Visiting my favorite Charlottesville spots before heading out of town for new adventures.
Day 2: Down In The Valley – recipe for a very Virginia day.
Start with a sunny day with a high of 80F and a side of whimsical clouds.
Roll down the window. Place your hand out the window. Float on air.
Breathe in the smell of fresh cut grass.
Play the Head and the Heart’s Down In the Valley louder than is reasonable.
Laugh because you’re so caught up in the moment that you actually stopped thinking and started living.
Welcome to Nelson County.
Stop in Nellysford for a touch of lunch. At Basic Necessities, perhaps, where a cool cup of cucumber yogurt dill soup and cheesy croque-monsieur await you. If you’re lucky, there will be a group of retirees at the next table, dressed in their Sunday’s best on a Tuesday: suits, pearls, suspenders. Remember, you’re in Virginia. They will order wine and proceed to drink it merrily while trading stories about the land. They will speak loudly, so loudly that you can’t help wonder if they forgot their hearing aids. But perhaps they simply decided to leave them at home and shout, because it’s Tuesday, the sun is shining, the wine is flowing, and the cafe is deserted.
Alternatively, push the battered screen door of The Blue Ridge Pig and wrap yourself in sweet, smokey barbecue flavors. If you’re lucky, the place will be deserted and the pork will be piled on high, waiting for your eager fingers. The wooden floor will creak under your feet; hundreds of dusty business cards with yellowed edges will stare at you. In the back, a woman will be hunched over, shredding pork, her fingers working with astounding precision; shredding pork like life depends on it.
Get back in your car and drive east on route 6. The Rockfish river is rushing by at a dizzying speed, swollen with recent rainfalls. The turkey vultures are circling on high. The daylilies are in full bloom.
Stick your hand out the window. Float on air. You’re in central Virginia.