This morning the kiddos got on buses and Grandma and I headed out on a new adventure down a road less traveled. A long, long roundabout road but that’s all part of the story.    
 There is no place that I would rather be than on an adventure with my mom on this beautiful fall day. Wait, maybe an adventure in Hawaii but I’m limited to the mainland so a quick trip down the road to Charlottesville it is! We were ready to go. We even stopped to take a selfie.


We’re fun like that!

Before I really get started, I need to tell you what I did a couple of days ago. Coming back from the bus stop, I didn’t stop the door. Well, I did stop the door, just with my ankle caught between the stop and the door. It left me with a fun little boo boo. 


I know how to have a good time I tell you. I’m sorry for the blurry gory details but it’s important to the story. That top line there is a pretty decent open wound. My sock got stuck to it yesterday. So today I had the brilliant idea to just wear my slippers. I mean slippers. They aren’t my Hawaii slippahs. They are house shoes, moccasins on a good day. They cost me all of $4 from the clearance rack at Target and truth be told, probably slightly horrified my mother. More on my house shoes later…

Our plan today was to drive to Southern Living Idea House. I put the address in my GPS. My GPS couldn’t find it. I put it in my phone. My phone basically gave the “I think it’s here but I don’t have the official address is this okay with you?” I said sure and off we went. Mom had no idea where she was going. Food was supposed to be part of the deal but I was hell bent on getting to that house in time to see it and get back before that big yellow hound with my precious children topped the hill. We finally get off the highway. I follow the directions and turn this way and that. Mom said, “Brandi, I am so impressed that you can do this.” At the same time the phone announced “You have arrived.” Except we hadn’t. Good gravy we were at a dead end behind a school built in 1953. I’m pretty sure the clown from It was sending balloon messages from the storm drain out back. 

No worries. Let’s just do that again. We took a half hour detour through Charlottesville. It is such a great little town. We cleared Charlottesville and proceeded to drive about 15 minutes past the south side toward Staunton. Basically, I was half way to Kentucky. We got to a place called Crossroads. The GPS was telling me “turn right here.” I told Mom that you could call a demon at a crossroad and make a deal with the devil. Her reply was, “This durn GPS is driving us out here to kill us.” At the same moment I was pointing to a Southern Living Idea Home sign. She turned right into, “You are just brilliant! We’re here.” 

We drove another 3 miles until we got to a building where we could purchase tickets and then we had to board a bus. There were switchbacks up some nasty hills. You actually ride almost two miles. At about a mile Mom starts in on, “Well, now they really are going to kill us.” 

In the end, we turned the corner and we made it. It is a gorgeous house.


I love the stone, and the porches, and the kitchen and the view. I wouldn’t want to live on those hills in winter but you could probably convince me to hibernate through a winter or 10 here. 

One of my favorite features was the floor. What better time to show you my shoes. 

My shoes…and the floor. There they are. The bane of my mother’s existence. Not only are they house shoes, they are sequined in a camouflage pattern. We were about five steps in the house when this sweet lady said, “Oh I just love your shoes. They are wonderful!” I smiled and said thank you. Mom couldn’t hold her laughter in. She looked that lady up and down, eyeballed her handbag. As we walked away Mom said, “I’m sure she owns every pair of Ugg shoes available and she liked your $4 slippers!” We had quite the laugh.


Let’s talk about this house…

The kitchen was my dream kitchen. The white cabinets, the light countertops with a HUGE island. 

IMG_0416.JPGThe runners on the stairs… gorgeous and kid and pet friendly. I want to replace the ugly ones in my rental right this second. That’s the problem of military life and renting. It’s never yours. Ray thinks it saves him money though. All the things I would want to do.


I loved all the porches too. Plus, look at my mother. She never meets a stranger. She told the bus driver to make sure she came back. She didn’t want to get stranded. Although…there are worse places to be stranded. She talked decor, the use of antiques and modern pieces together. I just love listening to her talk to complete strangers. She was a little mortified when I worked my way to the front of the bus line possibly cheating in front of people a smudge. The fact was, I was the youngest person in a 50 mile radius and I had kids to pick up. I did let the man with possible potty problems in line ahead of me. 

We left at 1. I knew kids would start filing in after 3:30. We were on the clock to get back. I could not find a place to stop. Mom finally said, “I was kidding when I said I’d rather see the house than eat.” We found food and hit the road again. We made it back in time to wait for the littles on the bus. 

You can access real pictures and information on Southern Living’s website here. I’ll post the rest of our pictures to my Facebook Page. The cost to tour the house is $15. If you love Southern Living as much as we do it’s worth every penny. 

I’m sure I’ll remember more of our adventures later. For now, Grandma has worn me plumb out!