Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reeed Velvet

My mother and sister are coming to see me for Thanksgiving. That should be interesting to say the very least. I decided that I was going to make my sister a cake because I hardly ever see her. Plus it's an excuse to bake. When I talked to my mother yesterday afternoon I told her about the cake and she said, "Why are you making her a cake? It was my birthday." My mothers birthday was on the 22nd and she'll be getting here today. I hadn't really thought about it making her a cake, but I wasn't surprised she was acting like a 12 year old. She started to tell me how I should make her a small red velvet cake - "just a tiny one". I have never made a red velvet cake and I told her so. She sighed loudly and clearly had an attitude. Sooo, being the wonderful daughter I am, I went to the store and picked up the few ingredients I needed to make the cake and did my best. If she isn't super grateful I just might have to poison her slice of pie tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One more day up in the canyons

This weekend I went on a field trip. I drove hours and hours to see a National Historic Landmark. I heard about the Natural Bridge and decided a drive through the Virginia mountains in the fall seemed like a wonderful idea. An added bonus was the deepest caverns on the east coast and a the wax museum. 

The scenes on the drive there did not disappoint.

Not the best picture I have ever taken, but I had my eyes on the road as I pointed my camera out the window. The drive was peaceful, vibrant and I was in Natural Bridge before I knew it.

When I got to the town I thought I might have been in the wrong place because it looked almost desolate. After a few miles I saw a huge billboard pointing the way to the caverns. I drove up a steep driveway to find an unpaved parking lot and maybe five cars. I went in the gift shop and got my tickets and when on the tour with a decent group of people. While in the caverns we passed another tour and I couldn't help but wonder how all these people got to this place, because their cars sure as hell weren't outside. The tour wasn't long, but it was interesting. My first time going into caverns and I really enjoyed the experience.

After that I drove less than a mile down the road to the Natural Bridge gift shop and right next door was the wax museum. This place was no Madame Tussauds to say the very least. There was an odd religious theme to the whole thing. The first display as soon as you walked in was this:

Lions in the Garden of Eden. I bet that was interesting.
A man selling his wife for whiskey
Men making moonshine

The further along I went in this place the funnier it got. After all of that there were a ton of displays about the Civil War and then a room dedicated just to presidents. As I was heading toward the exit I saw a door with a sign above it stating that I had to go in before the "Last Supper Presentation" began. I walked in to see five rows of seats in a dark room with a stage. Once my eyes got used to the dark I noticed a wax man in the corner. On the stage was a wax Last Supper.

The man in the corner, Leonard da Vinci.
The Last Supper

The stage eventually lit up and there was this whole show describing how the positions of each apostles means something. They then spoke about the crucifixion and who Jesus was as a person. A back light came on and stage right I saw Jesus again looking down at a man under a tree. Center stage was Jesus on the cross. It was all so very odd. Mostly because I couldn't leave the wax museum without seeing this presentation. Thanks for forcing religion on me, Virginia!

After the wax museum I took the trail down to the Natural Bridge. It started with a long staircase beside an adorable creek that leads to a small cafe.

I walked down the stairs and around a corner and almost didn't even realize that the Bridge was right in front of me. I think I expected some sort of notice before reaching it, but there it was. It was stunning and I don't think my pictures show that at all:

Possibly George Washington's initials.

I continued on the Cedar Creek Trail to see the Lace Waterfalls. It was mile each way, yet it didn't feel like it. I definitely think I'm going to take another trip there in the spring. The creek and the falls were lacking water and I would love to see them when they're overflowing.

Cedar Creek
Monacan Indian Village I passed along the way.

The Lost River
The Lace Waterfalls

The trip was worth the long drive, especially since I took a very long detour on the Blue Ridge Parkway at sunset. At one point A Long December by Counting Crows came on the radio and it was kinda perfect.

As far as I'm concerned, there are few things better than fall colors at sunset.