Linking up with Shana for her Random Musings Friday. Please join our random fun!
Natural Bridge is quite close to Lexington, VA so Neal wanted to do a drive-by through Virginia Military Institute.
Before heading out of Lexington, we had to make one last stop (it would have been 2 if the car safari had been open. Yes...car safari...feeding camels and giraffes from the heated seat comfort of your Lexus). But car safari is closed until March. Apparently the animals of the bush don't much care for a wind chill of 15 degrees.
We left Lexington for Monticello, which is located just outside of Charlottesville, VA. In my head, we were going to visit the estate of one of our country's esteemed presidents.
When the tour was over, we found Neal and Baby Blue in the car...taking a $42 nap. It would be awesome if Neal could have hopped in with the next tour while we took babysitting duty, but they are very strict about all of their rules. I guess exceptions made creates problems down the line, but it was a pricey lesson to learn about babies and schedules.
Charlottesville and Lexington are funny places. The trend in women's fashion is skinny jeans and riding boots, but I'm almost certain that none of the women we saw had just been on (or had any intention of getting on) a horse. They are home to Washington & Lee (Lexington) and UVA (Charlottesville) and are both quite serious about preserving a college-town feel with an abundance of local commerce. This became a problem in Charlottesville when we were looking for our dinner spot. I generally cross-reference Yelp and Trip Advisor to find all of our restaurants while traveling. It was almost impossible to find a restaurant in the top 25 that had consistently excellent reviews. And the ones that did made no secret of their baby-unfriendliness. You don't have to have a cache of high chairs, but it would be great if you didn't shoot daggers in our direction when he starts drooling in my dinner. It's my dinner, after all. So, I widened my search and found Fardowners in a small town about 12 miles outside of Charlottesville.
I also overheard a conversation behind me about Christian Laetner and Duke vs. UK. And that's how I met a fellow UK alum who now lives in Charlottesville. Big Blue Madness, people...it's everywhere.
The next morning, with the wind at our backs, we scooted back down I-64 to the house. It had been a grand adventure and now it was over..for Neal anyway. Shana and I had more to explore.
Lunch was right around the corner on Cary St. at Can Can...which was chosen simply because it had been raining all morning and there was an awning covering the sidewalk from the chocolate store to the restaurant. But what a fine choice it was.
One other great find in this lunch spot was their pear and hazelnut bread that they serve on the table. As it turns out, you can buy it by the loaf. And this knowledge is at least as dangerous as when I found the peach ice cream at Lane's Peach Orchard in Georgia.
Our last stop of the day (after a quick drop in a boutique Goodwill) was the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. You may remember a little gushing I did here about the VMFA and the Chihuly glass exhibit we saw last month. Sadly, that show left a few weeks ago so I had promised Shana an excellent viewing of Faberge, one of their permanent exhibits. Except, when we got there, we learned it had just left. For two years. So we decided to check out the French Impressionists and the photography exhibits and then head home. The Impressionists wing included about 3 Degas paintings, several statues and this chick, who has quickly become my favorite of Degas' work.
And then we spotted this new fashion on our way out of the gift shop.
Our last day was a quiet morning of scones with blackberry jam (made by Webb with fruit found in her Farmer's Market last summer) followed by the express tour of Tiffany's windows at Blandford Church (where we witnessed the former president of Mississippi's southern ladies of the confederate something or other battle it out with the tour guide over which state is the birth place of Memorial Day) followed by the most heavenly chicken salad at Hiram Haines Coffeeshop (which is famous for housing Edgar Allen Poe and his child cousin bride on their honeymoon night. But really should be famous for their chicken salad). It all went by way too quickly and I still feel like there are so many more nooks and crannies in this part of the world that I want to show her. I'm in love with this area and although I don't think we'll get to stay, it's on our list. Of course...the committee is now 3 days late in handing out assignments and in the same way as The Jerk, every day that we wait feels like 2 weeks and the last 3 days felt like a month but before that, each day felt like 2 days....
Cheers and Happy Champagne Friday!