The next day we dropped Aaron off at his grandma’s because we decided to go on a overnight stay on a mini road trip. We were in the car like university students, super excited and laughing most of the way there, except when Diana fell asleep, I have photographic evidence. Our first stop was Luray Caverns in the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia. The caverns are very beautiful and well worth a visit, they also have good guided tours. It dawned at me at some point that I knew what the three of us together would have been like in school, so much giggling and so many good jokes, a new girl gang was developing fast.
The cavern itself was breathtaking, my favourite was where the water under the stalactites were so still that it gave an exact mirror. It made me think of the time that I went to the Cango Caves in South Africa with my family, but there you can decide between a normal tour and an adventure tour. With the adventure tour you see the large caves and then you practically run through the place and at the end you have to go through the smallest and narrowest hole. Therefore you have can’t be bigger in circumference than a certain amount, in the news I read once that one lady didn’t listen and got stuck – true story.
After the cavern you can buy individual crystals or buy a bag of sand with crystals in it and it was highly amusing watching the unfazed Diana wash the sand away in a stream and standing there with her crystals like she won a prize. When she saw how many she got she cheered up – still quite amusing. It was another boiling day which we were reminded of every time we left an air-conditioned space like a shop or a restaurant. Literally everything is air-conditioned in the US.
We continued driving to Shenandoah National Park. The park is really large and you have to go via a toll to get in. Cyclist, hikers and people driving through, all passionate about nature and taken aback by the sheer beauty of it. There were plenty of viewing platforms along the Skyline Drive and one in particular stood out to me. The view was spectacular, of course, and there was also a young couple maybe in their late twenties enjoying the vista. My heart totally went out to them when the husband carried his extremely fragile and very skinny wife to the rocks where he perched her so she could have the amazing view of the park that we were experiencing. He already had some blood on his knees from where he had slipped before, but they were so happy, she was just beaming with happiness.
I was so emotional and grateful at the same time. Emotional that they had the gift of time to see things they had wanted to see, I was emotional because he had the strength to carry her, when she could not. It was emotional because they had each other and I was grateful for reminding me to never take Triin for granted, to always look at her with love and grateful for reminding me that you don’t know when your time is done.
We slept over in a Big Meadow Park, the views were fantastic and it was so special to have a beer on the balcony at that place. The cooler mountain air was also very welcome. We ate, had some beers and listened to some live music in the bar before calling it a night.
The next day would be what we’ve started to affectionately call a Driving Day (meaning 7+ hours of driving in total), it was time to say goodbye to Diana. It’d been such good visit with amazing company and it was odd to think that we’d only met a couple of days ago. I was going to miss her strange accent: Southern (“ya’ll’) mixed with urban (“gotta bounce” meaning “to leave” and “neat” meaning “cool”). Unfortunately we literally had to bounce, haha. So we dropped Diana off at her house in Norfolk and our next stop was surely going to be an interesting one.
Ultimately Triin and I want to open a wellness retreat involving yoga and meditation so we’ve been looking at similar yoga places and retreats, for inspiration, ideas, etc. We stumbled across a place called Yogaville in Virginia whilst randomly looking at the map and couldn’t resist doing some yoga in Yogaville. Of course, we booked 2 nights there via Airbnb and, thus, we headed to Yogaville.