A guy in college once said that he'd been all over the country and he hadn't seen a state more beautiful than Virginia.
I remember being surprised at the comment. Having grown up and attended college there, I think I took the place for granted. And I'd only been to a few states at that point, so I had little to compare it to.
And as a consequence of not having traveled much, I maybe lacked the curiosity/exploration gene. I think now of all the little towns and side roads left unexplored over the many trips back and forth from the DC suburbs to Charlottesville and other places.
All this to say I was back in the Shenandoah Valley this week for this client engagement and it took all my willpower (and pretense of professionalism) not to jump out of the car and take photos on the trip from our hotel to the plant. It's the definition of pastoral -- hills and dales and meadows and cows and winding roads and mist-shrouded streams.
Not to mention unspoiled and undeveloped. At least out there in the country. Virginia has a ban on billboards, which is nice. And the trees. Sooooo many trees.
I need to go back there for fun sometime. Yesterday was a 21-hour day -- grueling, but we're doing good, interesting work.