While attending a Mountain Stage taping recently I began to think how enjoying those events are one of my very favorite things to do in West Virginia. The music, no matter if I've ever heard of the artists before or not, is always wonderful and the atmosphere is serene. There's nothing quite like it that I've ever found.
As the serene music washed over me in the Clay Center I began to reflect upon the other things in West Virginia that are my favorite to experience - My West Virginia.
-Dining at Muriale's in Fairmont. When asked to name my favorite restaurant, the answer is always easy for me-Muriale's. I love their food, particularly their meatball casserole over spaghetti. In fact, it's the only thing I ever order! And I'm not that kind of girl; I like trying new foods, but that selection is so good and I get to Muriale's so infrequently that I can't pass up the meatball casserole. Their salad is perfect and the bread is yummy. Oh, and the atmosphere and service are always nice and friendly.
-Attending a WVU football or basketball game. The Mountaineers are our state's professional sports teams; we follow them, root for them, wear their colors, basically live and breathe WVU. No, I am not a WVU alumnae, but I do love them. I don't get to attend very many of their games, so I guess that makes it extra special when I do. I am a big Bob Huggins fan, so I might add here that listening to his radio show is also a favorite West Virginia thing for me.
-Driving west on state Route 7 through Wetzel County on a night with a perfect sunset. It gives beautiful views and soothes the soul. (Just try not to think about any deer ready to jump into your path.)
-Attending a big family event, like a reunion. Several years ago Abercrombie and Fitch was scorned by West Virginians as they released a t-shirt design that said, "It's all relative in West Virginia." Trust me, I don't like it when people make fun of my home, but I decided to personally make that more of a positive slogan. We do have lots of relatives here; even those who aren't technically related, we treat them as family. Nothing much is better than getting together with family and enjoying a big carry-in meal before playing volleyball, blowing bubbles, playing music and singing, throwing some cornhole bags, talking, having a watermelon seed spitting contest, or doing whatever else it is that your family does.
-Driving into Charleston and seeing who can see the Capitol dome first. Okay, it's not that amazing of an experience, but it's a tradition in my car. I enjoy visits to our capital city for various reasons like state basketball or baseball tournaments, their chili fest, FestivAll, and Mountain Stage.
-Visiting Tamarack. It's just such a great stop on a road trip. You get to stretch your legs, view some art, shop a bit, and grab a gourmet bite to eat. What's not to love?
-Strolling the streets of Lewisburg. It lives up to its title as one of the coolest small towns in America. The shops, restaurants, and general atmosphere in Lewisburg are nothing short of quaint and quirky. I love it.
-Pausing at the top of the mountain at Canaan's ski resort. I love to ski, although I don't get the opportunity to go often. While the slopes are great, the view from the top is fabulous. Reaching the top of the mountain from the main lift at Canaan begs for a pause at the slope's edge to take it in. . . and whether you like them or not, you have to pick the white windmills off of the horizon.
-Enjoying Oglebay Park. It has so much to offer and often those of us who live fairly close don't take the time to really enjoy it. This past December two of my sisters, my kids, and I spent the night at Wilson Lodge and I can't even tell you how much we enjoyed it; Joellen wants it to become a tradition. They had excellent food, live music in the lobby, Festival of Lights, indoor pool, and gorgeous decorations.
What is Your West Virginia? Let us know and maybe we'll include it in the June 19 edition of the Wetzel Chronicle celebrating West Virginia's sesquicentennial, our 150th birthday! Email us at editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on the Wetzel Chronicle's Facebook.