Once again, Timothy and I decided to try and celebrate Christmas together this year. Our original plan was to see both my family in Roanoke(VA) and his family in Asheville(NC) on Christmas day. The plan was to spend Christmas morning/early afternoon in Roanoke, and then make the 3.5 hour drive to spend the evening in Asheville. We thought we would definitely be in NC for a late dinner. Well…thanks to the snowstorm that crushed the east coast, our plans were altered just a little.
We spent the days leading up to Christmas checking the weather and storm prediction. As late as Christmas Eve/Morning at 1:00 am, the forecast was just calling for a light "slush" between Roanoke and Asheville. We woke up Christmas morning to a few inches on the ground, but all roads were clear. It did snow most of the day, but when we got ready to head south the roads were clear and all the DOT cameras on I-81 showed clear traffic conditions. We decided to head out.
We did not make it very far. We logged roughly 100 miles when my anxiety was more than either of us could handle. It was getting increasingly darker, colder and snowier the further south we went. Tim is an excellent driver, but I just didn't trust the worsening conditions on the roads. We ended up stopping in Marion, VA, and getting a room at the Econo Lodge. There isn't much in Marion, and it is safe to say that we were in the middle of mountain nowhere. This was definitely not the way we had envisioned spending our first Christmas together; we were both disappointed.
On a quick side note, the Econo Lodge in Marion was a nice place to stay for one or two nights: clean rooms; nice/helpful staff; cable; hot breakfast. The price was a little steep for a no-frills motel, but we were happy with the conditions there.
Once we got settled and each had our own little-minor pity party we decided to venture out into the grand metropolis that is Marion. The snow was coming down pretty heavily, but the one main road in Marion was fairly clear (all 5 miles we traveled), so we felt pretty safe going out for a short trip. Like a scene from A Christmas Story, we ended up eating Christmas dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, the Yummy Yummy Jampanese Steakhouse to be exact. It was actually pretty good. We did not try the side of tater-tots, but we did enjoy fired rice (see photo below). We were lucky to find Yummy Yummy, otherwise we would have raided the beanie-weenie shelf at the only other establishment open, the gas station.
After dinner we settled back in at the motel and decided we would reassess the roads in the morning.
Downtown Marion, Virginia
Did I mention that the dogs loved having their own bed?!Kelly Anne