A Family-Friendly Adventure
The blaze of fall color on Route 15 brings any family to a blissful state of mind. Lost tempers (and lost chargers) were forgiven as we pulled up to our family cabin at Blue Green Vacations Resort. After checking in, we explored the grounds and monkeyed around on the playground.
The Market at Grelen was a fantastic afternoon destination. The kids were eager to pick apples on the orchard, so we called ahead to arrange box-lunch picnics. The wraps were perfectly proportioned for little hands, and the hard cider was crisp and celebratory. After our picnic, we plucked apples from the trees.
While a pick-your-own adventure would have been plenty, Grelen’s nature trails were too tempting to pass by. The kids skipped ahead on the trails, and we snagged couples time as we strolled along.
Before heading back, we took a family snap at the LOVE sign to commemorate a day of fresh air and fresh perspectives.
History with Heart
As empty-nesters, we favor destinations that keep us learning. Unapologetic history buffs, we dove into Orange County’s colonial beginnings.
Kicking off our theme, we checked into the historic 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards, a stunning plantation home overlooking the Barboursville ruins. The period furnishings and the rural setting transported us back to early America.
At James Madison’s Montpelier, we took the “Mere Distinction of Color” tour. Compelling and candid, the tour reminded us that our futures depend on the lessons taught by the past.
We stopped in the Town of Orange to explore the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, from suggestion of an article we found by the Getaway Mavens, “Of course, Madison and his wife, Dolly, are the centerpiece of this museum, but it also covered the Black, Native American, and agricultural history of Orange County. In fact, the old massive garage bay now holds an array of antique farming equipment and one huge surprise: a completely reconstructed Alexander Spotswood’s Arjalon Price House – a 16 ft. square 1733 tenant house.” We are glad we added this stop to our trip! Such a gem full of history.
Then we headed to Gordonsville for shopping and dinner. Gordonsville’s restored storefronts give downtown an authentic American feel. After finding folk art at an antique store, we toasted our day with a glass of Viognier Reserve and a French Kiss Sandwich at Well Hung Vineyard. Blogger Swirl, Sip, Snark perhaps best described their vineyard by writing “The name might be fun, but the wine is no joke.” Agreed.
Gal Pals Go Gourmet
Adulting had gotten the best of us. When the pressures of productivity ran over, we planned a girls’ getaway to Orange County’s wine country.
There’s something transformative about walking over the threshold of a cottage at The Inn at Willow Grove. From the essential oils in the air to the elegance of the linens, it changes your mood from frazzled to fabulous. Without missing a beat, we changed into our robes and booked treatments at their 3,000-square-foot spa.
After a morning of pampering, we hit the wine trail, courtesy of Central Virginia Wine Tours. Our tour kept us sipping safely, learning fun facts about the local vineyards—and debating our favorites. While we loved every sip of Honah Lee’s chardonnay, Barboursville Vineyards Allegrante Rosé was another prime pick!
The drinks and nibbles we enjoyed on our excursion were plentiful, but a Chef’s Table Dinner at Vintage proved the ultimate treat. The cuisine was perfection and the setting was pristine.
As we headed back to the reality at the close of the weekend, we felt ready to take on the real world again. But Orange County won’t be in the rearview for long; the girls will return soon!