Hey friends! I hope your weekends were great, whether you are back at work today or enjoying the federal holiday!
A couple weeks ago, Matt and I were booking a trip for later this spring and randomly decided while we were at it to book ourselves a little Valentine’s Weekend getaway in our favorite spot, the Shenandoahs. Because – why not? 🙂 We’ve both been super busy lately with work and social stuff, so we were looking forward to a little quality time together.
As you guys know, Matt and I have stayed at a ton of bed and breakfasts in the area around Shenandoah National Park. It’s kind of “our place” – we started hiking there back in 2005 when we were first dating and have gone at least once every year since. We even got engaged on the top of a mountain in the Shenandoahs back in 2011. 🙂
For this trip, we booked 2 nights at a well reviewed b&b called “Once Upon a Mountain” near Luray, VA, an easy drive to Shenandoah National Park.
We arrived late on Friday and woke up on Saturday to find coffee (for him) and tea (for me) waiting on the ledge outside our room. After breakfast with the others staying at the inn (there are only 3 rooms, so it’s a small group and we enjoyed chatting with the other two couples there), we got some recommendations from the owner and headed out for an adventure! It was REALLY cold this weekend but we decided that wouldn’t stop us from getting in at least a short hike. Once we entered Shenandoah National Park the roads were actually still a bit snowy – we were glad we bought a car with 4 wheel drive last year. 🙂
Check out those icicles on the tunnel – yikes!
When we left the b&b, our car said the temperature was about 22 – by the time we drove up into the mountains and parked for our hike, it said 7. Ahhh!
The sun was shining and we were bundled up so we decided to carry on with our plans. 🙂 We decided to hike a new to us trail called Stony Man Mountain; it’s a short 1.6 mile round trip hike so we figured that would be about all we wanted to do in the cold!
I was surprised that the trail was so snowy! It looked beautiful with the blue sky and sunshine, and I was glad I wore my waterproof hiking boots.
Despite how cold it was it felt great to get some fresh air! There were a couple other small groups out there but otherwise it was nice and quiet. We weren’t cold at all except for our faces – we could have used something to cover our noses in particular!
The summit was gorgeous – check out these views!
It was also SUPER windy up there though – our faces were so cold! We took a couple pictures, enjoyed the views briefly and then hightailed it out of there! Brrrr!!!
After our hike, we headed in to downtown Luray for lunch at a café our b&b host had recommended – Gathering Grounds. It was a cute spot with good food! I had some green tea and tomato soup to warm up, plus a big salad. The buttery toast that came with the soup was so good dipped in. 🙂
Our post-lunch adventure was something warm: we decided to take a tour of nearby Luray Caverns (which are always about 55 degrees)! These famous underground caverns were first discovered in 1878 and feature beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. I wish we could have just toured the caverns on our own, but it seemed the only way to do it was with a big tour group – meh. Not my fave way to see things, but the caverns were still really beautiful.
Our tour guide could have been a lot better – we were pretty unimpressed as the tour didn’t include basically anything at all about how the caves formed or the science behind the cool formations we were seeing. The tour basically consisted of “coming up next you’ll see a formation we call “the towel” because it looks just like a towel!” Um, great, thanks. So – if you tour the caverns, be prepared to not really learn anything (or read up on them on your own first). 🙂
My favorite was this beautiful underground lake – it was so reflective it looked like there wasn’t any water at all!
Post-caverns, we decided some wine was in order. Wine tasting? Don’t mind if we do! We headed to a cute spot near-ish to our b&b called Wisteria Farm & Vineyard.
The tasting room was small but cozy and the others there were regulars that were really friendly. We enjoyed the tasting and bought a bottle to enjoy another glass there before they closed at 5.
Dinner Saturday was at the beautiful Mimslyn Inn – we ate at their “speakeasy” which was nothing to write home about, so I wouldn’t really recommend it – but the hotel itself was gorgeous.
As for Sunday, we had breakfast with the group again and then decided to hit up the hot tub! This was the #1 selling point for us about the b&b – the hot tub was right outside our room and the views were insane. We went in on Saturday night after dinner and the stars were amazing. Sunday morning, we had these beautiful mountains to look at! Nothing better than a hot tub on a really cold day.
We tried to do another short hike in Shenandoah National Park before heading home, but sadly it was closed on Sunday due to snowy conditions. Boooo! So instead, we headed home and got in an afternoon run. We knew it was supposed to snow today and figured it might be our last chance for a run for awhile! It was cold but sunny – pretty good running weather!
We did a 3 mile loop and stopped roughly halfway for some pushups, situps, and dips on a bench. 🙂 Short and sweet!
As for dinner last night for Valentine’s Day, we decided to stay in and have a feast! We hit up Mom’s Organic Market after our run (they just opened one up in Arlington and it’s amazing) for supplies, then got cooking! Matt made us grilled steaks (hence the ski hat – he had to pop outside a few times to the grill) and asparagus plus roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed mushrooms and spinach. We also drank the rest of our Wisteria Farm & Vineyard wine from Saturday!
Dinner is served! It was delicious – my compliments to the chef. 😉
What a fun weekend! I hope you all had great weekends, too, whether you celebrated Valentine’s Day, Gal-entine’s day, or none of the above!
Matt and I are snowed in today and both working from home. We’re planning to do one of the Winter Shape Up workouts in the basement over our lunch break! 🙂
Tell me about your weekend – what’s the best workout or adventure you got in? The best meal?