Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Having a Blast -- Literally and Figuratively -- in Southwestern Virginia

Today finds me in southwestern Virginia; not to be confused with southern West Virginia. I'm here on a travel assignment for AAA.

I flew into Roanoke yesterday afternoon where I was met by the team from Virginia's department of Tourism. These are the same folks I was with a year or so ago covering the Monticello Wine Trail. As soon as I saw them, I knew it was going to be a fun trip.

We struck out from the airport for our first stop on this four-day event around ; our destination: Primland Resort. It sits on about 12,000 acres in the hills south of Roanoke just off the
Blue Ridge Parkway

I always judge a new location by whether or not I would spend my own money to return. In the case of Primland, I certainly would. In fact, I'm going to put together a proposal for my Wyoming gang to visit Primland as our outing next year.

The main lodge looks like the hotel in The Shinning, except it's only a couple of years old.

My suite last night was larger than my home. The hallway from the front door to the seating area was about 30 feet. It actually had four lighted paintings hanging along one wall.

The suite was so big, it had a guest bathroom.

When the maid showed up for the turndown service, she rang the doorbell. It took me more than 30 seconds to get from the bedroom to the front door.

Did I mention it was big?

The view off the huge back deck was spectacular!

Dinner last night was in its elements restaurant. The "e" is intentionally lower case. Classy. The food was outstanding. My sirloin was perfectly seared and delicious. We had a couple of Virginia wines that were also very good.

This morning three of us had a clay-shooting lesson. Never having even fired a shotgun before, I had some trepidation about my performance. Our shooting instructor, a very cute young expert named Lauren, talked me through it. I actually hit about 60 percent of the clays; better than I expected.

When I hit two clays in a row -- one coming at me and one going away -- I expected to hear Monty Python break out in the Lumberjack Song.

All three of us returned to the lodge for lunch, so I guess we can consider the outing successful.

Tonight we're heading out to hear some Bluegrass.


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