That has been the unlikely VA state’s motto for as long as I can remember… At least it was already in existence when I was an exchange student in Sperryville, more than 25 years ago !
And as slightly cheesy as the motto may be, Virginia itself sure has a lot to love
This is probably the first pic I shot this year, Marla running, hair wild, towards the lake upon (finally) getting out of the car, after a 18 hour trip…
Needless to say we were all SPENT. But typically enough, the excitement of being there, the sheer beauty and enchantment of the lake, kept us going long past our normal bedtime
This is, truly, an enchanting place ! It’s our Heaven on Earth…
Smith Mountain Lake is a HUGE body of manmade water. It’s so big we never quite covered it, despite spending nearly the whole week on the boat, and not at slow speed, either 😉
View of the house and lot from the dock
It’s a modest 3 bedroomer, but for the 3 if us, it’s actually very roomy and lovely !
I love the vaulted ceiling and open kitchen, the wrapping porch and numerous views of the lake
The family room
Wrap around porch, my husband would smoke his evening cigarette on
Very gentle sloping lot, which is not so easy to find at the lake, a lot of much pricier homes are ruined by steep lake access
There is a roomy basement with sleep in sofa and half bath, plus the usual suspects, washing mashine, dryer, etc
Icing on the [lake !] cake : (and a true rarity) the sandy beach !
Pretty much what keeps us going back to this particular home (been there in 2011). Marla just *loves* walking in the lake at any time of the day
We hadn’t been there for an hour that she dumped her clothes and went in
And at sunset, that’s what you get. Bliss, in my book
Don’t get surprised by the ratio. I set the camera to 16:9 for a bunch of landscape shot and forgot to set it back to 3:2. I found that the wider format actually works pretty well for some images
The Navitar at work
That didn’t take long…
I’d taken the following stuff : NEX7, SEL35/1.8, SEL16-70/4 CZ, Zuiko OM 50/1.8, and Navitar 75/1.3 TV lens. I have zero complaint with how everything performed, whatsoever. At one or two occasions I wished I had a telephoto lens, but Sony offering none that I like for the E mount, I just did without
Marla is a VERY avid swimmer. She can’t spare the inflatable arm bands yet (though she’d want to), but with them she’s fearless and will swim for hours on end, including in very deep water
On Sunday we headed to Mitchell’s Point Marina, to pick up the boat we’d booked for the week. As we had in 2011, we received the warmest greeting from the whole boat rental team. They had very nicely set their best condition boat aside for us (the privilege of being returning customers… and maybe a touch of favoritism for being French ?), and we enjoyed an older, but very clean blue/white Chaparral runabout. Plus, we got to meet Henry, their “new” rescue Beagle (amazingly and sadly enough, the previous one had been killed by… coyotes !). Here you see Marla feeding a bunch of seriously big carps
The old SeaRay we rented three years ago has since been turned into a towing only boat
Marla already missed Google a lot, and fat Henry got a lot of affection
Marla checking out the new vessel
One of the helpful SML Boat Rental team briefing the crew
That’s it ! Marla sporting her life vest
Safely docked at the house
The Navitar at work
Despite being manual focus, it’s a lens I do like for motion shots
She can be pretty intense with the kickboard !
And in mono
Smith Mountain Lake is unique to us by its sheer size, beauty, and navigability. We have nothing comparable here in France, and to my knowledge, maybe not even in Europe. So we obviously spent most of our week zooming around the lake in our thirsty Chaparral (a real fuel hog, and to refill 4 times in all !!)
As said before, the lake is positively huge, and sports countless homes, from the cheapest, most humble shacks, to ludicrous, millionaire mansions
No, you’re not dreaming. Olivier put her at the wheel, and soon enough, she was operating the boat pretty skillfully
A perfect place
I mean, how much better can it get ?
Studying the numerous fish population off our dock
Prolonged boating makes one very hungry !
And boating, she did !
Emerald green waters
Granny calling from France
We were absolutely blessed with gorgeous weather
The outter screened room
Check out that hand on the throttle 😉
What can I say ? We had a tremendous time. The whole area is beautiful. Sitting on the dock and taking in the mountain view, my soul reaches total peace. Boating around the lake, anchoring in smaller, shady coves, and lazily swimming under the trees, while osprey birds slowly circle above. Pure bliss
I have 130 processed pictures so far, and still a few to edit, so I’ll take a break and be back with more in a later post. Stay tuned…