Category Archives: Around Charlottesville

Ash Lawn Highland

Fall is just one of those magical times of the year. The air is crisp, the colors are vivid, and for some reason, things seem calm. Maybe they seem calm because tourist season is over?

Taking advantage of this glorious weather, we took a quick trip to Ash Lawn Highland. Unfortunately we couldn’t do the James Monroe house tour, but we made the most of our admission by poking around the grounds and letting May trollop through gardens. I swear, my daughter is happiest when she’s outdoors.

Even the drive up to the house is gorgeous:



The baa baas:



Gorgeous flowers:



Free to explore:



Fall is my favorite time of the year. Too bad dreadful ole winter is around the corner. Boo.

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Free kitty found at Target

Found a stray cat lurking around Target.

This is a very large kitty. Hope I have enough room for her in my car.

However, this kitty was not excited when she saw who else would be riding home with us…

Here kitty, kitty, kitty…


Carter Mountain Apple Pickin’, yall.

May, her nanny and I went to Carter Mountain and got our apple pick on this afternoon. We lucked out because it was threatening rain all day, but the weather gods were in our favor. We picked some Gala apples, but also got stung by a bee. May was not a fan of that part. I can’t wait to go back in the fall when the air is a little cooler.


As summer draws to a close

Summer is winding down. The weather isn’t so intolerably hot. The air isn’t so unbelievably humid. There is just that feeling in the air that fall is around the corner. Granted, there are going to be more blistering hot days, but I can’t help but be a wee bit excited that fall is almost here.

I’ve been working on getting May down to one nap, so our little morning ritual has been to take her to the park to run off some of that morning energy. I find it really interesting that she’s only concerned with sticks, mulch and trash. Who knows if she’ll ever take interest in the actual playground part of the playground?

Yesterday, we had a great family outing. We started with the farmer’s market on the downtown mall and then moseyed over to the lawn. Daniel is already preparing her for her first year. I kindly told him to quit rushing things along.

To cap off our day of fun, we went to Blue Mountain Brewery for dinner. If you’re ever in the Charlottesville area, this restaurant is worth the trip. It has a gorgeous dining patio with spectacular views of the mountains. And, it’s very kid friendly. AND, it has an entire yard with cornhole boards.

The moral of this post is: Charlottesville is awesome.

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The Plague

Over the last two weeks, we’ve been laying waaaaay low around these parts. It started with May going through the big D (don’t mean Dallas) and being pretty freakin’ debilitated by it. I took her to the doctor a couple of times *(you wouldn’t believe the advice the nurse practitioner gave me) , and surprise! -she got sicker. We added emesis to the mix. Fantastic! Managing both ends of a that sort of sickness is tough. She. Was. Pitiful. This poor child has never been sicker. Thank goodness I had some Zofran on hand. I feel certain it saved us a trip to the E.R.

Turns out she probably had rotavirus, which brings my frustration full circle since she’s had the vaccine.

We’re through it though. May is eating everything in sight and back to climbing furniture. Can’t keep a good woman down for too long.


Some good stuff:

-Daniel finished the Virginia Bar!

-Belinda (Marcee!) came to see us while she was back in Virginia. As usual, she was a lifesaver while May was sick. You know you’ve got a best friend when you describe the contents of a diaper and actually get a response that isn’t along the lines of, “please never ask me that again.”








As I said, we haven’t done much, but we managed to sneak in a visit LoLo and Nonna’s.

Giving out free gardening advice.

And this afternoon, we went to the playground. May has no interest in the playground itself. She’s just interested in collecting things. Today, it was sticks.


She’s still not 100%, but we’re getting there. I’m beyond thankful she’s better. These smiles were sure hard to come by.


*Back to that advice (pertaining to the dreaded ‘d’) the nurse practitioner gave me. She told me to leave the office and buy May this:








I kid you not. She literally told me to go McDonald’s and order her the fattiest foods on the menu. Things got worse after this. Coincidence?

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On the go: Instagram pics

I haven’t been taking that many instagram pictures lately, but here are a few from this past week. My Canon and I have been spending some quality time together, and I’m working hard trying to master the trifecta of exposure settings (proving somewhat difficult).

Survey question: does anyone have any lens suggestions? I’m dying for a new lens and am sort of stumped on what to get. I have a Canon T1i with an 18-55mm lens and a 50mm 1:1.8 lens. And don’t get crazy and suggest one of these. I am not a person who uses the phrase, “money is no object.”

If you care to follow, my instagram username is: manisae


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Strawberry Fields Forever

Leave it to my mom to come up with the most awesome activities in a city where she doesn’t even live. When she called me and asked if I wanted to go strawberry picking at Chiles Orchard in Crozet (a town about 10 miles from Charlottesville), I knew it was a great idea. And boy was it ever! Yesterday here in the mountains was the most beautiful day; one of those days that makes you so excited it’s spring.











May was very helpful in trolling up and down the rows looking for the choicest strawberries, but of course, given that she has the attention span of a one year old, there were many distractions.

Nanny’s special strawberry assistant:

In all seriousness, the strawberries were gorgeous. They look so different on the plant than they do in the store.

















We can’t wait to go back for more strawberries, AND in June it becomes peach season. Yum!

Peach cobbler, here we come!