On March 28th we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.
5 years ago we [sort-of] eloped. Our families were all aware we were getting married but instead of the craziness of the big day where it would be all about everyone else EXCEPT the two of us, we decided to do it OUR way!
We rented an awesome cabin in Front Royal, VA. Took our two large dogs. Brought some great food. Hired an officiant. And were married at 9:00am on a rainy, foggy morning in jeans and outer shells, with our two dogs as witnesses. One word: AMAZING!
It was absolutely perfect! After the 15 minute tiny ceremony we went wine tasting in the beautiful hills of Virginia.
Fast Forward 5 years. Both our big lovable dogs have passed away from Cancer, we have moved across the country and back and we have a beautiful little girl. Since we just happen to be in a close vicinity of the cabin for our 5 year anniversary we decided why not spend the evening!
A quick 2 hour drive landed us in the hills of Virginia. 15 minutes outside of Front Royal, still stands this beautiful cabin.
It was just like we remembered. Only this time instead of walking the dogs around the grounds, we chased a nearly 2 year old!
We are not apposed to wine tasting with our little one, but on a Thursday afternoon the local wineries were not open since its the off season. So we rented a few movies and sat by the fire playing paper dolls!
The next morning we took THE photo. Our “now” photo. What a change life has been. Its a pure blessing where we were, what we have done and where we are now. There are so many adventures in our future! We are happier now then we have ever been.
A few years ago (pre-baby) we discovered an area in Virginia where the wineries were close enough together that we could easily bike from winery to winery. One winery even said there was a “bike and wine taste tour”. We have been trying to find this area since we moved back and low and behold, this weekend we did!
It was about 50 degrees outside so we loaded the bikes in the UAV and headed northwest to an area near Middleburg, VA. The hour and a half drive took us on the backroads passing an awesome craft brew shop called Crafted. It shares a parking lot with the only diesel gas station in a 15 mile stretch so we were in luck by finding both of them. Crafted wasn’t open yet so we made a point to stop on our way home.
Just outside Middleburg lies the very small town of Aldie, VA. The Aldie Mill Historic District had a nice quaint feel. Although, if you blinked you would totally miss the town. While driving along, we noticed the all to familiar smell of a smoker, bellowing out the smell of the BBQ Master’s latest offerings at the Aldie Country Store. Varun Parti is definitely a BBQ Master! We feasted on two massive plates of BBQ smoked ribs and 2 pints of mash potatoes and macaroni and cheese. With an amazing lunch in our bellies we were sure to get a long ride in.
We first stopped at Chrysalis Vineyards which sits 1.5 miles off hwy 50 on a rutted single lane dirt road. We pulled into a picturesque setting with a pond, rolling hills and plenty of seating. There is a nice place for families to corral the kids while the parents can sip on a glass of wine, play bean bag toss or have a picnic.
From Chrysalis Vineyards we drove a few miles down 50 to Greenhill Winery & Vineyard (although you could bike this portion, the road is a little rough at times). Sitting directly off hwy 50 on a 1/4 mile long driveway, The Greenhill Winery and Vineyard was where we decided to start our cycling trip. While Donald unloaded the bikes I got us a nice glass of Syrah for sampling and pre-ride motivation.
This winery loop is a relatively easy 7 mile bike loop, with the primary difficulty being not tasting to many glasses of wine to continue on with the adventure. You can start this loop by heading out of Greenhill Winery and turning left on US 50 for approximately 1/2 mile until you come to your first dirt road on the left named Parsons Road. Parsons Road is a quiet dirt road with limited to no traffic, perfect for a mountain bike, hybrid or cyclocross bike.
At the “T”in the road turn right on Halfway Road and start up a gradual hill. Before you know it, you will be at Boxwood Estate Winery and it is time to taste some more wine. Boxwood has a very modern layout with a wine cave, a picnic area and a circular tasting room. Skylights and white paint fill the rooms with immense lighting and the wine cave is gorgeous. Boxwood has great wine with a pristine layout.
After Boxwood, you jump back on US 50 and bike through the town of Middleburg. We had been here before years ago on a motorcycle and remembered the plethora of restaurants and cool shops in the downtown area. This area is a go to weekend stop for washingtonians. From antique stores to a conglomerate of restaurants and coffee shops, Middleburg is a great place to poke around on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
When we got back to Greenhill we pulled the bikes up to a table at the edge of the field and shared a glass of red wine. The little lady of ours scooted around on her Strider in the field and stomped through the very small snow pile that was rapidly melting. We ran in the field chasing puppies and tried to catch the horseback rider on the horizon.
After a day of biking, we loaded up the UAV and started the drive home making sure to stop at Crafted on the way back. The quaint shop was loaded with tons of craft beers, wines and ciders. The owners and their cheerful dog greeted us with a friendly smile and a nice chat about ciders and the awesome assortment of beers available! The owners have an extensive knowledge about the 100s of beers stocking the shelfs and are more than willing to explain the differences of them all. After purchasing a good amount of cider and beer for future samplings, we were on our way home wrapping up another awesome adventure.