Wednesday, November 16, 2016


We decided to, over the next year, to take some family trips. Just us. It was Brian's idea, and it was a good one! This year we've been focusing on resetting priorities and "doing" all the things we "know", instead of just knowing them...'cause knowledge doesn't do a whole lot of good until it's exercised, we've discovered.

So we went to Charlottesville. Not to see family, not with friends, and there weren't any meeting us there either...As far as we can recall, this is literally the FIRST TIME in our entire marriage we've taken a vacation, JUST US. Not that there is anything wrong with family or friends. But sometimes just us is okay too.

We decided on Charlottesville because it's close enough to do for a weekend, and we had the offer of a cottage to stay in (with a hot tub!), so YES!
The weather was perfect all weekend! Charlottesville is in the Southwest Mountains, which run parallel to the Blue Ridge Mountains (separated by about 30 miles). It's gorgeous. It's about 3 hrs from us, and I've never been there before, but Brian has, for work years ago.
Jefferson's "Little Mountain" (in Italian, Monticello)
The pictures and the story don't necessarily line up but we went hiking, went to Thomas Jefferson's home (Monticello), and spent time in the hottub, eating out, and hanging in the cottage. It should be fairly obvious which pics are which:-)

Hiking to the reservoir

The cottage we stayed in

They still grow vegetables in his gardens, he liked to play around with botany and such, and he had quite the nursery, gardens and vineyards for his husbandry

Fencing surrounding the family cemetery

Those "stones" are not stones, but wood, made to look like a cinder block of sorts. Painted with sand to make them rough...I bet Jefferson and Pinterest would have been fast friends;-)

Jefferson loved the weather, and the time. This clock at the East Entrance only had the hours showing. The minutes and seconds showed on the inside.
We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the house - I guess that's why you pay for a tour;-) It was pretty cool though! He had many unique inventions, and things given to him by Louis and Clark, and others.

Brian took some of these - the old craftsmanship and copper eaves and such
This is the West Entrance, and the side most recognized, because it's on the nickel. It looks completely different from the other side (East Entrance) and technically the East side is the front door, as that is where the parlour is to receive guests, but officially, they are both front doors.

It was very unique to build a house at the top of a mountain. Jefferson was born at the bottom of the mountain. Because of water, people didn't tend to build on the top of mountains. Though Monticello is not huge (I mean, it's big, but not nearly what you'd expect), it was quite an attraction back in the day. People would travel to marvel it, just because it was on a mountain.

These were the 3 things he wanted put on his grave.

The hot tub! We loved it!

Those are the Blue Ridge Mountains, as seen from apple picking at Carter's Mountain in Charlottesville. They sold apple cider donuts there, and the kids thought those were pretty great!

On our way! Traffic through the tunnels was pretty bad to get out of our city, so we stopped for pizza on the way. That was a good thing, because we'd have been starving had we waited to get further down the road with how backed up everything was

They were so excited to go! 
We enjoyed our time immensely! It was such a fun get-away. We tried the locally famous Bodo's Bagels (we approve) and Zinburger (they serve burgers made from Kobe beef...never heard of it? Apparently they are cows in Japan, living in a day spa, who get their sore muscles hand massaged or something LOL), and had a funny experience as one of the kitchen hands kept serving us food we didn't order. We all shared a huge milkshake for dessert!

We truly did have a wonderful little adventure together, and we'd love to go back because there were more local things we didn't get the chance to explore!

Where will our next adventure take us?

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