Friday began with a trip to Tea Time Farm, home of Sneaky Pie and of course the author, Rita Mae Brown. John and Mikel were friends of hers and they actually worked as her personal assistants for a few years before she unceremoniously dumped them. This was Mikel's first time back there since that event transpired but I had been invited to see the blessing of the hounds.

Before a fox hunt, someone actually blesses the hounds and in this case it was Judy, the sweet lady and priest who had attended Thanksgiving dinner with us the day before. It was a very interesting once in a lifetime experience, unless of course one lives or grew up in Virginia I guess :)

After the hunt began, Mikel and I headed for Monticello. It was interesting, although expensive for only getting to see about 5 or 6 of the 20+ rooms in the house. The view was amazing though.

We had lunch at an interesting little place called the Mikkhi Tavern (not sure of that spelling), it was basically fast food 18th Century style. Over lunch, we overhead some tourists from Canada discussing the Civil War with their server...

After our visit to Monticello we had to head back to Mikel's home and get ready to head to their church for their last Friday free dinner. They had just started it and didn't want to skip one since it was their turn to bring food. The idea is to have a free meal for anyone who wants to come. There are lots of poor people amongst the area's 15,000 residents, but so far no one except for church members has turned out for a free meal. It was nice though, it was basically the same cast of characters from Thanksgiving.

Then it was home for some more chamomille tea and some much needed sleep.
The trip down to Charlottesville on Wednesday night was uneventful and very long. It took us an hour to get from 13th Street and Ninth Avenue through the Holland Tunnel. We arrived in Charlottesville about an hour and a half behind schedule so I guess we didn't do too bad. It was my first long bus trip.

It was wonderful to see my friend Mikel, and to meet his sister Linda and his mother Mary Lou. I do have to admit that everytime I said Mary Lou I wanted to say, Mary Lou Who. This was my first time visiting Mikel's home in Virginia, though he and John had a home there for a few years before John passed away.

I slept in this cottage which was newly built and very comfortable, though it wasn't heated or insulated. With the help of this very neat gadget and a space heater I was always nice and toasty warm!

Thursday obviously was Thanksgiving and I ended up not having to help with any of the cooking because Mikel and Linda had completed most of it the day before.

We had a total of ten people for dinner, and it was quite an enjoyable time. I was the youngest one in attendance! We had the priest of the church that Mikel attends and a few other assorted friends all of whom were just the sweetest people. This would happen just about everywhere I went in Virginia, but someone actually brought up the The War of Northern Aggression as a topic of conversation.

We finished off the day sitting around the fireplace in the living room drinking chamomille tea.
wonderboynj: (mom and me)
This Wednesday right after work I will be heading down to Nellysford, Virginia to spend the holiday with my friend Mikel, whose partner John was my dear friend who passed away in December of last year. I spent Thanksgiving with the two of them last year and we had such a wonderful time we had planned to make it an annual tradition so I am doing my part to carry on that tradition.

The original plan was to have me take the Amtrak train down to DC, and I was really looking forward to that because I have never been there, believe it or not. It's a place I would really like to visit though.

I had been checking the Amtrak website everyday hoping there would be some specials or something. Instead of the price lowering though, a few weeks ago it suddenly jumped, making the cost of the trip about $260 roundtrip. I had to find a cheaper way, not to mention Mikel lives another three hours from Virginia and I didn't want to spend almost $300 plus make him drive all that way to get me!

Mikel suggested I look at this company, which his friend Phoebe had used. They run between Charlottesville and New York for $159. It's a luxury bus service with lots of amenities and I quickly signed up.

I'll be leaving immediately after work on Wednesday and getting to Charlottesville at midnight. Mikel will still need to drive about 30 miles to pick me up but at least he's not driving all the way to DC.

I'm looking forward to seeing Virgina, hopefully I will get some Christmas shopping in. Most importantly I'm just looking forward to spending time with Mikel.

Car Trip

Aug. 12th, 2006 10:19 pm
wonderboynj: (I Heart NY)
Can you guess where I went today?

Having a wonderful time here in the City of Lights. In fact, we cancelled the portion of our trip that was to have us leaving for Munich tomorrow so that we could stay in Paris for four more days.
Has been calling my name for years, and I've never made it over there.

Finally I will however :) There's a very good chance that on May 18th I'll be heading over to Europe for 11 days. Six days will be spent in Paris, and then 5 days in Germany. I'm hoping for Munich for the German portion of the trip. It's about 3 hours from the city in Germany where my ancestors come from.


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