Sunday, December 14, 2014

Virginia is Beautiful!

Hello everyone! I haven't stopped blogging. I have been busy traveling. So now it is time to catch you up. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We observed most of our Thanksgiving traditions except for the Turkey Gumbo on Saturday. This year the turkey carcass and the leftover turkey went in the freezer. Instead I went on a wonderful trip with my "favorite person in the world". We left for Virginia the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Destination Massanutten Resort located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. We arrived in Charlottesville as the sun was going down. We shopped for a few necessities and drove in the dark to the resort. It was a winding, twisted, snow dusted drive through the woods and up the mountain. It wasn't until morning that we could see where we would call home for the week. It was so beautiful! Just look at our view from our balcony.

We planned a lot of day trips ending up here every night. I would totally recommend this method of vacationing. We had so much fun and really enjoyed going back to our "home away from home" each night. We went to the Walton's Museum in Schuyler first. I picked up a cookbook of the real Mary Ellen's recipes as a souvenir.

The next day we went to Luray Caverns, a Antique Car and Carriage Museum and then drove south along Skyline Drive back to the resort. One of the nicest caverns I have ever visited. Just beautiful as was the drive along the top of the mountain range. Beautiful!

Mirror Lake only 18" deep

Day three was a freezing rain day so we did not drive to far from the resort. We went to Elkton and had an amazing lobster roll and lobster chowder at Lobsta Rollin'. Might have been the best lobster I have had. Delicious!

The next day we went to a cooking demonstration on the resort. We had a wonderful meal of Duck breast and Autumn Squash, NY Strip with a Green Peppercorn Sauce and Bananas Foster. The instructors demonstrated the technique first then served us each course. The take away I LOVE pan sauces made with heavy cream. After filling our bellies we rolled to the car and went to a Brethren Mennonite Heritage Museum.

The kitchen in the Mennonite home
Day five we drove to Washington DC. We took the metro in and tried to see as much as we could in a day. Turns out that is not much. Our old bodies don't move that fast. We went to the Natural History Museum, the National Archives, the National Mall, and the Capital Building. We were actually there the day they were to light the National Christmas Tree. We did not get to attend that event. You have to get the tickets by lottery in advance.

The first thing we saw at the Natural History Museum

That night we drove to Fort Meade, Maryland to stay the night then on to tour the base and a stop in Baltimore for a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives pick before returning to the resort. Jimmy's Famous Seafood was definitely not a dive. It was a nice restaurant. We had an oyster sampler, shrimp bisque and sandwiches featuring their crab cakes. I really enjoyed the oyster sampler. I have never had the opportunity to taste two different oysters side by side. You really can taste a huge difference. The blue point oysters taste briny like the sea. YUM! The Chesapeake oysters were more meaty or oyster tasting. 

Our last day we left the resort and went back to Charlottesville were we saw Monticello, had Midday Fare at the Ordinary at Michie Tavern and a drive by of the University of Virginia. I loved this day. I loved touring Monticello. I had studied it at least twice in school and it was so special to me to finally be there. We both loved our meal at the Ordinary. Great fried chicken, gravy, soup and other colonial fare. I bought another cookbook there as a souvenir. I can't wait to try the recipes. I think I will try the vegetable soup first.

This was an amazing trip. I would go back to Virginia any time. It may have been the first place I could see myself moving to for an extended stay. So beautiful! I recommend you plan a trip there as soon as you can. You will not regret it.

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