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This weekend, we took a
short drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit Mabry Mill, the site of an old grist mill in Southwest Virginia.
It is really a beautiful place to visit in the fall, and people flock there from all over the place. On the weekends, they feature live music and historic programs at the property's outbuildings. There are also a few small fields for picnicking.
Katie enjoyed playing in the grass and running through the leaves. Luckily, crowds thinned out in this area and we were still able to keep up with her pretty well.
Alex acted as if he was bored the entire time we were there, but later admitted that he had a good time. Some days, I just don't know what to do with this nine-year-old boy.
We were able to walk through the inside of the mill, where they still grind up and sell buckwheat and grits. We also got to look out the window for an up close view of the water wheel.
Here, Alex and Katie play with corn cob checkers outside of the Appalachia Cabin. Imagine the time it would have taken the parents to make this game for their children. Each checker is a dried out piece of a corn husk, half of which are dyed red to distinguish between the players.
Will we return some day? Probably, but not until she's able to walk the whole way. The path isn't long, but there are some steps that make using the stroller a little difficult. Besides, Katie doesn't like riding in the stroller anyway. Try carrying a squirming toddler through a fall-leaves crowd!
If you're in Virginia and are planning to take a drive on the parkway to see the colors, this is a great destination. Pack a picnic lunch, or plan to arrive early to eat in the Mabry Mill restaurant. Or, go early in the day, swing through Floyd on the way home, and have a bite at the Pine Tavern, as we did. Fried chicken, oh yum!