Looking at my pictures and my blog I have to say that the sky is my inspiration. I prepare most of my blog posts ahead of time and my Sky Watch Friday posts are so far into the future they will probably continue to post after I die. I’m editing pictures from today and I was going to say a beautiful day with fluffy clouds are my inspiration and they are but it’s not just the fluffy clouds, it’s the sky.
I stayed in most of the week this week. I am still having some health issues and missed some work so I wanted to try to be in good shape for the week ahead (fingers crossed) but Saturday beckoned me, with its blue skies and fluffy clouds.
I’ve kind of made a game out of trying to photograph all the LOVE signs in Virginia, a promotional campaign by the tourist industry, you can follow my progress my clicking the Virginia is for Lovers tag. I’m also trying to visit every winery in Virginia, which is a bigger challenge than visiting the signs. I try to keep up with that by tagging my posts Virginia Wine.
So with the beautiful skies above me, a promise of wine, sunsets, and LOVE, I set out on a trip to Afton Mountain, near Charlottesville Virginia, about three hours south of me.
I took the interstate, which I hate, I am pretty sure there are people driving on that road that are trying to kill me. But I goofed around too long in the morning and it was afternoon before I left my house so I needed to make haste. I knew I could take my time coming home.
Finally my exit was coming up. One mile my GPS warned me. The highway sign confirmed it but another sign distracted me…”Scenic Overlook 1.5 miles”. I have been to that overlook before but it has been a while so I decided to pass my exit and pull over. As it turns out I would later learn that the orange roof in the distance was one of my destinations.
When I got off the interstate I found a different winery was closer than the one I planned to visit. It seemed like a good time to knock another one off my list. I pulled into King Family Vineyards in time to catch these young men “playing” soccer. As it happens the theme for my photo group on facebook this week is Feet and Hands. I got a couple of shots in before I went inside.
The wine was good here, there were two I liked and I might have made a purchase if this hadn’t been my first stop but this was just a detour on the way to my destination. Veritas Vineyard is the reason I made the trip over the mountain today. And this cork LOVE sign is why (I know, call me crazy).
This place was packed to the gills with the tasting line going out the door. I was hungry and had packed some sandwiches so my priorities shifted once I got my LOVE picture. Just outside the tasting room door was an alcove with a friendly helpful woman selling bottles and glasses. I told her the kind of wine I wanted to drink and she picked out a few for me to taste. I bought a bottle of the Seyval Blanc. A glass would be too much, you see. I was driving and with a bottle I can pour just enough to compliment my turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich and finish it when I get home. Drink responsibly!
Veritas is a beautiful winery and I enjoyed my time there.
When I left Veritas I noticed that just a few more miles up the mountain was Afton Vineyard. I thought “there is little chance I will come here again, I should visit now”. With that being said let me tell you when I rounded the corner with the winery and vineyard in full view I’m, pretty sure I said “Wow”. It’s amazing. It’s the kind of place you don’t really want to go alone because it should be shared. It was simply that kind of day. The weather was perfect (in August no less), the skies, the wine, the company…oh wait; I was alone. hehehe
When I left Afton Vineyards I rode into Waynesboro, not far, just far enough to get this picture. I mean while I was so close! I haven’t researched all the nuances of this sign yet except to learn that Waynesboro was Virginia’s first Urban Trout Fishery. I hope to learn more later and when I do I will share it.
I noticed that I was very near to the entrance to Skyline Drive. I decided to drive the whole thing, 105 miles, Waynesboro to Front Royal. It’s a slower pace but a much better road that then interstate where I am pretty sure they are trying to kill me.
I was driving along trying to decide what to do. I was getting hungry and there was another turkey sandwich in the cooler but I thought I might like another spot of wine to wash it down. I was also thinking I would also like to eat/drink outside (the weather was phenomenally gorgeous). Hmmmm…driving…driving…coming up to Big Meadows; no dining opportunities there per se but a bit down the road is Skyland. I decided I would not stop again until Big Meadows, where I would use the rest room, and take some pictures. “Next” I thought “I will head to Skyland, perhaps get a bit of wine to go with my second turkey sandwich.”
By the time I got to Skyland my thirst for wine had dissipated and I changed my mind. I ate my turkey sandwich with my water on the terrace. I read another chapter of my book and left.
I was just on Skyline Drive last week and as it turns out I ended up in the same spot for the sunset. Slightly disappointed, I took a few shots and headed home.
I drove a few more miles, pulled over a few more times but the sun was going down without me getting a great shot.
…and then, this happened! It was truly inspirational!