Last night was a family night in.Simon's girlfriend Rachel came round and brought with her Ollie, (Simon's little brother) and Amy, Ollie's friend, both of which work with Rachel at the nearby summer camp
All of us stayed in with Simon's parents and Rachel cooked us an amazing dinner.I helped.Well, I tried.
It was a three course meal of salad to start with then steak, roast potatoes and green beans for the main and cookie sandwiches to finish and lots of merlot. Was lovely.
Just before we all sat down, Anita, Simon's mum, asked if I wanted to accompany her to put the horses away for the night. I jumped at the opportunity.My cousins all had horses when I was little and they taught me to ride so I was really keen to see the them.
Anita drove me only a couple miles from the house to their barn.It was a beautiful old red wooden barn with really high ceilings with masses of open surrounding fields; wonderful area for horses to graze.
We gave them their food, quickly mucked out the droppings from that day and filled up their water.
I'm going to go riding with Anita tomorrow so I will talk more about the horses then.
Today Simon and I spent the day driving around in the jeep and checking out the local scene.When I say local, I mean it takes half an hour to drive to any conveniences but it's worth it for the scenery.
Our first stop was Barboursville Winery.We paid a mere $4 each to get in. They gave us a free wine glass as a souvenir and put us in front of the old oak bar. We sipped our way through at least 15 bottles of wine nibbling very dry crackers in between with the bar lady describing each one as she poured wine after wine into our glasses.Strangely enough my favourite wine was the semi-sweet white desert wine called Phileo which means 'love for friends and special things'.It says 'a long and cool fermentation is the secret behind the wins complexity and luscious sweetness'.Well la di da! To me it was a gorgeous crispy fresh tasting white wine that wasn't too sweet.
After an hour or so of tasting the wines we got back into the jeep and drove along to Charlottesville, one of the larger of towns near to Orange.It had a main high street of sorts which was nice as the majority of places here are just outlets dotted around the place.This high street had lots of antiques and art shops and there were three very small cinemas.We browsed around the art stalls down the centre of the street and I picked out a brown and green hippie dress to add to my collection.
We hopped back into the jeep and bombed it down the highways to drive along a famous route called Skyline Drive.
Skyline Drive winds it way along the top of the blue ridged mountains that line the horizon of Virginia.We took some stunning photos with Simon's pro camera and just as we were about to turn back it started to drizzle with rain.Excellent timing.
We drove back down the scenic route looking out across the whole of the vast valley and rolling hills.The whole view was incredibly calming.
We made it to the bottom and drove to Rachel's for dinner where we sat with her parents and ate fresh salad and pitta bread and eventually made our way back to Simons where I am here sitting having coffee with his parents while he gets some shut eye for work tomorrow.
All in all a fine day.