With a tourism slogan like that, it's somewhat ironic I was on my way to Virginia with my family just 8 hours after I posted about love. Being here (at home) is becoming more challenging with each passing day. I'm both eager to get away from it all and fearful of leaving a mess behind, and I hate that. But, as much as I needed to reveal a little, I'd honestly rather not think about it anymore. Most of us were on "vacation" in the "Old Dominion" for a few hours and it was lovely.
Driving to Virginia was quite the trek so we stopped in the small town of Frederick, Maryland for dinner. It was cute and they made good beer. I thoroughly enjoyed a 1634 ale, green salad, and fish and chips at Brewer's Alley.
From one historic town to another, we arrived at The Mimsyln Inn before sunset.
An early night meant an early morning. I ran at the Inn's gym and ate a filling Southern breakfast of scrambled eggs and grits before 9am. Then, following a work-related Skype meeting and a few hours of productivity, I went out to explore Luray with my mom. Our first stop? Warehouse Art Gallery.
Our second stop? Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Cafe where we sat with iced teas and I got a better look at the book I'd picked up from the used bookstore in town.
Our third, fourth, and fifth stops? Antique shops; there are oh-so-many in Luray.
Eventually, we went to pick up my dad from the driving range, ordered lunches to go, and drove out to Wisteria Vineyard and Farm.
Come on, I couldn't visit a state with a wine country and not taste it. I love wine.After nine tastings, a walk through the vineyard, and a visit to the farm, we made our way back to the Mimslyn Inn to wash up and join my sister and Rocio for dinner. They insisted on a haphazard photo shoot on the way out.
We dined at Artisans Grill, a supporter of locally-grown food, a winner of "The Best Burgers in Virginia" award, and a server of local Starr Hill Brewery beers.
Even my veggieburger was awesome.
The next morning, as my family leisurely awoke, I scarfed down a complimentary muffin and headed out for a hike in Shenandoah National Park.
Come on, I couldn't visit a state with a gorgeous mountain range and not hike it.
By 10am, I reunited my mom, dad, sister, and Rocio. It was time to head home.
We couldn't possibly have made it all the way without a real meal though, so we stopped in the Frost Diner for brunch. The coffee with real cream, scrambled farm-fresh eggs, and homemade pancakes with real butter hit all the right spots.
In the midst of the imperfectness, it was another family vacation for the books.