We left the trailhead near the Art Loeb trail to drive to Charlottesville, Virginia where John’s Uncle Rich lives. This was a long drive to make straight through. We initially set out to take the Blue Ridge Parkway a majority of the way, but the fog didn’t allow for any views and the curvy mountain road was stressful to negotiate in our 22 foot van, so we headed to the interstate. Once arriving at Rich’s house in Charlottesville, we were treated to a nice tapas dinner downtown with Rich and his girlfriend Nancy.
We enjoyed a relaxing weekend at Rich’s, taking time to rest and do a little research for the next leg of our adventure. On Saturday, we took a quick jaunt downtown to hit up the local farmers’ market, the Charlottesville City Market. This is one of the largest farmers’ markets I have visited, rivaling NYC’s Union Square Greenmarket.
On Sunday we took a short bike ride around Rich’s neighborhood. I kicked John’s butt racing up a steep hill, and just to rub it in, coasted down and climbed up it again while he recovered in the shade. (Full disclosure, this was not a fair race. I have 6 gears and he only has 3.) After the bike ride we visited Nancy’s nearby horse farm.
On Monday, Rich took us to Carter Mountain Orchard where he treated us to peach ice cream and apple cider donuts before we decided that maybe we should eat some actual lunch. We headed back downtown to Rich’s friend Bill’s restaurant and wine shop, Tastings of Charlottesville. The restaurant was closed for Labor Day, but we found Bill relaxing in his other business, the Court Street Tavern. Bill generously offered to make lunch for us back at Tastings, and we were certainly grateful for the delicious portobello mushroom sandwich and Caesar’s salad he whipped up for us!