Natural Bridge, Natural Bridge, Va

The Natural Bridge is located in Natural Bridge (Rockbridge County), Virginia. It is one of the oldest tourist attractions in the United States, and is included in several “Natural Wonders of the World” lists, designated a National Historic Landmark, a Virginia National Landmark, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

DSC00437

Natural Bridge was amazing to see.  We enjoyed sitting down for a while and taking in all it’s beauty.

DSC00446

 

Brian got lots of kisses from Cello at the Natural Bridge!DSC00457

DSC00465

 

Rockbridge Vineyard, Raphine, Va

Rockbridge Vineyard sits on a hill at 2,000 ft in elevation in Raphine, Va.  The wine maker has worked in wineries in Germany, California, and Virginia, before buying the land to have his own vineyard. The tasting room is actually inside the barn!

DSC00427

 

The wines here have won many medals including Best in Show in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Best in Show in Town Point Competition, and has also won the Virginia’s Governor’s Cup twice.

DSC00412

 

We did the white wine tasting list – and each one was delicious.

DSC00418

 

Cello is waiting patiently for an oyster cracker – or maybe her own glass of wine?  She is the “legal” human-age of 21 now 😉

DSC00413

 

After the wine tasting, we enjoyed a glass of wine before heading out to our next adventure!

DSC00419

This tasting room had a neat concept for the ceiling too…

DSC00422

DSC00409

DSC00408

DSC00410

 

 

Wade’s Mill, Raphine, Va

Wade’s Mill is a working flour mill built in the 1700’s.  The mill was built by Captain Joseph Kennedy, an early settler of the Shenandoah Valley.  The Kennedy family owned the mill for about 100 years before it was bought by James Wade, whose family operated the mill for the next 4 generations.

Cello and Brian outside of Wade’s Mill:

DSC00390

 

Wade’s Mill is now officially registered as a historic place:

DSC00398

 

Wade’s Mill is one of the few remaining flour mills that actually still produces flour exclusively on mill stones.  While we were there, the current owner was milling!

DSC00405

DSC00403

 

The bottom of the mill has a store where you can buy all the goods milled at Wade’s Mill.  We bought some polenta, grits, and pesto bread…YUM!

DSC00397

This mill provides flour, grits, polenta, etc for the local restaurants.

 

 

Byers Street Bistro, Staunton, Va

Byers Street Bistro was the perfect place to grab a bite to eat while exploring Staunton, Va!

DSC00381

They were super dog friendly (even brought water bowls out for the pups!), and the food was absolutely amazing!

 

Cello, Brian, Brandi and Guinness entering Byers Street Bistro:

DSC00373

I had the fried green tomato appetizer and shrimp and grits (couldn’t resist some good southern menu choices that we can’t get up here in Southern NJ!)

 

Cello and Guinness enjoyed themselves and were very well-behaved:

DSC00375

 

Redbeard Brewing Company, Staunton, VA

How could Cello resist stopping at a brewing company named after her Daddy 😉  With Brian being a “ginger”… we couldn’t resist stopping at  Redbeard Brewing Company , located in the historic Wharf district of Staunton, Va. It is Staunton’s first downtown brewery,  and they specialize in “small batches of big beers.”

 

Here is Cello with her Papa Redbeard 😉

DSC00352

 

Ox-Eye Vineyards, Staunton, Va

Ox-Eye Vineyards is located in the historic Wharf District of Staunton, Va. The Vineyard was named after the Ox-Eye flower that grows in abundance on the owners’ farm.

oxeye-daisy-flowers

The tasting room is in a building that was originally built in 1904 and used as an office for a local coal and lumber business.  The building also served as a scale house for horse drawn coal wagons.  The loaded wagons would pull up under the building’s archway to be weighed by the Fairbanks scale.

2012-10-16_13-54-25_742

 

DSC00368

 

DSC00360

 

DSC00358

 

Barren Ridge Vineyards, Fishersville, VA

While camping in Staunton, Va, we visited Barren Ridge Vineyards right after we did some

“spelunking” at Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon, Va.  

barren ridge

 

Barren Ridge Vineyards is located in Fishersville, Va on a former apple orchard.  The winery makes 14 different wines, many of them award-winning. The tasting room is a converted 1890’s apple barn.  The owners preserved the original structure of the barn, and it’s wooden beams.  The ceiling in the tasting room is constructed of the original barn’s wood…it was really neat!

 

DSC00339

We enjoyed doing their wine tasting, and being able to have Cello in the tasting room with us:

DSC00348

DSC00345

 

The tasting room was really nice:barren ridge 2

Our friends Brandi and Stan, and their dog, Guinness, also enjoyed the wine tasting:

DSC00350

 

After the tasting, we enjoyed a glass of wine overlooking the vineyard:

DSC00341