Category Archives: Virginia

Trotting through Turkey Run Park and Checking out the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Mclean, Virginia

About the Trip

On Saturday, we at the last minute decided to go to…wait for it….it’s epic…..Turkey Run Park. I pass it every day on the way to/from work, but had never been and it was only a hop, skip, and jump away from home. It’s a cute little park and you’d never know that it ran alongside a major highway. We parked in the C-1 section and walked down the very steep hill and were given the choice to go west or east on the Potomac Heritage Trail. You know us, we chose the longer trail that offered more solitude…so we headed east. The trail runs alongside the Potomac River, making it a very serene hike. Most of the leaves were just barely hanging onto the trees…but some trees were still showing off their bold colors. The part of the trail that we were hiking takes you all the way down to the Theodore Roosevelt Island and it’s not a straight and narrow path..it’s actually pretty rocky and with the newly fallen and damp leaves on the rocks it made it extra slippery, so we recommend hiking boots or shoes with ankle support (Dave wished that he could have worn his hiking boots, but he’s working with Merrell on getting a new pair.) Ladies, I’d also recommend to double check that you are wearing your hiking socks and not your husband’s. I was wondering the whole time why I had to keep stopping and yanking up my socks. It wasn’t until I got home that it dawned on me that these weren’t even my socks! Dave took a look at them and confirmed that they were indeed his and wondered how they ended up in my sock drawer. As an aside, socks seem to have a mind of their own don’t they? They’re so fickle as they always wander off and abandon their mate to be with the irresistible sock monster.

[warning]At Turkey Run, be on the alert for unruly jumping and drooling dogs not kept on leashes.[/warning]

Anyway, after our little hike, our curiosity got the best of us and we wanted to go to the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, which is right down the road from the Turkey Run Park. “What was this place all about?” we muttured to ourselves as we followed the signs to the farm. This is when I infamously chimed in to say, “See, if we had an IPhone, then we would know!” Well, we are here to tell you that if you like farm animals and have an interest in the 18th century, then you should visit this place if you’re ever in the area. Claude Moore is a living history farm that takes you back to the year 1771. You will meet the Bradley family (volunteers who dress up in colonial costumes) and they actually run the farm as it was run long ago. The admission is $3.00 for adults and it takes about an hour to go through. The farm has annual events that you can attend, and they host an 18th century market fair about 6 times a year.

So, after we paid our way and browsed through the cozy gift shop, we walked down the dirt path which led us to Mr. Bradley. His tobacco was drying in the shed. We had obviously missed the recent harvest, which Dave was pretty bummed about. We were greeted by two very curious gray and white geese, who followed each other everywhere and were just the best of friends. We also met the turkey and his two lady turkey friends. We asked Mr. Bradley the tough questions such as, “Is this turkey going to end up on your table for Thanksgiving?” to which he responded, “Why would we eat our family gardener?” We paused at that….how ignorant of us to only think of a turkey as an annual food source. We met the Bradley sisters and I helped them make beeswax candles while sitting in front of a fire. I didn’t realize how long this candle-making process was going to take. It was quite the monotonous process. So, to save some time, I gave my nicely developing candle to a little girl, who was grossed out by the farm animals and the nipping geese. (Perhaps it was best that she was born in the 21st century.) Next, we followed the path to meet the snorting and dozing hogs, the playful cows, the ruling roosters and the pecking hens, as well as Mrs. Bradley.

[warning]Mr. Bradley explained that turkey nips are much worse than goose nips…so maintain your distance from the turkeys.[/warning]

And that about sums up our day at the farm. We ended the afternoon by picking up pizza at Pizza Boli’s. You can’t get a better pizza for less than $10.00.

[info] Lesson of the day: Curiosity does not always kill the cat. [/info]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

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  • Panasonic FZ-8
  • Water bottle
  • Hiking pants and fleece jackets
  • Hiking boots and sneakers, which we do not recommend)
  • Sunglasses
  • Visors/hats

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HIGHLIGHTS

Our favorite part was…drum roll….the geese! I know, you see geese everywhere, but these are known as the “domestic” geese and they’re so cool when you see them up close. And they really liked Dave too as you can see in the pictures…I swear he’s the animal whisperer. All he said was, “Come on guys”, and they hypnotically followed him down the dirt path. I felt so left out! So I just hung back and documented the event. Dave’s mom used to have a pet goose, so perhaps there’s just something about their personalities that the geese like.

LIVE AND LEARN

Now that we know more about the farm, we might check out some of its events throughout the year and maybe even go to the market fair (Perhaps I can improve upon my currently horrendous bartering skills……see failed bartering experience story here.


Show me the dough

Round trip=28 miles=~ $3.00
Claude Moore admission fee X 2 adults =$6.00
Pizza= $9.80

GRAND TOTAL: $18.80


PHOTOS

Luray Caverns (Luray, VA)

WHEN:

June 5, 2011

CONDITIONS:

87 degrees and partly cloudy but humid

ABOUT THE TRIP:

“Luray, Luray, Luray, Luray, if we go to Luray, will you stop saying Luray?!” says Dave.  “Yes, I will!”  And so that is how we ended up going to Luray.  It wasn’t as early of a start as we had liked because we were gulping down margaritas and were having a bit too much fun at Dave’s graduation party last night.  Congrats again Dave on your MBA!  So we headed out at around 9:30 am.  We arrived at Luray around 11:30 am.  I have to reserve a moment of silence for the poor little squirrel who Dave desperately tried to avert.  The beeping horn and the split second decision as to which way to turn the wheel just wasn’t enough to prevent well…you know.  RIP Ricky the Squirrel.

We thought for sure that we were going to end up in a long line, but we purchased our tickets and stood in line for less than 5 minutes!  Our tour group consisted of roughly 20 people.  We hung out in the back of the group in order to properly document the event.  We gave up hearing the tour guides spiel in order to show you what we saw!!  You’re welcome!  The cave was spectacular.  Can we say, Stalagmites, Stalactites, and Helictites oh my!  This place is a must-see and a true geological gem.  Our tour was about an hour long and afterwards we headed over to the Car and Carriage Museum as well as the Frontier Museum across the street.  The car museum was cool.  It’s a fast walk-through and they have a rare and substantial collection.  The Frontier Museum nicely displayed and housed the typical furniture/clothing/tools/weapons of the 19th and early 20th century.  Other than the museum, there’s not much else to see.  There are the obligatory parent tourist traps, i.e the $7.00/person Garden Maze and the $7.00 “mine for gold and gems” at the museum.  I would have liked to walk the maze, but c’mon–$7.00?

WHAT WE BROUGHT:

[listcheck]

  • Canon Powershot SD1000
  • 1 Camelbak without the bladder
  • 2 PBJs
  • a bag of almonds
  • Water
  • Sunglasses
  • Fleeces (the caves are a constant 54 degrees)
  • Sneakers
  • Comfy clothes

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HIGHLIGHTS:

Obviously the cave!  Dream Lake was definitely our favorite site on the tour.  The water is perfectly still which creates a mirrored image of the stalactites above.  The bellies of the cave (the really large and open parts) were also spectacular sites.

[info] Bring a light jacket, sweater, or hoodie as it gets chilly in the cave! [/info]

LIVE AND LEARN:

Had we left earlier, we may have tried to squeeze a hike in as we were in Shenandoah, but other than that, we have no regrets!


SHOW ME THE DOUGH:

Fuel cost: 180 miles round trip = $24.00
Tickets X 2= $34.50.  (HINT: We used our Giant card and got one of our tickets for half off!)
1 magnet= $3.14

GRAND TOTAL: $61.14


PHOTOS:

Breaux Vineyard

Breaux Vineyards, Purcellville, VA

[confirmation]Experience level: N/A | Handle your liquor :)[/confirmation]

About the Trip

One of our favorite couples,  Natalie and Mike, from our native state of Delaware came down to visit us over the weekend.  (This is Natalie and Mike’s first debut on DayTripping Duo!)  Dave and I did some research and thought that it would be great to take our guests to one of the local wineries.  We traveled to Breaux Vineyards, located in Purcellville, Virginia.  It is a 404-acre estate and this vineyard has received the prestigious award of “Best Winery in Virginia” for three years in a row.  Shortly after arriving at Breaux, we tasted 13 varieties of wine.  After our tasting, we purchased two of our favorite bottles of white wine (2009 Viognier and 2008 Barrel Select Chardonnay) and went outside to the picnic area to enjoy our purchases.  While outside, we admired the rolling hills and the endless rows of vineyards.  Dave and I also packed a picnic which consisted of sandwiches, chips, cheese, crackers, and grapes which we feasted on all while laughing and enjoying each others’ company.

After our day trip ended, we headed back home to change our attire, and headed out to the Arlington neighborhood of Courthouse, where we enjoyed some drinks at Kelly O’Shea’s Irish Pub before going to our dinner destination– Ray’s the Steaks for dinner.   At Ray’s the Steaks, we ordered the following:  A bottle of Grenache, the highly acclaimed “crab bisque”, Hanger Steak, Prime Dry-Aged Porterhouse, and the Prime Dry-Aged Chuck Eye.  The meal included garlic and regular mashed potatoes as well as creamed spinach.  For dessert we shared the White Chocolate Mousse with strawberries.  The food was incredible.  Needless to say, this has become our favorite steakhouse in Arlington, VA.
[warning]Pace yourself![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

[listcheck]

  • Cameras
  • 1 Credit card
  • Layered clothing
  • Picnic food and snacks
  • Bottled Water
  • Sunglasses

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HIGHLIGHTS

The best part of the day was sitting at the tables and enjoying the scenery, the wine, and each others company.  The wine tasting was also very educational and a lot of fun.   At dinner, Dave, the server, and I could not believe that Natalie ate her entire 26-ounce Porterhouse steak!

LIVE AND LEARN

We called earlier in the day to reserve a tour of the vineyard, but no one answered the phone.   Apparently, tours need to be booked well in advance.  We definitely will make arrangements to go on a tour when we visit this beautiful vineyard again.   Also, we really wanted to go into the tasting room for our tasting, but since it was a busy day and the vineyard was closing early to host a wedding, we scooped up some spots at the gift shop bar.


Show me the dough

Tasting fee for 4: $40.00

2 Bottles of wine: $55.00

Fuel and Toll Cost: $22.00

Miscellaneous Picnic Food: 15.00

(Evening excursion costs not included as that was not a day trip.)

GRAND TOTAL: $92.00


PHOTOS: