A New Way to Welcome the New Year

Families want to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a bang. Perhaps at Times Square to watch the ball drop. Or go up to Wisconsin for a skiing holiday and fireworks on the mountains. Well, my family and I beg to differ because for the first time in years, we are going to the antithesis of New York City. A small town that looks like it came right out of a Norman Rockwell painting—Lexington, VA.

Lexington has a population of only 8,000 and it’s nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. For this year, we don’t want the bright lights and city lights, but just the sweet accompaniment of nature and a cup of hot cocoa. But before you think of Lexington as a hillbilly town, think again. This beautiful city in Virginia is lauded for its rich Civil War history and rife with war heroes and military museums. Think of Stonewall Jackson, Robert Lee, and George Marshall who once graced the city with their presence. The locals in Lexington invest in making sure that history is paid real respect.

That’s why when the 1950s-era Hull’s Drive-In  Movie Theatre was almost closed down in 1999, a group of 50 called the Hull’s Angels, worked together to raise an initial $10,000 by selling popcorn. Today, the nonprofit drive-in theatre is still community-owned and plays a double-feature classic for movie lovers out there for only $7 a piece.

Another historic structure is the bed and breakfast Hummingbird Inn, which was built in 1780 and expanded in 1853 to its present size. Needless to say, this is where we plan to stay in Lexington. Its country setting is like being in a movie set with its combination of the old and the new. Another good thing about staying at a bed and breakfast is the feeling of not having left home. We can go out for a trip downtown and come back and relax in front of the fireplace. Or maybe take a slow stroll around its huge garden after dinner. Perhaps my dad would also love to go fishing in the Maury River and mom could go for some wine-tasting.

There’s always something to do in Lexington that can afford us the simple quality of living without the artificial glamor of the city and loud parties. Besides, having to spend New Year’s Eve with my family is already a bonus. Can’t beat that!

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