Fall Preview in Virginia

Ever since the hurricane hit us, we have had cooler weather here in Virginia. It has been a little unpredictable but kind of nice to have cooler mornings and evenings right at the time that the canned pumpkin starts to fly off the grocery store shelves. Typically we Richmonders experience a long drawn-out end of summer, with high heat and humidity into October, then about a week of cool Fall temperatures before it starts to feel like winter. As a frizzy-haired lass, I have been very happy with the drop in humidity and the chill in the morning air.

Kyle and I took advantage of the nice weather last weekend and headed west to Charlottesville for some shopping, eating and beer drinking. We tried out a place in the downtown mall that we had never been to before, but had heard great things about.

The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar is a local Charlottesville restaurant that serves dozens of hot and cold teas and a large selection of mostly vegetarian food. During the day, people gather there to study, meet with friends and play board games while enjoying the delicious teas. At night, the Tea Bazaar serves beer and wine, hosts music events and provides the area’s only hookah bar (according to their website). The laid back atmosphere was perfect for chatting over lunch.

After kicking back and relaxing at the tea lounge, Kyle and I did some shopping in the downtown mall. We love popping into the used bookstores, antique shops, and consignment boutiques and hunting for treasures. When we had done enough walking and shopping, we jumped back in the car and drove 20 miles west to Afton, VA. For us, no trip to Charlottesville is complete without a  stop at Blue Mountain Brewery so we decided to spend the late afternoon relaxing on their brand new patio and sampling their seasonal beers.

After a beautiful day in Albemarle and Nelson Counties, we spent Sunday in Richmond close to home. I played my first soccer game of the season (a sign that Fall is near), we watched the Ravens beat up on the Steelers (woo hoo!), and I made a fantastic pumpkin chili (recipe coming soon).

I ended the weekend with a baking adventure: pumpkin pie spice raisin bread. Yeast always presents a very challenging yet potentially rewarding experience for me, so I was happy this batch turned out well.

I know it’s going to get warmer again before it gets cold, but I am definitely enjoying this little taste of Fall and I plan to take full advantage while it lasts!

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