Foamhenge…Better than the Real Thing?
Natural Bridge, Virginia.
Has the recent surge of stateside Anglophilia begun to crack away at your patriotic facade? With the nonstop coverage of the the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the forthcoming London Olympics, who can blame you for craving a little Pimm’s these days? Unfortunately this spattering of British goings-on has caused airfare and accommodation prices to spike. A seemingly simple trip across the pond has now been rendered prohibitively expensive. Fear not! If British culture is what you crave, look no further than Natural Bridge, Virginia, home of Foamhenge, America’s “only exact replica of the time-worn original” made entirely of foam.
How brilliant is the name Foamhenge? The words “foam” and “stone” are slant rhymes, the word “foam” sounds an awful lot like “faux”, and the structure is literally made out of foam. Truly brilliant.
On a personal note, my elementary school had a tradition of sending 8th graders to England for the annual class trip. Obviously this was a big deal, an event that marked my sorry school calendar with a bright gold star. Despite my adolescent enthusiasm, today I have very little memory of what we actually did. What stands out most is what we didn’t do, and we didn’t walk around Stonehenge. Of course we WENT to Stonehenge, but we were forced to stay on the bus and look at the stones from our confinement. You see,our 8th grade class trip coincided with the infamous 2001 U.K. foot-and-mouth outbreak, an epidemic which would result in the culling of some 6 million sheep, cattle, and pigs. Signs all over the English countryside prohibited tourists from leaving the road, a measure implemented in an attempt to prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease. My 13 year old self understood this, albeit begrudgingly. What I didn’t understand was why, upon my return home, my dad made me throw out every single one of my shoes. I hadn’t even had a chance to get infected! I concede now that his severe response to my return was appropriate for a cattle farmer, but when a 13 year old girl has her entire shoe collection unceremoniously jettisoned into a black trash bag, the offender better be prepared to pay reparations.
I’m still waiting on those replacement jellies Pop.
Practical Info: To reach Foamhenge follow signs to Natural Bridge then look for the Foamhenge sign. Entrance Foamhenge is free.