Virginia Trip January 2011

Like I mentioned in my post the other day, Chris and I just spent a long weekend in Virginia. His family is from right outside Richmond, and since he stayed in Boston for Christmas (getting engaged to me!!), we took a trip for a belated celebration. I had only been to Virginia once before so I was excited to see some more of the sights, and his family and friends, of course!

Oh, and this little dog too. His name is Brutus. How appropriate, right?


And here’s Buzz, who also happens to be quite the cutie.


We took an early morning flight in on Thursday (after our Wednesday night flight was canceled due to a big snowstorm in Boston) and right when we arrived I had to spend some time getting work done. Ah, such is the freelance life!


Luckily I had Brutus to help me.


We got quite the surprise when we went to Chris’s mom’s house and found she had decorated especially for our visit!


Isn’t that the best? She also left up all her Christmas decorations so we could have a “real” celebration.


I even became part of the snowman family!


Everything looked fabulous. And I got some awesome gifts from my future mother-in-law, including lots of cupcake, wedding, and wine-related gifts. She knows me so well already!


We hung out with Chris’s brother, Ryan, and his best friend Ricky and girlfriend Shelley (who recently started her food blog!) and we posed for some pics with wine 🙂


Chris and I had been up since 3:00 a.m. at this point, so if we look a little worse-for-wear that’s why! I think we did pretty well and ended up staying up until 1 a.m. that evening!


This is how the rest of the night was spent. You know, kind of like the typical night with my own parents and siblings! Wine, cheese, and good conversation 🙂


There were some heated debates… Well, mostly between Chris and his brother. And mostly between who the best basketball player of all time is and whether or not Macs or PCs are better computers.

Chris gets VERY heated when it comes to defending his dear Apple and Steve Jobs.


Shelley and I mostly sat in amusement.


Back at Chris’s dad’s, I spent some quality time with my new best friend.


Chris and his dad also have the great Mac vs. PC debate quite a bit. Somehow, Chris has managed to convert my whole family to Mac users (since meeting him, I got a Mac and an iPad, my dad got a Mac and an iPhone, my mom got an iPad, and my sis and bro-in-law got a Mac and Apple TV. Sheesh!), but he’s still working in his.


And then we played some disc golf. Have you ever played this? I’m not sure how big it is around the New England area (though I kind of remember people playing it in high school), but Chris’s dad and brother are really into it. Chris and his bro got their dad this “goal” (is that what it’s called?!) for Christmas and I kind of learned to play. Ryan is pretty much an all-star player, so I was learning from the best.


It was definitely chilly out, but nothing compared to Boston. And it was a nice break from having snow EVERYWHERE.


I might have even won a game. But I assure you it was due to sheer luck and had nothing to do with ability.


On Saturday morning, we took a trip to Williamsburg to meet up with some of Chris’s friends from his previous job in Virginia Beach and to check out Williamsburg WInery, which just happens to be the largest winery in Virginia. In fact, they produce between 55,000 and 60,000 cases of wine a year.

We spent some time exploring the shop while we waited for our tour to begin.


I’m pretty sure this photo needs to go in the Williamsburg Winery’s marketing material.


The tour of the winery was great, but they definitely need to update some of their material. At the start of the tour we had to watch a 15 minute video about the winery that looked like it was straight out of 1995. We definitely giggled through the whole thing.

But the wine cellar was absolutely beautiful and we learned tons, from the benefits of different barrels to the benefits of different corks.


Our tour guy was well-versed on the history of the winery.


I totally could have moved into the awesome-looking wine cellar, except for the fact that it was absolutely freezing!


I do wish we had gotten the opportunity to explore the actual vineyard because it looked beautiful, but maybe there’s not much to see at this time of year.


Then we got to participate in a wine tasting, where we tried 7 splashed of wine.


I don’t generally like Rieslings, but the Samuel Argall Dry Riesling was delicious! Much more tart and less sweet than the Rieslings I’m used to. We obviously bought a bottle! We also bought a bottle of the Cabernet Franc, even though we didn’t get to try it during the tasting. It’s generally one of our favorite wines. It’s not easy to travel by air with wine… But we made it work!

Of course, a group photo was snapped outside the winery:


Oh, and a huge congrats to Windy who had her baby girl just a couple days after hanging out with us at the winery (and not participating in the tasting, of course!).


That evening, Chris’s mom threw an engagement party for me and Chris. I got to meet even more of Chris’s friends, including a few from college (Lindsay, below, is pregnant, too!) and high school.


His mom made tons and tons of food and the evening was spent eating, drinking more wine, and chatting with everyone.


We had such a great time and I was so happy to meet so many of the people Chris is always talking about!


Sunday was spent celebrating Chris’s mom’s birthday and watching the Patriots game (boo for the loss!) with his dad. A nice relaxing way to end our trip.

We had a fabulous visit and I’m already excited to go back! Not only to see his family and friends again, but also to see more of Virginia. It seems like there’s so much to do there that we’ll eventually get around to. I mean, I haven’t even had a cupcake in Virginia yet!

And now we can officially start wedding planning. We haven’t made one single decision yet (including the *when* like everyone keeps asking!), but I think we’re ready to jump in. I think it’s always just hardest getting started. Once we figure out *where* our wedding will be (hopefully somewhere right in Boston), more decisions can be made 🙂 Yay!

Have you visited any wineries? Which was your favorite? I’d love to do a winery tour of the world!


33 Responses to "Virginia Trip January 2011"

  1. Bridget says:

    Love the pics! Esp the puppers of course! Looks like you had a great trip, and that winery sounds awesome.
    My husband and his friends from home LOVE disc golf!! They are really good too. I played once in college (actually right near UNH) they had a course on an actual golf course, but most of the “real” courses are lilke through the woods…no thanks. Anyway thought that was funny when I saw the basket!

  2. I mean, Brutus. I would love to know how you didn’t just steal him. He looks to be almost as in love with you as Chris.

  3. Cute pictures! And fun decorations! My sister is also dating (and probably soon to be engaged to) a Richmond boy, so she’s spent a lot of time driving up there from Tennessee for weekend visits. Sadly, I’ve never been! Maybe for their wedding =)

  4. Erica says:

    What a fabulous trip! I love how his family truly welcomed you with open arms! From the party to the little snowman (woman) with your name on it- adorable! The winery looks like a lot of fun too. I always wish I enjoyed wine!

  5. The snowman family is really cute! Glad you had a good time.

  6. I got to visit some wineries while in Sonoma last summer. It was a lot of fun. I would love to go to more as well. Looks like a great trip.

  7. Shelley says:

    Great post, Susie! We miss you guys already and had such a great time with you here!

  8. Shannon says:

    What a great trip 🙂 love how you got added to the snowman family! mac all the way 🙂

  9. Haley says:

    I love disc golf! I heard of it while I was at college in (Hippie-town) Eugene, Oregon. My husband is really good at it and has all the different discs. I usually just go for the hike, lol.

    We have two great courses on Maui!

  10. Awwww! The snowman with your name makes me smile so hard. What a great way to show that you’re a welcomed addition to the family. <3

  11. Michelle says:

    What a fabulous weekend! We finally set a date, picked a venue and found an officiant (one of my childhood friends). We’re in the process of asking our bridal party (blog post to come) and then launching our wedding website!

  12. My husband and I have been to Nashoba Valley Winery. They have a lot of interesting fruit wines, and they are super delicious!

  13. What a wonderful trip, how nice getting a second Christmas and his parents seem so sweet.

  14. Susan says:

    Perfect weekend!

  15. Sharlene says:

    How exciting! I’ve never played disc golf before. It looks interesting to say the least. And it sounds like you fit right in with Chris’ family which is always wonderful to see.

  16. Karen says:

    Oh my, Susie…….love the post……love the pics……love the great comments!!!!! You are soooo welcomed into our family! I love you already!! Keep me posted and let me know what’s new…….”Mom”

  17. Lauren at KeepItSweet says:

    What a fun weekend! I found with wedding planning that when you first start there are a few “big” things that have to get done right away, but then you get a lull until a few months beforehand when it gets busy again. So exciting for you!

  18. Lexi says:

    Sounds like a great trip!

    I’ve been to Williamsburg WInery and it is SO good! A few years ago, my boyfriend’s company had a retreat in Williamsburg, which included a tour, tasting and dinner at WW. We had such a great time. Also, WW is often at the VA wine festivals, which we always go to! They sell some of their wines at local grocery stores too, which is nice.

    VA has lots of great wineries, which I never knew until just a few years ago, so we go often, since so many are close by!

  19. emily says:

    Brutus is so cute. 🙂 Looks like you and Chris had a great time, too.

    I am thinking of switching over to a Macbook…half of my family switched to apple, so I’m considering, too.

  20. Daisy says:

    his family adores you! this looks like such an incredible trip! can’t wait to hear about wedding planning.

  21. Kelly says:

    Visiting wineries is one of my top favorite things to do so I’ve visited a lot but not enough yet 🙂

    It’s so cool that you got to have such a fun week in VA and the crazy Boston weather didn’t get in the way too much! I totally agree also that its fun to meet people when you’ve heard a lot about them!

  22. Nicole says:

    How sweet to have another Christmas and lots of engagement festivities! Michigan wineries have some great rieslings, too because northern Michigan shares the same climate as the Rhine region of Germany where rieslings come from. We were surprised at how many different types and sugar levels there are. We did an excellent wine tour of Traverse City, MI, which I think you and Chris would LOVE. I did a post about it in September, if you’re interested the place we went.

    My husband is the same way about Macs. He’s a computer programmer, too, and has converted both of our families, in addition to convincing our boss to have all Macs at the office. They practically don’t need an IT department to fix them. Just this week my sister-in-law just took in her 6 yr old laptop that was looking a bit beat up to the Apple store and they replaced the material in the back and around the keys and installed a new fan for $38! It looks brand new.

    So glad you had fun!

  23. Alison says:

    I’m dying over this entire post. Especially the part about you becoming a member of the snowman family. Too cute, MUCH too cute (plus those dogs are painfully adorable).

  24. megabrooke says:

    sounds like a great trip!! i love the surprise chris’ mom had for you guys! i’ve never been to a winery but am dying to go to napa or sonoma one day 🙂

  25. So fun! His family seems great. I am hoping to go to the Wine Bloggers Conference in VA to check out some of their wine!

  26. Megan says:

    That sounds like an awesome trip. It’s so great that you got to spend time with Chris’ family and friends. We narrowed the when question down to fall 2012… and then once we found our place, we were able to set the exact date. It took a few months. I’m slowly working on being able to answer the rest of the questions now that we have a date and place. Checking out venues is a lot of fun! Good luck!

  27. What a wonderful collection of pictures – Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on your engagement! You’ll have so much fun with the wedding plans. Looking forward to seeing more delicious recipes from you girls!

  28. Danee Gilmartin says:

    Cute dogs! Brutus should get his own blog and Buzz seems to love the camera- adorable!

  29. Joanne says:

    Aww cutest post ever! Between you and Chris, who are adorable together, and those adorable dogs (I would have taken them home with me) I can barely take it! So happy for you Sues!

  30. Suzy says:

    Looks like you had a great trip! Love the puppies…

    My family lives in Santa Rosa so whenever I visit, there is always a winery trip or two. My favorite winery is definitely Domaine Carneros in Napa. Gorgeous Italian-style villa and sparkling wine. Soooo good!

  31. Kayla says:

    Hahahaha ohhh disc golf. Here in the midwest it’s called Frolf (frisbee + golf= frolf. Nice, right?). And your trip looks like so much fun!
    And this is going to sound super random, but I LOVE YOUR BOOTS. So much. Any chance you’ll fill me in on where you got them? No worries, I live in Oklahoma so there’s no chance of us having that awkward “Oh crap we’re wearing the same thing” moments. 🙂

  32. Kerstin says:

    Yay, glad you had such a great trip! I love that last pic too – so cute!

  33. Colleen says:

    Looks like a great trip, congratulations to you both! So exciting!

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