Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Escape Velocity

Maura and I took a trip to Sunny Charlottesville last weekend, in an attempt to rehabilitate me from the tender mercies of Sunny Tampa. After a solid month of late hours and flabbergasting timesheet totals, I had racked up enough overtime to kill a horse (by buying another horse and hiring a tae-kwon-do instructor to teach it how to roundhouse kick the other horse to death). Except I don't get overtime, due to some nefarious (and nebulous!) loophole in the labour laws. But I still had enough extra money to burn it on calculated frivolity.

And I certainly had enough mental health issues by that point to justify a vacation. So off we went.

Why Charlottesville? Many people ask this question, and many of them live in Charlottesville and are perhaps most confused by the decision. Most people on earth find it difficult to believe that anyone would want to visit *their* town, out of all of the places in the world that are ~(*their* town). In this case, frequent readers understand that I am a fan of Thomas Jefferson, who was in turn a fan of the town in question. "What is all the fuss about?" we wondered.

The city also lives in the mountains, requires a pleasantly lengthy trip through the wild countryside of Virginia, and amounts to "the big city," when compared to Fredericksburg, or "the big suburbs," to those with colloquial leanings familiar with the area.

We stayed here, despite their flash-based website. I wanted to go to the one that had their entire navigation menu ensconced in the BLINK tag, but we couldn't find the phone number what with all the seizures. Anyways, the South Street Inn is right there in the middle of a million restaurants and movie theatres, the hostess bakes astounding cookies, and they have a giant painting of an orangoutang on the wall. What's not to love?

Our itinerary included a trip to Monticello, which you can see evidence of on my Flickr page. It was freezing cold and the line was surprisingly long and surprisingly not full of middle schoolers, and the tour was everything I had hoped it would be. The library and the giant maps of Africa and South America (!!!) being the highlights for me.

And the LEMON TREE. They had a lemon tree growing in the greenhouse. I have always wanted to grow citrus fruit, but have been discouraged from doing so by my latitude. Was it real? Was it fake? Is it possible? The questions!

Dinner and a movie, charming and wonderful, even though the food wasn't great and the movie (Wallace and Gromit) was absolutely forgettable. Why must they put carrots on everything?

Monday was filled with lunch with Jesse and then a hike through Ragged Mountain, which is an awesome forest right outside Charlottesville. I discovered it last time I was there through the services of a friendly geocacher. They have since outlawed geocaching in the park. Now no one will ever be able to find it again (unless they already know where it is), past the winding and intimidating gravel path that provides the only access. Good job guys.

Apparently this place inspired this story, by Edgar Allen Poe, which I have not read and therefore cannot endorse, except perhaps as a more professional description of the area than I can hope to provide.

Pictures of this adventure may follow in due time.

All in all, a great trip. Something that should be done by everyone (EVERYONE) more often. The whole Bed and Breakfast experience, while slightly more expensive than the Sleep Inn, is infinitely more rewarding. Even when you are trapped in a conversation in the lounge with the proud parents of a UVA student who describe his "girlfriends" as "Bitch number 1 and Bitch number 2" in an entirely serious and unironic way. Even then.


Post a Comment

<< Home