D.C. Day 4

Our final day in D.C. commenced with breakfast/brunch at La Madeleine French bakery and cafe.  This is like Panera, just with a French country twist.  We also stopped by Trader Joe’s and my aunt bought some delicious blueberry ground flaxseed to put on my yogurt and oatmeal in the mornings.  She also treated us to some pumpkin spice roobois tea.  Uh-mazing.

We stopped into a music store so John could try out some guitars.  He found a Telecaster.

We also visited the Pentagon Memorial, located at the site of American Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon on September 11.  The memorial commemorates the 184 men, women and children who died in that tragedy through a series of benches and fountains laid out in a timeline, according to age.  The youngest was a 3-year old.  Sadly, as I visited the bench dedicated to the memory of the 3-year old, someone had recently laid a small toy at her memorial.

Here’s a shot of the memorial with the Pentagon in the background.  This is the section of the Pentagon that was recently rebuilt.  It’s easy to tell the crash site when you’re there in person because the rebuilt wall is significantly lighter than the older wall surrounding it.

Later that afternoon, we drove 25 miles outside of D.C. to visit the Paradise Springs Winery.  There were vines on a hill that sloped away from the gravel driveway leading to the main house and a red barn.   The interior of the main tasting hall felt like a ski lodge.  Wine barrels were stacked behind glass doors on the left, with a tasting bar on the right.   In the middle there were makeshift tables made out of retired wine barrels.  An original 19th-century painting of Thomas Jefferson hung above the French doors leading out to a back patio where there was a roaring fire, surrounded by couches.  Appropriate, since Jefferson himself tended vineyards on his Monticello estate.

We thought we were going to do a formal tasting ($10 a person), then realized that the laid back nature of this particular winery lent itself more to just sampling a bottle and enjoying it on the back porch.  We bought a bottle of Cabernet Franc, rich and smoky in flavor to enjoy with a local Virginia cheddar ball and crackers.  The five of us also split a bottle of the Norton which was a bit sweeter with blackberries and plum to smooth out the flavor.  The cheese was rich, flavorful with just a hint of sweetness and spiciness.  My aunt and uncle had never been there before but this little field trip certainly piqued their interest in trying out more Virginia wineries!

That was pretty much the end of the trip!  I love visiting D.C. and Virginia and hope to come back sometime soon.  There’s rumors of the family reuniting in Europe next year…

Fingers crossed:)

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