The preamble to this post can be read here.
For a while now I've been saying that I'd like to walk the Appalachian Trail. Not all at once. I'm not up for that. Not yet, anyway. Just sections at a time. My husband got on board with the plan and has embraced it above and beyond my expectations! So here we are in Luray, Virginia at the South Court Inn for our very first Appalachian Trail hike! I've been so excited!
We awoke early this morning and Stewart went downstairs to make me some coffee, as he usually does. Adelheid would be bringing coffee to our door at 7 a.m. but I was awake at 4:20 and Stewart was awake by 5:30. We didn't want to wait that long! I don't know what kind of coffee it was but it was really, really strong. We sipped our brew and talked about the plans for the day til we heard a slight rustling outside our door. Coffee AND a cookie! The smells that came in when we opened our door were a sure sign of good things to come.
After we changed out of our pajamas we went to lounge in the sun room until breakfast time. I read an article from National Geographic about disappearing languages. Fascinating! Linguists estimate that within the next century nearly half of the world's current stock of languages will disappear.
At 8:30 Mike, a pilot for a major airline, came to the sun room and announced in his best this is your captain speaking voice, "We are ready to seat you!". I was somewhat intimidated by the formality I thought was expected of us but there was no real cause to be. We walked to the dining room where 3 other couples were seated. One of those couples was sitting at a small table near the window and I nervously asked "Did they do something wrong?" Everyone chuckled so I relaxed. The room was awkwardly quiet for a few minutes while we were waiting to be served, but that didn't last long.
One couple, I'd guess them to be in their mid to late 50s, asked where everyone was from. They were from Fairfax, Virginia and were seasoned B&B-ers. They assured us that this was one of the nicest ones that wasn't billed as a "specialty" inn. I asked what brought them here and they indicated that they just like getting out and about to see the country. They seemed to be very gentle people.
Another couple, from Minnesota, looking to be in their late 20s, early 30s, were here for their wedding, right here at the Inn. TODAY! They planned a very small wedding, about 6 family members as guests. They seemed to be a fun-loving, friendly couple.
The couple sitting at the little table, I'd say they are in their mid 30s, were here for their wedding AND their honeymoon. They were married in the main room of the inn on Thursday and were staying in the private cottage on the grounds. They seemed to enjoy their separated table and sat chatting quietly with each other.
About the time the initial introductions had been made and the Mixed Fruit with Lavender- Honey Dressing had been served, another couple joined us... a young, happy-looking Asian couple. He, a first generation American with parents who were immigrants from China, from Oregon, and she, his intended bride from Beijing, currently living in Washington, D.C., were here to get away from the city and do a little hiking.
Conversation turned quickly to dialects and accents among peoples who spoke the same language. Quite interesting considering the article I had been reading just a short time before that! Then we talked for some time about the differences between American and Chinese weddings.
In China, the groom must beat on the bride's door and bribe her attendants before carrying her out of her house and to the wedding site where hundreds of people await their arrival. There is usually and MC with a microphone, introducing the couple and commentating during the whole ceremony. After the ceremony everyone unceremoniously leaves. No reception, no party. Nothing. But there is a "cake" present. It is a nicely decorated cardboard cake! This is a recent tradition that came about because of Western influence, according to the young man. Very different than was would be taking place this afternoon!
During this time we were served a hearty main course of Sausage and Red Pepper Fritata, Toast and Butter. Also on the table were Cream Current Scones with Sweet Cherry Jam, juice, water and coffee.
After everyone left the table, Adelheid gave Stewart and me a quick rundown of the lunch she had packed for our day of hiking. Here is a picture of the backpack for us to take. Notice there is a blanket to sit on for a picnic.
You can read part 2 here!