A quick autumn excursion.
11.10.2008 - 12.10.2008 18 °C
This weekend we flew the plane over to Abingdon, VA. A quick 30 minute flight and we were nestled in this quaint little town, that was literally bursting with fall color.
Abingdon is primarily known for it's famous Barter Theater and the old Martha Washington Inn. Having been several times, this trip was just for a little R&R, so we didn't hit the show and we opted to stay at a quaint B&B just off Main St. The Love House was very cozy. It had everything I was looking for in a stay: comfy room with a fireplace and a huge soaking tub, lots of old charm, walking distance to everything, and a snack room with the best gingerbread chocolate chip cookies ever.
Main Street in historic Abingdon is lined with gorgeous historic buildings that are now filled with quaint shops, art galleries, cafes, and antique stores. Maples line the streets and in October, they put on a brilliant show in oranges, reds, and golds.
I had to make a stop in the new Ellis Soda Shoppe. Housed in an old Pharmacy building, this great eatery kept all the beautiful old oak shelving and fixtures from the original pharmacy. There was even an old wooden pharmacy window. They've got an old fashioned soda fountain counter in the back and they serve up a good old fashioned sundae.
After some strolling, a little shopping, and a huge Tin Roof Sundae, it was time to work off a few calories. We went to the bike shop and rented a couple of bikes and rode them over to the Creeper Trail.
The Creeper Trail is 35 miles long and is a very well maintained path for biking, walking, or jogging. We saw folks riding, walking their dogs, and kids were running along the treeline jumping enthusiastically in the air trying to catch the leaves as they fell. The trail winds through the woods, past beautiful rolling farmland, over creeks, and across bridges. I'd love to do the entire 35 mile trail, but since it was sort of a last minute idea, we only had time to go 5 miles before we had to turn around and go back.
I have to admit, I am a tad awkward on a bike. Okay, I am a lot awkward on a bike. If I go slow, I get all wobbly and pathetic, so I have to keep my speed up, which makes me tired. I had a great time, though. The views were just beautiful and it was cool and breezy. I loved seeing the dappled sunlight flitting through the treetops as the breeze caught the golden leaves and swirled them around overhead. It was such a beautiful fall day.
After the bike ride, I took a long walk and just enjoyed the views. I found some abandoned old house that were being taken by colorful vines, old brick buildings covered with bright green ivy, old wooden barns covered with Virginia Creeper that was changing in a brilliant display of color: red, orange, yellow, and green.
After reading for a while by a nice fire and having some of those GREAT gingerbread cookies, it was time for dinner. I chose Wildflour Cafe, a few miles from Main Street. In an old farmhouse, the chef creates a very unique menu with offerings like Baked Grits with Gouda and Shrimp, Parmesan and Vegetable Pasta, or Sundried Tomato Crostini.
The next morning, the inn served a fantastic breakfast. Wow. I don't think I have ever had a 3 course breakfast before. It started off with a fresh fruit plate and orange juice. Melon and berries with a mint garnish started things off great. Next was a baked egg dish with peppers, onions, and cheese; breakfast potatoes; and bacon with hot coffee. This was followed by pancakes topped with maple syrup and baked bananas topped with whipped cream. Can you say yum?
After breakfast, needing to walk some of that food off, we headed to White's Mill, just 4 miles down the road, but 200 years back in time.
We were able to tour the old mill which, by the way, STILL produces buckwheat flour, grits, and cornmeal. Three stories tall, it still houses most of the old wooden millworks. What a fascinating and beautiful piece of history.
Then it was time to head home. We were only there 24 hours, but what a great day it was. It was a great jump start to fall. It was a wonderful weekend to welcome this beautiful time of year. A time of year that is so wonderful and lasts such a short period of time. A time of crisp mornings, filled with the smell of burning leaves, blue skies framed in golden leaves, corn mazes and pumpkin patches. So....get out there and enjoy it...it will be gone before you know it.