Weekend Away in Charlottesville

Ok, I say Charlottesville but our weekend away was actually in White Hall, which is only 12 miles outside of Charlottesville but it felt like it could’ve been 80 miles because the long fence-lined roads seem like they go on forever. But anyway, back to my post…

If you know anything about me you’ll know that I love surprises. I love planning surprises and getting surprised by things. I don’t mind knowing that something is going to happen and not knowing all the details. I actually LOVE those moments and events because it means that I didn’t have to plan them. Amen to that. I also love to celebrate things – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, anything really that I can use as an excuse to plan a fun event.

So I planned a surprise weekend away for Blake and I just a few days after his 28th birthday. I wanted the whole thing to be a surprise and for the most part I was able to keep everything a secret. Success! You shouldn’t be shocked to find out that I had a list of all the things I wanted to do while we were there – the best hole in the wall resturants to visit, famous Dave Matthews hot spots, winery tastings, etc. I had some help from my cousing Hayley, who lives in Charlottesville during the school year and gave me some very helpful pointers on resturaunts and places to visit. I posted this photo about a week before the trip with all of our final plans, but blurred it out so Blake still had no idea what we had on the agenda.

The night before we were supposed to leave I had an endless list of things that needed to be done before our departure on Saturday morning. Among the list was cleaning out my car, packing, laundry, and straightening up the living room, front hall, kitchen, and my bedroom, in addition to a long list of errands and other around-the-house chores AFTER I help with a VBS camp until 8:00 that night.

So get this: I call Blake at the end of my lunch hour explaining how stressed I am about all the stuff I have to do and at that very moment, he is driving to my house to start attacking my long list of Things To Do. By the time I got home he had finished my entire list plus about 15 other things including yard work, sweeping the deck, and cleaning the kitchen. He even tackled cleaning my bathroom and straightened up all the shoes in the front hall.

A-MA-ZING.

On our way out of Virginia Beach, we ran by Chick-fil-A (of course) to get some breakfast for the road and also grabbed a whole bag of buffalo sauce for our deployed friend in Afghanistan. (Just an FYI to all you Chick-fil-A fans: get buffalo sauce when you go and give it to me. I’ll send it overseas and make some jet fighter pilots VERY happy!)

When we arrived in Charlottesville, we bypassed all the popular hot spots and found a tiny but infamous deli called The White Spot, which has been a part of Charlottesville life for over 50 years and has remained mostly unchanged since its humble beginnings on The Corner at UVA. The food was very typical diner food but my Gus Burger – a loaded cheeseburger topped with a fried egg – was about as good as they come. I knew we would have plenty of time to visit all of Charlottesville’s most popular spots but I usually like to find the small little places that most people might pass right by.

After lunch, we drove out to White Hall to find out cabin. We stayed in THE MOST ADORABLE cottage. It’s run like a Bed & Breakfast since it lies on the host’s property, but we had the cabin all to ourselves for the duration of the weekend. It was so cute we hardly ever wanted to leave!

We spent a few hours relaxing at the cabin (I’m telling you, we could’ve stayed there all weekend and we would’ve been perfectly happy), but I still had that long list of things I wanted to do while in c’ville so we were headed back into town.

We stopped by a local Wine Warehouse and got some great wine recommendations from local wineries. We also hit the World Market for some quick shopping (1) because I love that place and (2) because my roomate said they had great snacks but we were unimpressed. It turns out she meant to say Whole Foods, which is right across the street. Oh well.

Once we had a car stocked with local wines and a pillow I purchased at World Market (I just knew it would look perfect on my bed, which it does) we drove to Downtown Mall and walked along the streets reading menus until we finally decided on Miller’s for dinner. Miller’s is where Dave Matthews got his start – first as a bartender and then as a singer once one of his coworkers persuaded him to get up to the mic. The drinks were cold and the food was good. If you go there, I would definitely recommend the jalapeno hush puppies – they’re phenomenal. ‘Nuff said.

We wandered around Downtown Mall for a while longer looking through some of the shops until we remembered that we had wine in the car and an adorable little cottage to go back to – so our “activities” were done for the night.

Blake and I spent the rest of the evening (hours and hours we did this) sitting out on the porch of our cozy little cabin drinking wine and talking about life. It was definitely one of those moments you’ll remember forever, not for the high excitement level, but just because we were able to enjoy the simple parts of life that make a relationship worthwhile day after day.

Day Two was spent sleeping in. AMEN! And when we were finally able to drag ourselves out of the cabin, we headed back “into town” (we love saying that) and found Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. Bluegrass is a MUST for anyone visiting Charlottesville overnight. The wait for a table was a little long – about 30 minutes) but once we were seated the service was quick and the food was absolutely delicious. I ordered Bananas Foster Pancakes. I think they came down from heaven. I might consider driving back to Charlottesville one day just to eat here again soon. It was THAT good.

Oh, and they serve chocolate-covered bacon. Yes, please.

Blake and I both wanted to hit the Farmer’s Market in downtown after breakfast but because we slept in so late and then were very happy to wait 30 minutes for a table in order to eat pancakes from heaven, we missed the farmer’s market and by 12:30 they were packing up all the tents. Bummer.

So it was off to the next stop: the Monticello Trail. We really had no intention of visiting Monticello, especially when we found out it was going to cost us $24 each and do you know how many cheap bottles of wine we can buy and drink out on the porch for $24? Yeah, that was our thought process and there was no way we were about to spend that much money to look at a house. Been there, done that. It was called Newport, Rhode Island and it was worse than you could ever know.

Anyway, the Monticello Trail was beautiful and there were so many bridges that spanned across the side of the mountain, it made for a really gorgeous afternoon walk. And after our heart attack on a plate (see photo above) we were ready to work off some of those calories.

Next on our agenda was Blenheim Vineyards and Winery, which is owned by Dave Matthews. I wish I could say his wine was as good as his music but both the winery itself and the wine were quite disappointing. Womp womp…

Instead of wasting our money on a $17 bottle of so-so wine, we drove down the street to the Trump Winery, thoroughly enjoyed our tasting of 10 different wines and sparkling wines, and bought a $35 bottle of delicious white sparkling wine instead. Yum!

We drove back to The Corner for dinner at Mellow Mushroom. I know, I know… there are so many amazing little hole in the wall places to eat in Charlottesville and I went to Mellow Mushroom? Heck yeah I did. You know why? Cause they have good food. Like calzones. And pizza. And I was hungry. And so was Blake. So no, we didn’t see that most amazing restaurant right around the corner and instead we settled for a delicious plate of franchised goodness.

The night was topped off with an evening in front of the fire at our cabin, complete with wine, chocolate covered cherries and cheesecake from the VB Farmer’s Market, and all the pillows and blankets pulled into a big pile on the floor in front of the fireplace. Great end to the night and weekend.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! 🙂 And I’m glad yall went to White Spot, it’s definitely a legend! Also, it’s Jack’s favorite because they have grilled cheese…

  2. Michelle says:

    How do I find this cabin you stayed in?

    • Michelle, it’s called the Langley Cottage and you should be able to google it. It was actually right outside of Charlottesville and is a cottage on someone else’s property that they occasionally rent out. Good luck!

  3. Michelle says:

    Thanks!

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