This post is dedicated to creating memories and learning about the road less traveled. My maternal grandmother moved from Maryland to Georgia in the early 80s. From about 1985 to her death in 2005, some part of our family either traveled to visit her or her to visit us often enough that we came to have a love and hate relationship with I-81.
When I was a kid there weren’t a lot of exits along this highway. We depended on the road side rest stops as gas stations were few and far between. For a kid with motion sickness the trip could go from boring to excruciating in about 5 minutes.
As I got older and my motion sickness was found out to be vision related (Yay glasses!), I was able to value road trips more. I treasured the time we played games, walked dogs in snow laden grass embankments and had snowball fights, when we were able to explore small town America instead of just sticking to roadside rest-stops, and for me personally- I would sit and draw the mountains we drove past thinking of each one as a dear friend marking my journey. Then as I got older I began to miss and long for those road trips as family members aged, stopped taking trips or started their own families. Later on as I started my own family and also made the move from Maryland, I began to take trips down I-81 with my husband and have been able to add to those memories.
The first time Branden and I went to Williamsburg, VA was about our 7th or 8th trip together driving along I-81 so we knew that there were a few truck stops and exits on I-81 that we liked to stop off at. That said the older I get the more I realize fast food on a road trip can be fun but I pay for it in the end (no-puns-intended). So we are always in search of that quick sit down meal or a fast food place that has healthier options.
Our first road trip to Williamsburg followed a long day at work so we knew we needed an evening stop over before getting to our journey’s end. We weren’t sure where that would be so we grabbed a hotel coupon booklet from as rest stop for some ideas. What first stuck out and caught our attention was Staunton, VA. As we were pulling into the hotel we chose, we saw a sign for Edelweiss restaurant. It seemed like karma. We had always wanted to try that restaurant but never had time. The restaurant also stood out to us because Edelweiss is the name of the theme song for the choir I worked for at that time.
Sadly when we got to the restaurant it was closed. So we did not get to eat there on our way to Williamsburg however we grabbed a menu and on our return trip we made a point to grab brunch there. The restaurant was glorious! I whole heartedly recommend it to everyone who enjoys German food and has to take a trip that involves driving down I-81. Since 2009, Branden and I have been to this restaurant a minimum of six times. It has never failed to impress us. It has everything we love- good food for great prices, a wonderful at home feeling (with a German theme) and great staff.
Edelweiss even has a website now (http://www.edelweissvirginia.com/). Maybe not the prettiest website but don’t judge a book by its cover or the website that represents it 😉 If you should find yourself planning a road trip along I-81 in Virginia and are able to have a sit down meal, you should look up Edelweiss up so you can add it to your very own journey.