Saturday, September 10, 2011

Three Things You Should Definitely Do in Charlottesville VA

Last week for a part of my vacation I went to visit some friends in Charlottesville, VA, totally missing Hurricane Irene.It rained a little on Saturday, but Sunday, the day folks back in Boston were "hunkering down" (if I had a dollar for every time a newscaster said some version of "hunkering down" in the days leading up to Irene, I would not need a face painting career)

Go to The Flat
The Flat is my friend Lauren's lovely little "takeaway creperie."  I lived with Lauren for two years and she's very good at making yummy things, but she is especially good at making crepes. She uses a lot of fresh, natural ingredients, and my personal favorites were the "Babe in the Woods" (local, woods-raised sausage, Chev and cheddar cheese, spinach, and onions) and the "Sexy Cheesemonger" (full disclosure: I did not try the Sexy Cheesemonger. But isn't that a great name?) If you can't get there, like them on facebook. It'll be almost the same thing.

Get coffee and see a band at Rapunzel's
 This little coffee shop/book store/entertainment venue is in Lovingston, VA. Here's the thing. Lovingston is like an hour outside of Charlottesville. Totally tiny town. Totally in the middle of nowhere. But yet there's this funky little spot with great coffee and an even greater atmosphere. My friends and I saw We Are Star Children, and the crowd there was a crazy mix of older people, goth teenagers, hippies, and kids. Awesome.

Experience The Waltons Mountain Museum
Of the "classic" TV shows my parents DVR and never watch, The Waltons is my favorite. The show always managed to keep a good balance between the weekly angst and hardship of Little House on the Prarie, and the aw, shucks wacky hijinks of Andy Griffith or Leave to Beaver (could anyone else not stand that Andy and Ward were ALWAYS right? I mean, could Aunt Bea or June have their day? I'm just sayin') Also, I  had a little crush on Jason, with his high waisted pants and his earnest piano playing and guitaring.


Anyway, The Walton's Mountain Museum is in an old elementary school in Schuyler, VA. Two older women sit inside at a round table and shuffle over when you show up to collect your name and your $8.00. Some of the highlights of the museum:
  • Taking your photo with Ike and Corabeth cutouts at the general store
  • Measuring yourself against all the Waltons (I'm shorter than Jason -- phew!)
  • Seeing a real, locally confiscated recipe machine (recipe=moonshine, obvi)
  • Experiencing just how much Waltons paraphenelia there is in the world (John Boy and Mary Ellen paper dolls, anyone?)
  • Appreciating Earl Hamner for the prolific writer he was. Earl Hamner wrote the Waltons based on his own life (he was John Boy), but he also wrote the film story for Charlotte's Web, the TV movies of Heidi and Lassie, episodes of The Wild Thornberrys, as well as the decidedly less family friendly fare of The Long Hot Summer.
In conclusion: Eat Crepes. Drink Coffee. See Jason.

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