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How I Ended Up in America's Coolest Small Town

Last week, I blogged about needing to be okay with changing travel plans. Several months back, I booked a place in Asheville, North Carolina for a few weeks between Thanksgiving and when I was supposed to leave for a holiday in Turkey. But when COVID-19 cases started exploding in late October, I started to think the Turkey trip wasn't going to happen. Well, that and my dog is still alive. Given his heart condition and other age-related issues, I can't leave him in boarding anymore. And I wouldn't want to. 

So, the Turkey plans vanished (thank goodness for totally flexible airline policies - I got all my money back) and I needed somewhere to stay in the United States until after New Years. Unfortunately, someone booked my Asheville rental the day after I originally planned to leave, so I couldn't extend it. And Asheville is expensive and popular, so finding another place there that fit all my criteria wasn't possible. It was too late.

Time for some random internet searching. I plugged all my criteria into AirBnB for the general Blue Ridge mountain area and this delightful house in Lewisburg, West Virginia popped up. Funky artwork and plants everywhere, mosaic floors, a bamboo privacy fence all around, and an infrared sauna. Booking unique accommodations is part of the fun of travel, and this place caught my eye.

a computer desk in front of French doorsa gas heating stove

two bed pillows and a windowwoman in infrared sauna

dog on tile floor

West Virginia was never in the plans, but I was on my way nevertheless. As the date drew closer, I looked into it more and talked to some people about the area. It turns out this area is well known to quite a lot of people. Primarily it's known for the Greenbrier Resort, which is apparently a big deal, but this region also has over 1,000 caves to explore as well as two dozen easily accessible state parks and recreation areas. And Lewisburg itself is an absolute delight. It's a tiny town, but it's a hub of culture for this area. It boasts several theaters (sadly, none of which are open right now), lots of excellent restaurants and bakeries, and charming historical buildings and shops. And after being so remote in Maine, would be nice to be living right in the historic downtown where all the amenities are walkable. When they are open, that is. More on that in a different post.
woman and old buildingold buildings and a town road

What clinched the deal for me (not that I wasn't already committed) was when crossed the state line from Virginia into West Virginia and that line was on a mountain pass with rolling ridgelines as far as the eye could see. I knew I chose right. As if I wouldn't love a place nicknamed The Mountain State. So here I am, riding out the remainder of this insane year in America's coolest small town. And I have a huge, fenced yard for Trotsky Bear, which makes this the coolest place for him too.

backyard with a fire pit