Another year, another birthday for my beautiful home state! I look forward to this day every year, because West Virginia takes up a huge part of my heart, and I love seeing people celebrate her.
Since I got all sappy last year, I thought I’d keep it short and sweet this year and hit you with a list of things that all of my non-mountaineer friends might find interesting or worthy of praise on this very special 155th birthday of the beautiful mountain momma.
- Pies and Pints. Yeah, have you had any delicious pizza lately? Well, you have WV to thank for that! The OG Pies and Pints location was in Fayetteville, my favorite place on planet earth.
- “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. This is obvious, but seriously, this once played outside of a bar while I was studying abroad in Italy, and everyone knew the words. This song both starts and ends the party, and you can’t deny that wherever you’re from, you always sing along when the opportunity arises.
- Don Knotts, Brad Paisley, Steve Harvey, Jennifer Garner: ever heard of these gems? They were all born and/or raised in West Virginia. Some of us have even been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Bennifer (she’s better off!) tipping the entire wait staff at Pies and Pints in Charleston during a visit home.
- Have you ever tasted the (almost) heavenly deliciousness that is a pepperoni roll? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. Take a drive through the mountains and grab one from the birth state of pepperoni rolls. Don’t believe me? Here’s a tee shirt to prove it!
- For many years, the New River Gorge Bridge was the longest bridge of it’s kind. It now falls in fourth place, but that doesn’t stop thousands of thrill seekers from base-jumping off the bridge each October for Bridge Day, truly my favorite day of every year.
- I’ve seen a lot of state capitol buildings, but West Virginia’s is by far, the most unique. The capitol’s dome is covered in 23 and 1/2 karat gold leaf, and it is stunning. (factoid via wvculture.org)
- The Beautiful Greenbrier resort has a large underground bunker that was meant for emergency use for Congress, circa Eisenhower. It was later outed by the Washington Post, and is now available for tours.
- We’ve got a couple well-known films. If you’re looking for a romantic comedy, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! would be a favorite of mine even if it weren’t about a Piggly Wiggly employee from small town, WV. If you’re more of a true-story type, We Are Marshall is the true ashes to glory story of my alma mater, Marshall University, after a devastating plane crash that took the lives of many of our football players, coaches, and boosters. It is a really touching movie, and while they were filming in town, many family members of victims got to partake in some of the larger scenes. Finally, if you’re into some scary sci-fi stuff, check out Mothman, said to live in Point Pleasant, WV. Many people actually think he exists. I’ve never seen him, and I hope I never do!
- Since moving away, I often am met with comments on the uniqueness of my last name. On the contrary, each year at Flat Top Lake, WV, the Lilly Family Reunion is held with some ten thousand people in attendance. I’ve never been, but when I was little, my grandma use to refer to it as, ‘miniature Woodstock.’
- Do you love colorful Fiestaware? I most definitely do! (I registered for rainbow when we got married, because, live in color amiright?) It too had it’s start in West Virginia.
Those are just a handful of fun tidbits about my beautiful home state! What do you love about where you’re from?
xoxo Mountain Momma
P.S.(A.) West Virginia is not part of Virginia. Hasn’t been for 155 years. HBD!