White Wine & Tastee Freez

Since driving through Barboursville on the way to Lake Anna, I’ve wanted to stop by to see the ruins. With few free Sundays on the calendar, we headed over the mountain for a sunny day of tastings, chili dogs, sunshine and site seeing. We started with a tasting and a game of corn hole at Keswick Vineyards (I lost). Then we headed across the road to Castle Hill Cider where we tasted cider, played in the yard and I learned about a kvevri for the first time. That whole process is pretty dang cool!  To keep the day classy, we made a pit stop at the Tastee Freez. My kids would be irate if they knew I stopped there without them! And finally, I really wanted to see the Barboursville Ruins which are not as elaborate as I thought but fun all the same.
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(haha)
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A lake named Anna

The sun was beaming as I packed the car with a cooler, the kids and a Ben and we headed over the mountain to enjoy a day at Lake Anna for a friend-reunion of sorts. As I was driving I realized that the last time I drove over that mountain to see Toff and Cara, I was using printed mapquest directions. And possibly listening to a cd burned from my napster downloads? Haaaaa. Ancient. It was also before they became parents of sweet little Trip and Meg. Time leaves us. Too too fast. We were welcomed at the Newcomb lake house to lots of open international arms but the hugs didn’t last long as the kids were ready to enjoy the water!

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…note the vanilla slice: Toff and Cara’s number 1 seller at their bakery (activate saliva)…
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Blake took a moment to teach Trip an American greeting: The Fist Bump. Blake still giggles at Trip repeating “Pound it!” with his young Australian accent. fclIMG_3483 fclIMG_3501 fclIMG_3497fclIMG_3505bwfclIMG_3541 fclIMG_3508bwfclIMG_3542 fclIMG_3510fclIMG_3535 fclIMG_3534 fclIMG_3526 fclIMG_3521bw

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 3

The third and final day of Red Wing was upon us. We stopped caring about the mud under our toenails, the sweat beads on our forehead, and the mild stench that was totally-that-dude-beside-me and not me. Right? We were all friends now. Rained on, shined on, danced together – friends. I was a little sad finishing these photos. Nostalgic even. They reminded me of this pocket of happy that existed in my summer. A pocket I’ll dig into again next summer only to rediscover it all over…just like that wrinkled up five dollar bill that’s surely waiting for me in my winter coat.  ….winter….  Ah geez.

Robin & Linda WilliamsFCLIMG_1005 FCLIMG_1032FCLIMG_1016 FCLIMG_1011BWDanny Schmidt & Carrie ElkinFCLIMG_1042BW FCLIMG_1065 FCLIMG_1063CFCLIMG_1067BW FCLIMG_1075FCLIMG_1102C FCLIMG_1106BWFCLIMG_1082 FCLIMG_1083 FCLIMG_1109FCLIMG_1157 FCLIMG_1156Brian Patrick BandFCLIMG_1121 FCLIMG_1136BW FCLIMG_1130BWFCLIMG_1126BWFCLIMG_1143 FCLIMG_1145 FCLIMG_1146 FCLIMG_1148 FCLIMG_1150FCLIMG_1151 FCLIMG_1153FCLIMG_1154C

The Judy ChopsFCLIMG_1244 FCLIMG_1192FCLIMG_1203FCLIMG_1174FCLIMG_1182BW FCLIMG_1237FCLIMG_1272BW FCLIMG_1217bwFCLIMG_1280BW FCLIMG_1198 FCLIMG_1209BWFCLIMG_1257BWFCLIMG_1268C FCLIMG_1270FCLIMG_1289 FCLIMG_1284BWFCLIMG_1295C FCLIMG_1296 FCLIMG_1298 FCLIMG_1301BW

Pokey LaFarge and all his amazing faces that I just couldn’t take enough photos of.FCLIMG_1308FCLIMG_1407FCLIMG_1369FCLIMG_1337FCLIMG_1361BWFCLIMG_1342BWFCLIMG_1324 FCLIMG_1332FCLIMG_1383FCLIMG_1387FCLIMG_1375C FCLIMG_1376C FCLIMG_1344BWFCLIMG_1404BWFCLIMG_1345BW FCLIMG_1346FCLIMG_1410 FCLIMG_1415

The Steel Wheels & Friends Tribute SetFCLIMG_1435C FCLIMG_1424 FCLIMG_1419FCLIMG_1446FCLIMG_1464BWFCLIMG_1453FCLIMG_1465CFCLIMG_1481C FCLIMG_1493C FCLIMG_1497 FCLIMG_1512 FCLIMG_1533 FCLIMG_1519BWFCLIMG_1539 FCLIMG_1428See you next year, yeah?

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

After all the memories made on the first day EVER(!) of the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, I was stoked to know that two more days were still in store. The views of the Valley as I drove to the Chimneys made me extra thankful that this festival was brought to such a beautiful (and close!) location. The day was sunnier with a promise of a cooling evening shower. Sunscreen. Check. Camera. Check. Klean Kanteen. Check. Raincoat. Check. Water. Check. Day 2. Let’s do this.

After grabbing some coffee and fully waking up, we headed to The Southern Stage to listen to the lovely Ana Egge
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Over on the Local Roots Stage, Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts drew a decent crowd.FCLIMG_0400BW FCLIMG_0423FCLIMG_0412BW FCLIMG_0387 FCLIMG_0417 FCLIMG_0397FCLIMG_0386BW FCLIMG_0376BW FCLIMG_0396BWSurrounded by happy campers.

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Pearl & The Beard
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FCLIMG_0528 FCLIMG_0546 FCLIMG_0545FCLIMG_0533CBack in time for a downpour and the sheer entertainment of The Wiyos.
If you haven’t seen these guys…add it to your list.
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See also: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

I can’t say much about the caliber of awesome that was the inaugural Red Wing Roots Music Festival that hasn’t already been said. Well, not with words anyway. But I can tell you a thing or two with my photos. *whoop whoop*  I couldn’t get there fast enough on Day 1 of the three day shindig.  As lovely Megan set me up with a wrist band, I could hear Caleb Stine’s hollow voice echoing through the chimneys. Gaaaah! Heart.throb. I walked under gray skies to the Shenandoah Mountain Stage and once it was in sight, the mood was clear, so I shut my mouth and tiptoed to the front. As if they were all witnessing a sacred ceremony, eyes affixed to the stage, the audience sat in awe and respect and silence. It didn’t take long for me to follow suit.  The tone was set for the day.
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Next on my to-do was to get coffee. Then food. Then beer. Then more music. In that order. The layout of the festival was great and the venders were plentiful with a lot of local options! *bonus* AND they required the use of a Klean Kanteen which not only serves as a Red Wing souvenir but creates much less trash for the festival and the planet. *double bonus*
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Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge
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I’ve come to understand one very important thing about festival goers: they’re always ready to have a good time. Rain or shine. Lucky for them! The rain clouds moved in but the shows went on. People pulled out their rain gear…or fashioned rain gear out of found objects. Dancing and smiling and swaying…feet planted in the mud. Little slivers of heaven.
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Justin JonesFCLIMG_9851 FCLIMG_9840BW FCLIMG_9818 FCLIMG_9816FCLIMG_9825 FCLIMG_9909FCLIMG_9927BW FCLIMG_9947FCLIMG_9944 FCLIMG_9953 FCLIMG_9957BWFCLIMG_9964FCLIMG_9978BW

Tim O’BrienFCLIMG_9980BW FCLIMG_9995

Gregory Alan Isakov
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Yarn…getting the kids all riled up!FCLIMG_0139 FCLIMG_0147FCLIMG_0105BW FCLIMG_0177 FCLIMG_0182 FCLIMG_0179FCLIMG_0127 FCLIMG_0159 FCLIMG_0160 FCLIMG_0150FCLIMG_0212FCLIMG_0202

The sun set. The rain poured. The Duhks took the stage.FCLIMG_0220 FCLIMG_0256 FCLIMG_0241FCLIMG_0228 FCLIMG_0261FCLIMG_0254 FCLIMG_0253BW FCLIMG_0249BWFCLIMG_0273

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FCLIMG_0334…one down, two to go…

 Check out: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. If you use photos from this blog for Facebook, please give credit or link to blog post. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Brunch & Bubbles

“Man, I hate brunch” said no one ever.  Anything that prolongs the breakfast experience is ok with me. For this particular brunch, the occasion was to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  …I hear ya… “Girrrl, you cray, it’s August!” I am aware. It’s a common misconception that teachers have all summer to do absolutely nothing thereby quantifying their mediocre annual pay. Wrong. I spend a large part of my summer (which was 7 weeks this year) working to earn money to compensate for what my “day job” does not pay. And I am just now finding the free time to complete this post. Excuse me while I step down from my soapbox and get back to…brunch. The kids and I headed to meet my friend Martha and Jewel at Jewel’s new home. Her hand has surely touched every inch of her yard and perhaps even watered it with her sweat and tears. It’s gorgeous. All the flowers stood tall and the trees chatted about their spectacular views. Oh, Harrisonburg. You so pretty. Jewel made a variety of treats including a cheesy crumb cake(!), a sweet breakfast crumb cake, fresh fruits, a fruit smoothie and of course, coffee. Mm. After chatting about art and work and life the kids (and adults) had fun with Jewel’s bubble set!
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So cool!FCLIMG_7583 FCLIMG_7589 FCLIMG_7592CFCLIMG_7605BW FCLIMG_7599BW FCLIMG_7601 FCLIMG_7608Reaga had fun too.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Finally. The Wedding.

Fourth and final post on Lee and Jodi’s wedding. There was a bachelor weekend, a white water rafting trip, a day of rehearsing and then the day arrived. I could go on and on about this wedding, really. It was beautiful weather, breathtaking views, great friends and celebrating that we simply didn’t want to end. One last congrats Lee and Jodi!

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Hannah drove down to offer her hair and makeup services to us dude-chicks.

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All ready. Loaded up and heading to the venue: Silver Hearth Lodge.

All ready. Loaded up and heading to the venue: Silver Hearth Lodge.

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Lee takes a dance break...

Lee takes a dance break…

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This photo by Lori Hedrick Photography, check out more here!

This photo by Lori Hedrick Photography, check out more here!

Ray's coat (the one that is a foot longer than the rest) inspired a photoshoot.

Ray’s coat (the one that’s a foot longer than the rest) inspired a mini photo session.

FCLIMG_6486 FCLIMG_6491 FCLIMG_6492FCLIMG_6495FCLIMG_6482And then it was time….look at that beautiful bride!FCLIMG_6522 FCLIMG_6514 FCLIMG_6537FCLIMG_6574 FCLIMG_6577 FCLIMG_6558 FCLIMG_6559C FCLIMG_6562FCLIMG_6603 FCLIMG_6616BW FCLIMG_6623FCLIMG_6636We often pretend we’re on the set of Romy and Michelle.

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Getting ready for the speech...

Getting ready for the speech…

FCLIMG_6678 FCLIMG_6704 FCLIMG_6716BW FCLIMG_6721…the beginning…

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Roanoke Part I: Dress Rehearsal

The bachelor and bachelorette party shenanigans were a week behind us and we all reconvened in Roanoke for the wedding festivities. Rehearsal was bright and early Friday morning so we coffeed up,  loaded the vehicles and headed up the mountain to the Silver Hearth Lodge. The views up there were so.friggin.gorgeous! It was a healthy dose of calm for any pre-wedding jitters. Itineraries were read, maids and men fell into place, parents smiled with pride and that was a wrap. T-minus 31 hours till go-time.
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After rehearsal, Lee called all grooms men & women together so he could give us some tokens of appreciation baller gifts. Seriously. I don’t think I ever want to be a bridesmaid again after getting a dose of dude wedding strategy. Lee knows what’s up. He gave each attendant a special gift but I really can’t remember what everyone else got because I was too busy choking back chick tears over the loot he gave me. I felt like Biggie! He gave me a bar key, some good brew, a few nostalgic pilot bottles, earrings (to wear in the wedding), some Impossible film (yessss), a coozy…not just any coozy – a Freaker (a fit-everything sock-like coozy company based in Wilmington, NC), and (AND!) a Bamboo tablet (!) which, by the way, I’ve asked Santa to bring me for at least 6 years. *I exaggerate* If I had lugged my computer along, I might not have made rehearsal dinner that evening. Just sayin’.
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Pre-rehearsal dinner selfie…because I never wear heels. It was photo worthy.

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Ben's makes things out of everything...

Ben makes things out of everything…

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Jodi might just be the smartest decision Lee has made to date.

Jodi might just be the smartest decision Lee has made to date.

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After the lovely dinner celebration, two of my besties (LT & Vanessa) arrived at the hotel. Mischief wasted no time. We took our friend Monica around with us to be sure everyone’s heart was in tip-top shape. God I love scaring people.FCLphoto-13

The last girl Lee kissed as a bachelor...

The last single-man kiss.

Wiffle Ball at the Farm

So this is a little dated (2011)…but the light that evening was magical. And dang it, these photos beg to be shared. When I look at these images I am transported to summertime evenings with good people, good energy and lots of…bats. Ball bats. And what better way to celebrate a friend’s 32nd than with a wiffle ball tournament?IMG_8791web

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above photo by Rachel Herr

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above photo by Rachel Herr

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