- Joined: 5/9/2002
- Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Virginia
Tue, 03/15/11 1:32 PM
Sorry for the delay in finishing this up..... On the drive down to Virginia, I told Mariton that we would be visiting Thomas Jefferson's home, the Monticello. When I showed her the image of it on the back on the nickel, this really piqued her interest. They have a brand new visitor's center here, where we had time to watch a 20 minute movie before our 12:15 tour started. After the movie, we walked up the steps to the shuttle bus, where they have a statue of Jefferson to greet people. The bus drops you off right in front of the famous building. After about a 15 minute wait, in which we able to walk around and take photos, we were assembled and taken inside. Our group was approximately 20 people and had guests from as far away as Russia and Brazil. The tour guide was an older gentleman in a bow tie and he really knew his stuff. He did a wonderful job of providing plenty of information, while still keeping us moving. Because there was a tour just 15 minutes ahead and another 15 minutes behind, we couldn't get bogged down for too long in any one room. Sure wish he could have been our guide at Luray Caverns, too. Unfortunately, there is no picture taking inside the house, which is common. But there is so much to look at, such as Native American weapons and animal antlers in the foyer, books, paintings, skylights, the unusual bed he passed away in and lots and lots of maps. This was my fourth time here and again it struck me that the house isn't really all that big. Maybe that is because you only get to see the first floor. You are led back outside and told to take your time wandering the grounds. A side view and a rear view of the house. Like in Jefferson's day, this is still very much a working farm, but we were here the wrong time of year to see everything in full bloom. We spent a good 45 minutes walking around and taking photos. A sign led us to the gated grave of Jefferson, where there was a plaque giving the history of this small graveyard. From there, we caught the shuttle back to the visitor's center. This was only the second President's house that Mariton has visited, but she absolutely loved her visit here. Enough so, that she asked if we could go see other President's homes. We will probably be doing a lot of that this Summer! It was time to start heading home. But we did stop for food one last time and since it was so convenient, we picked Wright's Dairy Rite in Staunton. This place is a classic drive-in that makes you feel like you stepped back in time to the 1950's. To order your food, you could stay in your vehicle and have a car hop wait on you. You could go inside and order from the register. But the coolest way to order is to sit at one of the tables and use their phones to talk directly to the kitchen. Of course, that's what we did and Mariton got an action shot of me dialing it in. The menu, which has a nifty retro cover, has everything you would expect from a drive-in. Even though I have been here a few times before, my memory is more about the atmsophere than the food. And when our food was delivered, I have to admit that it wasn't very impressive looking. Luckily, everything tasted much better than it looked. The signature burger here is the monsterburger, but since we are both mushroom lovers, the mushroom swiss burger made more sense for us. Even though you can't see them, there were plenty of mushrooms on this misshapen 1/3 lb. patty. Very good! The pork bbq sandwich, with slaw on top, was moist and tender and we both thought it was the best thing on the tray. They say right on the menu that they make their onion rings fresh daily and they tasted like it. The sweet potato fries looked poor, but still provided plenty of nice yammy flavor. To finish it off, a couple of thick shakes, pineapple for her and banana for me. This was easily the best meal I have had here at Wright's. While we were eating, entertainment was provided by a couple of youngsters dancing to the jukebox. Another cool feature is that they have sample menus from yesteryear on display. Wright's Dairy Rite 346 Greenville Avenue Staunton, VA 540-886-0435 From there, it was straight home to Pittsburgh!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 03/15/11 1:36 PM>