Looking for a getaway in Virginia?

Riverfront house in Heathsville, VA

For booking click here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/8123738

In early August a group of friends and I decided to take a weekend off and rent a house in Heathsville, Virginia to decompress from our work lives D.C.  We found this house on AirBnB and it worked out pretty darn well for us, so I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the work week.

Located two and half hours from D.C., this house easily held the 9 of us staying there.  The host was very generous, attentive, but also left us alone to enjoy our weekend once all the rules were covered (there weren’t very many).  It should be noted that the house is the owners actual residence that she rents out, so it’s furnished like a real home and not a summer home.  Here are the details of the house.

  • 4 bedrooms (2 queens, 2 doubles), 1 living room with queen pull out couch, 2.5 bathrooms
    • great historic architecture; each room is “themed” by different countries the family has lived in.  For example, the son’s room was British themed, one of the adult bedrooms was Australia themed, etc.
    • It’s a bit of a hike for the two people who get the kids rooms upstairs FYI, and the ceilings are pretty low in those rooms
  • Fully stocked kitchen with plenty of dishes, silverware, and cooking supplies
  • A/C in every room except the hallways which was key since it was ridiculously hot out
  • Grill on the back patio for use
  • Sun room (which we didn’t use because it was too hot)

In addition to the house itself, the property offered several activities for us to entertain ourselves with.  (The videos below were provided by Kristal Ernst Przeklasa)

  • A beautiful salt water pool with basketball hoop was where we spent most of our time
    • There is a Bluetooth speaker attached to the pool house which provided the tunes for the weekend, along with plenty of towels and chairs provided by the host
    • One thing to note:  At the height of summer, the salt water pool gets pretty warm.  Like almost bathwater warm.  So if you want to go for a icy, refreshing swim, you’ll need to do that in the morning
  • A soccer net and huge field to play football/bocce/croquet/etc. surrounds the property
  • There’s a quick walk to the river (although down a steep and rocky hill, so be mindful of that) with the owner’s kayaks, and cages for crabbing available

In the immediate area there’s one neighbor who isn’t very close, so noise isn’t a factor.  The house is also a 10-minute walk to Athena Vineyards, which wasn’t anything to write home about in terms of their wine, but the $5 tasting of ALL their wines (I think it was 8 total) is a steal.  They are however turning it into a cidery at some point.

If you need supplies, such as food, sunblock or bug spray (something only I and not necessarily the group needed because all the f**king bugs were attracted to me), there’s a Wal-Mart and Food Lion a 10-minute drive down the road.  (Some of the photos were provided by Victoria Zapata and Chad Barrington)

Norfolk, VA

You may remember that I had a guest post about Hampton Roads, VA previously in my blog.  I hadn’t yet been down there myself until recently; my buddy and I decided to hop in the Subaru and take a trip down to visit our co-worker (and author of the guest post) who had just moved back home to Norfolk, VA.

First tip when driving down to the Virginia Beach area from the north – don’t bother leaving on a Friday after 3.  From what I understand from several Norfolk people is that the highways are almost always jam-packed during that time (and during the summer months it’s pretty much a sure thing).  Try and get out on the road in the morning or Saturday morning to avoid the congestion.

U.S.S. Wisconsin

Without traffic, the ride down there takes about three hours from D.C.  When we first arrived, I was immediately struck by how many hipsters there were – this was highly unexpected.  The city itself was also smaller than I expected (since I had heard it was a Navy town), but I found out later that the F-18’s fly around over Virginia Beach which is a few miles down the road.  The city was definitely still large enough to have some nice distinct neighborhoods though.  Some of the houses we drove by were very impressive in their colonial grandness.   As far as I could tell however, there was no real “going out” area like in larger cities, but scattered throughout the town were several good places to go for a good time.

Virginia Beer Festival

Also, the weekend we went, the annual Virginia Beer Festival was going on and if you’re a beer drinker, it’s worth visiting Norfolk during that event.  For $30 ($25 if you do it online) you’ll get a glass (probably about 8-10 ounces in size) and you can sample 30+ beers around Town Point Park down by the waterfront.  Now in my experience with alcohol tasting festivals, you usually have to wait in long lines and usually they hand out a limited number of drink tokens.  Not here.  Here the longest you ever had to wait in line was at most 5-10 minutes (in which time you can enjoy your previous tasting) and the weather was crazy nice too, so knowing that’s probably the busiest it would ever get, the lines were amazingly short.  There is also NO tasting limit, so you could have quite an afternoon trying several different beers and ciders (some of them very powerful).  We also didn’t know this because we were first timers, but we saw several hundreds of people wearing homemade pretzel necklaces – a cheap, genius idea in my opinion for a 4-5 hour beer tasting festival and one that I might use in the future.

My buddies enjoying some brews

The beer festival was the main highlight of the weekend, but here are a few of the other places we checked out:

Harbor Park
Norfolk Tides vs. Pawtucket Red Sox

Luckily for me, our trip was timed perfectly to check out my beloved Red Sox’s AAA affiliate take on the local minor league team.  Even luckier was that some of the major league Red Sox players were doing their rehab, so I got to see some bigger names on the “smaller” stage.  I’ll say though, that I was impressed by the size of the Harbor Park – it was much bigger than I thought it would be, and the fan base was quite into the game (including one very, very obnoxious 10-year old sitting behind us with his father/older brother/uncle in his camouflage hat and cut off beer shirt).  We were also treated with a relatively impressive fireworks show as well at the end of the game.  Tickets were a measly $13 ($11 if you do it online beforehand), so it was a great time for an affordable price.

Harbor Park – Home of the Norfolk Tides

Cogan’s Pizza
1901 Colonial Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23517

Part pizza joint, part dive bar, this is a great place to go if you’re looking to get some good pizza (the spicy sauce is very good, and hot) and if you’re looking for a joint with a big beer selection.  The beer prices are actually very reasonable considering the selections and their “Happy Hour” may as well be “Happy Day” on Tuesday where the price I think is $2.50 for beers from 11 AM to like 8 PM or something ridiculous.  The staff there are friendly and mainly, shall we say, alternative.  Our first waitress looked like a tattooed roller derby girl from the 40’s and our second waitress was higher than James Franco on 4/20.  Combined they may or may not have lost the credit card we were trying to pay with and may or may not have stolen our leftover pizza, but we did get a couple free 90 minute Dogfish Head IPAs, so the mistakes balanced out.  Good crowd, good beer, good pizza – sometimes that’s all you really need.  Grade: B

Cogan’s Pizza

1917 Colley Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23517

The best breakfast burrito I’ve ever had

Every city has their local diner and Do-Nut-Dinette is Norfolk’s.  It’s everything you’d expect a diner to look like:  a not totally kept up trailer, 2 cops sitting at the counter munching on the diner’s homemade donuts and coffee, and a random group of people sitting at the picnic tables outside (hipsters, an African American family, a couple that looked like they got lost looking for a Gossip Girl party, and three hungover dudes – which was us).   Service is slow if you get a seat outside, so keep that in mind.  Not much to say about menu except this – get the breakfast burrito.  It was hands down the BEST breakfast burrito I’ve ever had.   I don’t know what it was, but the tortilla was perfectly grilled and the fillings were the exact portion of cheesy egg, peppers, tomatoes, and crispy bacon (other meat options available) to my liking.   Grade: B-, Breakfast Burrito: A

1919 Monticello Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23517

Before we came down to Norfolk, I had heard a lot about this Doumar’s joint being one of the signature places in Norfolk.  So obviously I wanted to check it out.   Located a few minutes away from Harbor Park, this place is definitely the type of restaurant that Sonic has based their chain of off.  As we pulled up, we decided to try getting a seat inside as we thought at the time we’d be meeting some others there.  It was chaos inside, with the waitresses running back and forth between the counter/kitchen and out to the cars where there were dozens of people eating their food.  We grabbed a table and waited for a waitress.  And then we waited some more.  And then some more.  We probably sat there for a good 15 minutes, when our friend finally said “We should just eat out in the car”.

So we left the restaurant, got in our car, pulled up to one of the kiosks and Voila!  A waitress came up to us within 30 seconds and took our order.  So here’s the tip:  Eat in your car.  That’s their thing, so just go with it.  The menu consists of mainly American fare and such, but the prices are very low.  My pulled pork sandwich was like $2.30, fries $1.50, and milkshake was  around $3.00.   Now, the size of the food does match the price relatively, but it was still a pretty damn solid meal for around $6.   Solid – but not spectacular, and sadly did not in my opinion  so much meet the hype.  If you get a milkshake, be sure to order it as a “Reggie” which means they’ll put pieces of ice cream cone in it, which was awesome.  The milkshake itself though was a little icy for my taste.  It lacked the creaminess that I hoped it would have.  But chowing down on a meal in your car at an authentic drive-in is an experience worth trying.   Grade: B –

We went to three other places as well.  I was quite inebriated at this point, so my reviews of the following are short and sweet.  All three are next to each other, and all three are relatively in the middle of nowhere FYI.

The Birch Bar – A small, darkly lit garage turned into a craft beer place.  Good special beers if you’re looking to try something different, but pricey.  I would not recommend the sour beer.  I knew it was a sour beer when I ordered it, but I decided to try it anyways and it was a mistake.

Tortilla West – Very good nachos, but watch out for the jalapeno peppers.  They are ridiculously hot.

Cruzer’s – I’m still not totally sure how, or what this place is.  There are no windows on the industrial building that its in and the only sign that there’s life inside is one of those neon “Open” signs you see at a shady restaurant.  All I know is they’ve got cheap ass beer, it’s run by a few Filipino women, they’ve got karaoke and if you score 100 on karaoke, the big, black bouncer, who’s randomly has the best voice in the place and randomly sings along sometimes, will give you a boxer’s championship belt to take a picture with.  Yes – it was that kind of night.

Bluemont Vineyard

18755 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, VA 20134 

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holiday Mondays
11am – 6pm
Winter Hours (November – February): 11am – 5pm

Phone: 540-554-8439

Obviously the Washington, D.C. area is famous for its historical monuments, Smithsonian museums and is the center for political celebrity sightings.  What might not be as well known is that the areas outside of Washington, D.C. contain a vast array of wine vineyards.  For someone who has lived in D.C. for as long as I have, visiting relatives soon grew tired of going to the Air and Space Museum and looking at the Washington monument.   So if you’re looking for something different to do in the area, jump in your car and take a quick drive west or south to one of the hundreds of vineyards that Northern Virginia has to offer.

Because I was a little overwhelmed by how many choices the region had to offer, at the suggestion of my officemate, I decided to try out the Bluemont Vineyard in Bluemont, VA (about an hour west of Washington).  It’s an easy vineyard to get to, just a few miles past Dulles International Airport.  Be sure to have a car that can handle a little off-roading; getting to the main complex where the wine tasting and restaurant are requires you to drive down a pretty beat up driveway.

Once you get through the rocky road, the complex is located at the top of a hill and the view is spectacular.  When you walk into the quaint, Bed and Breakfast style building, you’ll immediately want to go upstairs to where the wine tastings take place.  For $5 you get to sample 8 different red and white wines, as well as get a little talk about the vineyard (a good portion of their wines are made with fruit from the farm across the road).  It’s a pretty good deal considering you get in total about a glass and half of different wines.

After our tasting, we chose to purchase a bottle of their 2008 Vidal Blanc named “The Cow”.  That along with a meat and cheese platter which we purchased off their food menu (their food menu consists of lots of appetizer style fare) we took our meal out to the deck and enjoyed the scenery.  I highly recommend the meat and cheese platter which  consists of 2 types of salami, and two types of cheese (one veggie cheese and one amazingly good spicy cheese) and a warm loaf of french bread.   There’s plenty of seating outside on the deck and on the tables set up on the lawn, but on the colder days, it might be a little tight inside (although the fireplace did seem really nice, and I’d bet it’d be great during those winter months).

So if you have a free afternoon in the D.C. area, and you’re looking for something a little different to do – give the Bluemont Vineyard a try.  It makes a great place to bring friends, a date, or if you have a bigger function, there’s enough room to have a wedding party and/or a family gathering.

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Norfolk, VA

Admittedly, I’ve never been to Norfolk,VA but after reading my friend’s blog post – I think I’m going to have to take a trip down.  Here’s more from Christopher O’Brien – Norfolk, VA enthusiast:

“How to Get Anyone to Fall in Love with Norfolk in 48 Hours or Less”

I’ve been living in the DC-area now for just over 11 years, and for the past year and a half or so, I’ve been plotting to move back to Norfolk.

My friends, bless them, have cheerfully indulged my escapism. Even as we survived elections, Snowpocalypses, one embarrassing Redskins season after another, and DC summers, they have endured me regularly filling their ears with stories about seven beautiful cities at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. I finally decided that it was time to stop telling them about this magical place and start showing them.

If there’s one good thing that I’ve gotten from being away for so long, it’s a sense for seeing what is truly extraordinary about Hampton Roads. In some ways, the best of the area is hidden in plain sight to the people lucky enough to experience it everyday. This happens all the time, no matter where you live– ask me when the last time I went to the Smithsonian was. But, when I finally got around to bringing one my closest friends down to Norfolk for a long weekend, I came up with a list of highlights I really wanted to showcase not just to him, but to you, AltDaily readers, to remind you of what a fantastic place your home is.

Feel free to crib when you bring your friends in from out-of-town; these are places that showcase the absolute best of Norfolk, both in its history, and in its new birth, happening all around you.

Read more here: http://www.altdaily.com/features/arts/how-to-get-anyone-to-fall-in-love-with-hampton-roads-in-48-hours-or-less.html

Charlottesville, VA – Day 2

Waking up the next day was a little tough considering the festivities the night before, but we had a full day of activities ahead of us.  Our first stop was Bodo’s Bagels, a local bagel chain that Matt swore to us had the best breakfast sandwiches in the area.  Judging by the line of customers at the location we went to (and seeing the crowd outside the UVA campus location) it appeared that most of the people in Charlottesville agreed with him.  There wasn’t anything flashy about the restaurant and line moved quickly.  Bodo’s offers the usual bagel flavors and cream cheeses, as well as the typical bagel sandwiches.  The menu also features lunch sandwiches at a reasonable price.  I think the best way to describe the place is that it’s the blue collar Bruegger’s Bagel.

As much as I wanted to love the place, I was lukewarm about what I had.  I ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich on an everything, whole wheat bagel.  I wasn’t blown away by it.  Maybe it was because it was Sunday morning and busy, but the bagel itself wasn’t very toasted, and the kids in the kitchen left off the cheese.  The bagel itself was actually pretty good and like I said earlier, the price was cheap.  I’m more than willing to go back there and give the place a second try to really impress me, but I have to admit, I still prefer Bruegger’s Bagels.

After our breakfast, we had a few hours to kill before heading to watch the New England Patriots game.  Since we were in Charlottesville, it wouldn’t have been a trip down there without at least a trip to the Monticello area.   Our first stop however was at Carter Mountain Orchard, which is down the road from Monticello.  The orchard was located high up on a hill overlooking downtown Charlottesville.  The view was spectacular, and it was so serene being able to just sit back and enjoy the view.  Since it was early November (which is past the prime season for apple picking) there wasn’t much of a crowd.  But there were still pumpkins to be sold, hayrides, and it looked like there were actually still some apples that you could pick.  For those of you who don’t know, when you pay the orchard for a bag and go into the orchard, you keep the apples you pick.  You don’t give them the apples.  Yes, Mel asked us this.

We didn’t end up taking any hayrides or picked any apples.   But we did enjoy the hot apple cider for 50 cents and a delicious apple cider doughnut (which tasted almost like a apple pie strudel crossed with a churro crossed with an old fashioned doughnut).

After the orchard, we made our way to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson.  We arrived to the main visitor’s center and quickly came to the realization that we had spent so much time at the orchard, that we didn’t think we’d be able to squeeze in a trip to the actual house that TJ built for himself.  The price to see the house (which required a separate bus ride up the hill) is $17, and we elected to save the actual house visit for another time.  There was however, time to see the free museum exhibition, which consisted of an impressive gallery of antique items that Jefferson owned (such as his journals, pocket watches, dishes, etc).   There were also interactive computers and movies about how TJ built the house and his general history from youth through the Revolutionary War to his death.  Walking through the museum, both Mel and I regretted the decision to skip seeing the actual house, but it gives us an excuse to return.

We wrapped up at Monticello and headed back into town to Wild Wing Cafe.  This chain restaurant is pretty similar to any sports wing bar like Buffalo Wild Wings or Quaker Steak, so there isn’t really much to tell other than it was uniquely connected to an old-school Amtrak terminal.  I can say the wings there are very good however.  The “Virginia Fireballs” were tasty and spicy enough to have a kick, but not make you wish you had a glass of milk next to you.  That isn’t the case however with some of their other wings.  Both Matt and I each tried a “China’s Chernobyl” wing, and were literally sweating bullets in our seats.   To Mel’s credit, she ate an entire plate like it was a plate of cheese.  So we challenged her to try the “Braveheart”, which is Wild Wing Cafe’s hottest wing. The waitress brought her one wing, amusingly garnished with lettuce and jalapeno peppers, and we (along with every table around us), watched Mel take it down.  Mel being the spicy food lover she is left us disappointed initially, and gave no indication that the wing was at all the spicy wing it was talked up as.   Then a minute later, it set in and she gave us the painful look on her face we were waiting for.  Her exact words were “It’s not the heat, it’s the knives going into my tongue that hurts”.  But she’s got more balls than I do; bravo, Mel.

Let’s just say the weekend didn’t end on a high note as the Patriots got their asses kicked by the Cleveland Browns.  But that wasn’t enough to dampen what was a fantastic 48(9) hours of good times and I’ll be taking a trip back down there for sure before Matt’s time at UVA is up.

Charlottesville, VA – Day 1

So my buddy Matt has been a student at the University of Virginia (UVA) law school and is in his final third year.  The entire time he’s been there, he’s been trying to get me to drive down from Washington, D.C. to check out the sites of Charlottesville, Virgina where the university is located.  I finally decided to get my butt down there this past weekend had a great time and have come to the realization that I should have done the trip much sooner.

Charlottesville is located about two and half miles south of Washington, D.C.  If you Google map, and/or Garmin the directions, both will tell you to take 95 south all the way down.  Here’s a tip from the locals: Take 66 West, to 29 South if you’re coming from the north.  The trip may take a little longer distance wise, but there’s a very good chance that you’ll hit traffic on 95 and waste seeing a good amount of pretty (for lack of a better word) foliage on the way down.

So I jumped in my car, along with my friend Mel, and we got down to UVA around 1 PM on Saturday.  The first order of business was lunch since we were all pretty famished.  Matt took us down to the “Corner” which is essentially Main Street UVA.  There you run into a street full of undergraduates and can buy any sort of Cavaliers gear that you can imagine.  For lunch we grabbed a couple of slices of pizza at Christian’s Pizza on the Corner.

Christian’s was a perfectly decent take-out pizza joint (you could eat there as well, which is what we did) with the basic offerings of pizzas, calzones, etc.   The pizza itself was above average, but not spectacular.  I had a chicken parmigiana slice and a spicy chicken and peppers slice; both were quite tasty with a nice NY style thin, crispy crust.  Although, I was a little surprised at the price and thought that it was a bit more expensive than it should be considering it’s a local college pizza place.

After we ate, Matt took us to the main UVA campus.  Needless to say, Thomas Jefferson (who founded the school) went to great lengths to make it architecturally majestic and he succeeded.  Being in the college textbook business (my day job), I’ve seen quite a few college campuses and this one was up there with some of the finest.  We walked by the statue of TJ on the Rotunda, where the students go to get some good luck before their exams.  After walking by the Rotunda, we strolled over to the “Lawn”.  The “Lawn” was a site to see.  It’s pretty much how you would envision the perfect college campus scene.  A perfectly green strip of grass running down with trees along side.  On the “Lawn” were families, dogs, students studying, a group playing football, and anything else you can think of as being stereotypically “American”.  I half expected to see Joe Montana quarterbacking group playing football and John Mellencamp playing the guitar under a tree.

The most unique and impressive thing about the “Lawn” however were the  unique little dorm rooms within the building along the outside that actually formed the courtyard.  Each one of these one bedroom dorms were actual rooms from the old days.  They were small, had wooden floors and walls, and were heated by wood.  From what I could tell as well, each came with a rocking chair of some sort.  According to Matt, the only students who were lucky enough to reside in these “Lawn” dorms pretty much had to be the All-Stars of UVA (the high caliber students who excelled in class, star football players, or were very active on campus), and they had to apply well in advance for these 20 or so dorms if you wanted one.

After getting the tour of UVA, we decided to take a drive down to the Starr Hill Brewery.  Starr Hill is a local brewery that makes the award-winning Dark Starr stout and Jomo lager to name just a few.  For those of you not in the Mid-Atlantic region reading this, you probably haven’t come across this brand since they’re not huge outside the area.  But if you do come across it at any point, I would highly recommend their brand.

The brewery itself was nothing special; just a typical factory with huge steel containers fermenting beer, a place for the hops, and a machine to bottle the batches.  But the 30 minute tour itself was quite informative, run by one of the 27 employees there.  Their passion for beer is evident, especially during the tasting session at the makeshift bar they have set up.  During the tasting, they let you try all 8 beers that they have on tap (a mix of all year, and seasonal beers), and give you a little story behind each type.

We went back to the main Charlottesville area after the brewery and picked up a few more of Matt’s friends.  We headed to the Mall area of Charlottesville which is a quaint little outside, walking commercial area.  Along the brick corridor, which had a hint of a European feel to it, were shops, cafes, movie theaters, and banks.  We stopped over at Miller’s Downtown, a great little old-school drug store turned into bar, for a quick drink.  The place itself is nothing to write home about, but it was comfortable and had a dark, pub-like feel to it.  The beer list there was quite extensive, and the prices were good considering the offerings.  Since we had just come from the Starr Hill Brewery, I decided to help out the local company and ordered a Jomo Lager.

For dinner, we made an attempt to go to Blue Moon Diner, a little diner near the Corner area.  Much to Matt’s chagrin, the Blue Moon Diner was closed that evening (yes, on a Saturday night) and Matt went on a rant about how they have the best breakfast and great burgers, but that the hipsters who work there are so unreliable.  So, I guess if you ever make it in there when it’s open, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

But alas, our back-up plan was Boylan Heights, also on the Corner, two doors down from Christian’s Pizza.  Boylan’s had more of the modern, sports bar feel than Miller’s, although there was a random giant-sized painting of the movie “Rushmore” that I never really got the story of why it was there.  I’ll say this much, if this was the “back-up” for getting burgers to Blue Moon, than Blue Moon must be awesome because Boylan Heights had one of the best burgers I’ve tasted.  Literally, the burger could probably be in the Top 7 or 8 best burgers I’ve had the pleasure of consuming.  Their gourmet burgers have patties that melt in your mouth and a bun that is buttery and soft.  The patties are probably the size of a typical Five-Guys or In-and-Out patty, but Boylan’s are far juicier.  The burger I had, “The Room 121”, has a Boylan’s sauce which I’m not totally sure was, but tasted a hell of a lot like a mix of Thousand Island Dressing, Ranch, and Honey Mustard and was delicious.  Also, the menu offers a build your own burger option on a form that you fill out (much like at a sushi bar).  And the prices there were reasonable, not any more than you would pay at Chili’s or Applebee’s, but the food was far superior.  If I were a UVA undergrad, my freshman 15 could have easily  come directly from Boylan Heights.

After finishing our delicious meal, we headed back to Matt’s apartment for some pre-game fun with his law school pals and a growler of Starr Hill Gift ale that we purchased at the brewery.  After some drinking games, we grabbed a taxi for the Biltmore Grill, which was back on campus.  From what I understand, the Biltmore’s patrons consists of more of the older crowd (graduate students, law school students, etc), versus some of the other bars in the area that allow kids of a questionable drinking age into their venues.  I can’t really say anything exceptionally good or bad about the Biltmore.  The drinks were cheap, the crowd was fun, and the place had a huge patio for the smokers.  And since we were switching the clocks back that evening, we all celebrated Daylight Savings Holiday when 2 AM turned into 1 AM, allowing us another solid hour of killing our brain cells.

When the night was done, we jumped back into a cab to head home, when it was explained to me that the cabbies in Charlottesville work in a far different way than they do in any major city.  Most of the cabbies actually give out their business cards in order to get repeat business from the students.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the cab we took to the Biltmore was actually called ahead in advance by one of the girls in the group, who had used that cab driver’s services before.  It was quite bizarre, yet refreshing having a cab driver be extra nice and conversational with you because they want the repeat business.

Up next: Charlottesville, VA – Day 2 (obviously)