.  There is also a covered shelter with picnic tables if you prefer to eat at a table.

Picnic area Food Truck Thursday

A great place to have a picnic

I was pleasantly surprised at the crowd of people gathered to support these mobile restaurateurs.  Many were in suits while others in scrubs and then there were the casually dressed diners such as myself.

Food Truck Thursday

Lots of choices on Food Truck Thursday

If you are looking for an affordable meal and a wide variety of food options then you won’t want to miss Food Truck Thursdays at Miller Park.  They are there from 11:00 to 3:00.  This is the perfect spot for your lunch break, for a picnic (where you don’t have to prepare the food) or a place to bring a date.

Tacos on Food Truck Thursday

Great Tacos in Miller Park

These are the same food trucks you find on the streets of Lynchburg, but on Thursdays you don’t need to check their Facebook pages to find them.  Miller park is only about 10 minutes from the downtown area.  You will want to check this out several times as the food trucks in Lynchburg take turns as to who is there on Food Truck Thursdays so go there often to be able to sample all the different vendors.

Food Truck Thursday

Don’t forget desert. Shaved Hawaiian Ice!

Wouldn’t you like to start your long, 4th of July weekend early?  Then start it by having lunch on Thursday, the 2nd, at Miller Park.  We hope to see you at Food Truck Thursdays!  If you are heading to Lynchburg and need a place to stay, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast is the place to stay.  Check out our availability and book your reservations here.

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Grandin Theatre shows vintage movie, Jaws!

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Grandin Theater

The newly renovated Grandin Theater in Roanoke

In 1931 construction began on Roanoke’s Grandin Theatre.  The movie palace opened its doors in 1932 where shows were 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children.  The first theatre in Roanoke to show “talking pictures” it operated as a cinema for over 40 years before it closed (for the first time) in 1976.  Reinventing itself as a live theatre, until 1985, it produced shows, screened classic movies and art films, hosted musicians and comics.  The theatre closed again in 2001.

The Grandin Theater, the early days

The Grandin Theater, the early days

In late 2001 the Grandin Theatre Foundation was formed.  An aggressive funding campaign was launched and in October 2002 the theatre was able to reopen after raising the funds to buy and renovate the theatre.  Theatre history has been taking place ever since.

Don't miss the special showing at the Grandin Theater

Don’t miss the special showing at the Grandin Theater

On Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 11:59 PM the Grandin Theatre will show Jaws, to celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary!  Do you remember when Jaws was first shown?  Does the opening music and scenes of vicious sharks remind you of when you were afraid to get into the water?  Did you imagine yourself assisting the police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman when they set out to stop the great white shark menancing the small island community of Amity?

The show is free and will only be shown at 11:59 PM on the 20th of June.  The Grandin Theatre is located at 1310 Grandin Road SW, Roanoke.  Call 540.345.6177, if you have any questions.

The Grandin Theater

The Grandin Theater

Prior to the movie you should explore Grandin Village, which surrounds the Grandin Theatre.  A revitalized business district that was formed in the 1920’s is now home to the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, a Saturday farmer’s market, boutiques and the farm-to-table hot spot, Local Roots restaurant.

Serving modern American cuisine and using as many sustainable, organic, local and ethical meats and vegetables as possible the food does not disappoint.  Preferring small batch, family-owned wines, the wines served are of great flavors and do not impact adversely upon the earth.  The menu varies almost daily, based on what can be sourced locally, but always includes petite, modest and substantial dishes.  A chef’s tasting menu can be arranged with prior reservation.  Call for more information 540.206.2610.  Located at 1314 Grandin Road SW, Roanoke, VA.

Enjoy your dinner and a show!

Pine Knot, a Presidential Retreat

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Pine Knot

Pine Knot, President Theodore and Edith Roosevelt’s Retreat (front of home)

Virginia has dozens of presidential homes, be they their birth place or one of their residences or retreats.  Many of our presidential homes are very grand but Pine Know is the exception,  For all practical purposes, Pine Know is a little cabin in the woods that was purchased by Edith, President Roosevelt’s wife in 1905 as a place for “rest and repairs.”  This cottage in the woods stands unchanged since 1905 and offers a rare glimpse into one of our nations premier preservationists.

Pine Knot

Pine Knot showing the large back porch Edith added and one of the 2 fireplaces.

Pine Knot was being built for a farm worker when Edith saw the home and purchased the home plus 15 acres for $280.00.  Edith had fireplaces, on both ends of the home added, and a large “”piazza” (covered porch) on the back of the home.  On the interior the wall separating the two rooms on the main level was removed and the center staircase was moved to against the southern side of the home making the lower level one large room.  In the above photo the upper level window was so that there could be light into their daughter’s room.  By today’s standards the room is the size of a small walk in closet.  Later the Roosevelt’s purchased an additional 75 acres.

There was (and there still isn’t) running water or electricity in the home.  When staying at the home, it was Archie’s (son of President Roosevelt and Edith) job to haul water to the home and it was President Roosevelt’s job to empty the chamber pots in the morning.  The two fireplaces are what warmed the home and Edith used one to cook their meals when visiting Pine Knot.  There is evidence that there once as a pot belly stove on the main level (probably for heat in the winter). The walls were never insulated, nor was lathe and plaster ever applied to the interior studs giving the guest a great view of construction techniques of the early 1900’s.  The posts (actual tree trunks) holding up the roof of the porch are the same posts that were installed 110 years ago.

When President Roosevelt first saw the home he wrote to his son  saying he was “immensely pleased with Mother’s Virginia cottage and its name.”  The Roosevelts stayed at Pine Knot less than a dozen times.  It took about 8 hours for them to get there from the White House, the first 4 hours was by train and the next four hours was by carriage.

The home is open to the public by appointment only.  The day we toured Pine Knot our guide was Paula Beazley, Chair of The Edith and Theodore Roosevelt Pine Knot Foundations.  Paula is a walking encyclopedia of facts about TR and his family as well as the property.  Without her explanation and stories this property appears to be just another cabin in the woods.  Rather than fill this post with stories about the Roosevelt’s stays at Pine Knot I will leave that up to Paula or one of the other volunteers guides to share with you once you take the tour.  I know this is off the beaten path, but it is well worth the trip.  .

To schedule a visit to Pine Knot call (434) 286-6106 or email pkfd@earthlink.net  I would recommend calling several days in advance.  Pine Know is approximately 90 minutes north of Lynchburg or about 30 minutes south of Charlottesville.  It is a half mile walk from the parking area to the cabin. There is no charge to visit, but donations are accepted and are tax deductible.

Pine Knot is just one of many Presidential homes that are near The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  If you are interested in Presidents and Patriots this is just one of the homes we can recommend you tour.

Ride train No. 611

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Train No. 611

Ride the newly restored J Class steam locomotive, featuring Train No. 611

Built in Roanoke in 1950, the J Class train was the most powerful steam locomotive ever built and arguably the best looking train ever built.  Norfolk and Western only built 14 J Class passenger locomotives and train No. 611 was retired in 1959 and was housed in Roanoke’s Transportation Museum until 1981 when it was towed to Birmingham Alabama to be revitalized, the same year Norfolk Western merged with Southern Railway to become Norfolk Southern.  Train No. 611 was used to pull excursions until 1994 when it was again retired and returned to the museum where train enthusiasts from around the word visited train No. 611.  After years of fundraising the museum again decided to undertake a massive restoration costing about $3.5 million. Last year the train was towed to North Carolina for the restoration and now that the restoration is complete, Train No. 611 will be hauling passengers on a very limited basis.

611 Train

N & W Engine No. 611

On Sunday June 14, 2015 you can ride the newly restored J Class steam locomotive, Train No. 611 from Lynchburg to Petersburg.  The train will depart at about 7:30am and will arrive in Petersburg at 12:30.  About 2:30 the train will be returning to Lynchburg where it will arrive about 6:30pm.. Tickets are going fast.

Call The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast at 434-846-1388 for a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride this famous steam powered locomotive.  With your two night stay you will receive two deluxe coach tickets (subject to availability).  Note:  Because tickets are non-refundable and going fast, you will be charged in full  when the reservation is made and the reservation is NON-REFUNDABLE.  Cost for this package is $775.00 and includes two room nights in the mansion, two deluxe coach tickets (upgrades may be available for an additional costs) and a to-go breakfast on June 14 to take on the train.  Taxes and gratuities are in addition to this cost.  Sorry gift certificates cannot be used to book this package and this cannot be combined with any other special or discount..

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, call today to book your trip.  A portion of each room night will be donated to the “Fire Up 611″ campaign to help pay for the restorations of Train No. 611.

 

 

 

Cabinet Makers Along the James River

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The James River runs through the heart of Virginia’s, and Lynchburg’s, history.  During the 1700’s cabinet makers and furniture makers lived and made their wares along the James River.  Recently, newly rediscovered work of colonial Richmond cabinetmakers George Donald and Thomas Arbuthnot has been studied by curators from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

The Lynchburg Museum is proud to share it’s exhibits on significant James River objects from the 1700’s and 1800’s.  The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts will present a lecture discussing the new research and discoveries contained in their collection in Winston-Salem, NC.  The lecture and tour, of exhibits found in our museum, will take place on Saturday, May 23rd at 3:00 pm at the Lynchburg Museum located at 901 Court Street in downtown Lynchburg, VA.  The exhibit tour and lecture are free for Museum members or $10.00 for non-members.  For further information call 434.455.6226.

Monument Terrace, a rally to support our troops

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Monument Terrace

699th rally at Monument Terrace in support of the troops.

Monument Terrace

699 weeks!

On Friday May 8, 2015 a group of former military men and women along with their families will be holding their weekly rally at the foot of Monument Terrace showing their support for our military.  What is significant about this date is it represents the 700th consecutive Friday that these men and women have been here.  Taking liberty with the Post Office’s motto one could say, Neither snow nor rain nor heat keeps these individuals from showing support to our troops by attending this weekly rally.  Today, May 1st it was a chilly and rainy day when this photo was taken.  Today’s rally was number 699.

Think about it, 700 consecutive weeks, that’s almost 14 years and they have been out there during the dog days of summer as well as the coldest and snowy days of winter.  They have had to brave wind and rain and every conceivable type of weather over these 700 weeks.

The rally at Monument Terrace started at the first Gulf War and no one ever envisioned that it would last this long.  In fact, it was supposed to end at the end of the first Gulf War, but then it was decided that there should never be an end to showing support for our troops so it continues today.

Monument Terrace

Monument Terrace, Lynchburg, VA

I am urging everyone to head downtown to the foot of Monument Terrace (Church Street and 9th Street) this Friday, May 8, 2015 from noon to 1:00pm to show their support for our troops.  If you can’t stay, at least make a point to drive by and honk to show support for our troops.

The group that holds the weekly rally has a Facebook Page that I recommend everyone Like.

The inspiring rise of Monument Terrace commemorates Lynchburg citizens who fought and died in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and present day. At the base on Church Street stands the iconic doughboy statue. Many other sculptures and markers line the 139 steps and terraces all the way to the top, where a statue of a Confederate soldier stands.  Across the street at the top of Monument Terrace is the old Court House which is now a museum..

When planning a trip to Lynchburg and your stay at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, plan on visiting Monument Terrace and if you are here on a Friday, make sure you visit between noon and 1:00pm.