Family · Life

Anniversary Weekend Away

The weekend didn’t start in the most romantic of ways. I tried to get my glucose test for gestational diabetes done on Friday afternoon, but the lab insisted I should have fasted despite my written instructions saying otherwise. So I started my Saturday bright and early in the crammed waiting room with everyone else who needed to do fasting tests.

This weekend was the first time that my husband and I were away from John at the same time. That scenario combined with no eating, chugging a glucose drink, and only seeing John for a few minutes that morning, made for a very rough start of the trip. Hangry combined with pregnancy hormones is not a good thing. A few minutes into the ride, and some sips of coffee later, I was able to relax a little.

We drove south to the Culpeper/Orange area for the weekend, and made our first stop at Belmont Farm Distillery. Chuck Miller has owned the distillery for decades, and somewhat recently partnered with Tim Smith from the show Moonshiners when he went legal. The facility and tour weren’t the most impressive we’ve ever been on, but Chuck took his time gathering parts of the building from the old Church of Culpeper and hunting down the exact still he wanted.


We kept south to make it to the Market at Grelen for a late lunch. This was my favorite part of the weekend with its adorable atmosphere and appreciation for local items. The Market at Grelen started as a nursery, but now also has a cafe, pick your own fields, an event venue, and hiking trails. Not only do they do their best to serve local Virginia foods, but they also serve Virginia wine, beer, and cider.



After we ordered our lunch, we signed up for the local tasting. We sat down in the greenhouse with Emmie, the general manager, who conducted our tasting. It included a Viognier from Barren Ridge, a cider from Blue Bee, the 2013 Hardscrabble Red from Linden Vineyards, and a beer from Star Hill. I had a wonderful time there relaxing and enjoying the weather, and I highly suggest everyone stop by if you are even slightly in the area.

grelen tasting


It is actually about 10 minutes away from Montpelier, which is where we spent the rest of the afternoon. Montpelier was James Madison’s home for the majority of his life and where he researched and developed the framework for our Constitution. We spent about two hours there, and were able to cover most of the grounds and exhibits.


Had we not eaten a late lunch, I think Forked on Main would have been a great place for dinner in Orange. But we made our way back to Culpeper where we were staying for the night. We had dinner downtown and were able to walk to two of the local breweries, Beer Hound and Far Gohn. I don’t drink beer, even in my non-pregnant state, but I think Steve enjoyed Beer Hound slightly more.


I didn’t plan much for Sunday, other than leisurely making our way back home. I slept as late as possible, but that’s only a finite time for me while pregnant. We started our drive after a late breakfast. To Steve’s advantage, we checked out the third brewery of the weekend, Old Bust Head. We got there right as they opened, but they seemed to have plenty of seating for later in the day and we enjoyed the covered patio.


We came home to a toddler who climbed out of his crib for the first time the night before, and for some reason refused to nap. That’ll teach us to go away.

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