Last week my little brother mentioned that he and his fiance were going to go down to Charlottesville to visit our older brother and his girlfriend. While it is pretty difficult to convince me to give up my bed and weekends, I am nothing if not a severe sufferer of FOMO and I absolutely would not miss out on a weekend of fun with my brothers and their excellent taste in women. Plus, I was able to tack on a slumber party with one of my best DC friends who just moved there and it happened to be a weekend where there was a JCrew warehouse sale. I won’t bore you with tales of the line-cutters I almost slaughtered at 7:45 in the morning, or the bonds of love we formed with fellow wait-ers who didn’t make the first group allowed in and with whom we waited for another hour and a half, but I will say that I had better technique than last time and I walked out with an impressive pile of loot. I might have even come out with a pair of Madewell boy-cut jeans for $15. Still haven’t forgiven them, but these jeans make a tiny step in that direction.
But I digress.
Zach and his girlfriend Liz, in an effort to convince us of Charlottesville’s cultural, natural, and culinary dominance over DC, planned a perfect weekend for us. Here are nine million photos to provide way more than you ever cared to see of our weekend.
// Lunch at Salt , where we started our weekend with some pretty tasty sandwiches// //The ladies at Pippin Hill Vineyard, wherein we all considered selling all our earthly possession, quitting our jobs, and moving in permanently.////So, it’s been said that Virginia is for lovers. I would like to submit to you that this past weekend it was for lovers and rockin’ fifth wheels on whom great pity was taken and for whom several meals were paid. Thanks brothers, for letting me crash what might have originally been a double date weekend.//// We explored the abandoned and creepy-but-awesome Swannanoa Palace on Saturday afternoon. On the other side of that door there was an old bald baby doll whose eyes were blacked out. Yep, you’re not getting that image out of your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.//
//Champagne and cheese on a mountain top to celebrate the recently engaged couple. More romantic moments crashed by Hannah. No regrets. ////After chasing the sunset along the mountain ridge, we stopped to watch those final moments of color. Also, does anyone else look at those photos and think of that scene in Last of the Mohicans ? No? Why do more people not love that movie? Surely it can’t be the total lack of dialogue.//
//After eating a brunch so decadent that I don’t even have photos (three words : CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON), we went hiking, only to find a swimming hole so clear and magical that half our group just jumped in and hiked wet the rest of the day.//
//Some of us had hands to hold, others have leaves like that given by Little Foot’s mother from The Land Before Time, a true classic dinosaur film.// //Like every other person in the western world, we went apple picking, coming out with a grand total of 2 apples. Apparently you aren’t actually supposed to eat all the apples you pick. ////And as always, for every time I am in a photo, there are at least five like this, where I bossily grab the camera back mid picture. Truly, it is a gift to be able to be so candidly photogenic.//
We ended [the photo-worthy part of] our day eating freshly fried apple donuts on the side of a mountain. I can’t complain. Spending a weekend gorging myself with donuts and laughing with family meant that I am starting out this week behind and racing to catch up. But I don’t regret it. I’ve been saying no just a teensy bit more the past month and it paid off when I was able to say a last minute yes to spending the weekend family and friends.
And sometimes, even if makes for busy weeks, there’s nothing better than fifth-wheeling with some people you love a lot. Nothing better than light and food and donuts and sunsets over the mountains.