We Left Our Hearts Behind

We visited West Virginia and fell in love with the mountain state.

Last weekend became somewhat of an unexpected trip to visit my parents in West Virginia and Brandon and I are having such a challenging time to readjusting to being back in Atlanta. West Virginia stole our hearts and now we can’t seem to shake the call of the mountains begging us to come home. Three days in the mountain state have led to a lot of conversations about the importance of living near family, cost of living, and the kind of life we truly want to live. Have any of you ever done that? Have you ever taken a trip somewhere then found yourselves overwhelmed by the desire to move and build a new type of life? *Sigh* That’s where we are right now.

I expected to stay in my grandparent’s old home when we arrived in West Virginia but we ended up staying out at my parents rental hunting farm (www.landbaronoutfitters.com) for the weekend instead. Trust me, no complaints, but it made it so much harder to leave! My parents’ hunting cabin is on 236+ acres in Palestine, West Virginia and, when it’s not overrun with hunters, is one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever been in my life. All I wanted to do was sit on the front porch and soak in the sound of the whippoorwills coming from the mountains.

Of course, there is always a bit of work to do at the property so we helped plan the new bar that my Dad is building on the back of the cabin and made a plan for the crops to grow in the garden this year. I think the plan is potatoes, onions, corn, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes. If the crops all come in the way we are hoping I see a lot of homemade fries, veggie bowls, and tomato sauces coming our way. 🙂 

Stay in a rental cabin on a 236+ acre hunting farm in Palestine, West Virginia.

Stay in a rental cabin on a 236+ acre hunting farm in Palestine, West Virginia.

We did get out and explore quite a bit on this trip. We went across the Ohio River into Marietta, Ohio to explore their (small) downtown area. We had lunch at a local pizza place and took photos down by the riverfront. I saw a sign for Riverboat cruises down the Ohio River which I would have loved to have done but we didn’t have the time. I made a note of it though and it’s on the agenda for “one day” when we get back there again.

My mom also took Brandon and I down to Charleston, West Virginia for the day. We didn’t do much there but have lunch and shop at the mall but it was nice to see the city there. I couldn’t help but compare it to Atlanta. I kept thinking to myself that Charleston is way smaller but I could totally live there. I was actually born in Charleston, WV which was a fun fact to share with Brandon and, of course, my mom had a couple of “growing up in West Virginia” stories to share.

It was rainy as hell the day we were in Charleston so I wasn’t able to get a lot of pictures but, Brandon did share a couple of IG stories on his Instagram. I had a couple of stories on my Instagram and I wanted to do a Facebook Live video while I was there but signal is horrible. There is no way to make phone calls from your cell phone out on the farm and while there is Wi-Fi the signal was inconsistent so I couldn’t get a live stream to work. Once it took over 15 minutes to upload a 10-second IG story. It worked out fine though, the social media break was really relaxing.

Ashley LaMar and Brandon LaMar in Marietta, Ohio

Ashley LaMar and Brandon LaMar in Marietta, Ohio

Ashley LaMar and Brandon LaMar in Marietta, Ohio

As I sit here writing this I’ve been back in Atlanta for 12 hours and I’ve spent every minute of it missing my family and missing West Virginia. I miss the mountains, the creeks, the sounds of the whippoorwills, and the people. I miss being in a place where I have so many happy childhood memories and where I feel connected to myself.

I knew I would miss it but I didn’t plan on how much Brandon would miss it too. It’s so gorgeous there and we both feel like as much as we enjoy Atlanta we left our hearts behind on the mountainside. We’ve talked about moving back but we have established careers here in Atlanta that we both love and don’t want to give up. We have friends and lives that are based here in Georgia and it’s not something you easily walk away from. There are so many tough decisions to make but I can for sure say that this past weekend was fabulous.

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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