Other than the fact that I knew I wanted to go pick peaches at Carter Mountain Orchard, I wanted to have a road trip day with no agenda, no time constraints, no curfew, etc. I think we pulled it off.
After over-sleeping, we hit the road. I was anxious that sleeping in meant we'd be walking around an orchard during the hottest part of a 102 degree day with no shade except the 8 foot tall peach trees next to us...but I tried not to let it show. :)
We've been to this orchard once before but just visited the store on the way to Monticello. We didn't pick anything or buy anything. So this time I wanted to take my time and see what they had to offer after we picked our peaches! It's about an eighth of a mile walk from the shop to the orchard, but it seemed like much longer in that heat! We should have taken water or something with us, but that whole spontaneous, unprepared thing got in the way of our hydration! We each picked a bag full and then headed back up the hill.
Dave snapped a pic of this poor apple with a Siamese twin on the way to the peach trees:
They have bird houses in the store - last time they had one painted in JMU colors, but incorrectly labeled the mascot as 'Bulldogs' instead of 'Dukes.' I was hoping to get a picture of it this time, but they either sold it or yanked it from the shelves due to quality issues, so I didn't see it. :( They had plenty of others, though, including a Halloween themed one! Weird.
We paid for our peaches along with some peach cider donuts, a Lodi apple and peach cider for Dave, and since the orchard also has a vineyard on site we headed over to the wine shop! We sampled a Bellini slush they make using their peaches - it was so good!
After the orchard, we headed downtown - stopped at a couple antique shops, Circa and Oyster House. Oyster House is definitely not my style, but they had some beautiful pieces of furniture in there! Circa, on the other hand, was lovely. It was everything antique shops should be - half junk, half legitimate antiques, and half overpriced tchotckes. Yes, I realize that's 3 halves. That's why it's funny.
Next stop was the Downtown Mall - a tree-lined city street blocked from traffic. Picture Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg without all the cars, and you've got this place. Love.
photo by Andrew Collins
We stopped in one place for lunch, but they had multiple large HDTV's and the US vs. Ghana game was on, so there were no seats available in the whole place! 3 doors down, however, they had a laptop with the game streaming, and there were nothing but empty seats. So we ate there! :) After dinner we headed home - we took 250 the whole way for the scenic view. Good day :)