Monday, November 10, 2008

Who On Earth Are These Folks?

Who on earth are these folks? The men in the ten gallon Texas style hats spoke to Sandra and I at Linden Winery in Linden, VA and the next thing you know we were striking up a conversation and then we were taking their group photo since they forgot to bring a camera along on their wine outing. I promised them that I would post it on my blog so here's to the men in the ten gallon Texas hats. And they promised me that they would find the blog and post a comment too. We will see. In the meantime I'm not going to hold my breath.

Every winery seems to have a big dog that wants to sniff out the winery guests. Hey, watch it big dog!

Friday's trip south to the Charlottesville, VA area included having lunch at Virginia's most famous winery, aptly named Barboursville. This is just about the oldest winery in the state of Virginia and it was started by one of the largest wine producing wineries in Italy. The famous Zonin wine family that have vineyards all over Italy including beautiful Tuscany. Click on the photo above and look behind the white horse fence and you will see the ruins of the old Barboursville anti-bellum plantation home that at the turn of the century was destroyed by a fire. The brick walls, chimneys and pillars are all that remain of the fire destroyed house. On another November weekend with our good friends, Gene and Sandra, we had a wine picnic outside by these historic ruins because there was no room for us at the inn, er......I mean at the Barboursville Restaurant. So this past weekend we got smart and made reservations for lunch at the restaurant and we had one fabulous lunch that would rival any three star restaurant in either Italy or France.
Again, here are Gene and Sandra posing for our camera. Don't they look like newly wedded lovebirds! Folks, they have been married for close to 35 years. What a great marriage. Gene who grew up in Philadelphia and went to the oldest Catholic high school in Philadelphia met and fell in love with Sandra in Frankfurt, Germany. Sandra grew up in Liverpool, England and was working for the American Army in Germany. Sandra has the best wit of anyone I have ever met. My sides are still hurting from all the laughing we did this past weekend: "Me Mum says...." Both Sandra and I think a cup of fresh brewed Starbucks Coffee that Jack just loves to drink smells a lot like roadkill dead skunk. Jack just about drove off the road laughing when he heard Sandra say the very same thing. I told her that every time we are out on the road and we smell dead skunk I say Starbucks! You say to-may-toe and I say to-ma-to. Jacks says skunks and I say Starbucks!

The next four photos below are miscellaneous shots of some of the beautiful fall leaves I saw this weekend at Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington D.C.

What is this vine? The seed pods were deep burgundy. Could they be castor beans?

Look below. Here we are back to the formal gardens of President James Madison's Montpelier. I wanted you to see that the green boxwood up by the brick walls are very old and at least ten feet tall. I just love smelling boxwood! I also want to point out a few things about the reconstructed home of James Madison. See the cyprus wood shingles. Click on the photo to see them up close and you will see that they are small and delicate with an oval edge. They are exact replicas of the shingles James Madison used for his home. Now note the red clay bricks that were hand cast in sand to replicate the bricks that James Madison would have had cast for his home. Lastly, note the lightening rod going down from the roof. James Madison had lightening rods on his house in the 1700's. He got the lightening rod concept from his good friend and fellow constitutionalist, Ben Franklin of Philadelphia. I had to throw this in to appease Gene who is a Philly native. Go Phillies. Go Villenova Catholic University! Look here at this photo. Ignore the lovebirds, Gene and Sandra, and focus on the entrance windows. This is a double entrance to keep the north winds from blowing into the house. But we learned on our tour that during the home restoration they discovered after they had removed over 150 years of window moulding paint that these windows slide sideways and/or up and down to allow the cool breezes to enter the home during the warm and humid summer months. Now isn't that just so inventive for way back then! Look above this pretty Paladian window above the door which is the original and look at the set of three windows above. Behind these windows was James Madison's library. By the time James Madison was 11 he had read all 29 books in his father's library so then he got 89 more books which he then proceeded to devour. Now almost half of all those books that he read were written in French which was the world language in the 1700's just as English has become the world language of today. We learned on our tour that James Madison could read and write in seven languages just as his older friend Thomas Jefferson could read and write in seven languages. This was back in the good old days when our presidents were very, very well educated and informed. (Sarah Palin, please take note!)

When the Constitution Convention was convened in Philadelphia, PA James Madison attended at the young age of 35 and proceeded to write most of the original U.S. Constitution as well as the American Bill of Rights. That is why James Madison is remembered as the Father of the Constitution as well as one our founding American presidents.

This is the wonderful visitor's center at Montpeliar that holds extra Madison artifacts like Dolly's engagement ring as well as the recreated Marion DuPont ballroom and horse racing room.
If any of you blog readers are ever in the Charlottesville, VA area, here are the places you must, must tour: Jefferson's Monticello, Jefferson's University of Virginia, Madison's Montpeliar and Barboursville Winery. You will also want to look up to the mountaintop overlooking UVA where Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) once lived and from whom the term the "Who's in Whoville" has become associated with the students of the University of Virginia.
Note to Fishing Guy: How do I get rid of this long gap in my blog that is right below. Post a message and maybe Jack can help me figure this out. I hate these gaps! If any of you bloggers are like me and not that great at this hi-tech stuff, here's the answer to the gaps problem. Put you moving cursor where you want to begin to eliminate the gap, click so now you are "locked" in place and then hit the delete key. There goes the gaps! Bye! Bye!

1 comment:

fishing guy said...

Joann: What a neat post of your trip to the winery. you got some interesting photos of the gardens and building.