Saturday, May 29, 2010
One Fabulous Friday Date!
Earlier this week, my husband declared that we needed a date, so we set Friday as the time to take a drive into Virginia. We'd heard predictions of rain and storms for most of the week, but yesterday, we woke up to beautiful skies and warm temps... not too hot, just right! I left in the morning just before 10 for my singing gig with the old folks at the skilled nursing care facility nearby. Our dog Abby walked me to the door, and she looked so hopeful, as if she wanted to take a little trip with me. I've promised the old folks, and Abby, that I'd get the records of her shots from the vet so she can become a regular visitor. The old folks will enjoy it, and I think Abby will make a great pet therapy dog too... she'll love all the attention and pats!
When I returned home, I couldn't bear the thought of leaving Abby behind again, so we put her water dish, a bottle of water, and her leash in the car, and she hopped right in, ready to go on our little trip across the state line. We headed up into Virginia to eat at a little cafe in Meadows of Dan. On the way we stopped at a couple places to check out the view and let Abby stretch her legs. The air was cooler up that way, though it was a hazy day at times.
We ate on the porch of the cafe so that Abby could have a clear view of us, and I could easily take a few steps to the car to give her some lunchtime treats off my plate. It worked out quite well, and she got to stroll through the yard beside the cafe before we got back in the car.
After lunch, we decided on the spur of the moment to visit Chateau Morrisette Winery which is only a few more miles from Meadows of Dan. We traveled the back country roads where we enjoyed many a field full of cows, wildfowers, and lots of summery green! And what a delight when we arrived at the winery! With the Blue Ridge Mountains as the background and long, rolling green fields and gardens at our feet, we strolled around the grounds with Abby on her leash and I took some photos of the sights.
This last photo is the gift shop, wine-tasting room, and location for the start of the winery tour. I'd already decided that I'd like to take home a bottle of white, so we put Abby back in the car and went into the shop. After looking around a bit, we figured we better do a wine tasting so I'd know what I wanted to buy. Five bucks a person... you can't beat that, and of course you get to keep the wine glass too. Our first glass was poured as we explained where we were from and that we had our dog in the car. "Well, bring her on in here! We're dog friendly!" said our server. John went out to the car as the woman explained that the staff's dogs are often found roaming the shop and the grounds. And yes, here came two sweet pups around several cases of wine! Abby was the perfect dog; she said hello to the other dogs and then sat at our feet or stretched out on the cool tile floor. And she even got some pats and tummy rubs from other folks in the shop.
So here's the perfect winery, we decided. Many of their labels are named for dogs, their "bundles" of wines are called Kennel Packs, and one of their wines, Independence, benefits a Service Dog charity. This is my kind of place, for sure! We decided right away that we'd return with some friends for lunch at the Chateau Morrisette Restaurant (I've already checked out the menu and they are vegetarian-friendly too!) and an afternoon on the grounds where we can bring our guitars and spend the time drinking wine and singing and enjoy the beauty of this location amid the Blue Ridge Mountains.
So yes, we picked out two bottles of wine and got back into the car, this time getting on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit where we saw some gorgeous fire azaleas. Here in the lower elevations, the azaleas finished blossoming about three weeks ago or more, but there were so many on the parkway.
So I'll leave you with these last two photos of our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains... enjoy! And have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!