Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Anniversary in Roanoke

On Dec. 16, my parents celebrated 30 years of marriage. Their wedding reception had been held at the gorgeous Hotel Roanoke, and mom's anniversary wish was for our entire family to have dinner there on Christmas Eve to celebrate.

I'd been to the Hotel many times since it's close to Virginia Tech. We spent the day walking around Roanoke's downtown square, and grabbed lunch at Trio Bistro Bar Bottle off the main square. We sat in the bar, which was bright and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls. Trio had several dishes with fried green tomatoes! Ah! A fried green tomato BLT, Caribbean spiced green tomato soup, and fried green tomatoes as appetizers. Yep, I was officially back in the South. And loving it.

Back at the Hotel, we took a bunch of family pictures in front of the massive Christmas tree before we were seated for dinner. My brother, sister and I had given our parents a night's stay at the Hotel the night before, so they'd already staked out the good photo opps.

The Regency Room did not disappoint. For Christmas Eve, the chefs had prepared a gourmet buffet that was truly a feast for the eyes. Our family shared a bottle of wine and must have done at least three toasts over the course of our meal. The most famous dish, though, is the Hotel Roanoke's signature Virginia Peanut Soup. For those who've never had Peanut Soup, it is truly a Southern dish and is best made from Virginia peanuts. It tastes like pureed peanut butter. It's kind of a rite of passage for Virginia guests and hosts.

A pianist entertained us throughout the evening before we rolled ourselves out of the Hotel for the two-hour drive home. It was a beautiful afternoon and evening in celebration of our wonderful parents! Here's to another 30, mom and dad!

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