We were welcomed into the home of Linda and Rex Marchman, who lived just outside Charlottesville on what we (in NZ) would call a ‘lifestyle block’. They had the most magnificent view over a small lake, owned by a neighbour. Linda’s garden was filled with butterflies – and naturally enough, host and nectar plants for butterflies.

They had a large and very comfortable home – the weather was hot, but air conditioning made indoors very comfortable.

Linda and Rex are cat-lovers. This was apparent from the thirteen felines who shared their home with them. there were fluffy ones, and fat ones, sleek ones, and smiling ones, shy ones and glossy ones – all very well cared for.

We had a magnificent dinner, plenty to eat and finished with a Peach Cobbler made by Rex. Breakfast was some awesome muffins with fresh fruit and pecan nuts on top.

Next morning we planned to visit vineyards, have lunch, visit some fresh fruit markets and get on our way – but it wasn’t to be. Linda noticed that we had a very flat tyre. Over a wonderful lunch with Rex and Linda, We called the AAA (Hint: Don’t call it the AA in America, as that indicates you have an alcohol problem!)

This was complicated – Hertz didn’t know where Charlottesville was, it was a Saturday. They had to send out a contractor to change the tyre for a lightweight spare, which we then limped into Charlottesville on. The friendly tyre serviceman fixed the puncture very promptly, and we were on our way. But setting out on a six hour journey at about 4 or 5pm wasn’t a great idea.

We decided to set off on our way south and stop when we felt we were too tired to continue. Mrs Tom Tom (our GPS) took us into the mountains of western Virginia (not to be confused with West Virginia, the state) and southwards, where we stopped at Christiansburg.

Earlier that day Rex had been watching a game of their local baseball team and they had been playing at this very town – the University of Virginia’s Hokies (I think). Mrs Tom Tom helped us find a very nice hotel (highly recommended – the Hampton) where we got a well-appointed twin room for $109. This came with a complimentary breakfast in the morning when we got on our way again. However… not before we had a bit of bad luck (will Mary every forgive me?)

Mary had taken a lot of photographs of butterflies, flowers and plants in Linda’s garden. I offered to put them onto a CD for her, and so we bought a high-speed CD (I knew everything… high speed had to be better than anything else, didn’t it?). In my computer the CD asked “do you want to format?”. Yes, I clicked, then clicked again, then clicked again, then realised I was formatting her photo card. Aargh! All her photos, lost. Sorry, Mary. 🙁

One Response to “Charlottesville”

  1. Cindy Dyer Says:

    Hi! Thanks, Jacqui. I just took a look at your website and wanted to thank you for all that information on butterfly-related field trips in Florida! I’ll have to bookmark your site so the next time I’m headed that way, I can use your travel essay as a guidebook. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog!

    You were not far from me when you were in Charlottesville, VA, last month. I live in Alexandria, Virginia, just 15 minutes or so from D.C. Glad you enjoyed your visit to the area. and

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