Visiting my favorite Charlottesville spots before heading out of town for new adventures. For more on this final countdown, read this.
Day 1: Mountain Highs
It’s hard not to notice the mountains west of Charlottesville. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a mere 30 minutes way, with gorgeous overlooks, fun trails, majestic trees, waterfalls, and oh yeah, bears. No better place to start my farewell week. I drove to Wintergreen, a ski resort and community nestled up in the Blue Ridge, to stay at wifey-love’s mountain retreat. I headed west on I-64, then route 250 west, then route 151 south into sleepy Nelson County. I drove alongside mountains, sprawling farms, and miles after miles of split rail fence. I drove past The Hamner Theater, a small community theater where I have seen amazing live theater over the years, past Blue Mountain Brewery and past Paulie’s Pig Out, with its smoker on the side of the road chugging along. Quintessential central Virginia.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are called so because of the distinctive blue hue that one sees when looking from a distance. They aren’t particularly imposing or menacing. From a distance, they look like sleepy tall hills. From the ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Shenandoah Valley to the West. The suggestion of a simpler, slower life. I may be a city girl at heart, but these sights warm my heart every single time and I will miss them.
Time at Wintergreen went like this: coffee, thoughts of home pedicures, reading, staring at the rain-battered mountainside while sprawled on the plush carpet, cherry crumble in the oven, vision-board making, quiet dinner in the valley at local favorite brewery Devils Backbone, catching a glorious sunset over the valley, sleeping, talking, hugging, admiring the sun-drenched mountainside on the deck the next morning.
They say Virginia is for lovers. Lovers of what? Lovers of big ever-changing skies, lush greenery, rich wildlife and the quiet country life. Lovers of that which is bigger than us. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a manifestation of the Universe. And like the Universe, they are boundless, everlasting, and always within reach.