Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Charlottesville road trip!

We decided to take a road trip on the first day of our 3 day Fourth of July weekend. Whenever I say Dave and I are taking a road trip for just a day, you can probably assume that we are going to either Charlottesville (an hour west) or Williamsburg (an hour east) because we love them both so much! We have our favorite places but always try at least one new thing on each trip so we don't get too formulaic.

Let me know your favorite day trips from RVA - we need to branch out! :)

Anyway, this time we chose Charlottesville! We were going on Friday to beat the major holiday crowds, and it was hot but not humid, cloudy but not gloomy. Not perfect but the rain held off for most of the day and we squeezed in a bunch of stops!

Our first stop in Charlottesville is usually Carter Mountain Orchard. Whether peaches or apples are in season, and sometimes when nothing is in season, it's nice to take in the views and fresh air.

They have a wine shop onsite where they sell Virginia wines including their own brand. They also have peach bellinis in the summer, which neither of us can resist. YUM. There were a ton of apples on the trees that will be ready to pick soon - fall is coming! We looked around their gift shop and bought some peach preserves and apple cider donut. We did not  buy T.O.E. (tangerine, orange, elderberry) jam. Don't care how it tastes, the name ruins it. Pun gone wrong.

Next we headed downtown to get some lunch at Revolutionary Soup. It's been on the short list for a while but this is the first time we've made it there - so tasty! We both got the 90's club, which had avocado, chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.  The bread was soft and fresh and the chicken was juicy and so flavorful!

The AC was out in the restaurant, plus it was lunchtime on a workday so it was packed, so we walked down the hill to the Downtown Mall to find a seat and eat our sammiches. There was a street vendor right next to us who had sooo many pretty scarves that I wanted to buy, but it was cash only. Bummer. I never have cash. What I do have is too many scarves, so it was probably a good thing she didn't take debit. ;)

We sat for a while people watching and just enjoying the breeze before moving on to our next stop: Ash Lawn-Highland, James Monroe's "cabin cottage" just down the hill from Monticello. Before I realized this was not his main home, I was judging TJ super hard for how opulent Monticello is compared to this place. It was a simple house about the size of a basic colonial you'd see in any neighborhood in RVA, plus some outbuildings.

Even the road in to the property was great! Reminded me of the road to Boone Hall Plantation, where they filmed North and South. Love that place.

Particularly proud of this shot:
{although the green space is begging for some type of inappropriate quote, like 'when all else fails, make a dick joke' a la robin williams}

Don't tell the lady at the front desk (I think she already knows) but we didn't actually take the house tour we paid for. I was much more interested in the grounds and outbuildings and kitchen. I don't know why, but that part of old plantations/estates fascinates me much more than seeing where the rich dude slept. I feel like we got our money's worth, though:
{plantation office}

Next we went to the crap store by Michie Tavern. They had crap. I don't recommend it.

Then we went back downtown for dinner at Mas Tapas. OH MY GOD this place is amazing! We got 5 small plates to share and it was just the right amount of food to satisfy us both. Here's what we got:
{clockwise, from top left:Amish chicken and red Yukon gold potato salad, shrimp with garlic aioli, carne asada, apricot marmalade and brie on brioche (OMG), and bacon-wrapped dates}

Even though we were happily full, but not stuffed, our last stop before heading back to Richmond was Sweethaus. This is a required stop even if we aren't eating the cupcakes until the next day.

Long day but good day! :)

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