Nestled on the Blue Ridge Parkway right outside of Bedford, Virginia, lies a remote mountain paradise. Open year round, the Peaks of Otter offers a lodge, with a full restaurant, a winery, and many trails that range from a leisurely stroll around Abbott Lake to an intense hike up Flat Top.
Every year for Mother’s Day, my family makes the two hour drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Peaks of Otter Lodge for the Mother’s Day Brunch. Two years ago, my family met at the lodge and sat down to one of the best brunches ever. The brunch consisted of everything from pastries and muffins to a giant roasted pig.
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After finishing our rather large and delicious brunch, my family and I took a stroll around Abbott Lake to let our brunch settle. As we strolled, we gazed at the beauty of the mild spring day in full bloom. My brother and I took turns chasing the many different colored butterflies. My sister and I roamed around taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. As we past the small banks on the side of the lake, we waved at a small group of fishermen. Moments later, we ran into a man and his lab playing fetch on the bank of the lake. We laughed at the sheer joy shown on the lab’s face as he splashed back to his master through the shallow water.
As we neared our cars, my family decided to visit the Peaks of Otter Winery. When we pulled into the winery parking lot, we were all convinced that we were in the wrong place. With the exception of a small sign on the door that said Peaks of Otter Winery, the winery looked like a small run down farm with a small country store plopped in the center of it. With much uncertainty, my family climbed the stairs and opened the rickety door. We were met with a cool blast of air and the familiar southern greeting of “Hey y’all. Come on in.” Two middle aged women and one wrinkly man circled the small country store with smiles on their faces, answering any questions the few tourists had. One of the women looked up and smiled sweetly as she said, “Our next wine tasting is in about five minutes if y’all want to head over to the bar.” She pointed to the make-shift counter holding bottles of wine. As her eyes landed on me and my siblings, she said, “Sorry guys. Over twenty one only.” As our family walked over to the make-shift bar, we began to gaze at the wine glass bird feeders. The old man walked over to us and said, “Maybe you guys would like to see the zoo. It’s down the gravel drive.”
As my brother and I walked down the gravel drive, we noticed a bridge with three goats standing on it. My brother ran forward and the goats slipped back into their pin through a slight tear in the wire fencing. We ran around gazing at the different animals from mountain sheep to peacocks. We were just about to go back to the goats when my sister came down the road and told us that it was time to go.
On the way home, my parents talked about the different wine they had bought. My mom looked back at us and asked, “Do you guys want to come back next year?” There was a chorus of “Yes!” coming from the back seat as we drove down the beautiful parkway back toward home.
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