As I mentioned, Larry and I took a secret vacation over the weekend. The trip was my gift to him for his 40th birthday. Unfortunately, a vacation spent sailing the Greek Isles was out of my budget, so Larry knew that we were going somewhere within driving distance in Virginia, but he didn't know exactly where.
THE PLAN: Get on the road mid-morning. Stop somewhere in the Charlottesville area for lunch. Arrive at destination early afternoon.
THE REALITY: Get on the road at 2 pm after several freakouts involving packing and general lack of organization. Get stuck in major traffic for hours. Bitch and moan about said traffic and why do we live in this area and why are there so many freaking people in this world?! Look at all the other drivers who are in our way. Comment that I would like to punch all of them in the face. Stop somewhere in the Charlottesville area for dinner. Arrive at destination just as the sun sets.So, the drive down was a little frustrating. The trip was supposed to take us three hours and it ended up taking seven. By dinnertime we had only made it to Charlottesville (100 miles from home) and we were both cranky and hungry.
Luckily, I knew there was a brewery nearby - in Afton, Virginia - 25 miles west of Charlottesville. I'd heard of Blue Mountain Brewery before and had been wanting to check it out. Larry and I are fans of anything that involves beer, and a stop at a local brewery would be a perfect meal for Larry's birthday trip.
The setting was just beautiful and the brewery is quite aptly named for the gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge Mountains that you can enjoy while sitting on their patio. I commented on this to Larry as we were waiting for our cold brews to arrive and he replied "Mountains aren't blue. They're green." Say WHAT? Purple mountain majesties? Hello! Mountains are blue or purple. Not green. (I'm not talking about a mountain that's close enough to see the actual trees, I'm talking about mountains in the distance. Which are clearly blue or purple.) So I said "You don't think the BLUE Ridge Mountains are blue?!" and he said "Well, I don't see it." Huh.
(Please note the blue mountains in the background...)
Despite that little discrepancy, we had a great time sampling the beers, sitting outside, satisfying our appetites with some grub made from local ingredients, and taking a much-needed break from sitting in the car.
My favorite part about the visit was seeing the hop garden that surrounds the brewery. I'd never seen how hops were grown before and I thought it was pretty cool that Blue Mountain grows their own. I love a good hoppy beer. In fact, I love a beer so hoppy that it makes you suck your cheeks inside out - the hoppier the better! (Think Hop Wallop by Victory Brewing. Not only will this beer make your face pucker up like a toothless old man, but with 8.5% alcohol, it will also knock you on your ass. Perfect.)
We probably could've sat there for hours pouring beers down our throats and basking in the evening glow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but since we had more driving to do, we could only sample the brews before hitting the road. But not before stocking up on our favorite beers - a six pack of Full Nelson and a growler of uberPils to enjoy over the weekend.
And so we got back in the car and continued south to our next destination. Luckily there was no more traffic at this point, just the open road and the sun setting over the Blue Ridge Mountains...