For a few months before our trip, I kept an eye on Groupon and LivingSocial for any deals on places to stay in NoVA. About six weeks out, one showed up in Harrisonburg, at a little bed-and-breakfast called By the Side of the Road. The deal was two nights for the price of one for two in a little cottage suite along a creek that runs beside the property. With the addition of two cold Guinnesses and a $25 gift certificate for a local Irish pub, the deal couldn’t be beat! I phoned the inn to be sure it was okay if we brought our little one along, and the innkeeper graciously allowed us to stow her away in our room (they don’t normally allow for children that small). 😉
After a long ordeal at the car rental place upon touchdown at Dulles (Hertz: I DON’T recommend them — they charge a boatload for extra insurance which they make it sound like is absolutely necessary), we sleepily arrived at the cottage after a two hour drive from the airport. We were greeted by soft, inviting melodies floating from behind the door. Evelyn fell in love with the place at first sight. In addition to the oh-so-comfy mattress and bedding, there was a cozy, little kitchen nook on the other side of a half wall that divided the room.
We ate our breakfast at the small table which came contained in a picnic basket around 9 the next morning with a quick knock on the door. The first morning’s fare was homemade heart waffles with pecan syrup, sausage links and raspberry mousse.
Only wish I could’ve asked for seconds! 😉 The second morning was a farmers’ market omelet with fresh fruit — another win!
The place had a delightful porch that overlooked the water and the main inn across the way. We had a few too many things on our schedule to really take advantage of the place. It is meant for a restful, quiet stay. And we had a trip to Front Royal on the agenda for the day (about an hour drive).
We arrived in Virginia with a rainstorm. We attempted to beat it to Front Royal, where we made a pitstop for lunch at the Cracker Barrel for good, ol’ fashioned southern cooking.
Meet our gangsta daughter. (!)
No trip to the Cracker Barrel would be complete without a ride in one of their rockers. This one is just her size. 🙂
Lunch was followed by a trip to Christendom College, where I showed Stephen around the campus of my undergrad alma mater. We stopped into the library where we ran into the delightful Mrs. Krebs and caught up a bit. A stroll behind the library revealed a new brick wall that was placed at the vista point overlooking the Shenandoah River. As we stood there, we got this strange feeling that the storm was impending. Stephen checked his phone to find a severe thunderstorm alert for the area — 100 percent chance of rain and lightning. We started climbing the hill, a bit anxious. I nearly took off running when a few drops appeared. These storms can go from zero to 60 in about 5 seconds flat! We got to the car just in time for the rain to really start coming down.
I didn’t want to miss a chance to show him the beautiful chapel, so we drove around to the other side of campus. In the time it took to do that, there was so much rain coming down that the road was a river. Gusts of wind were whipping the trees back and forth. We didn’t dare emerge from the car. Another car drove up beside us to wait out the storm. It wasn’t even safe to drive in. After about 20 minutes, the sky cleared a bit and we hurried to peek inside the church.
Then, time for some refreshments and a meet up with some old friends at the Daily Grind on Main Street!
Fun with Daddy. 🙂
We ended the night at the Masons’ house for a yummy bbq with Colin, Sarah, and the boys. Sadly, I neglected to take photos. 🙁