Friday, October 26, 2012

Charlottesville Weekend

A couple weeks ago the boy and I went to Charlottesville for UVA's Homecomings weekend. It was a pretty spontaneous decision to go. I had been telling him how I missed Charlottesville and wished I was going down for Homecoming. We had a busy month coming up that would make it tough for us to take another trip this fall, so he called around and miraculously found a room at the Red Roof Inn on the Corner. It totally caught me off guard and left me grinning at my desk at work. He's a keeper.

Saturday morning we packed up the car and made the drive down tree-lined route 29. Immediately after we checked in, we headed over to a friend's room on the Range, where we had a great time tailgating.  UVA students traditionally tailgate on the Lawn (although it seems they put the kibosh on that on the undergrad side a bit), which is the central fixture of the University and is headed by Jefferson's iconic Rotunda. The Range is a row of historical rooms of either side of the lawn reserved for grad students.

We picked up some tickets on the way over to the game, where we hung out long enough for UVA to score twice and sing the Good Old Song. And then Maryland scored again and our group left. A lot of other schools like to knock UVA on the football front. To this I say: meh. The football team is by no means the numero uno reason anyone (except perhaps the football team) goes to UVA, it's a bonus. If the team wins, we have a great time. If the team loses, we still have a pretty good time, as was the case that day. And yes, my outfit was cute. I wore this orange shirt from Banana Republic, an orange and blue scarf, jeans, and riding boots. Wish I had a picture. 

After the game, the we picked up some Bodos bagels, coffee, and put on some warmer coats in preparation for the Young Alumni Reunion. For $7 each we got to enjoy all you can drink beer and all you can eat food, and dancing in the middle of Grounds (campus). The event has gotten really popular, although this was my last year as a young alumnus (tear). Again, wish I had a picture. 

Sunday morning we got up and went to Take it Away, one of my favorite sandwich places in Charlottesville. It's a lot like the Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, VA.  I've heard that they have the same owner, but I can't find any sources to confirm it. 

After enjoying our sandwiches across the street by the Rotunda, we snapped a few photos.

Isn't the Lawn beautiful? The Rotunda was under construction, but I just love the pavilions. Each one is different and its own study in architecture. The gardens behind them are especially cool. The gardens on the east side of the Lawn cascade down a hill and are wild and whimsical. And the serpentine walls aren't just for aesthetics--they actually provide a strong structure so that the walls can be built one brick thick. There are a lot of interesting facts about the Lawn that I'd love to nerd out and tell you, but I'll stop. You can learn more about it here.

After my photo stop on the Lawn, we headed up (literally) to another one of my favorite Charlottesville spots, Carter Mountain Orchard. I actually don't care at all about apple picking, I just love the views from the top of this mountain. And they have amazing apple cider donuts.

The mountain was PACKED. It seriously took us about 30 minutes to drive up the hill, and we parked what seemed liked forever away from the Apple Barn. They were even discouraging people to go to other orchards via their facebook page:

As you can see, it was totally worth the wait.

After Carter Mountain we headed to another Bodo's Bagels location and got one last meal before we left town. 

I wanted to go to U-Fab, a discount fabric store in Richmond and Charlottesville, but it is unfortunately closed on Sundays, so we didn't make any more stops. On our way home, we stopped at my parents house to celebrate my little brother's birthday. 

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but totally worth it. Charlottesville in the fall makes me so happy. Virginia can be But one thing is for sure: it is gorgeous. I seriously love this place. I highly recommend all you DC transplants take some time to explore all the Commonwealth has to offer, and that Charlottesville be the first stop on your list!

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