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September Trip report to Virginia

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Oct 14th, 2009, 05:12 PM
  #1
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September Trip report to Virginia

I'm a bit tardy writing about our 9 days in Virginia but here goes my report. I'll break it up into two sections so it won't be so long.
We flew into Norfolk which was fine but for those of you who recommended Richmond, you were right on. Our decision however was based on a cheaper flight into Norfolk & car rentals were way less in Norfolk. We did get stuck for an hour prior to going through the tunnel but lucky for us we were parked next to a teenager who turned his radio volumn to bone vibrating rap for our free entertainment. Oh My!!
Our first night we stayed in Charlottesville so we would be close to Monticello. On the way there we spotted Pierce's BBQ. Great find. Food was good & fast. The drive to Charlottesville was very pretty. Driving down tree covered highways are a treat for us when we're used to the desert & lots of open spaces.
Monticello was wonderful. We got our tickets on line which allows you to pick your time for the tour. We got there early so they let us join the earlier group. We were fascinated with the stories of Thomas Jefferson & all of his inventions--ice house, wine dumbwaiter, windows that opened to doors, etc. The garden tour & Mulberry Row tour were equally fascinating. We walked the grounds & viewed the cemetery. Could have easily spent the day there. We really needed another day to visit Montpelier & Ashland Lawn but had friends that we hadn't seen for 20 yrs waiting for us in Shenandoah NP. We went Labor Day week so we expected a crowd. We were happily surprised to be one of the few people on Skyline Drive. It was a very pleasant drive with lots of overlooks to view the surroundings. We stayed at Skyland Lodge which is an older & rustic lodge but comfy. The view from our balconey was breathtaking. There were deer all over & even saw wild turkeys. The visitor center at Big Meadows is very nice with lots of information & nice gift shop. I picked up a CD with Shenandoah soundtrack to put us in the mood. We had dinner that night at the restaurant at Skyland & must say it was one of the best meals we've ever had.
The next morning we continued to explore & took a fun hike to Dark Hollow Falls. It was a very pretty hike with a little stream on one side & huge rocks on the other. On the way back, a baby bear ran across the path in front of us causing us to pick up our pace in case Momma was nearby. Great treat!
Weather was beautiful. I loved the peacefulness of the Shenandoah mountains. Our trip back we took the back roads & ended up in Chancellorville to view the battlefields. The history in the area is amazing.
To be continued----
Idahospud is offline  
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Oct 14th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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We did a day trip to Shenandoah NP on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and were surprised that it wasn't more crowded as well. We easily got a table next to the window for lunch at Big Meadow Lodge and the hiking trail we took to Rapidan Camp had only a few hikers. We try to get over to Shenandoah every September and this is the first time in years that we didn't see a bear. Glad you got to see one!
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Oct 15th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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<< I loved the peacefulness of the Shenandoah mountains>>

We have lived in the Shenandoah Valley (Woodstock) for the last ten years and that exactly sums up our feelings. Glad you had such an enjoyable time in Virginia.
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Oct 15th, 2009, 07:03 PM
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Here's part two of our trip. We spent the next week at Col. Wmbg, Jamestown & Yorktown. We were nicely situated at Williamsburg Plantation condos which was a great place to call home for the week.
We headed to the Willamsburg Visitor Center & caught the bus for Jamestown Settlement. We did the 90 min walking tour of the settlement. We really enjoyed the thatched huts, ships that we boarded & walking around the village. Loved listening the history. They have a great museum as well. By afternoon we went back to Col Wmbg to watch a series of perfomances in the street. The actors make you feel like you are part of their time. We ate at Chownings Tavern (you don't need reservations there) & had a delightful time. A folk singer sang a ballad & the waiter brought us a game to play.
We bought the Triangle pass which allows you to visit Wmbg, Jamestown & Yorktown all week. We got good mileage out of it.
We loved Yorktown. The visitor center is super & outside we visited the encampment with tents, cannon reenactment, etc. Then we headed to Yorktown on the bay which was lovely. It was such a warm day so people were out sunbathing. We had lunch at the Carrot Tree(very reasonable too). The food was exceptional & the restaurant was one of the original houses of the town. The trees were in full bloom which made for beautiful street scenes. We walked the Bayfront & enjoyed a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone. We ended the day by doing an auto tour of the battlefields. They're marked & easy to find. Most humbling to be in an area where so many died.
We spent almost 3 days at Wmbg. What a time we had listening to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson & hearing the slaves talk about getting their freedom. We toured the Gov. mansion, Bruton Parish church & most all of the buildings. We enjoyed touring Rockefeller's home(Bassett House). We did go to the Wilke's museum one day when it was raining but it was rather overwhelming. I felt like I do when I go to a shopping center & can't find my way out. We ate at Trellis restaurant & had a wonderful meal. Also ate at Seasons but found it average.
A trip to Jamestown is worthwhile. There's the first church, statue of Pocahantas, excavation of townsite & a nice museum. Don't miss the glasshouse. They were blowing glass & demonstrating how they made lamps, etc
We visited Berkley Plantation & Williamsburg Winery as well. Our last day we ate at Food for Thought & had a very pleasant, enjoyable meal.
In all, we loved Virginia & in awe of all of the history there is to enjoy.
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Oct 16th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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Brings back memories of our past trips. Thanks for the report.
emalloy is online now  
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Oct 16th, 2009, 09:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Fun trip report....thank you for sharing your visit on the forum! It's a great part of the US to visit especially if you enjoy colonial american history.
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Oct 16th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Wow, you packed alot into your trip! I'm glad it went well. Thanks for the trip report.
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