This past weekend was a special one, a trip I’ve been looking forward to for months.
We did the same thing last year, and had so much fun we had to do it again. Sometimes travel is about the places you go and the sites that you see, but other times it’s more about the people you’re with and the simple, fun times that you have.
Our cabin was located in Rileyville, Virginia which is a tiny dot on a map with only one adorable post office and little else to see or do. Although we chose to do relatively little during our stay, there is certainly plenty to do in the surrounding areas. Luray, with its popular caverns, is a close ten minutes away, and Front Royal about twenty. Several of Virginia’s most popular hikes, including Old Rag Mountain, are less than an hour’s drive away. There are also dozens of wineries and cideries in the nearby vicinity.
But our focus was on quality family time in our cute little home away from home. This cabin was slightly smaller than the one we stayed in last year, but just as cute with quirky decorations all over the place.
The fireplace turned out to be more complicated that expected, last year’s was an infinitely simpler setup, but once we got it going it heated the entire cabin in no time and we were as snug as could be.
We arrived late on Friday night and had a quick pasta bake dinner that Tom and I had made ahead. After settling in and eating, we popped open a couple of bottles of wine and relaxed both indoors and out… in the hot tub on the deck downstairs. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if you’re forced to be cold on your vacation there had better be a hot tub involved.
The next morning we woke up to a view that went on for days. You can even spot the Shenandoah River in the distance, if you squint a little. So peaceful and gorgeous.
We had coffee and breakfast and took our time getting around for the day. We did venture out for about half the day. Our first stop was at one of my favorite Virginia wineries, Glen Manor Vineyards.
Both times we’d been in the past, they were out of their flagship wine Hodder Hill, a robust red that is made using only the highest quality grapes from their hilltop vineyard. But third time turned out to be the charm and we were finally able to taste this beauty, which is every bit as good as I’d heard through the grapevine (pun intentional). We each had a glass as we relaxed in the surprisingly warm sun.
Next up was a pit stop at The Apple House Deli in Linden. This is the quintessential quirky country store meets diner, serving up hot doughnuts along with breakfast, lunch and dinner. We stopped in for sandwiches to take to our next winery, and returned the following morning on our way home for further sustenance.
Continuing on with this slightly quirky theme, we took our food and drove on to Desert Rose Ranch & Winery, a new winery to all four of us that I was excited to check out.
The scene at Desert Rose is very lively and fun. There was a large group having an ugly sweater party who were clearly having a great time (think dancing with no music) and the staff was kind and welcoming.
They allow dogs inside the tasting room, which was great since we take ours everywhere. He enjoyed some fresh water, compliments of the winery, while we did a quick tasting. The wine was enjoyable, although most of us enjoyed the whites and rosé over the reds. We got a bottle of the dry, crisp rosé to share, and settled down in the tasting room to enjoy a late lunch as the sun was beginning to set.