Historic Mount Vernon invites visitors to sip wine while watching the sunset on George Washington’s home! Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon, an event over Memorial Day weekend (May 25 – 26), offers a rare opportunity to visit Mount Vernon after the daytime crowds have departed. Visitors may take evening tours of the Mansion, relax and enjoy wine and desserts available for purchase on the
lawn overlooking the Potomac River.
Delight in 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and immerse yourself in the 18th century as the sun sets on the plantation with costumed residents like the charming Lady Washington. This family-friendly event celebrates the beginning of summer on the plantation.
Tickets are $18, adults; $12, children ages 6-11; and free for five and under. This event requires a separate ticket from daytime admission. Annual passes are not valid for this event. All activities, with the exception of food and wine, are included with admission to this event. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at MountVernon.org or at the Ford Orientation Center ticket window until
8:00 p.m. the evening of the event. Guests must be prepared to show identification to purchase wine.
Tickets can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/126pxez
I was honored to be invited by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner
to host a Blogger Night Out Event for local social media influencers and their +1s. It was great to connect with old friends and meet and see new faces too! In the world of social media, you can never know too many people!
Iman, the marketing director, graciously invited us into Entyse Bar and Lounge
for a spectacular night of networking, laughter, and of course, food and beverage. I have to admit that Vincent, the wine director, had us all feeling quite fine with his luscious assortment of vinos (my new favorite is the White Haven Sauvignon Blanc
- try it, you won't be disappointed!). The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is not just a swanky hotel for out of town guests - they offer so much more! For example: there are classes for kids in the kitchen, manicure and martini events for women, and sushi nights every Thursday! Check out the pics below of the night out - Special thanks to The Ritz-Carlton for hosting!
If you're a social media influencer and you'd like to be invited to an event hosted by Real Housewives of Northern Virginia, please email email@example.com with your contact info so that we can connect! *sponsored content provided by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.
Cupid’s Bar Crawl celebrates the season of love with a fun group gathering. Join thousands of brightly clad fellow crawlers as they amble from stop to stop on this Cupid excursion. Whether you’re single, taken, or just hoping to get shot by Cupid’s never failing arrow, do so with some of DC’s finest!
A ticket gets you pink, white and red Valentine’s Day/Mardi Gras signature beads, a wristband, and drink specials at some of Dupont Circle’s best bars. Participating establishments include: Ozio, Public Bar, Irish Whiskey, The Mighty Pint and more to be announced shortly! Each bar will feature Valentine’s and Mardi Gras holiday shenanigans and drink specials from 3PM until 11PM! Registration: Irish Whiskey between 3PM-7PM
What you get: Valentine’s Day & Mardi Gras beads, a signature refillable mug, access to some of DC’s best bars, raffle entry for great prizes and free pictures of the event.
Dress Code: Participants are encouraged to dress in whatever best expresses this Valentine’s season, whether it be a full-body Cupid’s suit, a heart shaped costume, or a pink angel sent from the heavens.
You must be 21 years or older to participate. Please drink responsibly. For more event details visit www.CupidsBarCrawl.com
Presented by the Crystal City Business Improvement District in partnership with the Washington Wine Academy, the 1K Wine Walk promises “racers” a one-of-a-kind opportunity to taste and learn about wines as they make their way through the interior walkways and Crystal City Shops.
Select your heat and make your way through the race course in the Shops at Crystal City stopping at “hydration stations” along the way where you’ll find wines instead of water (actually there will be water, too) and cheese and bread instead of bananas. Celebrate your personal best at the end of the course in a fun-filled finish festival that includes more wines, great music and complimentary bites.
We recently spent a weekend in beautiful Shenandoah County, Virginia. It also just happened to be my birthday weekend. I was looking forward to experiencing the falling leaves, green pastures, and the quiet pace of life that can be found just about an hour west of Northern Virginia. We left Fairfax at 2pm on a Friday and headed towards the mountains. With no traffic on 66, it only took us about an hour to land at our first destination: the Shenandoah County Tourism Office. We met with the Director, Natalie, who had our whole weekend planned for us. To top it off, she had a swag bag packed with
Shenandoah-style goodies! We snagged a copy of our itinerary and headed into the mountains towards our first stop. We arrived at Bryce Resort just before dinner and were greeted by Rob, the General Manager. Rob gave us a walking tour of the beautiful resort and newly fitted ski lift for the 2012 season. Bryce Resort offers skiing, tubing, ski-wee (think pee-wee ski camp for the little ones) and more for the winter season.
We came inside for dinner and a drink - I was totally caught off guard. The food was amazing - so good that we wanted to come back later in the weekend for seconds! I never, ever, ever eat ribs. but Rob kept encouraging us to try them... and for a good reason. Delish! If you make it out this season and are looking for something lighter - try the chicken drumsticks with homemade ranch paired with a spicy bloody mary. #lush!
Saturday morning, we say goodbye to The Feathered Nest B&B and headed to Shenandoah Uncorked at The Yellow Barn
. I was excited to check out the wineries located a little further south down I-81. The neatest part of the wine tastings was that since it was getting chilly outside... all of the wineries brought their own version of muddled wine for tasting. And most were being served out of a crock-pot -- such a comforting feel. Of course, we couldn't leave before taking a one hour walking tour of the Caverns.
| || |
| || |
i think this formation @ the Caverns looks like Capitol Hill
On the second night, we stayed at the AC Stickley Bed and Breakfast
in the heart of old town Strasburg. AC Stickley is a beautifully restored home within walking distance to the downtown scene. Donna, the inn keeper, was so welcoming even though we arrived a little after schedule. We were invited to a gorgeous suite with two fire places, beer in the mini fridge, and a delicious breakfast the next morning. Donna loves to cook - and she is always changing up the menu and snacks. Our fruit in the morning was a warm apple crisp with a spoonful of vanilla bean gelato. It didn't stop there... Check out her southern trifle made with layers of grits, sausage, cheese, hard boiled egg, garden tomatoes - topped with cheese, sour cream, and chives. Served with baked bacon.
I told Donna to start pinning her recipes so that I could follow!
a few other stops we made along the way --
We walked to dinner at Hotel Strasburg
after checking into AC Stickley. Fine dining, white linens, but with the comfort of a small town.
| |Ran into Sarah, the leading lady behind the successful Route 11 Potato Chips brand. Swing by and take a tour of the factory!
We had a fabulous time - special thank you to Natalie Wills @ Shenandoah County Tourism
for putting together our itinerary and inviting us with opportunity to experience everything Shenandoah Valley has to offer.
If you're planning a trip out, here are a few other recommendations:
by Jenn Plant
What a beautiful day to travel to Millwood, Virginia for the Shenandoah Valley Wine and Music Festival. I fully expected a crisp autumn day but as the sun broke through the clouds, it warmed up nicely and ended up being absolutely perfect.
For our third date, David and I made our way to the fenced off area where the local wineries had set up their tents. There were ten Virginia wineries on location that day, none of which I had ever had the pleasure of drinking before. And was I in for a treat! David, being a chef, had already tried a few of the local wines, but most were new to him as well.
It was $20 for a commemorative glass and unlimited tastings. From super sweet whites to extra dry reds and every possibility in between. One winery had us try the “Kiss of the Devil” made from 30 varieties of peppers, including ghost chilies! They claim it’s “better for basting than tasting” - David and I tried it anyway. It was definitely hot and would be great in a chili recipe. We also discovered the beauty of mulled wine. Think hot apple cider and your favorite red wine. A few of the wineries had their own spin on the sensational drink, but all with the same basic ingredients.
Red Wine. Apple juice. Mulling spices. Keep on low in crock pot. Quick. Easy. Fantasticly delicious. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season. I plan on making large quantities of this and I may or may not share with my family.
After sampling most of the wines, David and I walked around the beautiful property at Long Branch. The paved walkway took us around the historic home and we found ourselves in one of the most beautiful and picturesque places we’d ever seen. Rolling hills, a small pond and horses running in the fields before us; it was absolutely gorgeous. We sat under a tree and simply enjoyed each other’s company and the scenery for almost two hours. Whether it’s another wine festival or maybe a tour of the historic home, I’m hoping that we will be able to visit Long Branch again very soon.
Here’s to an amazing third date and hopefully a fourth. Cheers!
A few of our favorites from the day:
Amissville, VAwww.unicornwinery.com We liked their Traminette 2011 and Chamboucin 2010
Barren Ridge Vineyards
Fishersville, VAwww.barrenridgevineyards.com We loved the 2011 Red Barren and 2010 Harmony
Gordonsville, VAwww.hvwine.com Mix their Chocolate and White Chocolate dessert wine for a bit of heaven in your mouth!
Peaks of Otter Winery
Bedford, VAwww.peaksofotterwinery.com If you dare – Try the Kiss The Devil Chili Pepper Wine
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Every bottle of wine on Giant is on sale at their Manassas/Centreville Rd. location. The store is going out of business on November 1 and wine is marked down 40% off! Plus, if you buy 6 bottles, you get an additional 10% off. Being the savvy consumer that I am, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I had let this sale pass. So, clearly, I picked up a very necessary 18 bottles of wine. Gracias (and adios!), Giant.
Also, my friend Laura over at BeltwayBargainMom
said there is another Giant selling 50% off discontinued wines in Manassas. (I think it's the Sudley Rd. store?)
A fun-filled, action-packed, three-day family celebration unfolds with the 16th anniversary of the Shenandoah Valley Wine & Music Festival on October 12-14, 2012
. Held on the spacious lawns and rolling fields of LONG BRANCH in Clarke County, VA. Pumpkin Chunking will be making its debut this year, being the sport of hurling or 'chucking' a pumpkin by mechanical means for distance. This unique Festival is abundant with children’s activities, live entertainment, artisans and crafters, food vendors, antique fire engines, Virginia Wine Tasting, and so much more.
Friday, October 12 “The Glow”
The Pumpkin and Kite Glow takes place from 4:00 to 8:00 pm for picnicking (enjoy ours or bring your own) with the energizing sounds of local live entertainment. At dusk, and weather permitting, lighted kites will softly illuminate the skies. Bring your own carved pumpkin to our information tent by 6 pm and participate in the Pumpkin Glow or marvel at the intricate carving provided by the local Nalls Farm Market.
Saturday & Sunday, October 13-14
This year LONG BRANCH is excited to announce the 16th Annual Shenandoah Valley Wine and Music Festival will hit the sky with Pumpkin Chunking. Mechanical wizards of all ages will compete to launch pumpkins as far as possible with man-made devices such as trebuchets, catapults and torsions. Teams will compete using science and utilizing engineering skills that encourage creativity, originality, teamwork, and passion. Come out and see for yourself as these engineers test the limits of pumpkin physics!
Bountiful activities will delight the kids including hay rides, inflatable activities, face painting, a hay bale maze and the amphitheater will be located on the south side of the Historic House featuring magic shows and live entertainment. All activities in the Kiddie Korner are provided free of charge courtesy of LONG BRANCH.
Sunrise to Sunset Activities
Stay busy or just park your chair or blanket on the lawns of LONG BRANCH while enjoying a variety of live entertainment. An array of Kite Flying activities will also debut this year, including but not limited to; kite racing, kite battles, kite building, static displays and demonstrations. Festival foods sell non-stop throughout the weekend, including BBQ, Brick Oven pizza, funnel cakes and so much more. Virginia Giant Monster Truck rides, the Old Dominion Fire Society antique fire engine display, Lawn Mower Races, and much more continue throughout the weekend. Vendors will demonstrate, exhibit and sell a wide selection of unique and handcrafted items. Gourmet foods, wine accessories, quality artwork, gifts and hats are among the features.
Friday, October 12, $10 per person
Saturday, October 13, $20 per person
Sunday, October 14, $20 per person
Wine Tasting, $20 per person / per day
Beer Tickets, $5 each or 3 for $10
Children 12 and under, FREE
Directions from Northern Virginia: Go west on Interstate Route 66 to exit 23. Proceed on Route 17 north. Turn left on Route 50 at Paris. Just past Millwood, turn left on Route 624/Red Gate Road.
Other Important Information: • Kite activities are operational weather permitting • Festival held rain or shine – NO REFUNDS • Drink responsibly and designate a driver for the ride home • Pets and outside alcoholic beverages prohibited • Picnics welcome; however, we reserve the right to inspect all coolers, picnic baskets, and bags brought onto the property • Some activities require a nominal fee to participate.
by Brooke Nunley
This weekend was the 37th annual Virginia Wine Festival
in The Plains, VA. Vendors from all over Virginia were present to share all their amazing white, red, blush, and sparkling wines. It was so much fun - definitely an event I recommend to attend with your closest girlfriends!
I lucked out with most gorgeous weather on Saturday!
my friend & me - trust me, our glasses were not empty for long!
white wines - delicious to the last drop.