And we were off to Charlottesville, aka C-Ville. Where both corner groceries and restaurants push local food and drink. You can buy apples grown on the same mountain you hiked. The bumper stickers read " No Farms, No Food".
This is our kind of town. Thomas Jefferson, free outdoor concerts, gardens galore and ripe white peaches.
And the houses? Mellow brick or subtle stuccos, high ceilings and old wood floors, extra long windows and deep moldings. For example, our friends' house?
Oh, and a sun room, a patio, a wraparound porch, a garden shed, and a dark, sexy living room.
It did not look this way when 3 of us arrived, 2 from Arlington, 1 from Atlanta. It looked like people had just moved boxes in and left town.
And so they did, left a week later for a preplanned 3 week vacation in Finland, oh and 2 more weeks abroad for the husband and child. Our friend had been back in this country for 4 days when we hit town.
Those boxes hadn't unpacked themselves so we dug in. It took 4 women, 3 days, with breaks spent hiking and eating both in restaurants and around the newly excavated table, a steady stream of espresso for me and chilled bottles of wine for the others to primp this house. We laughed, cried and told stories as we broke down cardboard, hung pictures and vacuumed those beautiful floorboards.
We ate our weight in kale salads and salmon, fed our sweet tooth with pricey mouthfulls of salted caramel ice cream, then woke up early and tackled the garden.
Strangely it didn't feel like work it felt like people coming together to raise a barn or sew a quilt. A communal effort that brought great satisfaction to all involved.
Better than a weekend at the beach GG told me.
If you feed us we will come.