7 Year Honeyversary Trip to Virginia
John and I celebrated seven years of marriage in April!
The last seven years have had their share of adventures and learning, losses and victories, sadness and strength, and I’m thankful for all of it. I can still spend time with John and we can laugh like kids, talk about our dreams, or listen to music with the windows rolled down - I’m grateful for such a gentle, loving, and responsible partner in life!
John and I love celebrating our anniversary, which we've dubbed the “honeyversary” because we try to treat it like a honeymoon every year. We oscillate between more involved trips and low-key getaways to his family’s home on the coast of NC. Either way, we have a few rules to make it special:
We get out of town - getting out of our normal schedule and surroundings helps us to connect more deeply.
We have at least one nice meal out together - drinks, apps, entrées, and dessert!
We re-read our vows to each other - it is so meaningful and such a great reminder every single time!
This year, John took the reigns and planned our trip for us! Leading up to our anniversary, we weren’t sure what we would do for our celebration (since we’re trying to pay off our home quickly), but as the weekend got closer, John filled me in that he was planning it as a surprise for me. (Does any other wife out there feel simultaneously so loved and so nervous when a surprise is mentioned? No? Just me?) : )
The day before the trip, John told me we’d be staying two nights at the Fort Lewis Lodge in Millboro, VA, just a short 4-ish hour trip north from our house. We have referred to the Select Registry since booking our wedding night at Arrowhead Inn in Durham, and it has continued to provide the best off-the-beaten-path, luxurious options for bed and breakfasts for our trips. Fort Lewis Lodge did not disappoint!
When taking a road trip, we often like to pick destinations along the way. It makes the trip there a little longer, but it helps make the most of the whole day (since check-ins are usually around 3pm), discover places we might not have otherwise seen, and make more memories together. Well, John knocked this out of the park! He took Friday off, and we left our house before 7 am.
And can I just say, the drive north from Wake Forest is one the most glorious and underrated drives out of the Triangle? We passed through country town after country town, field after field of beautiful farmland, and barely had to get on a highway the whole way! A beautiful spring morning, windows down, honeyversary playlist blasting - it was fantastic.
The first stop along the way (not counting Bojangle’s for breakfast #plaineggbiscuit) was Appomatox Court House, just after crossing into VA. This now National Historical Park was the official ending place of the Civil War in April of 1865, and includes not only the Court House and McLean House (where the surrender was agreed upon by Lee and Grant), but also several other historic buildings, all among beautiful rolling hills, left largely as it was over 150 years ago.
They had an educational film about the surrender (happy to accept nerd-status here, but I love a good educational film!), a museum with artifacts from the war and the surrender, a gift shop, and beautiful paths throughout and around the village. It’s perfect for a family stop for lunch, with picnic tables available around the gorgeous grounds.
After that, we drove up to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, which is right outside of Charlottesville, VA. Guys, I highly recommend making this stop with family some time! To really enjoy it (and make the most out of the somewhat steep ticket price), you’ll want to spend at least 3 hours there, but I’d say just go ahead and make it a half-day trip! There is a cafe, extensive gift shop, museum, film, walking paths, and once you get to the top of the hill where the house is, there’s the tour inside the house, as well as tours around the property. The view from the top is breathtaking!
As you can see below, a storm was brewing and totally crashed in during our in-home tour (no pictures allowed in there, but it was super fascinating!) so our time was cut a little short, but it was still totally worth it!
Then, onto wine country! John chose King’s Family Vineyard, and we had a little wine tasting in a beautiful setting. The weather at that point was a little chilly, windy, and misty, so we weren’t able to sit outside, but they have a large indoor area and the wine was amazing. We bought a bottle of Viognier for our weekend (because it’s the best wine I’ve ever tasted!), and headed to Fort Lewis Lodge!
Once we got to Fort Lewis, we were ready to rest, relax, and stay in one place for a while. The location is so remote that the idea is to stay on-site for most of the time. It is set on 3,000 acres in a valley in the hills northwest of Charlottesville, complete with a river, trails, a disc golf course, cattle, pigs, and amazing meals. They provide breakfast, happy hour drinks and snacks, and dinner! The food was delicious!
Our cabin had a fireplace and kitchenette, and a lovely porch with a porch swing overlooking the fields in the valley. We also brought our picnic basket to take out and create a little moment out in the beauty!
John and I enjoyed a mix of doing nothing, reading, sleeping, taking walks, eating, playing disc golf, eating more, and taking hikes. Being able to stay on-site most of the time made the trip so relaxing! We did venture off the grounds for lunch one day in nearby Warm Springs, named so because it is actually home to natural warm springs, frequented by Thomas Jefferson!
We had lunch at the cutest little cafe/gift shop, and the salad I got there was so good that I was determined to recreate it at home! We sat outside in the garden, and then made our way back to the Lodge!
There are so many cool places to see within a short drive - you don’t have to go far to make a special memory. We’ve had fun thinking outside the box & making time to get away each year, even if it’s just a short trip to a town close by! Be a tourist of your area & pour into the preservation of culture, history, art & artisan craft, & small businesses, & learn something new! There’s so much to see & enjoy!
Going on any trips this fall? Tell me about it below! I’ll be going to Nashville next week, and then Lake Gaston with John’s family in August! Who knows what September and October might bring, but I’m excited!
And here’s a link to the magical salad I attempted to recreate, perfect for the end of summer!
Until next time, happy travels!