Travel Stage: Left West Virginia -> Fishersville, Virginia
Travel Date: November 5 – 9, 2015
Summary: After our lovely time in West Virginia, we pack up and head to Fishersville, Virginia where we park on our cousins’ farm for a few days, play with their kids, ride some horses, taste some wine, and overall have a splendid time!
Our time in West Virginia came to an end, and we headed over to Fishersville, Virginia. We had more family there willing to lend us a parking spot on their farm. Fishersville lies in the scenic Shenandoah Valley between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern part of Virginia. It has easy access to main attractions such as the Shenandoah National Park, Monticello, Virginia Wine Country, and is only 2 hours from Washington, D.C. Tom’s cousin Becky and her husband George have a beautiful farm perched atop a hill overlooking the valley and the rolling mountains beyond. This was our first time visiting them and Caitlin’s first time to Virginia, and we were amazed!
Our parking spot was more than we had hoped for: our spot next to their barn meant an incredible view and some very pleasant and curious neighbors, Bo and Smokey.
Our “neigh”bors right outside our window! Bo and Smokey.
And though we were only here for a few days, we packed in a lot of fun! Becky and George have three beautiful girls, Caroline, Ella, and Grace. Our young cousins had soccer games and ballet practice, as well as slack line and zip line to play on in their yard.
Caroline, Ella, and Grace hanging with us in the RV.
Together we also explored the nearby town of Staunton (pronounced “Stanton”) which is home to the Blackfriars Playhouse
– a nearly exact replica of the famous playhouse that Shakespeare and his original works performed in. In this playhouse, the American Shakespeare Center performs these works in their original staging conditions! See Vlog #6 for footage of this amazing theatre. (Link at bottom of blog post)
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
We visited the Shenandoah National Park
for a beautiful day of hiking on a (teeny tiny) section the Appalachian Trail. We only explored a small portion of the 200,000-acre park, but you could easily spend days hiking and sightseeing in there!
Becky, Caitlin, and Tom at an overlook in Shenandoah National Park.
In Virginia, we also had our first out-of-Michigan wine tasting experience. Virginia actually has more than 250 wineries in 9 regions across the state. After experimenting with wine growth at his home at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson (yes, the president) predicted that Virginia wine would be successful over 200 years ago. He was a passionate wine connoisseur, and we daresay he would be impressed. We were! We tasted at Veritas and Afton Mountain Vineyards, and both were gorgeous estates. As Afton Mountain says, “Grapes don’t grow in ugly places.”
We found out more about our curious equine neighbors as the days went on. George had been a national champion ring-jouster, and Bo and Smokey were more than your typical trail-rider. Jousting is one of the longest running sports, dating back to the Middle Ages. Today, instead of trying to knock one’s opponent from their mount, riders aim to capture consecutively smaller rings on their pointed lance as they gallop down a timed track. The horse and rider have to move precisely to hit their targets!
Though they don’t joust anymore, they were still fun to ride. Caitlin and George took them out for a ride around the property before we left.
The warmth and generosity of everyone as we embark on this journey has been amazing! We also are so grateful that this journey is allowing us to spend quality time with wonderful people to form lasting relationships that otherwise we wouldn’t have the time for.
Today we give thanks for our families and friends, kind strangers we meet along the way, and for this amazing opportunity to take our time and explore!Happy Thanksgiving!
Check out Vlog #5 for the end of our West Virginia experience and our trip to Virginia. ^^