Canada /USA Fall Foliage Tour - 2009 travel blog

Lunch at the glassworks/pottery with Jim and Alan

And our genuine mistake when we climbed into the wrong car after...

After leaving Wilmington we got up into the Shenendoah National Park and...

We popped out the Parkway at Charlottesville, Virginia, to see Thomas Jefferson's...

Along the Skyline Drive in Shenendoah National Park, Virginia

Bruce actually got out of the truck and onto his bike on...


Tons of vistas such as this at elevations up to 3900 feet

I liked the vine that seems to gobble up trees around here...

October 20th:

On our second day at Wilmington, we went out for lunch at the Simon Pearce glass works/pottery, very high end stuff (read: expensive – I can’t tell the difference myself!) but it was a lovely lunch right beside the Brandywine River and we had a good afternoon out with Jim and Alan. Funny moment as we left the restaurant at the glassworks. Alan and I each opened one of the back seat doors, and I said “where’s my jacket?” Bruce and Jim were outside examining a large scratch in the side of the car and saying it must have just happened. Then I got out again and went to the front passenger seat and said “Did you have a coffee mug here earlier Jim?” No, sez he. Then we all stepped back a pace and looked again and saw we were climbing in the wrong car! It was identical and parked right next to Jim and Alan’s and the doors were open.

Arriving back at the condo (which is also situated on the Brandywine but further down), Jim spotted an ad in the paper for Jos. Banks shirts, which he loves (something like Brooks Bros.) and that he swears by for traveling (no iron, no wrinkle). He talked Bruce into going to look since they were Buy One Get One Free. So we piled back into the car and one hour later Bruce had three very nice new shirts. We also went into this fabulous food market, Janssens, where I got my foodie fill and found a number of items that we haven’t been able to find until then: Digestive biscuits, pickled onions, crumpets, etc. We’ve managed without until now, but I’ll tell you one thing. When the Marmite runs out, we’ll be hot-footing it for home!

We left Jim and Alan’s mid-morning yesterday, our first stop being to a fabulous local wine shop, where we filled up on ‘Menage á Trois’, which also happens to be a pretty tasty wine. What a great wine store it is and just around the corner from Jim and Alan’s – lucky ducks!

First time on this entire trip that our first destination has been a Grog Shop!

But our second destination was also a shopping excursion. Bruce wanted to get some shoes like some that Jim has – so that meant another excursion to an LL Bean. (Okay by me!) Our route was south-west and we wanted to swing wide around Washington, DC. We both learned our lesson regarding driving in Washington when we were here a few years ago and were not prepared to do it with the Mother Ship on this occasion. So, we went to Fairfax and found LL Bean, got his shoes (oh, and incidentally, I got a nice jacket, too!) , then set the GPS to find us a Wegmans food store. Now, if I gave the impression that going to LL Bean’s flagship store was like getting to Mecca, I’ll tell you: Wegmans is THE Mecca of food stores. It’s a foodie’s paradise and I could have trolled around in there for hours. The whole basement is also a wine shop but, having been at the wine shop in Wilmington only a few hours before, we controlled ourselves (to avoid temptation) and didn’t go down there. Instead, we settled for picking up four bottles of Barefoot Cab Sauv and Merlot in the main food store – AT ONLY $4.47 each!!! Wow – I’d be a complete lush and fat as a hog if I lived around here! We were looking for a specific item – lamb shanks with minted rosemary sauce (that J & A had served to us) but they didn’t have (just racks of lamb) so I guess we’ll just have to go to another Wegmans down the road – what a shame! :)

We didn’t go far yesterday. Just to the start of the Shenendoah National Park and the beginnings of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our site was right next door to a nice couple from near Penticton, B.C. (Fran and Mike). Sat with them around our first campfire, consuming some of our cheap plonque, and had a lovely evening. The day had been spectacularly warm and the evening was lovely.

October 21st:

Started along the Skyline Drive in Shenendoah National Park this morning. It is fabulous! We’ve reached elevations of up to 3685 feet driving along the very ridge of the hills. There are lots of scenic outlook pullouts and we’ve been leap-frogging along the route with the same people – hello again! One Korean couple was very interested in our camper so we gave them a tour of the palatial digs and they were delighted to find out that we had spent some time in Andong Province in Korea. Bruce jumped out at a lunch stop and put his bike together and rode about 22 miles along the route – some good ups and downs at that – and I finally got to drive the truck. He thinks he did about 3,000 vertical feet. We are now stopped only about 43 miles in along Skyline Drive – and it’s almost 4pm (I’ve been waiting for Bruce to get here) but will move along now as we need to find a place to park for tonight. (Stayed at Loft Mountain at Mile 80 miles in along the route – very nice.)

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