Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#519 Americana JVP

Hello USA!

When our family returns to the US after 3 years in Germany, we must focus the Johnston Visitor Plan (JVP) on all things Americana!

Spudnuts.  Though the original recipe might be traced back to Germany, we now claim these potato-based delicacies as an American tradition and, in particular, as a Charlottesville tradition. Any time is Spudnuts time.

Montpelier.  The home of the 4th US president and award-winning barbecue?  Now that's Americana!  The recently restored home of James and Dolley Madison is just about 30 miles NE of Charlottesville.  And nearby Gordonsville offers hickory smoked goodness at the Barbecue Exchange.

College football.  That's an American tradition for sure.  The UVA Cavaliers took on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.  Having attended the UVA marching band open rehearsal on Friday night, we knew the band would perform Danny Elfman's Batman theme song on Saturday afternoon.  Next week, look out U-Idaho!

Sonic Drive-In.  Didn't Americans invent the drive-in?  Not only is Sonic Drive-In an American tradition, it is a family tradition.  Carhops have been serving up burgers and those unparallelled Sonic drinks since before I was born.  (That's a long time.)  A drive over the mountain to Waynesboro is well worth the trip!

Humpback Rocks Visitor Center and Mountain Farm.  Having the right guide who knows how to bake bread over an open fire and illustrate life on an 1890's mountain farm makes all the difference.  Thanks, Allison!

Swannanoa.  Though this 1912 Italianate villa needs some work to restore it to its former glory, the extraordinary genius of American stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany is still on display as soon as you enter.

Blue Mountain Brewery.  Brewing may not be an American invention, but those folks at Blue Mountain certainly have perfected it.  The mountain view from the front patio is not bad either.

Sunday Night Football.  The Colts vs Steelers game didn't end the way we wanted, but our Pittsburgh friends are happy.

Luray Caverns.  Pluto's chasm, the Stalacpipe organ (the world's largest musical instrument), and Dream Lake are just a few of our highlights inside Luray Caverns.  Plus, pets are welcome!

Moneyball.  Of all the terrific films about America's pastime, I think I like this one starring the Springfield-Missouri native the best.

We're proud to be the first stop on the "Hello USA" tour!

Yours in Americana,

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