This past weekend I took a HeSo rejuvenating trip to Virginia. I have found that taking off a long weekend to go some place relaxing can do more to revitalize you than a full week off. I’ve always been the type who likes to make the most out of vacations. I would save up, and take a few weeks off. I would spend more time planning the vacation than the actual vacation. And once I arrived in a new place, I would feel the pressure to see and do everything. Doesn’t sound much like a vacation to me.
Now I’m realizing it’s much nicer to split vacation time into lots of min-vacations. For one, it’s cheaper and easier to plan. Also, just going to a quiet place, that doesn’t have many tourist attractions let’s you enjoy the long leisurely lunches, the aimless walks, and the window shopping without feeling like you’re missing something.
This was the perfect trip. On Friday afternoon, we borrowed my parents car (thanks!) and drove to Arlington, VA, to visit my dear friend, Sarah and her awesome boyfriend, Ryan. The next day we drove to Staunton, VA. The ride was beautiful; purple mountains, roaming cows, red barns – what more can you ask for?
The actually town is ADORABLE. We had a tally going for how many times we used the word cute, but I forgot after 100. They had the little local coffee shop, a chocolate store, an ice cream shop, a book store, antique shops and historic mansions. It felt like we were inside a snow globe. The people were beyond friendly, and everything was so clean, and, well, cute.
On Saturday night we went to the Blackfriar’s Playhouse and saw ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. The theater was stunning and it’s the only re-creation of the Shakespeare’s original indoor theatre. It was worth it just to see the intricate wood moldings and marble inlays. They also served wine during the show and sang during the intermission, making the whole theater experience fun and approachable.
After the play, we went to our bed and breakfast called the Hummingbird Inn, about a 30 minute drive from Stauton. Again, the place was real cute. It belongs in Country Living magazine. What made it even more special was that we got matching robes (I’ve always wanted to wear matching robes)! The owners were beyond friendly and we felt instantly at home. There are only 5 rooms in the inn, so it’s pretty hard to get a reservation (I made mine in April). The only drawback about this inn is that it’s near train tracks so we heard it pass a few times at night, but I was so in love with the place that I ended up finding even the train to be charming.
The next morning, after a huge country breakfast, we went to the Goshen river and skipped stones, and then the Wade’s Mill and toured a 140 year old flour mill that’s still working. As I write, I’m eating the bread I made from their flour and it’s extra tasty! Next up, we went for a wine tasting at Rockbridge Vineyard. Although this wasn’t the best wine we ever had, it was the nicest tasting I ever went to. Besides for being completely free, they had lots of snacks and they let us taste 12 wines. No kidding.
Back in Stauton, we visited a glass blowing factory, and watched an expert making glass ornaments with young kids. I was super jealous of the kids but they had reservations and we didn’t. If you’re ever visiting this town make sure you sign up ahead to make your own ornament.
Then we had one of those amazing meals that we’ll never forget at Zynodoa. This restaurant sourced most of its food from Polyface farm, which was featured in Ominvore’s Dilemma. If you haven’t read this book yet, just click on this link and read it already. It will change the way you look at food I promise. We started with the Chicken liver mousse. And yes it grossed me out to order this, but it was incredible, and when we ran out of bread to spread it on, we were too impatient to wait for the waiter, so we ate it up with a spoon. Mike licked clean every utensil that touched the mousse – including the knife. Next, I had the scallops on a bed of risotto grits and collard greens, and Mike had some crazy pork concoction. SOOO good.
The next day we left our beautiful inn and started the long drive home – 7.5 hours. It was great to take some days off to experience a different lifestyle and appreciate the simpler things in life, such as soft bed sheets, rolling hills, and stone ground flour. The beauty of the small trip was that when I came back I wasn’t so vacationed out that I couldn’t get back to work. I was refreshed and eager to get back to work on the HeSo Project. If you’re feeling a little run down take Friday and Monday off and pamper yourself. LivingSocial has great deals for weekend getaways.