We had a nice little getaway this past weekend. Tom and I, along with his brother Ryan and his wife Jen, holed up in a cabin in the Shenandoah to spend some quality time together and get in touch with nature (without having to camp, which I’m not particularly good at – at all).
We left after work Friday, not always the best choice for weekend travel out of DC due to all the traffic, and arrived at our cabin in Rileyville, Virginia late in the evening.
We cuddled up with our pups next to the fire to chat over glasses of wine before braving the below freezing temperatures to get in the hot tub on the back deck.
^ Ryan and Jen with Ashton’s cousin Whiskey. They tried to get along, but didn’t always succeed. Ashton is kind of a crotchety old man.
The next morning, we woke up to coffee and views, before heading out for a day of exploration.
We had a quick lunch at Crazy Carl’s sub shop, where we had delicious sandwiches and fantastic service, in Front Royal, before checking out a few wineries in the area. Our first stop was Chester Gap Cellars nearby.
^ View from the back Patio at Chester Gap. We were hoping to see more Fall colors, but the recent cold spell and wild winds have blown them all away. The mountain vistas and clear blue skies were still beautiful, even contrasted by bare trees.
During our last Virginia getaway, several people had recommended we check out this winery, but we didn’t have time. I was glad to finally taste their wines. My favorite of the four they were tasting was the 2011 Roussane, the first I’ve had in Virginia. It was unlike any Virginia white I’ve ever tasted, in that they made it in the Gewurztraminer style. I loved the fresh, crisp fruit flavors and that it had a lot of body for a white. I am already dreaming up dozens of dishes to pair with it.
Next, we went to Glen Manor – because it was so good last time and we needed stock back up on on their Rose and Sauvignon Blanc.
The days keep getting shorter, and the drive up the mountain to our cabin was a bit treacherous, so after making a quick stop at the quirky Miller Winery in downtown Front Royal and grabbing coffees at the Daily Grind nearby we headed back to our home away from home.
We’d hoped to catch the sunset, but it was blocked by a patch of tree to the left.
Still pretty though. I’m a beach gal at heart, but there is a lot to be said about the mountains. The weather was pretty cold the entire trip, but with views like that, it’s easier to deal with.
When the sunlight was completely gone, we cooked steaks on the grill and had a family dinner with a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Maggie Malick’s Wine Caves and then had another fun night in with games and cookies and more soaking in the hot tub.
It was one of those great vacations that actually felt like a vacation. We left recharged and ready for the week. Now I’m going to spend the next few weeks fantasizing about buying my own little cabin in the woods…