Toast Pop Travels: Blue Moon Café

Shepherdstown, West Virginia is the oldest town in the state, but a blended atmosphere of home-grown, country, and contemporary combine with its antiquity to make it a wonderful place! There is just as much of a unique atmosphere at its Blue Moon Café. Much of the dining area is furnished outside among a shady green oasis that even includes a fountain. The menu is an affordable variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, wraps, pizza, and a little crab. They have many vegan and vegetarian options, along with several alcoholic beverages. Blue Moon is locally sourced, meaning many of their products were grown or made right in the region. Local entertainment can even be found here at their open mic nights.

Blue Moon Café gets my “Toast Pop Approval” for its support of local agriculture, food quality, meal price, and unique dining experience outdoors! Its well-worth the walk from anywhere in the heart of town.

Plan your visit to Shepherdstown and the Blue Moon Café!

Blue Moon Café homepage: http://bluemooncafeshepherdstown.com/dining/

View the menu, get directions, and get to know their local sources

Blue Moon Café Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bluemoonwv/timeline

Get updates on specials and performances

Shepherdstown Visitors Center: http://shepherdstown.info/

Learn the history, find out about local events, plan a stay, and more!

Toast Pop Travels: Hinton and the Chestnut Revival

Get the “wild and wonderful” experiences of West Virginia in the most authentic ways possible by paying a visit to Hinton, West Virginia! Hinton is a small town tucked away in the eastern hills of the Mountain State and has a rooted successful lineage in being a former railroad town. Hinton is about twenty-eight miles from Beckley, but close to its history with museums dedicated to the railroad industry and the Civil War. Hinton is also not far from state parks Pipestem and Bluestone and the New River Gorge. No place could be any closer to natural beauty and history than Hinton.

There is perhaps no other place in Hinton that can make you feel more comfortable in the mountains than the Chestnut Revival: a homey, bed-and-breakfast and coffee shop on Summers Street. Reviews on TripAdvisor.com rank Chestnut Revival only second to The Market on Courthouse Square, but critics have ranked it the best for its cozy atmosphere, food quality, and friendly service. And this place is definitely a “ToastPop approved” attraction as both editors have been there and loved it! It is everything a coffee shop should be and more! One can easily relax and enjoy themselves in their dining area while consuming home-cooked tea, coffee, and other delicious treats! Most Friday nights are open mic nights featuring local talent and there is fun to be had on most holidays. There is no place like home, but Hinton and the Chestnut Revival could most certainly be your home away from home while you experience all the “wild and wonderful” West Virginia has to offer!

Plan your visit to Hinton and the Chestnut Revival!

Find business hours, book a stay, find local attractions

Chestnut Revival Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chestnut-Revival/107441515982616?id=107441515982616&sk=photos_stream

Chestnut Revival menu: http://www.chestnutrevival.com/menu.html

They serve breakfast and lunch all day, and offer healthy and organic options 

The city of Hinton website: http://hintonwva.com/

Get information on the history, local life, and events 

Haunted Halls At Concord University

If you were to visit Concord University, you would find a beautiful campus full of students who get along surprisingly well and one of the best learning environments you could possibly ask for. While this surface image of the campus life is certainly enticing and is usually enough to make one long to be a part of it all, what you don’t see is that this beautiful campus hides a dark secret. What many people on the outside don’t know, but many students have experienced first hand, is that Concord University is haunted.

The reports of paranormal activity mostly come from students who live in Sarvay and Wilson, which are both residence halls, and range from small things such as feelings and smells to major things such as full body apparitions and disembodied voices. One student from Wilson reports that they witnessed a figure of a girl in a white dress walk down the hallway and through a vending machine. In certain areas, including the elevator rooms in Wilson, there are intense feelings of uneasiness and feelings that you are not welcome there. In Sarvay, one student has reportedly felt as if there was someone in his room with him when his roommate wasn’t even there. He also says he has heard a child call his name and that once, while in the shower, he heard someone walk into the shower room and pull the window shut. He went to check it out and no one was in the room, in fact the door had not even been opened.

The activity, however, is not limited to these buildings. Throughout the school there have been reports of unexplained bad smells that seem to come out of no where. On the sixth floor in North Towers, residents claim that there are an increased amount of orbs in any photo taken. The paranormal also doesn’t seem to be bound to the physical world, but the mental world as well. Students who have never been depressed or had problems with anxiety suddenly appear to be overcome with feelings of fear and sadness. Some students even report having terrible and uncharacteristic nightmares about murdering other students or being murdered themselves.

Many students on the campus of Concord University in Athens, West Virginia have reported to have witnessed something out of the ordinary at one time or another but can these things be explained away by something natural? Some of it may have a natural explanation but some of it is too strange and out of the ordinary to explain away. Either way, these tales are chilling enough to keep one up at night.  As to whether or not they’re true, you’ll have to decide for yourself.

The RiffRaff

Open Mic at The RiffRaff, an Art Collective located at 865 Mercer St. in Princeton, WV, is an “artistic haven” according to Lori McKinney-Blankenship, where artistic talents of all types are welcomed, encouraged and respected.

Lori McKinney-Blankenship, along with the help of her husband Robert Blankenship opened The RiffRaff in 2006, making it a mere five years old, with the goal of giving back to the community, in an artistic way.

McKinney-Blankenship responded, “I grew up here, this is my hometown. I went away, studied theatre, and spent a summer abroad in London. The way the culture was shaped by the arts really affected me” when asked about what had motivated her to start The RiffRaff. She continued by saying “The fact that the community had access to art was something I recognized to be very valuable. After graduation, I searched for artists to work with, and hit the jackpot with creative collaborators. We wanted to make a difference in our community.”

Their desire to make a difference in their community was the building block to The Riff Raff. At open mic night, people are encouraged to make their way towards the stage, and to share their artistic talents with people who help form a supportive and welcoming group of people. All types of art are welcomed at The Riff Raff, according to McKinney-Blankenship, “Visual, literary, performing, healing, and theatrical. All types of creativity are welcome.”

The RiffRaff supplies people with a place to communicate with people whom they share things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship stated, “We’ve seen tons of young artists come in. Their creative lives are shaped by it. Waves of artists come at a time. It’s like eras of time. It’s always exciting,” she went on to say that “a few have really made it their identity, and taken advantage of the opportunities. Our door is open for you to make it your own.”

What falls under the category of making The RiffRaff your own? Well, at The RiffRaff, you are encouraged to share your art with other people. Diversities of art are welcome, encouraged and respected at The RiffRaff.

If you’re interested in starting or being in a band, The RiffRaff is a great place to meet people. McKinney-Blankenship said, “If you want to find a band, come to open mic. You’ll find musicians to perform with. Once you’re ready to record music, talk to us and we’ll get you started” when asked about how people could go about starting a band, and recording their music at the recording studio at The RiffRaff.

The RiffRaff gives people the opportunity to meet other artists, and to make friends with whom they have things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship said that “If you’re an artist or really creative person, and you’ve been looking for people to relate to, be friends with, you’ll find them here.”

For more information on The RiffRaff visit their website at theriffraff.net!