Friday, July 26, 2013

Excited About Missions

The end of this week brings some sadness as a good friend leaves Charlottesville for a new adventure. While I'm sad so see her go, I am so excited for what she is doing next. She's going to be a missionary nurse on Mercy Ships in Africa!  I will miss how she inspires me in friendship, cooking, and following God. I am hopeful that staying in touch by following her blog and through email and Whatsapp will allow me to stay nearly as inspired as having her here in person, but I'm nothing beats a good meal together in person.

Before her departure, we celebrated her birthday at Duner's. I had heard rave reviews about this place, so I was excited to finally try it. To be honest, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. It was good, but not my new favorite place to eat. It was pretty pricey too. I had bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with cheese and served with mashed potatoes. Other dishes enjoyed at our table included a pasta dish, crab cakes and salmon.  I actually enjoyed the company better than the food on this outing, but I think the others were much more impressed by the dinner.  Perhaps I have simple tastes.

She also loves Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and has sought them out on all of her travels around the US.  Charlottesville does not have a featured restaurant on the show, so her mission Wednesday morning was to plan her application for Guy to visit our town to try the Blue Moon Diner. I kept it simple with a pancake and side of bacon.  She had the breakfast burrito and another friend tried the breakfast BBQ.  She snapped pictures and decided Guy would definitely go for the BBQ.  It was a fun last meal together. 

I made a "Healthy Peach Crumble" out of the PICU cookbook in her honor for our last shift together on Wed night. And then I found out she doesn't like peaches.... It didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped, so it was a weak send-off.  I'm hoping the baby shower she celebrated in honor of Prince George on her last night at UVA PICU was much more successful. She will definitely be missed!

Yesterday, my Life Group met at the church to welcome back a missions team returning from India. It is so exciting how God invites us to experience and participate in what He is doing in the world. I feel so honored and blessed to know people who are actively serving Him as He leads them.

I have been living a little more selfishly and exploring local events and dining.  Saturday, Michael and I did a wine tasting at Pollak Vineyard.  This one is my current favorite in the area and I wish they had a wine club I could join. I really like their Cabernet Franc which is so easy to drink, but not really a summer wine. 

My brother-in-law is involved in sales at area festivals, fairs, and trade shows. He gets free passes and was willing to share them with me and Michael this past weekend. We got to spend Sunday afternoon at the Daylily Festival in Fishersville. There was lots of wine, food, and crafts in a beautiful setting.
 A storm rolled in shortly after we arrived.  The vendors got a little wet, but we were well protected in a large tent and rode out the storm sipping wines.
 We were able to try some of the wineries outside of our normal travel zone.  Some were just plain awful and confirmed that I am fortunate to live within driving distance of places with good wine makers. I enjoyed Jefferson Vineyard, Well Hung Vineyard, and Barren Ridge Vineyard wines the best (in that order). Tasting meads from Hill Top Berry Farm was an experience, but did not leave me wanting more.

After meeting the India team, my Life Group ate at Vinny's which is up near Target. I had never eaten there before and got the Meatball Sub. It was pretty good!

I feel so blessed to live where I live and have the friends and experiences that I've had.