Recently Dave and I had the pleasure of spending time in Lost River, West Virginia with some friends who own a getaway in the mountains. We turned the three day Columbus weekend into four for a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of DC! After a couple conference calls on Friday morning (for Dave) we packed up the pups and our bags and headed west. Our plan was to beat the afternoon traffic, but we got on the road later than we hoped and it seemed everyone else had the same idea.
Jackie was unhappy about the traffic
Finally we made it out of the Route 66 “parking lot” and made our first stop at Valerie Hill Vineyard. We love going wine tasting in Virginia and try to incorporate a new winery (or old favorite like Aspen Dale!) whenever we can. A Valerie Hill, tastings take place in the old brick manor house, with many different rooms to sit and enjoy. We bellied up to one of the tasting bars and finally relaxed while taking our first sips. While we did not purchase anything, I actually enjoyed their 2013 Chardonnay and normally I am a red girl!
the other tasting room
chimney remains of an old tavern
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The trip home seemed much longer than the trip there, probably because there is less excitement about returning home than there is when embarking on a new adventure. We also had a five hour layover in Berlin Tegel, which is now one of my least favorite airports. Rather than having a main security check point that leads you to the terminal and gates, the terminal is outside the secure area and each gate has its own security line. I think it’s pretty inefficient since our flight alone had about 20 security officers and, as a traveler with a long sit time between flights, it was also very inconvenient because you can’t just relax since you’re worrying about getting through security. I probably also disliked it because we were selected for random screening and I was extremely uncomfortable with the process of a full body pat down in front of all the passengers on our flight, followed by another behind-the-curtain pat down and baggage check. The officer asked me in English if I spoke German and English or just English. Even though I told her just English, she spoke only in German for the rest of the screening and did not switch back to English until after I was cleared to go. I’m all for security, but appreciate a little common courtesy!
During our wait, we walked around the airport and sat for drinks and lunch at a cafe. I treated myself to a strawberry dessert because vacation! Once we made it through security and boarded our flight, we ate again. And then before landing we ate again. It felt like all we were doing was eating! On the drive from New York to PA, we even stopped at Taco Bell. While I was sad the trip was over, we made so many great memories and I was really happy to see the pups!
Air Berlin food
Air Berlin food
Since it took me approximately 4
years months to get all our Euroadventure posts together, I decided to do a roundup below of the entire series. We covered a lot of ground in 10 days and I have already had requests for travel tips, so hopefully this helps make it all a little easier to find based on your destination or interests. Read the rest of this entry
We spent the first part of our last day on the Buda side, visiting the Castle District. From our hotel, we took a tram to Chain Bridge and then switched to the #16 bus. It was very easy and a quick way to get up the hill!
Dave was really interested in the guided tour at Hospital in the Rock, an underground cave and tunnel hospital system turned nuclear bunker that is now a museum.During WWII and the siege of Budapest, the hospital was well beyond its capacity. The tour routes visitors through the many different tunnels where rooms are set to be as historically accurate as possible, including some medical equipment and wax figurines dressed as patients and doctors. Toward the end of the tour, visitors walk through the nuclear bunker and learn about the contingency plan should it be necessary to retreat after an attack. Luckily it was never necessary to use the space. Unfortunately photos were not allowed, but our wonderful tour guide did snap a group photo at the end – we are in the back on the right. (You can see how pleasant our tour-mates were.) I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is even remotely interested in history!
Hospital in the Rock
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