Gabfest in Fredericksburg VA

Old Jun 30th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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Gabfest in Fredericksburg VA

DH's cousin ("M") and I have always enjoyed each other's company over the 35+ years we've met at family gatherings. But, the two of us have never had an uninterrupted time to just talk. We finally remedied the situation by meeting in a town about half-way between our homes. Namely, Fredericksburg VA. We only spent one night but I liked where we stayed well enough to do a quick TR.

I googled hotels in the Historic District and the Kenmore Inn called out. I will add more text to this over the weekend, but photos are posted:

www.flickr.com/photos/32219995@N07/albums

More to come.
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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 01:13 PM
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Here's a link to the Inn:

http://www.kenmoreinn.com/

The old home is stunning. High ceilings, beautiful moldings and inviting colors beckon. The owner's modernizing shows an attention to detail and a design sense that you will love if you like the photos.

We were only there for breakfast Tuesday (resto closed on Monday) but it was very good. M had an omelette and I had over easy eggs with bacon and a wonderful, warm and moist strawberry scone.

M and I met around noon on Monday 6/27/2016. She was sitting on the front porch as I drove up. This time of year, parking was no problem. We both parked right in front.

The room was huge with high ceilings and a king sleigh bed. The bureau in the shot looked like birds-eye maple. There was a closet with an ironing board (and a hair dryer that I didn't see). A big rattan chair was a comfy place.

The only things that were problems were that the lamp beside that chair had no plug. Also, I had to hang on to the shower door to climb over the high tub. The hotel's rain shower head didn't impress me with its power but the water was warm and plentiful!

We settled in, got a map and directions from Nikki and went exploring.
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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 01:21 PM
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thanks TD. The Inn and its surroundings look lovely and a great way to spend time with family.

looking forward to more.
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Old Jun 30th, 2016, 02:58 PM
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I know nothing about that area but the inn looks like a perfect place. Just posting to wish you a wonderful time.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 01:36 AM
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Those wicker rockers on the porch look wonderful. I could easily spend a lazy afternoon in one.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 08:15 AM
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TDudette, I am momentarily hijacking your lovely trip report to say that if you have not already done so, get thyself down the road to the VMFA to see the new-ishly installed McGlothin American Art collection. It is a treasure trove of John Singer Sargent works among many other brilliant artists. The current offering is mostly a reprise of a show VMFA hosted 6 or 7 years ago but is completely worth a re-visit and only half of what is eventually to come from this donor.

Now returning you to the Kenmore Inn. Looking forward to more charming narrative.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 09:04 AM
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Thanks, annhig, basie and dfrosty!

And OMG, obxgirl, thanks for the VMFA info. I googled McGlothin American Art collection and didn't recognize the Sargents! I am going to look into taking Amtrak to VMFA to visit this amazing collection. I spent a Thanksgiving holiday in Ashland and was thrilled to see Chihouly's (sp?) works there. A great place.

******************

OK, it was quite sultry outside so M and I strolled and admired the beautiful houses along the way to William St. where we ate at an Italian place (Castiglia's). We chose it because it didn't close between lunch and dinner servings. We got steak and cheese calzone and Italian sub and deemed them good but servings were very large. Kind staff put us in a cool corner and let us gab for 2+ hours.

Kenmore provided 2 very good maps with lists of restos and historical venues. You should google to figure out your schedule. One woman we met in the Inn said she and her DH were giving the area 4 days. They were driving to some of the battle fields.

As we continued to talk, we noticed 3 churches. One turned out to be City Hall. We stopped in Pappagallo gift shop and really enjoyed it. It is online so you can get an idea of its inventory. You won't get the pleasure of spending time in this charming shop.

We strolled and entered St. George's Episcopal church (see photos). We had just missed a tour but we were too intent on chatting anyhow! From there to Caroline Street where we passed more of the 90+ items on Fredericksburg's map! Because it was a Monday and summer vacation, the town was very quiet.

Did I say the college Mary Washington is in the town? We may have passed its Library. The large sign 'Library' was a giveaway to its use, but that was the first college campus I've encountered so well-signed.

The heat was getting us down so we slowly made our way back amongst the lovely homes. Decided to freshen up but first met Jacqui in the front parlor. We talked (of course!) some with her and added to our knowledge of the owner. Kenmore Inn not the only possession over which he is waving his magic rehab wand.

Back to the room and I find that my smart phone worked but I wasn't close enough to get the wifi signal on the computer. M didn't bring her computer.

Dinner plans to come. Jacqui looked online for dinner ideas.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 09:07 AM
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I forgot to say there is a working fireplace in my room ("please get staff to light your fire") and a coffee machine in the upstairs hall.
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Old Jul 1st, 2016, 06:12 PM
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I haven't had the opportunity to spend a lot of time inFredericksburg but the little I've seen, I've liked. Thank you for the report.

Obxgirl, thank you for the VMFA plug. I love Sargent. Just this evening (at Giuseppe's) DH and I were talking about taking a Jefferson break soon.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2016, 09:50 AM
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Back in the front parlor with Jacqui as she looked at restaurants she liked. The desk in front of the beautiful shelving has a computer set up. She recommended Sedona Taphouse (particularly if you love beers!) and said Monday nights one could buy a $6 steak. The proceeds go to charity (sorry I forget which). She called ahead for us--they took seat saving for the same hour. She thought parking was a problem in that area but it was so hot, we decided we'd chance it. We'd also chance getting that parking place right in front of the Inn.

We drove around a bit (one of us forgot the map!) but found the Taphouse and had good parking karma as well. The place was mobbed but we only waited about 15 minutes for our seats. The place is very modern and definitely concentrates on different beers. We both got the $6 steak but doubled our costs with shrimp and crab! Lots of choices on the menu.

I had a malbec and M had a special lemonade--will find out what it was. Small portions were perfect for us but might be half what a big eater likes. It was a little noisy but not as bad as it could have been. Food was tasty. B+ or A-.

After dinner we got the parking space back and returned to the front parlor. We met the night guy, Heath. He was in the room beyond the brick doorway (see photo) with the computer on his lap. "I'm sick, don't shake hands!" He gave us his room number in case we needed anything.

We, ahem, talked some more until we both started to fade.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2016, 09:54 AM
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M had a prickly pear lemonade and liked it.

Thanks, birdie.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 02:03 AM
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$6 steaks? what a bargain. sounds like it was worth the wait for the table.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 07:03 AM
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They were quite small, annhig!

*********

Tuesday a.m. was still hot and humid despite rain the previous night. M and I were ready about the same time and went to the breakfast room. Coffee, OJ, water and warm strawberry scones were out.

Jacquie was back and added serving to her administrative duties. A menu was under the glass covered table tops. M had an omelette and I had over easy eggs. All very good. I forgot to write down the other choices but I'm thinking French toast was one. Basic but nice.

We talked some more about family and how glad we were to have had this opportunity. We shared the same degree of walking endurance, shopping tolerance and love of the absurd.

With thanks to Kenmore folks and promises to do this again (in cooler weather), we parted. My GPS insisted on taking me back home via route 95 instead of slower but less fraught route 301. I actually made great time--no back ups at all.

I'd love to go back to Kenmore when the bar and restaurant are open. I didn't search Fodor's Forums for TRs to Fredericksburg but will soon. Based upon this very short trip, I think it could be a nice base for the general area.

Thanks for joining me!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2016, 12:48 PM
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our pleasure as well as yours, TD.
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 05:29 AM
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Thanks, annhig. Looking at notes, I realized that I'd mis-spelled Jacquie's name. Also, there was a menu under glass at each place on the tables.
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 05:38 AM
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I think that those are minor offences, TD.
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Old Jul 4th, 2016, 07:50 AM
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I lived & worked in Fredericksburg right out of college and the Kenmore Inn was the "special occasion" place and always did a nice job.

If you are in Fredericksburg again (except between November & February)...a trip to Carl's is a must. Best chocolate malt ever.

They even have a Wiki page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl%27s_Ice_Cream

If you end up at the VMFA, let me know!
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Old Jul 6th, 2016, 04:28 AM
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Thanks again, annhig.

Hi JKMR, I'll check out Carl's next time. For sure will let you know about VMFA trip. Plan to look into a train trip/overnight in the Fall.
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Old Jul 6th, 2016, 04:56 AM
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Ditto, Janet on Carl's. My first stop in Fredricksburg!!!
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Old Jul 6th, 2016, 05:36 AM
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Keep me posted!

cmc....from 1986-1987 I worked across the street from Carl's. It was a blessing and a curse.
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