Tuesday, January 5, 2010


After a beautiful drive through southern Virginia, we arrived at Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. We drove down the road near to Robin's former home and the department store where she worked years ago. Soon the shopping centers and fast food joints thinned out, and the countryside reappeared.

We had reservations at Old Mill House Bed and Breakfast in Graves Mill, Virginia, a tiny cluster of buildings in the middle of a valley hugged by two mountains in the Blue Ridge range. I made the reservations at this old farmhouse as a contrast with the fancier hotel in Staunton.

It was near dark when we arrived at the farm house. It was a charming old place that began life as a log school building. We enjoyed the rest of the evening making popcorn, reading, and watching TV.

After the absolutely quietest night I have ever spent, dawn cracked, and we headed downstairs for a tour of the house and a delicious breakfast of yogurt, orange juice, eggs, bacon, and biscuits and gravy. We had a nice conversation with the innkeeper, who is a champion of historic preservation in her community.

After breakfast, we drove to nearby Montpellier Station, where we visited Montpelier, the home of President James Madison and his famous wife Dolly. Many subsequent additions had recently been removed, and we saw a lot of construction and restoration details during the tour.  It was beautiful, and we look forward to a future visit to see the house completed and furnished.
We drove into nearby Orange to have lunch, then got on the road northward through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

The next morning, at home, that troublesome tire was flat again! It turns out that there was a nail that made the trip from Harrisburg to Greensboro and back without letting us down! What a good boy the Box is!

The view from the porch of the Old Mill House

Our cozy room

A frosty silver Box in the morning sun

The back porch at Montpelier

 Cabin of a former slave near the mansion

We had lunch in a cool place in Orange, then headed home.

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