Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Part One - Charlottesville, VA: Off the Mall

I mentioned last Friday that I was headed to Charlottesville, VA with my best friend for the weekend, and I'm back this week with a lot of photographs to share with you! Brigid and I had been planning this trip for weeks and were both really excited to explore an area relatively new to us. These kind of trips always have a bittersweet element to them because you look forward to them for so long and then, in the blink of an eye, they've come and gone. But really, the weekend was exactly what we had in mind, and exactly what I needed to feel refreshed and relaxed for the next few weeks. I am already daydreaming about another long weekend, a new locale (oh hey New England states!) and more fun memories.

If you've ever been to the Charlottesville area, you probably know that it's sort of famous for a few things: the Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home), the University of Virginia, an area referred to as "the mall," myriad wineries and (to us anyway) the home of a one, Dave Matthews. We knew that we wouldn't hit every area, and in our limited time, I think we did pretty well in terms of seeing what Charlottesville has to offer. Here are some photographs, if you'd like to see...

I actually took this photo just a few miles outside of Charlottesville at a pull off for a scenic overlook. I honestly don't think I can count the number of times that one of us commented on how beautiful the area was. It was the perfect time to go, as the trees were abundant with green leaves. 

We had a late lunch/early dinner on Friday afternoon at this historic landmark, the Michie Tavern. Supposedly the tavern supplied travelers with sustenance and lodging 200+ years ago and today, recreates the experience for people passing through Charlottesville. 

Traditional Southern food: fried chicken (probably some of the best I've had), green beans, beets, stewed tomatoes (delicious), black eyed peas, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and cornbread.

The peach cobbler couldn't be resisted.

The food here was delicious, as evidenced by my nearly empty plate in the picture above. 
The tavern is located about a half mile below the Monticello, which sadly we were a little too late to see. Next time, TJ.

A note to businesses: if you're going to provide a quesionnaire, please don't expect serious answers.

We stopped by the general store, right beside the tavern, before heading out.
 I picked up my first souvenir here, a teeny white ceramic elephant creamer, which is going to function mostly as a vase for small flowers.

Next stop: Boar's Head Spa
I booked our manicures at the Boar's Head about a week in advance, which ended up being a good idea - the place was booked solid for the entire day. And for good reason! We had a lovely and relaxing experience here.

Pick a color, any color.
 It took me forever to choose!

Brig went with fuchsia.
It was around this time that Brigid accidentally chipped her nail and asked for it to be fixed before we left. Since this is something I would never do, I commented that I wished I had a little bit more of her initiative. From this point onward, our trip served as a foundation for life's rules.
Rule #1: Just ASK!! (the worst you can hear is no)

Beautiful grounds.
Though we only went with the short & simple manicure, the spa offers a variety of tempting treatments, from facials to body wraps. I feel sure I'll be coming back here for more in the future. 

I had heard about Bodos Bagels from multiple sources before our trip and knew I wanted to pay a visit to this popular spot. I've read in so many different places that most of today's bagels aren't authentic, but these really are: they're chewy, have a tightly woven crumb and are delicious with egg and bacon.
Rule #2: If you are using a public restroom, toilet seat covers double as face blotters


BoJoe (clever, eh?) and a pretty manicured thumb.

We had so much fun off the mall in Charlottesville, but tomorrow I'll be taking you on a small tour of the mall area. Stay tuned for food, local businesses and more of life's rules!!

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