ALDERSON — My wife, Linda, and I are both being cautious during this coronavirus pandemic. We are in the most affected age group and I have asthma, so we are following the COVID-19 safety guidelines. That said, we both were recently looking to go somewhere close by for a brief respite.
Thanks to the internet, we discovered a “diamond in the rough.” The Old Victorian Inn is a 4-bedroom recently renovated bed-and-breakfast in Alderson, just a short drive off of the Alta exit of Interstate 64. Due to COVID-19, owner Doris Kasley is currently limiting occupancy to two guest rooms. The rates are reasonable and the conversation is exceptional.
We arrived on a recent Monday to begin our two-night stay. Doris, originally from Weirton, welcomed us and provided a wealth of information about local businesses, things to do in the area and where to eat. Since there were no other scheduled guests in residence, she gave us our choice of rooms and asked what time we wanted breakfast. Doris lives about a mile from the B&B.
Since we are both early risers, we opted to schedule freshly-brewed coffee at 6 a.m., with full breakfast to follow at 7:30.
After Doris left for the evening, we went into Lewisburg the back way (a 25-minute scenic drive past farms and beautiful houses) for a delightful and “safe” dinner at the Stardust Cafe. We enjoyed fresh seafood and great service there.
We returned to the B&B and took a walk around the historical area. The Alderson Memorial Bridge, built in 1914, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge overlooks the Greenbrier River, where we observed several kayakers enjoying the water.
The Old Victorian Inn, appropriately named for its housing style and furnishings, sits across from the restored Train Depot. Though the depot (now a museum) was closed, the freight train runs four times a day along Railroad Avenue. We didn’t even mind the 3 a.m. whistle as the train swept by.
Of note, a few local antique and “whatever” shops were closed during our visit. However, Doris said “the stores sell online and if you happen to see something in the window that you want, just let me know. I have keys to the stores.” Only in small-town West Virginia, I thought to myself.
On Tuesday morning, we enjoyed coffee and more conversation with Doris. Then we feasted on a bounty of homemade blueberry muffins, french toast, crisp bacon, eggs to order, juice, fresh fruit and more coffee.
After freshening up, we went back to Lewisburg during the day to shop at Bella’s and Robert’s Antiques and have lunch outside at the Asylum (a very tasty loaded hamburger) with our friend and former Charleston resident Ghee Gossard. Everybody everywhere was friendly, they practiced “social distancing” and they appreciated our business.
Later in the day, we returned to Lewisburg for a Spanish-influenced dinner at the trendy Del Sol restaurant. Back to the B&B for another stroll and a sit on the wraparound front porch and a few hellos to evening walkers. After another restful and peaceful night on a comfortable bed, we were treated to a bountiful breakfast of pancakes, ham, eggs and fresh fruit to go with our bottomless cups of coffee.
We returned to Charleston via the circuitous route, taking the road towards Hinton. At Doris’ suggestion, we stopped for a leisurely tour of Sandstone Falls.
The Falls are not far from Bluestone Dam. We encountered a few other tourists who were similarly looking for something to do. After leaving Sandstone Falls, we traveled the extreme backroads to I-64 West. It turned out to be a 25-minute, 7-mile drive across heavily graveled Irish Mountain Road.
All in all, we accomplished our mission — a quick getaway to a COVID-safe haven B&B. We read, relaxed, enjoyed great food, saw beautiful scenery and caught up with an old friend. We thoroughly enjoyed this brief pampering. We needed the quick getaway. The bonus was, we got to do this just two hours away from our home in Cross Lanes.
If you go from Charleston area, take I-77 South, I-64 East, and WV 12 to Alderson. You can check out the Old Victorian Inn on their website: www.oldvictorianinn.com.
Or feel free to call Doris at 304-281-2507. Tell her Sam and Linda Kay Cipoletti sent you.