LIngering by the Lake

LIngering by the Lake
Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Smith Mountain Lake, VA We finished our roadtrip with Lisa Phung over 4 weeks ago and made our way to Joseph’s parents lake house on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. The intention was to recuperate at the lake, spend some quality time with the Ramseys, get our Russian visas in our passports and head to Iceland one week later. We received some unfortunate information from the Russian embassy in Washington DC, apparently they only issue visas to people who reside in the United States. A snap decision was made to send our passports home to the embassy in Sydney for our visas. We toddled down to the local UPS store and bought the appropriate envelopes for sending our passports internationally to Australia and back again. Or so we thought. Our precious passports were whisked away and tracked to the Russian embassy in Sydney. Where they stayed, for a very long time. Whilst waiting for our passports, Joseph and I thoroughly enjoyed our Smith Mountain Lake time. Margaret and Pete Ramsey were wonderful hosts and our favourite time was spent in the evenings on the rocking chairs overlooking the lake for cocktail hour. Joseph managed to devour about ten of the twelve True Blood / Sookie Stackhouse novels and I worked on topping up my tan in the warm Virginian sun. Weather at the lake was absolutely perfect so quite a long time was spent by the lake on the dock in the sun and in the water. Joseph’s sister, Susan was also visiting with her kids so it was quite the family affair. His other siblings and nieces came in from Lynchburg and at times the kids outnumbered the adults. But Joseph being Joseph, was in his element. Happily playing with the kids and making sure they were never bored. We also quickly settled into a routine at the lake and that routine included daily runs to try and burn off the excess we had gained during our roadtrip. I also had the chance to work on my water skiing technique. I can happily report I am competent enough to stay upright for a period long enough to make all my muscles ache. I am certainly not ready for the one ski like Joseph, maybe next year. But it wasn’t all fun in the sun at the lake. A disproportionate amount of time was spent on the phone to the Russian embassy and UPS, tracking our passports and planning the best possible method to smuggle me out of the country for overstaying my visa. The feeling of a lost passport is not a pleasant one and we were one day away from driving up to Washington DC and forking out an additional $700 for new passports. The worst thing about this course of action was that we would lose all the stamps we had acquired during our travels on our old passports. Thankfully though our guardian angel in Sydney, Craig Mepham, stormed the Russian Embassy and demanded out passports back. As it turns out they were sitting on a counter at the embassy with a bunch of other passports belonging to other nervous travellers. So thanks to Craig we received our passports complete with Russian visas. This of course meant that our relaxing time at the lake would have to come to an end. Joseph and I had become quite accustomed to the fantastic hospitality, great food, great wine, amazing company, comfortable bed and laundry. It will become an adjustment to get back to poverty stricken backpackers, that much is certain. Lastly, we would like to thank Pete and Margaret from the bottom of our hearts for their generosity and hospitality that left us wanting for nothing during our stay at the Lake. We love, love, love spending time with you guys! So we leave you now on a plane bound for Chicago and eventually to Edinburgh. We had a slight change in plans, thanks most in part to Qantas Frequent Flyer points. We will take in a little Scotland before heading to Iceland and then Europe. Goodbye USA!


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