Thursday, November 15, 2012

24 Hours - My Trip to Roanoke, VA Part 1

A girl can accomplish a lot in 24 hours - especially a girl with a camera and time all on her own. I had 4 days off this week and knew I couldn't stand to stay alone so I reserved a solo slot for an overnight trip to Roanoke, VA. Everyone has asked me, "Why Roanoke?" Why not? It's less than 5 hours away and is quite an amazing place. When I say everyone has asked me..I do mean everyone; including (but not limited to) the Virginia police officer who pulled me over.

I would be doing the world a huge misfortune if I didn't share this story with you all. If you're not interested then by all means scroll on down...but you're gonna regret it. While I'm at it; disclaimer for foul language. ;)

Nearly 20 miles from my hotel exit an unmarked car flashed their lights and stopped me on I-81. Now in my head: I'm wearing my seat belt, not speeding, not on the phone/texting, both hands on the wheel and the music playing low...what the fuck does this guy want? He strolls up to my passenger window doing the big macho man knock on the side of the vehicle (I guess to see if it was hollow) he asked the usual, how are you, where are you heading etc...finally he says, "I pulled you over because I'm pretty sure your windows are too dark." Wait...what? I'm puzzled at this point. "I think they're probably too dark for Kentucky too. I'm just going to give you a warning. May I see your license and registration" of course I obey.

After running me (which I'm sure he was disappointed in wasting his time doing all this shit) he brings back my ID and uses a little meter device to see how dark my windows are. While the meter is testing he says, "Virginia state law is anything below 15." We both look at the meter and at each other. My reading? 14! "So I'm under the law?" I questioned as I smiled. "Yes, it says you are." Knowing you're in the right, especially when it comes to a prick of a officer is the best feeling in the world. He then questions why I'm going to Roanoke for one day...I did not have to explain a damn thing to him but I have nothing to hide. I told him I was a photographer (and pointed to the camera bag in the floor) and wanted to get away. I live just a few hours away and didn't think it was a crime to spend the night one state away from home. Of course his reply was, "I work with the crime and drug task force and that's why I was asking" "Oh, so you think I'm smuggling drugs from Kentucky? Really?" "Ma'am, have you ever been in trouble?" "Didn't your little scan on me already tell you this? No. In fact I now have paper work to fill out when I return to work for talking to gave me more work over nothing." "But I didn't give you a ticket or warning..." After I informed him in much more detail what I meant, he changed his tune quick. Needless to say, I was "Free to go" and he hoped I "enjoy your stay"...I was so pissed I didn't think to get his name. I know cops get a bad rap because of douche bags like him, but he really was just an asshole who tried to push the wrong girl.

Luckily things got better after that :)

I stayed at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Salem, VA. Crazy that a double room was cheaper than a single, but a room is a room to me!

I want the bathroom lights!

I made reservations for one at the fancy steakhouse in downtown Roanoke. Call me Lily Davenport from now on. :) The dress code was "Business casual" so I played.

Me or should I say "Lily" :)

The place was called Frankie Rowland's Steakhouse and it was much more laid back and comfortable than I ever expected. My reservation was for 7:45 and I couldn't have picked a better time in terms of crowd. There were groups everywhere. I didn't allow myself to feel out of place for being alone. It's something I'm getting used to and if I'm to travel (like I dream) I have a feeling I will be doing it a lot. 

I asked the hostess for permission to photograph a few things in the restaurant to write about, this was obviously an odd request as she asked her manager. Needless to say I was allowed! My server was Stephani and I could not have asked for a better one! I told her off the bat about my plans and she went to great lengths to assist me. 

I had originally requested Split Chicken Breast with Rosemary Beurre Blanc but Stephani came back in a tizzy...for they had ran out of chicken due to a large party in the back. This turned out to be in my favor because I spoiled myself with an appetizer.

Artisan Cheese Plate (three cheese) I ate nearly everything on the platter!

My salad: Sliced Beefstake Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and Balsamic Reduction

Every thing was fresh and flavorful. Tamara had mentioned the salad when I linked her the menu so after the chicken fiasco I knew it was meant to be!

My water never ran low, my table cloth was cleaned after each plate and I was thanked by every employee as I left. To have randomly picked a place to dine I really lucked up.

Be on the lookout for Part 2 this weekend!

PS: This is my 200th blog post!

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