Top 5 Reasons To Visit Virginia’s DinosaurLand!

Jurassic Park doesn’t exist (yet!), so you’ll have to settle for a close second: DinosaurLand.

Here are the top 5 reasons to go.


1. Education. All displays are completely to scale and photorealistic. The placards tell you fascinating facts. Did you know that the praying mantis is “the highest evolved of all insects”? Bet you didn’t think evolution worked that way. Well, it does.


2. Terror. You will be at the edge of your seat the entire time. Except you won’t be sitting — you’ll be running for your life! These displays are so spot-on that you’ll still have the jitters when you’re back on the highway.


3. Biodiversity. Nature has provided bounteous derp-faces in all shapes and sizes. Gaze in wonder at the one-toothed Sabertooth and all his friends. You will find smirks, scowls, leers, giggles, and big-tongued roars galore.

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What an ADORABLE place to get murdered!

While driving in Roanoke, VA, you may spot a giant coffee pot emerging from a building.

What a precious little coffee klatch,” you think.

And then you’ll be confused at the sign, which boasts performances by “Hicktown” and “Pretty Pistols.” 

The Coffee Pot is actually a restaurant/bar. According to this article:

“In the 1950s, it reportedly was the site of an emergency birth, supervised by employee Marie Crowder, who in 1995 told The Roanoke Times that she tied off the umbilical cord with dental floss and wrapped the newborn baby in tea towels.

“Around the same period, the bar served as a makeshift shooting range for a group of Korean War veterans who wanted to get in a little target practice with their carbines and sidearms.”

So cute!

Less cute is the fact that in 2006, people got into a fight in the parking lot and someone died. Apparently altercations happen frequently there.

For this reason, my parents told me it was inadvisable to swing by for drinks, despite my enthusiasm for its structural charm.

But look at the logo:

It’s a visually appealing place, one must admit.

Here’s a final side shot of that marvelous coffee pot.

For better or worse, it’s an officially-recognized historic place.

If anyone knows of any quaint coffee shops where I won’t get shoved into traffic, please let me know!

Happy travels,

Hotel Roanoke

Roanoke, Virginia has an awesome spirit. Lots of vintage stuff, local eats, and arty shops.

Last week, my family and I had lunch at Wildflour Café, an indie local-food joint.

Then we walked around downtown, which had some of this stuff going on:

Yes, we totally got to ride on this. It was free.

Mom & Jacob love each other!

Then we swung by the Hotel Roanoke to take some arty black and white photos. (Okay, that was my goal.)

This place is open for weddings, if you wanna be fancy.

My brother lost patience with my photography & curled up in the lobby with his Nook.

With the exception of the broken, creepy choir children out back, this is a ritzy hotel.

With beagles. Wonderful beagles.

Tea, Cookies, Fine Books

My mom has integrated years of reading Country Living, Southern Living, Southern Country Living, and Houses in the Southern Country into one home.

Okay, um, the last two magazines aren’t real. But if they were, my mom could probably run them both efficiently and still have half of her brain left over for other stuff.

This is one tightly-organized ship.

Most notable here: the 1950s water mill painting collection (top right), the view (bottom left), and Dad throwing up the devil horns (bottom centerish).

Yes, we have a sign in our home that says “Tea, Cookies, Fine Books.” Mom made it from a cabinet drawer front. Check that calligraphy.

If you look to the top left, you will see that although I am 28 years old, I clambered onto an old tractor. It’s not ours; it belongs to an unused farm out back. I’m not sure what the farm’s story is, but my mom takes her dog out there all the time, and hasn’t been shot yet, so I guess it’s okay.

Here you will find a charming wood chipper logo, Jacob’s trademark scowl, and our literary gnome. I want to write “Infinite Jest” on the gnome’s book, which makes Mom (lower right) laugh at me.

Such a smug facial expression. Probably because she knows she’s got the house thing on lock.

What now, Martha? WHAT NOW?

Black Dog Salvage

I went to Black Dog Salvage this week. The inside of this place was enormous and insane. If I had a house, it would be full of exactly this sort of stuff, and I would be broke. (Like… more so than now).

The statues outside were wonderfully creepy.

Here’s Saint Francis of Assisi, overlooking a dog. (It was a perfect moment.)

Speaking of dogs, here’s me and the eponymous black dog — Sally (the Salvage Dog).

We got along swimmingly.

If you’re ever in Virginia, looking to swag out your house with some vintage salvage, check this place out. Highly recommended!