Wednesday, April 24, 2013

charlottesville day 1

Charlottesville...in pictures, but with my 2 cents' worth added to flesh out the juicy details.
Let's start with the farmers' market where Jen and I met up with Becky Calvert and Patience Crabstick.  While they hashed out all the local gossip, I stood back and soaked in the "homegrown/homemade/organic/healthy/earth-friendly" vibe.  It would be easy to drop a lot of money at that market and even though it seemed busy to me, I was informed it was just warming up for the season.  Imagine!  I also spent a little time fantasizing about what it would be like to live near such fun women full-time.  I'd never be home I guess.

 En route back to Jen's, we dropped in Cappellinos Crazy Cakes (which, I later learned, baked cupcakes for The Rock's daughter's birthday...yeah, That The Rock).  Could that place and those ladies behind the counter BE any cuter?  Plus the food?  Pretty delectable.  Fun ladies, funky atmosphere, delish baked goods.


You can walk just about everywhere in this town.  It's hilly and on this particular weekend FULL of flowers.  Lovely old houses with gardens tended to by very devoted owners.  I could bore you with tons of garden snaps, but I won't.  Just imagine the smell and vision of phlox, lilacs, tulips, cherry trees, dogwood, and daffodils all in bloom at once.


Back at Jen's.  Did I mention her husband has really good beer on tap? Well, he has a little less on tap than he did before I showed up in town.  (Pete's a peach of a guy, even if he didn't have local brew so handy.)

 Back on the town for lunch, Jen took me to Boylan Heights.  Clever campus joint with the fried potato salad.  And good burgers.

 To the right is my potato salad.  Imagine a scoop of potato salad dropped in a basket fryer for just a few seconds to achieve that crispy texture (like a french fry) and making the inside all warm and melty.  Creamy, savory, a bit sweet and something you absolutely must try if you ever get the chance.


During our walking tour of UVA we ran into some performance art.  Or something.  It was called "Festival of the Creature."

 Lovely, gracious UVA. 
 Ol' TJ had an eye for details.  Like this staircase fireplace.  So many pleasing spots throughout the grounds. 
 Gotta take the occasional buddy shot.
One imagines student life would be quite academical living in such a place.  This garden is one of a dozen situated behind the original buildings.  Intended for student and faculty use, they are open to the aforementioned and the curious public. 
 Later that day we went to Becky's.  She writes and photographs about her yard much better than I could, so here's the link.  Allow me a moment to wax eloquent about Becky's bacon jam, cherry butter, melon jam, olives, bread and wine selections.  Savory, sweet, flavorful--hell, it was a party in my mouth.

Patience brought nuts and sausages that made the party more like a regular festival.  Plus the sun shone and the breeze ruffled the leaves overhead.  Becky's got plenty of lawn chairs and her yard's got that "lay back and kick it barefoot" kind of atmosphere.  And her people (daughter, husband and pal) were delightful. If Jen hadn't collared me and dragged me back to her place, I'd still be lounging in a chair beneath the crabapple tree, drinking wine and enjoying the conversation.

You ever read about a place and think, man, that sounds fantastic?  Jen, Patience and Becky were exactly like they are in their blogs, but better.

I'll fill you in on Day 2 tomorrow. 

15 comments:

  1. It sounds just amazing--as you and Jen both are!

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  2. After describing the deep fried potato salad, I now believe you and would love to have some.

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  3. Aw, thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself here! Maybe next time you can stay here and get the 'full' Greenleaf Lane experience.

    I concur that Charlottesville was particularly lovely this past weekend. Is there a yard in town without an azalea right now? I know there's not one in my neighborhood. And with them all in bloom, it's just divine.

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  4. Sounds wonderful AND you got to meet Grace and Ellie.

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  5. Sounds like a feast for both stomach AND eyes! The gardens and flowers look so beautiful!

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  6. I'm so glad you like Charlottesville! It is lovely in the spring. Boylan heights is definitely my favorite burger place in town.

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  7. Could it possibly be more awesome than that? I don't think so!
    Also, thank you for the photo of Pete's beer fridge on tap -- I've been wanting to see that!

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  8. PLEASE tell me you don't still have snow at home!

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  9. bacon jam.... bacon jam..... bacon jam.....

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  10. fried potato salad and bacon jam! Soooo exotic :)

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  11. Jealous, jealous, jealous! I'm so glad you had such a fun time with such amazing folks. And bacon jam? Whaaa?

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  12. This is all just so cool, from meeting the ladies to meandering around Charlottesville (we lived there the summer I was 10; my dad was studying with a prof at UVA). Lovely.

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Spill it, reader.