Just a few more hours to spend before heading to the airport, so after “our usual” breakfast, we collected the car and headed off west, into Virginia, with the intention of exploring a couple of small towns on our way.
This sign confused us a little – a National Park for the Performing Arts? We need to find out more, but till then, we’d better keep going.
Out in the fields of Virginia, we were fascinated to see the landscape littered with huge houses – I mean h-u-g-e by anyone’s standards, each on a five acre plot or so, many of them situated on hilltops overlooking the others or worse, the freeway. No fences separating them, no hedges or tree-planted windbreaks, just acres of lawn.
We couldn’t imagine living somewhere like this; so exposed and so “in your face affluent”.
But further affluence was just around the corner, in Waterford, an old village of fine houses situated on a hillside just off the freeway.
Though many of the homes were modest, elegant and clearly cherished, the village itself felt bleak and empty, devoid of the character and personality that warmed us to Chestertown the other day.
Still, if the idea of living in this historic Virginian village tickles your fancy, there’s a fine property for sale.
We’re quite happy where we are, thank you, so we let the satnav guide us on through the byways until we hit an unsealed road and some signs. Not wanting to upset anyone, we drove a little further to find somewhere to turn around.
There, we found further signs which did make us wonder, what on earth is going on down there and what do they have to hide? We continued on the byways until our car creepily found its way to Leesburg Corner.
With a couple of hours to kill, the outlet mall seemed like as good a place as any in which to spend them.
Though I think that for a while, we might have been the only shoppers there.
But hey, black jeans needs were satisfied!
Then, shortly afterwards, underwear supplies were replenished too.
Though I think that some Virginian men might have a story to tell?
Then, having discovered the “search for shops” facility on the satnav, we found ourselves in JoAnns again – this time, without the crowds and with coupons in my hand. I had a printed coupon from my last visit, but as I entered the store, I thought I’d check on my phone to see if there was a better one. Sure enough, there it was – 60%.
It was clear from the abundance of blue and white sparkly fabric that Frozen remains the inspiration for dressing up outfits around here! But I wasn’t looking for such frippery and was delighted to find a huge roll of stitch’n’tear for my 60% off purchase. Needless to say, I found a couple of other things too, so was pleased to find that my printed 40% off coupon worked on everything else, too.
The thing is, where there’s a JoAnns, there’s often a Michaels not very far away and it being the cut-throat commercial world that it is, each accepts the other’s coupons…
Sure enough, just around the corner, there it was. Heaps and heaps of tacky Christmas decorations, all heavily reduced – if only someone was after such things! I wasn’t – but I did find some papers for my December Daily journal at 50% off and a couple of Heidi Swapp Colourshine sprays which were half price too.
I have no idea what people are doing with multicoloured cable ties, but they were all over the place. Maybe next year’s big hit? Leaving them on the shelf I went to check out, spotting a pack of my favourite MaryJane sweets by the cash register. As everything was half price already, my coupon didn’t work – but lo and behold, I got 60% off the price of the sweets!
(Meanwhile, my hero was enjoying the peace and quiet of the car, sitting reading his book which is unputdownable, he tells me)
And that was that. We opened the suitcases to put our purchases inside, to check in, and continued along the freeway for a short distance to the airport.
We said goodbye to our car and made our way to the terminal to check in.
We’ve already reserved our favourite seats behind the red swoosh and so we simply dropped off our luggage and are now enjoying a glass of something cold and white and a bite to eat whilst we await our flight home.
What a great time we had!