Monday, July 01, 2019

2019 East Coast Trip - Day 3 [Shenandoah Valley]

The plan for the day was to explore the Shenandoah Valley. I originally thought that we were going to get up early and go. Sharon and Jack decided that we should meet for breakfast.

Picking up Jack, we started towards some place that Sharon had been before on Wisconsin, but it was closed. We looped back and ended up having breakfast at Saxby's at the end of Jack's block.

We finally got rolling out of Washington about 10:30 am. I always had some trepidation about the plan for the day. Sharon talked about getting all the way to Natural Bridge and then coming back to Lexington to spend the night. It seemed to me like a lot of ground to cover.

Once we got into the valley, we stopped in Strasburg at a visitor center to replace a map the we had misplaced. From there, we drove down Highway 11 to Edinburg. Looking at Shenandoah Valley wine trails, I had picked out the Wolf Gap Winery as the first stop. This turned out to be a fairly good choice. It had great views and some drinkable wines. The owner was interesting; he was retired air force special ops and CIA.

At the Wolf Gap Vineyards and Winery

After the winery, we wandered down Highway 42 to Harrisonburg. At this point, we jumped on the I-81 to Staunton. We made a late stop at Taco Bell for a quick bite!

In Staunton, we headed to the Woodrow Wilson Museum and Presidential Library. I read a Wilson biography four years ago. We took a guided tour of the manse (the house that Wilson was born in) and wandered the museum. Although there was an interesting World War I trench exhibit downstairs, I was underwhelmed.

Sharon's brother Tom had given us two churches to explore. Their family [the Frames] can trace their roots back through the Shenandoah Valley. We stopped at the Augusta Stone Church. Wandering the graveyard, we were actually able to find two Frame headstones.

We also made a quick stop at the Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church. I was less impressed with this building. Wandering through two graveyards, we weren't able to find any Frame headstones.

Back on the road, we decide to save Natural Bridge for the next day. We headed straight to the hotel in Lexington. We are spending one night at The Georges Inn. Thinking that Jack would be with us, we booked a larger suite. It was a very nice room although I needed a sherpa to help me with the luggage.

After getting settled in the room, we had an adult beverage in the Taps restaurant at the hotel. Sharon was disappointed that several restaurants in the town, including the Red Hen, were closed on Monday.

We ended up wandering down the street to the Southern Inn for a late dinner. Sharon had FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS [Fresh Brussels Sprouts, Parmesan Cheese, Peppadew-Bacon Aioli] and LAMB MEATBALLS [Lamb Meatballs, Tzatziki, Grilled Flatbread, Micro Greens], while I had BLACKENED CHICKEN PENNE PASTA [Penne Pasta tossed with Blackened Chicken, Fresh Spinach, Roasted Red Peppers, Sun Dried Tomato Butter and Toasted Pine Nuts].

After wandering down the street to check out the Red Hen, we crashed in the room.

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