While I was excited for our historical adventure to Charlotteville, VA I was slightly depressed leaving the beach. A little back story on how this trip came to be. My boyfriend and I wanted to go on vacation during the holiday and after tossing around a few ideas we thought a road trip would be fun. I used the app Roadtrippers to map out a few routes that took us to Hartford, CT, Ocean City, NJ, Pittsburg, PA and even Myrtle Beach, NC. Every proposal I gave him he always went back to Virginia Beach; this had never been on my radar before. I finally asked “Why Virginia Beach Kyle?! What is so special about it that it trumps North Caroline?” He sat back in his office chair and said “Because of Monticello.”
“What the hell is that?”
He begins a google search and pulls up some photos,”It’s Tomas Jefferson’s House. See isn’t it pretty.” His eyes widened in wonder like a child viewing Christmas lights for the first time.
“Alright let me re-route some things.” So because my boyfriend is a history buff and I love the water Virginia was our destination.
First stop Jamestowne. This was more appealing to my boyfriend than me. The history was neat but to be honest it was underwhelming. I expected to march on the grounds of my ancestors and see artifacts and replicas of living establishments but that was not the case. In fact they took the time to recreate rubble foundations but not the actual houses from that time. The worst part was the heavily wooded area which caused for bugs. I am not a wilderness girl and I certainly do not stand for insects. I was being followed by one fly the entire time and once we headed deeper into the wilderness I had had it. I sprinted off toward the beach in hopes of relief from this pesky species but no such luck. I knew my boyfriend truly was enjoying himself but I could not hang. He suggested I meet him inside the welcome center and I agreed I had had enough of wilderness for the day.
We arrived in Charlottesville, VA and again chose to use Airbnb. We were limited on time but our wonderful host notified us she would be at Monticello as part of tour guide staff. We had a 3pm first floor tour of Thomas Jefferson’s home and had to check in 30 minutes before the tour. We got there just in time for the check in only to find out we had to walk up a flight of stairs and wait in the heat for the bus. After traveling up the hill we are dropped off just to the right of the center grounds. We are then told that we have to wait until our tour time; we had about 10 minutes to kill. We walked around and embraced the largeness of the Monticello establishment. Being on “a little mountain” we were able to see out to the hilly landscape; it was breath taking.
It was finally our turn to enter the home. We were welcomed by a clock and compass on the front patio. This was unique since most homes in Jefferson’s time did not have such technologies. Being built in 1772 I fantasied of the Gone With The Wind staircase as I entered the double doors. Joke was on me. Jefferson did not believe in wasted space and therefore my romanticized image of Monticello was gone.
We entered into the library and there we met Mary, our Airbnb host. If you ever get a tour from her or stay in her home take the time to get to know her. She is a very knowledgeable person and will point you the right direction while staying in Charlottesville.
We concluded the first floor portion and waited for our upper floor tour to begin. I will go into greater detail of this in my next post “The 3 Kind of People in a Guided Tour.” One thing I will say about the upper floor tour is the stairs. As I said previously there was no romanticized stair case but there was a winding spiral staircase, tucked away, on either side of the house. It was such a confined space you would think you were climbing a ladder.
After Monticello and settling into our Airbnb accommodation we decide to hit the night life. The downtown area was so charming. Almost every restaurant had a outdoor option which was great since the weather was beautiful. We chose to eat at an Italian restaurant by the movie theater. The best way I can describe this is a cross between Olive Garden and Spaghetti Warehouse; overall delicious. We left the patio dinning and wondered around the rest of the downtown area. We stumbled across this sports bar titled The Draft Taproom and figured why not have a beer. THIS BAR IS A GAME CHANGER! This was not your ordinary sports bar; this was a cross between Dave and Busters meets a beer buffet. We walked to the hostess who gave us a plastic card, much like the game cards you receive at Dave and Busters, which enabled us to get our beer. From there we had free reign; that’s right you pour your own brew how cool! There were over 50 types of craft beer to choose from. They also provided you with several sized glasses ranging from taste testing to 16 oz; which was nice since some of the beers I just wanted to try.
My boyfriend went for the IPA and said it cost $4 like it was a bad thing; mind you he poured a whole 16 oz glass which isn’t bad for a craft beer. I took my time scoping all the options. Once I found my choice I asked my boyfriend for the magical piece of plastic that will allow me to get my beer. The process is like Dave and Busters but instead of swiping my card to play a game I got beer which is way better. I placed my card on the loading doc then I poured my desired amount into my glass and once I was done took my card off the loading doc. After trying 12 beers and drinking about 4 glasses we spent $22; I couldn’t believe it was so cheap. I really wish we had one of these where I lived.
The next morning we packed up and drove home. While vacation was fun it was good getting home and just zoning out for 1 day before getting back to real life. If you plan a trip to Charlottesville, VA go to The Draft Taproom; it is a life changer. Read my next post “The 3 Kind of People in a Guided Tour”