Monday, October 1, 2007

A Trip to Berryville

Last week Ann and I decided the time was right to take a few days off from working for The Man or in our case Uncle Sam. We like working for Uncle Sam, but we also have some vacation time we needed to start losing or our dear Uncle will take it come the end of the year. We work pretty hard for our Uncle and we've earned the time off so and so we did. Daughter#2 and The Son In Law had given us a Christmas present last year of a couple of days at our choice of several bed and breakfasts in and around Virginia. After mulling it over for like ever, we chose to spend their present at The Lost Dog B&B in Berryville. Berryville while not quite the Shenandoah valley is in Virginia's horse country with its historic past and mountains of money. We headed out on Wednesday just before lunch and made the hour and some change drive west. Now I should mention that along with the agony of trying to decide where to stay was what to do once we got there. We Googled endless sites, but never came up with anything hard and fast. We thought about horseback riding since Ann use to ride and we also found a place where you could take a hike with a Llama. However, this wishy washy approach to preparing for a trip does not sit well with our anal retentive Daughter#1. During her many phone calls home, which we love, she would always ask what we had planned. We would hem and haw and said we weren't sure. Finally driven to distraction by such answers, she took pity on us and being the event planner she is mapped out a three day itinerary for us. Her paper in hand, our first stop was the Main Street Bistro in historic downtown Berryville. Berryville, for those somewhat familiar with the area is just east along Rt 7 from Winchester. Below is Ann standing outside the Bistro after we ate lunch there.

Inside the Bistro I'm enjoying my Reuben along with a Black Dog Ale.

After we finished lunch and walked Main Street, we headed off to The Lost Dog Bed and Breakfast located just off Main Street. We stayed in Virginia's room.

The room and adjoining bathroom was quite comfortable as Ann ably demonstrates.

We also made use of the two person jacuzzi tub.

Sandy, our host, was more than wonderful and cooked us the most amazing breakfasts as well as sharing her wine with us in the afternoon in her sun room. We were the only guests the first night, but the second night a dog trainer arrived from Arkansas to show three dogs in a nearby dog show. She brought along a Mastif, a pointer and a Chihuahua. The mastif, a grand master of sorts and we were told was the number one mastif in the country, weighed in at 190 pounds. The chihuahua at 6. Quite a range. They were so well behaved, unlike our own yappy dogs, we wouldn't have known they were there if we hadn't seen them being taken out before bedtime. Our host, Sandy, has her own dog, a labradoodle, Sirius. He would greet us at the door upon our arrival and often returning to the B&B.

After checking in at The Lost Dog and taking a short nap, we headed out to dinner at The Battletown Inn. The Inn was the former residence of Berryville's founder's Daughter. The dinner was tasty although I didn't realize until I was halfway through my meal that the duck breast I had ordered was, in fact, pork tenderloin. It was still tasty.

The next morning our itinerary called for us to go horseback riding. So we headed off to the Marriott Ranch.

Here I'm mounted on my trusty steed Franklin.

The ranch seemed to have a lot of kittens around the barn area.

Here is one of our trail guides. I didn't catch her name, it was something like Arial, but that wasn't it. She looked like a young Angelina Jolie.

The trail ride last about 90 minutes. I didn't really have to control the horse. I'm sure Franklin has done this numerous times before. It was just a matter of relaxing and enjoy the view.

After our trial ride, we headed to Upperville for lunch. Here is a view on the way there just outside Boyce, VA.

Once we arrived in Upperville, we stopped for lunch at Hunter's Head Tavern.

They have a British phone both by their parking lot.

Their patio was open and it was a nice day so we ate outside.

I enjoyed some Fish n Chips and a few Bass Ales. The crusty bread was fresh, warm and delicious.
After finishing lunch we debated what to do, consulted the itinerary and decided to check out one of the many wineries in the area. There is one right outside Berryville called Veramar. Here I'm right outside their tasting area. At this point our camera died and we didn't have the charger with us.
Their wine was pretty good although a bit pricey by Virginia wine standards. Our host bore a striking resemblance to ER's Linda Cardellini, so that was interesting. After the tasting we bought a bottle of their Chardonnay and two glasses of the same. We went out to their patio and enjoyed the glasses of wine and the great view.
After the winery we returned to the The Lost Dog, enjoyed the Jacuzzi and then took a nap. For the evening we headed out to Middletown, VA for dinner and a theatre show. We drove through an incredible thunder storm with quite the lightening show. It was still raining when we arrived in Middletown and we had to run to the Emerald Isle. Its an Irish pub type place. We enjoyed some Shepard's Pie and some Harp beer. As we were about to pay the check, we asked our waitress where the theatre was. We knew we were close, but we figured we would ask a local who could give us final directions. She told us that it was about a block away but also that it was closed for renovations. Ann and I both looked at her with blank stares. Closed??? But we had tickets! Actually as it turned out, the show was going on but in Front Royal, which was a good 20 minute drive away if we knew the area and had directions. Given that the show was starting in 20 minutes, we decided to just bag it and go back to The Lost Dog. We were still a little pissed that the Wayside Theatre didn't tell us when we bought our tickets that they were performing in Front Royal and not Middletown. Grrrr. Anyway after arriving back at the B&B, we enjoyed Sandy and the trainer from Arkansas's company before calling it a night and going to bed.
The next morning Sandy provided us with some tasty Belgium waffles and we took another walk around Berryville before heading home. All in all it was a fun few days and we look forward to returning at some point.

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