Keepin' it Local in The Shenandoah Valley
People often ask us "what's your favorite place so far", and the answer is always the same, South Dakota; more specifically Sioux Falls. But I have to say that Virginia, again more specifically; Staunton, has become a really close second. The fact that our visit here at Walnut Hills Campground in March was so very special, we decided it would be a great idea to come back on our way south for the winter. For those that missed the post on that visit you can find it here.
As always, we did what we do best; blow our 'budget' while supporting local businesses. What can I say? Everyone needs a hobby. First stop, as always is Skipping Rock Beer Co. At one point we rented a car and took a field trip to Ben and company's other brewery, Pale Fire Brewing, in Harrisonburg. And as always, it was good to see a familiar face.
Sadly, we forgot to bring Freda with us, but we did remember her when we went to Blue Mountain Brewery. Another great local brewery and restaurant.
We also visited this lovely winery in Fishersville, VA called Barren Ridge Vineyards. The staff there was so much fun. Anne Marie, the super outgoing one, is also a big fan of Skipping Rock. Sam was the quiet one, and Katherine, was the hugger that was looking for travel advice. It was a really great afternoon. As it turns out they are a Harvest Host too. We just might have to take advantage of that. I mean, seriously look how beautiful it is.
And then there was Trump Winery in Charlottesville, VA. Now before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, or "triggered" by simply mentioning the name, I would like to suggest that you put your opinions in check and remember this isn't about politics, it's about the WINE... and the food was pretty great too! OMG, and the view is absolutely gorgeous!
If you are thinking that we only went to places where we could drink...you would be wrong. We went to this huge, and awesome farmer's market in Harrisonburg, where we bought a cast iron pan, and several local goodies including pickled beets, regular pickles, and of course some cheese.
We also spent a day wandering around downtown Staunton. What's really cool about that is, that every weekend during the summer they close off 4 blocks to drive thru traffic and it turns into a street market. The restaurants and shops all take tables and merchandise outside. The cigar shop was especially tempting. They also, have an enormous Farmer's Market. The whole scene reminded us of Europe. We visited the camera museum, an antique car museum, which by the way had an old and very odd camper. We also spent time at the Visitor's Center chatting with this absolutely lovely women, a seasoned citizen who spoke with a polite sarcasm that I can only hope to master as I become more "seasoned".
Before, during and after we had the rental car, there was always fishing, Stella walking, cornhole games, visits with the neighbors with Seadog -the bird, reading and pool time that included a visit from the crazy camp cat named Betsy. (And yes Barb, we know what you are thinking...lol). The campground even had a movie night outside on the side of the game house. And because Mike clearly has an aptitude for it, he not only caught fish, but of course he caught a turtle as well.
The most special trip was our day at Monticello. We spent almost 4 hours there and I look forward to telling you all about it, but since it also includes over 100 pictures, I have decided to dedicate an entire post to it. So until then...
Be Well, Be Happy and Safe Travels.