Ok…so…our vacation. Pretty awesome. Here’s the rundown….
I kicked off the weekend by meeting Jen and Clarence in Georgetown and heading over to Raku in Dupont for drinks outside (as it was one of the few places where we could actually do that at the time). We enjoyed some great drinks, horrible service, and Clarence’s money new shades. I also got a surprise from Jen…. a cool baby blue, zip-up Guayabera. Woo-ha! That night, Jen and I headed over to the 9:30 club to see Sloan and Pete Yorn. A couple complaints on the show: First of all, Sloan played all new songs, and most of the crowd didn’t know who they were. Second, Pete Yorn is pretty damn pretentious in concert. The songs were too loud and too fast, and he didn’t even introduce his band, and he had spotlights behind him and smoke all around. Pretty cheesy. We left early.
The next day we headed out on the road to begin our Massanutten adventure. Before getting on the road, we stopped at McDonalds for some snacks and received a little stuffed Winnie-the-Poo as our Happy Meal prize. From that point on, we decided that he would be our trip mascot, and be photographed doing everything we did. Yes we are weird…. and dorks. Arriving at the resort around 5-5:30, we found a giant line just to check in. People were furious; most waiting close to an hour and a half to check in. Finally, the people took mercy on us by offering free sodas and cookies while we were in line. We thought that if we held out a little longer that they might even bring us dinner, but alas…. no luck on that front. Then to our surprise we found out that our little unit was located on top of a giant hill that required the climbing of no less than 40 stairs to get to. Not fun. After finding out that the accommodations were not quite what we expected, Jen and I rolled out to get some dinner and make the most of our vacation. We rolled into Harrisonburg, VA to a place called Calhoun’s that had a great rooftop deck, great food and wine, and their own beer. After a really nice dinner, I scooped up a huge growler of ale and hauled it back home with us. 🙂
Sunday morning, we took a drive down skyline drive though Shenandoah National Park. So beautiful. We took it for a couple of hours until we hit the Blue Ridge Parkway and then rolled out into the countryside to hit a few vineyards. That day, we visited Wintergreen (where we sampled some great dipping sauces and bought a couple wines), Hill Top (where we picked up a nectar plum wine and a blackberry one that goes great with chocolate, and I was complimented by the owner for having “such great manners”, and we met a cool couple that is moving to Arlington), and Mountain Cove where they were having a great festival in the middle of the most beautiful little valley. Finding Mountain Cove may have been the best part of the day, driving along these great little roads listening to “She Thinks I Still Care”. At the winery, we sampled and purchased some great wines and chilled out with a cool couple from the Richmond area that met on the Internet. They told us how beautiful we were together, took our pictures and pretty soon we were all dancing to the band on the lawn. Great times.
Monday, we rolled out to Oakencroft vineyards, which was by far one of our favorites. They were having a nice little festival there, and we sampled several great wines and took the tour. A couple other patrons even noticed our Poo photo shoot. 🙂 After the winery, we cruised into Charlottesville to look around and have dinner. Noticing a fellow sorority sister outside her house, Jen popped in to see what her sorority was like at UVA where they gave her a free t-shirt. We ate at a little place called Northern Exposure that was based on New York; great eats and great service.
The next morning, we drove to the Spa at the Boars Head Inn in Charlottesville to get massages. Oh my god…. those were so desperately needed. The place is definitely amazing; the nicest spa that I have ever been to. I’m definitely looking into going back. All massaged out, we hit the Michie Tavern and Monticello during the afternoon. Michie Tavern is a pretty awesome old-time southern food eatin’ colonial buffet type thing that rocks, and Monticello, for all of you ignorant folks was the former home of Thomas Jefferson. After that we checked out the famed Barboursville Winery (beautiful but snobby and disappointing) and Horton Vineyards, which was not bad. We returned to Charlottesville for dinner at a former-gas-station-now-restaurant called Station and walked around the outdoor mall. A couple of cups of coffee and some obligatory CD buying followed, and finally, our return to our mountain hideaway ensued.
Wednesday, we decided to partake in a canoeing (or Float Trip for all you Missourians) down the Shenandoah River along with some of our fellow resort folks. Now, I have to say that this was much better that the other canoeing trips that I have been on in the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, as there were actually all sorts of cows, muskrats, ducks, geese, and turtles chilling out on the river banks. After getting a mean tan on the river, Jen and I hit the pool for a bit and headed back to the casa for some beers and a nap. That night we tried to roll back to Harrisonburg and see what else the town had to offer, which was unfortunately, not much. We had dinner at a funny little place called Finnegan’s Cove where little kids mooned us from outside the window and then had coffee and dessert at a sweet coffeehouse called the Artful Dodger.
Thursday morning, we trekked back to Shenandoah National Park, and did a hike down by some cool falls, perching on the rocks above. After a brutal walk back, we drove north through the park up to Luray Caverns where we did the tour and took pictures of Poo in the underground. Jen almost killed a little Asian boy who could not keep his hands off the stalagmites, despite the warnings of arrest by the tour guide. That night we decided it was time for a touch of Generica and headed over to Chilis in Harrisonburg for margueritas and tex-mex food.
Friday, we kept it low-profile. Hit the pool for a while until they closed it, packed up and played some mini-golf at the elusive course near our place. Back in DC in time for dinner, we unloaded our gear and hit Whitlows on Wilson for dinner. I had a great time on our little date.
Saturday we had to roll back to NJ for my 10-year Madison Central High School reunion. I took Jen to Pad Thai, which used to be one of my favorite places for Thai food, but they messed up her Pad Thai (their signature dish – go figure). Anyway…the reunion. As many of you know, only about 40 people showed out of our class of 330, but we still had a great time. The Jack and Cokes were flowing freely, and I saw a few great old faces. Of course, I had to baby-sit my partner in crime after too many Jack and Cokes were consumed. Hee.
Sunday was all about visiting parents and relaxing and heading back to DC. We crashed like aging rock stars back on tour to get up in time for work the next day. All I can say was that after a great night’s sleep, I still knew that I was not ready to come back to work. Last night, my baby and I had a great home-cooked meal and a nice bottle of wine and I realized how good I have it.
And there it is.