I’ve been doing a lot of travelling lately. After my grand tour of Europe over the summer I headed over to Massachusetts and Rhode Island for some historic mansion touring (one of my favorite things to do and more on that later) and then for a yearly vacance down to Nelson County, Virginia with my two besties, K and J, where K’s family has some property and a cabin. We go pretty much every year and since 2010 we’ve always attempted to come up with snappy names for our trips, and if you don’t know where the Three Shillelaghs bit comes from, well then I suggest you search for it on this blog. This year, thanks to a couple jars of moonshine , we went with Moonshine Kingdom. I’ve written about this place before here, so I decided this year I would let pictures tell all their thousands of words.
When K told me that members of her family built this place on a piece of property in the middle of nowhere Virginia, I assumed it would be pretty much a one roomed log cabin; cute but a little rough. I did not expect three bedrooms and all the modern conveniences. And then, of course, there’s the fire pit out front stocked with plenty of firewood. We got a pretty good blaze going this year. Unlike many other years when I failed miserably on that point.
I found this ‘Murder, She Wrote’ game at a thrift store once. K has been a fan since before it was somehow trendy so I had to buy it. And then I forgot it at home for about three years before this year when I remembered, and we played. K and I thought it was pretty fun, but it would have been better with more people. J… didn’t seem to care for it much.
And then how could we play ‘Murder, She Wrote’ without playing my awesome new (to me) Jurassic Park card game! My only complaint? They refer to the dilophosaurus as a spitter. I mean, what?
We had perfect weather.
Another of my favorite things about going to Virginia? Smoked meats. When we first started going down there we bought all our groceries at the IGA and cooked our meals. But since then things have been happening in Nellysford and the surrounding area. A couple of breweries have opened and it seems like everyone has a smoker going out back. Mmm, succulent slow smoked delicious meats.
And, of course, flights of beer. Which… well, I don’t like beer. But J, does and so he enjoyed one at Wild Wolf Brewing Company. I tried their Berliner Wolf and thought it was pretty good, which is a first. But, I am really obsessed with their root beer. It’s made with honey and delicious. I get a growler full every year.
We always head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway to take some pictures of the beautiful view. I am pretty sure that I have the same pictures from every year, but it’s just so damned beautiful that it’s hard not to take some more.
Raven’s Roost Overlook is the perfect place for pensive portraits.
And dramatic angles.
I am pretty sure that tiny tree is the only thing that keeps this rock from falling at Greenstone Overlook where there are some excellent little hiking trails.
At night there is moonshine. Midnight Moon Apple Pie flavor and Ole Smoky shine soaked cherries (they were STRONG).
But honestly; this did not end well for me. Even if it was really fun going down, there was some Exorcist-style vomiting later on. Still, I’m pretty sure I’d do it again.
We were only there for one full day, drove in on Saturday and out on Monday, so it never feels like enough. Especially when the drive in is this beautiful.
But at least we know we’ll be back. Probably at the same time next year.