Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Anniversary Weekend

Angie and headed off to Charolettesville and Afton on Saturday for an extended weekend to celebrate our third anniversary. (My parents were kind enough to watch wee Lilah for us.) Our first night was spent in Charolettesville since all the B&Bs were booked, but that was okay since we hadn’t had Mellow Mushroom pizza in a long ol’ time and there’s plenty of used bookstores in the downtown strip. (Though the comic shop is now gone.) The Super 8 we stayed at we lackluster, but they had the Sci-Fi channel and a great Mexican restaurant across the street. Rested, we woke up and hit Monticello.

I'd never been to Monticello before, which was rather surprising as my parents constantly dragged us to such places as kids, so it was nice to see something like this with an adult eye. Jefferson was an enlightened soul, but had a few backward ways, especially when dealing with his slaves. For a short tour you gleaned a lot of knowledge about the man and the times. Not sure if it was worth $15 a person, but I'm still glad we went.

After that we headed towards the B&B in Afton, though we stopped at King Family Vineyards first. Angie had been there for her bachelorette excursion three years prior and loved the place as well as its wines. We ran through their wares, grabbed some lunch grub from their fridge and oven and proceeded to eat, drink and take in the gorgeous view. (Sorry, I don't have any pics of the place.) Half a bottle of Cab Franc later, we packed up headed over to Veritas.

Veritas was jam-packed, so after a few minutes of waiting we decided to come back the next day. We'd passed a brewery on the way over, so luckily we said, "Let's got check it out." I say "luckily" because en route we found out that the brewery is closed on Monday and they didn't open until 4pm on Tuesday. I would've been one sad camper. Blue Ridge Brewery is an island of beer in a sea of wine according to the tagline on their door and I'd have to agree with them. Angie and I struck up a conversation with the bartendress and enjoyed ourselves so much that we went back after dinner that night.

We checked into our B&B shortly thereafter (Afton Mountain B&B) and set up camp, crashed and woke up for apricot stuffed French Toast in the morning. To offset all the wine we'd soon be drinking Angie and I headed to Crabtree Falls for a hike. I kept calling it Cascade Falls because I thought it a more appropriate name. What follows are a series of pictures I took before our camera battery died. (I charged the other battery, but forgot it at home.)

There was a Santa Claus looking guy sitting on a nearby bench meditating at the base fall.

The next cascade up was my favorite. Kinda wish I had a sound chip of the falling water to include.

A close up of the second cascade. Love this pic.

Almost to the top.

And finally the view from the top. Shortly after we took this picture a VTOL aircraft went roaring through the valley. Was a bit unsettling.

From there we headed to Veritas and were the only people in the place, which was very nice after the madhouse of yesterday. After sampling and purchasing their wares our stomachs took us to Greenwood Grocery for some of the best sandwiches we've had in a while. (Angie got the Chester and I got the Italian.) We drove like crazy to Pollack Vineyards, so we could sample and get down to eating those lovely sandwiches. Pollack (Everyone hearts Casey!) had tables set up on their patio, so we settled down with a bottle of Vig and took in the sights and grub.

Feeling heady with wine and food we ran back to the B&B to drop off our purchases as not to have them spoil in the heat of the car. More wineries were calling our names, so off to Cardinal Point we went. (The nice thing about Afton/Nelson County is that all these places are within spitting distance of each other.) Another round of samples and an introduction to Obie the Winery Cat found us on our way to Afton Mountain Vineyard. Four vineyards in one day was more than ample, especially after our hike. We took our latest purchases back to the room, Angie napped and I went out for a pizza. We crashed, got up for pumpkin pancakes, hit a farmer's market and headed home to Lilah.

A good time was had by us both and it was extremely hard to come back to the city. We looking to head back for a daytrip with Lilah to hunt up a pumpkin for carving and to score some more Blue Ridge beer (we don't need any wine after all we bought this weekend).


Matt Wieringo said...

Glad you guys had a well-deserved good time, bro. I've been to Monticello several times and it never gets old. And, to the credit of the tour guides, they don't gloss over the slavery issue. Well, not as much Mel Gibson's character in THE PATRIOT, anyway.

angie (the wife) said...

don't forget the crazy smoky barbeque we had on sunday night! total hole-in-the-wall joint, where your only bevvie choices were sweet tea, lemonade, and limeade.

loved the trip. was a great getaway with my husband, and combined all kinds of good stuff. books, history, wine, beer, nature, food.

Anonymous said...

Hey Leaf,
Happy belated anniversary to you and yours.

Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time.
Seems like you guys even saw a live gnome by the waterfall.

todd said...


wow! you missed NOTHING at the con that was anywhere near this! these are some truly beautiful shots and what could be nicer than spending a weekend away with a beautiful girl??? love the shot of monticello (never been either, but would love to go. and that $15 is mostly for being able to step into history. and that's cool...)
sounds like you guys had a wonderful trip!

Heywood Jablomie said...

hey man happy belated anniversary!

looks like a cool time was had. i think as things have been the way they are lately, that we all need time away to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.

Anonymous said...