Mon. Aug 27, 2012- VA:
I insisted on having breakfast at the lodge just so I could see if there was Virginia ham on the menu. Looking at the menu I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, no ham. Then I flipped over the menu to check out the other side and lo and behold: HAM!!! Alas it was served as part of unappetizing dishes that constituted mounds of eggs and other gross things. Rather than that I simply ordered cinnamon French toast (a secondary mainstay of my usual breakfast) with a side of ham, because that is not gross and does not contain eggs of course (I kid!). It was an ingenious plan, all the ham none of the… bread… eggs? Fine, all the ham and the eggs and bread in a much better format. The ham was cured and therefore rather salty, a nice contrast to the sweetness of the French toast. It was like bacon but a million times better (I inexplicably hate the idea of bacon for breakfast). The cinnamon French toast was light and fluffy and had the most delectable cinnamon notes on the end.
Having eaten a power breakfast we headed out on the road for more Shenandoah Valley scenic outlooks, because we did not have enough the previous day. No matter how many we stopped at (despite the few closed for construction), I could not get enough of the scenic vistas that lay before us.
We drove to the University of Virginia to stare at the beautiful architecture as designed by Thomas Jefferson as well as see where Edgar Allen Poe stayed while he was a student there. Being on campus made me feel like a dinosaur, I was tired, it was too hot and so many young people bumbling about. I was also eating Utz crab chips, which are just chips covered in Old Bay seasoning, a seasoning I learned should be used sparingly as my mouth burned (not in the good hot pepper way) and dried out.
Next we went on a tour of Jefferson’s estate Monticello which tied in nicely with our wandering the university, as on his grounds he had a spot where he would sit with a telescope and watch the construction. We wandered the grounds looking at the vineyards and his grave, and checked out the basement of his house.
For about the millionth time on vacation we ate at Wendy’s yet again. And dessert was the same old Ben & Jerry’s, seems we had a routine. I tried to break it by getting ice cream that had no trace of chocolate in it: key lime pie. It was OK; it really needed more graham cracker crumbs in it. For a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream it was really lacking in the lumpy-bits department. In addition to that I finally found some Virginia peanuts; they are pretty much like regular peanuts just bigger and drier/less dense. They are nothing special. Other than the fact that they go into manufacturing processes such as Snickers bars (I had to look up what made Virginia peanuts different).
We were staying at a fancy hotel, the Clifton Inn. How fancy was it you may ask? We got upgraded to a room that was $600/night and had a complimentary bottle of wine, wine that the sign said Thomas Jefferson enjoyed apparently. There was a promise of croquet and horseshoes on the grounds so we set off to find them. Instead we found a lake, a cat, a dog, a pool, a nature trail and a lot of spider webs. On our way back to the hotel Brent saw a deer, I saw the deer’s rear-end as it disappeared into the forest. I also saw a lazy frog eat a fly that had landed on its face! Then right beside the entrance we found the horseshoes, we had circled them completely around the back of the hotel. As it turns out I am awful at horseshoes, I would roll them along the grass. Brent tried to show me how to throw it and he instead threw it too far and hit the path while a lady walked by, she laughed, I would’ve screamed.
We returned to our room to find that the cookie fairy had visited and left us tiny little chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips and a slight minty flavor. The toilet had also fixed itself and would now flush.