January 13, 2010: Believe it or not, there are a few places other than Shinnston worthy of a visit. Yours truly of the Gillum House Bed & Breakfast just returned from a wonderful trip. I met up with a group of innkeeper friends for dinner at a restaurant in Warm Springs, Virginia called the Gristmill. The food was great and our waitress, Deborah, was GOOD. We had folks from West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, and Indiana. The next day, my friend from McDowell House Bed & Breakfast  in Muncie, Indiana and I went to Rocky Mount, Virginia to visit our friends, the innkeepers at The Claiborne House. Claiborne House has 6 wonderful comfortable guestrooms with private baths. And the breakfasts are absolutely awesome – the coffee was excellent! Shellie can give you routings to so many interesting places and things to do. She told us about the Booker T Washington birthplace and the D-Day Memorial and being history buffs, Jane and I said, “Let’s go!”

 There is a 15-minute movie about the life of Booker T Washington at the Visitors Center at the farm where he was born. In addition to the reconstructed cabin he was born in, there are farm animals, trails, and living history exhibits in season. It was cold so we did not explore as much as we would have liked. From there we went to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. This memorial is a wonderful, moving tribute and time-line of D-Day and the valiant soldiers who died there. Why Bedford, Virginia? No other city in the United States gave more of her sons (proportionately) to their Country. Of a city with a population of about 3200, 30 “Bedford Boys” went ashore on Omaha Beach, 19 died, and may more were wounded. The admission was $5. It is a place every American should visit. Most of us will never get to Omaha Beach to see for ourselves what those soldiers did or to understand what they went through. With gardens and symbolism and statues and monuments, those who fell that day – ALL of the Allies – are honored and named at this monument.

Claiborne House is near the beginning of the Crooked Road, a music trail, and there many other interesting things to see and do. We totally enjoyed the Red Clay Restaurant just down the block. See Shellie’s Blog Coffee Talk  for more information about her area.

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