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Dottie's Favorite Spring Time Activities

06 March, 2019 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi friends, it’s Dottie here! I’m in full spring fever now that it’s officially my favorite season! There are so many wonderful new things to enjoy in the spring—flowers, sunshine, and plenty of outdoor activities! One of the best things about Blacksburg is how many things there are to do once the weather gets a little warmer. Here are just a few things that I love to do when springtime in the ‘Burg arrives in full swing, but feel free to share some of yours with me!

 

  1. Go hiking

Blacksburg and the surrounding areas are full of scenic hiking spots and all levels of trails, ranging from easier to difficult. If you’re looking for a more relaxed hike with a beautiful end result, make sure to check out the Cascades. The hike doesn’t take terribly long and it’s so worth it when you make it to the top and see the beautiful falls. If you are on the lookout for something a bit more challenging, try McAfee’s Knob. You burn more calories and I can promise you that the view at the top makes every bit of sweat worth it! However, these aren’t the only places to hike in the area. With the beautiful surrounding mountains, there are plenty of adventures to go on.

 

  1. Visit some local wineries

There are so many scenic wineries to visit around the Blacksburg area, and what better time to visit than in the spring? When the weather starts getting warmer, there’s nothing that makes you feel better than letting your feathers down and basking in the sun. And if you’re looking to sample multiple wineries, come to the Blacksburg Fork and Cork on Saturday, April 20th.

 

  1. The Virginia Tech Spring Game

Normally, everyone associates fall with football season. But at Virginia Tech, you can cheer on your favorite Hokies as they play each other on a nice spring day for all of the fans to enjoy. Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 13th and get ready to jump again!

 

  1. Go on a Hokie Bird Hunt

I do love this time of year because it’s the perfect time to visit my flock family. If you would like to meet my flock and see all of the 5-foot painted Hokie Birds around town, you might enjoy doing this too. You can check out the online map to find all of my Hokie Friends nesting around town. Take a picture of your favorite bird and tag us on our Facebook and Instagram page! I can’t wait to see what fun birds you meet on your #hokiebirdhunt

 

These are only a handful of my favorite springtime activities, but there are so many more things to enjoy in Blacksburg this time of year! What are some of your favorites?

 

Until next time,

 

Dottie

Dottie's Spring Break Travel Tips

27 February, 2019 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi friends, it’s Dottie here!

 

Now that it’s almost March, many of us are already wishing for the arrival of a warmer season—spring! For my Hokie student readers, spring break is quickly approaching. Whether you’re planning on taking an exciting trip during this break or just relaxing at home, here are some helpful travel tips for you!

 

  1. Pack smart

Seeing as I like to fly south during these cold months, I’m very much used to packing for trips all over. The best way to pack is to be smart and be aware of what is an absolute necessity to take with you. Everyone gets excited when planning cute outfits to show off in their vacation pictures, but it’s easy to get carried away with how many outfits you think that you’ll need versus how many you really will.

 

  1. Be organized

It’s common to get overwhelmed when pulling all of your things together for a trip, which is why it is especially important to stay organized. The easiest way for me to stay organized is by making a list. You can make a list for all of the items you need to pack, any tasks you need to accomplish before leaving, or anything you need to bring back to make sure you don’t leave stuff at your vacation spot.

 

  1. Be on time

When traveling, it’s especially important to be punctual, and it helps a lot to pay attention to time. If you are flying or taking a train, you especially need to be early for your departure. Even if you are driving to your destination, it’s good to plan out a driving schedule to make sure you stay on schedule and avoid high traffic spots. Some vacation spots have certain arrival times, so you must be mindful of when you should be somewhere.

 

 Feel free to share your own travel tips that you swear by, and I hope all of you Hokies have a fantastic and safe spring break!

 

 

Tips for Surviving Blacksburg in the Cold

27 February, 2019 0 comments Leave a comment

Hey Hokies,

 

Whether this is your first winter in the ‘Burg or your twentieth, the weather more than likely still hits you as a surprise. Blacksburg always manages to go from a beautiful and scenic autumn to a bitter cold and windy front in the blink of an eye. For those of you who are unlucky enough to not have feathers, here are some tips on how to survive a bitter cold winter in Blacksburg.

 

  1. Do not underestimate your layers

If you’re going out around the town, especially on Virginia Tech’s campus, do NOT underestimate how many layers you need to put on. Never worry about looking ridiculous with a ton of clothes on, because if you’re braving the Drillfield wind I promise you that you will need it. Hats, gloves, boot socks, earmuffs…all of them are needed, and I can assure you that you’d rather look like a mysterious marshmallow than be exposed to the mountain winds.

 

  1. Be careful with your time outside

I know that it can be tempting to experience all the beautiful scenery that Blacksburg has to offer, but try not to stay outside for too long, especially if the winter weather is particularly harsh. Yes, seeing Blacksburg in chilly weather is still possible, but be smart about how much time you allow for yourself to be exposed to inclement conditions.

 

  1. Enjoy tasty treats

Blacksburg is home to excellent dining options, many of which can be especially enjoyed in the colder months. Try stopping by Sugar Magnolia for some hot chocolate or go for a night out and treat yourself to some warm crab dip at Cabo Fish Taco. There are so many places to experience, and what better time to be indoors than in the winter?

 

What are some of your favorite ways to spend your winters in Blacksburg? Comment below!

 

Lots of love,

 

Dottie

New Year, New Bird

30 December, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hello my fellow Hokies, and welcome to 2019! I’m finally settling back in after the whirlwind of a holiday season. I was flying all around seeing all of my friends and family but it’s good to be back in the nest for the new year. I absolutely love the new year and how it brings such joy and excitement to everyone all around. I’ve been trying to pen my New Years’ resolutions, and I thought I would share some helpful tips for how to draft the perfect resolutions for you (that you’ll actually follow through with, hopefully)!

 

  1. Make a list!

I love a good list, especially when it encourages us to be better birds- err, humans. Try to write out all things you believe you did well in 2018, because we always need to be reminded of the positives in our lives. Then, move on to making a list of the things you think you need to improve on in the coming year. We all have things we’d like to get better at, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for you. Finally, make a list of all of the things you haven’t done before but would like to start doing in this new year. Maybe it will be about finding exciting places to travel, or something as simple as being a better

 

  1. Write some resolutions!

Now comes the time to write them out as resolutions! Take your list of things you would like to improve on as well as your list of new ideas and prioritize them down to your top 3 things you’d like to accomplish in 2019. [Feel free to write more than 3, but remember that it’s best to focus on a select few if you really want to ensure you will follow through on these.] Once you have your top 3, you can write some official resolution statements!

 

  1. Post them somewhere you won’t forget about them

When it comes to New Years’ resolutions, the hardest thing for people tends to be following through, particularly past the month of January. But don’t give up on the gym so quickly, Hokies—so make your resolutions be seen so that you are reminded of them each and every day!

 

There are so many more ways to make your 2019 be your best year yet, so feel free to follow this or do your very own thing. Just know that this spotted bird is out here supporting you every step of the way! Good luck my friends, and make this a very happy new year indeed!

 

Xoxo,

 

Dottie

How to Be the Perfect Wedding Guest, According to Dottie

19 October, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi Hokie Friends,

It’s your feathered friend, Dottie!

Over the summer I received several wedding invitations and without hesitation I quickly RSVP’d to all six of them. But of course, I didn’t pay too much attention to the dates in which they were occurring and recently my calendar has been blowing up with the fact that all of these weddings are occurring in October and November! Since fall weddings are all the rage, a lot of you all might be in the same boat as me.

I’ve complied a little list of some tips and advice to help you all get organized and to be the best wedding guest you possibly can be!

 

  1. RSVP ASAP

The very first thing you should do when receiving and invitation is check and make sure that you are able to go. Hopefully the happy couple will have sent out a save the date prior to give you a heads up. However, these days there’s no saying if you’ll be blessed with that old fashion formality. Once you’ve decided if you can or cannot go, it is pertinent that you send your RSVP! The earlier you RSVP, the easier it will be on the couple to plan accordingly with food, seating and spirits.

 

 

  1. Find the Perfect Gift

Hopefully this step will be easy and the couple will have publicly registered so you know exactly what to get! This takes the ambiguous nature of “will they like it?” away. Often times places will even offer services where you pick online from the list and will mail it straight to them. This way you can eliminate the shopping and wrapping hassle, and just enjoy attending a great wedding celebrating the marriage of friends or family.

  1. Plan Attire Accordingly

As the wedding date nears, it is crucial that you figure out what the theme of the wedding will be so that you can find the perfect outfit. Don’t just show up to a chapel wedding in your Nikes and blue jeans or attend a country wedding in your little black dress and suit. Hopefully the attire requested by the couple will be on the invitation. However, if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask the couple. As a general rule of thumb, evening weddings are usually more formal and afternoon weddings are usually more casual in attire. Now, don’t attend an afternoon wedding wearing your pjs and flannels. However, you’d be surprised by how dark colors make your outfit formal, while lighter clothing keeps it casual. As Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be over dressed or over educated.”

  1. Have Fun, But Not TOO Much

My very last piece of advice for while your attending the wedding, is don’t get too crazy at the reception. I have seen lots of heels beak, and pants split while attendees are shaking their tail feathers a little too hard.

 

Those are just a few of my tips and tricks for being the perfect wedding guest. Make sure to congratulate the happy couple and enjoy their special day with them. If any of you all have any suggestions that aren’t mentioned above, comment below!

 

Until next time!

 

Gobble, gobble and go Hokies

 

XOXO

Dottie's New York City Adventure

13 August, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hello, Hokies!

My little Hokie feet are tired from walking around and taking in all the sights from the Big Apple. For those who don’t know, my flock and I took a trip over the weekend to break up our routines and experience something new. 

 

We began our travels by catching the Amtrak at their new Roanoke location. Let me tell you, I have never been more relaxed while traveling! The chairs reclined and there was plenty of room to kick back and take a little nap as the train went down the tracks. The best part of the train was that I didn’t have to stay in my seat the entire time, being allowed to move up and down the cars whenever I pleased, which made getting snacks a breeze from the café car.

 

Once we arrived in the city, I could immediately hear a pulse in the floor and everyone was off to the races, moving in different directions creating a vision that can only be found in what some call the center of the universe. When we arose out of the Penn Station I was amazed to see all the store displays light up with glamour and modernization. I was in awe as my flock and I got into a taxi and flew off to our hotel seeing all the buildings that appeared to continue up for miles into the sky. I got my camera out and began to take pictures on pictures on pictures.

 

When we got to our hotel, we had only a short amount of time to get ourselves together to officially re-enter the city and subway to Madison Square Garden for a concert which was an amazing experience. The energy of the crowd amped our spirits (reminding us of a Hokie football game crowd!). After the concert, we explored the neon lights as we made it back to our hotels, too excited to sleep.

 

Through the course of our weekend, we managed to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art and watched the Yankees play. However, like all things, our weekend excursion had to come to an end.After we watched the final inning, we deiced there was only one way to conclude our trip.

 

We hopped on the subway and made our way over to see the city in grace, see the city in her brilliance, see the city in full, see the city from the Empire State Building. As we entered, we knew we were in for a Sleepless in Seattle experience with us being officially united with the city, completing the love story. At the top our views were clear, and the moment was priceless.

 

In one breath we were there and in another, we were heading back to our home in Blacksburg. My journey was magical, but I missed my cozy and familiar nest in Blacksburg. There really is no place like home!

 

Follow my Instagram at gobble_de_art for more updates on my latest adventures! 

 

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

 

Dottie

Unique Gift Ideas for Hokie Dads

12 June, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi Hokie Friends,

It’s Dottie! Very soon it will be a holiday dedicated to dad’s everywhere… Father’s Day! I love Father’s Day because it is a time to show some appreciation for good ol’ Papa Bird. Although your dad probably isn’t the Hokie Bird like mine, he is just as delightful.  Here are three unique gifts to give dad, without a tie in sight!

 

  1. A Hokie Bird

With Virginia Tech pride running deep in all our Hokie dads, what’s better than giving him a member of the flock? My brother X, the Executive Hokie bird would make a great addition to dad’s desk! However, if your dad is an avid golfer, he might enjoy having my brother GG, the Fore the Hokies bird as a permanent member of his man cave.

 

  1. A Day on the Golf Course

If your father is a big-time golfer like mine, you can gift your dad with a day on the golf course. There are several courses in Blacksburg that are up to par. My personal favorite is the Virginia Tech Golf course, located at 1085 Duck Pond Drive. You can find information on purchasing a day pass here: https://www.recsports.vt.edu/getactive/golf.html.

 

  1. Dinner out of the House

With Blacksburg Restaurant week just around the corner, you can promise dad a dinner date starting June 25.  Now is the perfect time to treat your dad to a gift card that he can use for the great deals that are coming up. For more information on this fabulous week of good food and great deals, you can check out this link: http://downtownblacksburg.com/restaurant-week-blacksburg.aspx.

 

The most important thing to remember this Father’s Day is that the most important gift you can give can’t be wrapped. Make sure to carve some time out of your day to spend with dad! The memories you make together will last a life time.

I hope these suggestions ease the stress of shopping this Father’s Day. What are you doing for dad this year? Comment below!

 

Until next time Hokies,

 

Xoxo

Dottie

Dottie's Favorite Blacksburg Summer Activities

30 May, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi there Hokies, its officially summertime; meaning not only is there a plethora of parking spots in the Burg’, but also a bounty of fun things to do. Here are my top five things to do in Blacksburg during the summer!

  1. Enjoy a Farm to Table Dinner Cheese Dinner

As a native of Blacksburg, I enjoy eating and experiencing the local foods that come straight from the farms of our area. Additionally, I’m a big fan of cheese. I just think it’s gouda, if you know what I mean. The Virginia Cheese Fest’s Farm to Table Dinner is June 8th this year, only week away.  I can’t wait! I’m excited to feast on Virginia Cheese, spend a beautiful night at the Smithfield Plantation and enjoy a meal provided by The Palisades. I also heard that Chef T from Hell’s Kitchen will be making the dinner this year!  Maybe I’ll even get an autograph. You can purchase tickets for the dinner here:  https://www.virginiacheesefest.com/tickets

  1. Experience Blacksburg’s Annual Steppin’ Out Festival

This festival needs to be on your summer bucket list. If handcrafted art, food trucks and live music gets you clapping, you must attend Blacksburg’s annual Steppin’ Out festival. This large event has various local vendors, making it the perfect way to get all your holiday shopping done early, or get yourself the perfect gift. Additionally, it is a family friendly event, so bring the kids! Make sure to mark your calendars for August 3rd and 4th to experience Steppin’ Out.

  1. Go on a hiking adventure.

I always like to kick off my summer antics by rustling my feathers and hiking up to see the rushing falls of the Cascades. The two-mile hike is perfect for getting in touch with the greenery of the New River Valley and exercise.

  1. Spend the day on the river

Time-to-time I get a wild feather and have a desire to swim with the elements. If you’re like me and enjoy a day spent splashing in the water and enjoying nature, I suggest driving down to the New River Junction, located on Big Falls Rd. in McCoy.  You can spend the entire day floating down the river. Just make sure to wear your sunscreen!

  1. Check off #52 of the Hokie Bucket List

With all this time and sunshine on your hands, I recommend putting your summer days to good use by checking of #52 of the Hokie Bucket list…. Getting your picture with one of my flock members! My flock nests all over Blacksburg. Make sure to snap your picture with my family member, tag Gobble de Art in your post, and use #findyourhokiebird to get featured on our social pages! Here is a map to help get you started on your Hokie Bird Hunt: https://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=1092471&x=-80.386696&y=37.218042&z=5

 

These are just a few of my favorite things to do in the summer. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below!

 

XOXO

Dottie

A Time to Remember

13 April, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

As we Hokies know, spring brings about some beautiful traditions and opportunities to uphold Ut Prosim. However, spring also brings some sad memories as well.  

This year marks the eleventh year since we lost 32 lovely Hokies. These 32 individuals deserve to be at the front of our memory this week, next week, and forever. As Hokies, it is our duty to commemorate these souls by showing each other true kindness, participating in altruistic service, and embracing the foundations of our community. We must show love in order to properly love those we so heartbreakingly lost.

As Nikki Giovanni so brilliantly put it, let us never forget that “We are Virginia Tech.” Monday will be a hard day for many families and individuals of our community. It will be a hard day for the Hokie community as we mourn those who lost their lives. It will be a hard day for the faculty and staff that so reluctantly had to experience the tragedy. It will be hard. But, to quote Giovanni once more, “We will prevail.” We will always prevail. We will always hold hope in our Hokie hearts and love in our Hokie souls. We will cherish each other as individuals, cherish each other as a community, cherish each other as friends, and cherish each other as large Hokie family.

We will never forget; but, we will never lose our hope for this nation and our love for this college. We remember.

 

In loving memory of the following lives:

Ross A. Alameddine, Christopher James Bishop, Brian R. Bluhm, Ryan Christopher Clark, Austin Michelle Cloyd, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, Kevin P. Granata, Matthew Gregory Gwaltney, Caitlin Millar Hammaren, Jeremy Michael Herbstritt, Rachael Elizabeth Hill, Emily Jane Hilscher, Jarrett Lee Lane, Matthew Joseph La Porte, Henry J. Lee (Henh Ly), Liviu Librescu, G.V. Loganathan, Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan, Lauren Ashley McCain, Daniel Patrick O’Neil, Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz, Minal Hiralal Panchal, Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva, Erin Nicole Peterson, Michael Steven Pohle, Jr., Julia Kathleen Pryde, Mary Karen Read, Reema Joseph Samaha, Waleed Mohamed Shaalan, Leslie Geraldine Sherman, Maxine Shelly Turner, and Nicole Regina White

 

Click on the names above to read each Hokie’s individual biography.

 

With love and endless hope,

 

Dottie.

 

 

           

Friday Favorites with Dottie: Hokie Hiking

02 February, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

Greetings, Hokies!

It’s a beautiful day for January. The sun is shining and I can feel spring in my feathers. Around here, Hokies get antsy in the cold weather; cabin fever is a real issue. So, even though it’s cold, it’s still a sunny day that shouldn’t be wasted. Momma Dot and I plan on going on a hike. But of course, I want to help a Hokie out before I go. If you’re feeling adventurous today, here’s a list of my favorite hiking places near or around the ‘Burg. Each destination is unique and beautiful in its own way.

Bald Knob

One of my go-to places to hike is Bald Knob at Mountain Lake. The hike there is enough to get you sweating, but it’s not a very long hike at all. Plus, there are two routes: the difficult one and the moderate one. The difficult route is much shorter, but let me tell you Hokies, it is quite the workout. It is straight up the mountain, but it does allow one to feel in tune with nature. The alternative route is much like the New River Trail. It’s longer, snakes its way up the mountain, and is a graveled and leveled path. Either route is great, but the view is even greater. At the top of Bald Knob, a hiker can see blankets of mountains rolling over top of each other. It’s amazing, especially at sunset. Additionally, if you’re a fan of the movie Dirty Dancing, the movie was filmed at this area. You can walk around the museum area at the parking lot to reminisce on this film. This hiking area is about 40 minutes away from campus.

Buffalo Mountain

Buffalo mountain is a beautiful little area and a nice place to hike. It’s a longer hike than Bald Knob, but less intense. It’s a great family hike, especially if you have little ones. The view from the hump of the mountain is gorgeous, especially in the fall. You can see for miles from the top of this mountain. This hiking area is again, about 40-50 minutes away from Blacksburg.

The Cascades

The Cascades is a great spot to go to during all seasons of the year. Hop on 460, drive 30 minutes down the road from Blacksburg, and you’re there! If it’s a hot day, you can act as if the destination is a well-deserved treat and take a nice dip under the falls. The Cascades is a beautiful waterfall that crashes over the side of a mountain. It’s a nice transition from hiking to the top of a mountain. This hike is only 4 miles round trip, but it is beautiful. This hike is even worth it in the wintertime; I’ve seen the frozen Cascades and they are just as beautiful as the fully-thawed, fully-crashing Cascades. You should certainly take the time to visit.

Sharp Top Mountain

Sharp Top Mountain is one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever been on. Me and Momma Dot thought we’d never get to the top. It’s straight up the mountain for multiple miles, so make sure you pack plenty of water and plan your time well. However, I’ve never, ever been on a hike so beautiful. When I reached the top of the mountain, I stood in awe. It was absolutely and unbelievably stunning. I’d hike the mountain 100 more times if it means I’d get to see that view again. I highly recommend it. This mountain is about an hour and a half away from campus. It’s closer to Liberty’s campus, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit. Try it out on a weekend when you aren’t too busy. I assure you, you will not regret it.

Grayson Highlands State Park

Grayson Highlands State Park (also known as Mount Rogers) is an amazing park with hundreds and hundreds of acres and hiking trails. If you’re looking for waterfalls, the Highlands have them. If you’re looking for wild ponies, the Highlands have those too. If you’re looking for amazing views from the peak of mountain-tops, you guessed it. The Highlands have multiple. You can also camp and backpack at the Highlands. It is literally one of my favorite places on earth. About two hours away from Blacksburg, the Highlands offer a wide variety of activities and trails for all walks of life.

If you’re itching to get out Hokies, here are some places I recommend. Exercise is good for your body, especially after winter hibernation. Take a break from your school work and get out for a little while. You won’t regret visiting any of these locations.

 

Xoxo,

 

Dottie