1. MEETING NEW PEOPLE. Oh man. This part was just really cool. I don't know how it happens, but every time we find ourselves in one of these situations, we end up just feeling a real exchange of love and friendship with the people we meet. It's really kind of amazing. And actually, THAT is what makes us the most excited if we get asked to something like this.
Here are a few pictures people sent us...
2. THE BEAUTY OF WEST VIRGINIA. We went nuts over every farm and rolling hill that we saw. I guess we just don't get out of New York City enough. :) The highways were just full of these lavendar blooms and green, green, rolling hills in every direction. Really, you know it's great when you want to take photos from the car...even though they never do it justice.
3. BEING THERE WITH DANNY. That man makes me melt. We walk into a room and he's just gone in two seconds - out speaking to people, sharing love and encouragement. I have never seen anything like it. He just teared up so many times out of love for these people that we've never met. And he really is one of the best teachers I've ever seen. I just LOVE getting to hear him speak. And he was also just so supportive of ME, too, before and during our talks. He just gave me all the confidence and support in the world.
5. "COUNTRY ROADS...TAKE ME HOME..." After the dance, they did something that blew our minds. There is a tradition in West Virginia where everyone gets in a huge circle and sways, arm to arm, while singing "Country Roads...take me home...to the place, I belong..." as loudly as they can. Oh. my. I have never experienced anything quite like this. You can't imagine the WV pride these people have. :) It was just one of those amazing American experiences that I'll never forget.
6. SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY. That is REAL, you guys, and so cute. Holy smokes. They were all as welcoming, accommodating, gracious, and generous as can be. On our way out, we received a stack of cards and gifts from people! It was SO sweet!!! I just couldn't believe it. They gave us a basket of local goods - blown glass, local lemon honey, a vase, handmade coasters. And....they even surprised us with two Fiestaware mugs, made in West Virginia. :) And later I bought one of those Fiestaware pitchers I've been wanting (seen at Red Farm restaurant in NYC). They're on a good sale right now at Macy's that ends today (4/29)! They said in West Virginia, it's tradition to get Fiestaware when you set up a new home or move out, get married, etc.
P.S. Our recommended playlist for road trips through the country: Grateful Dead, Cat Stevens, Ray LaMontagne. :)
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