Virginia is for Lovers

#1
OK, I'll admit it ... I was browsing Rum Ration while ARRSE was being sick, and I found they had a thread on US Holidays. Here's what I said ...


She and I have been holidaying in the USA for the last 10 years. Being now "comfortably retired", we go for 3-4 weeks at a time, occasionally twice a year.
And we don't go where the tourists go, or do the conventional "holiday stuff". We sort of try to live there.
Where do we go? Northern Virginia, on the outskirts of Washington DC, in the City of Alexandria. Why do we go there, and keep on going?
Here's a list.

1. The People. Virginia is South, and the people are generally incredibly courteous. Perhaps, significantly, as a Brit you are an unusual occurrence in their lives, and they are politely fascinated.

2. The Geography. Go 80 miles west, and you have the Blue Ridge Mountains of virginia [only sing that once per trip] and the Shenedoah Valley. Go 80 miles east and you have the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis and cute stuff like that. Go 5 miles north and you have Washington DC ...

3. Local Interest. Washington DC, the Smithsonian Museums [loads of them, including the Air & Space of course]. The History of the entire area, especially the Civil War [battlefields, museums, history trails, re-enactments]. Remember that this area was where much of it happened, and it's deep in the local psyche. And, for the Booties, the new Marine Museum at Quantico is about 30 minutes drive south on I95 ... on our list for June.

4. Retail. The Discount and Outlet shopping is to die for, ladies. A PM will give you details of places to go. Mrs B_S's best buy, I think, was an Anne Klein evening jacket reduced from $500 to $9.99. For the guys, if you take the time, you virtually can get any designer brand item you want for under $20. BTW ... nice exchange rate!!

5. Eating. With the seafood from the Chesapeake Bay and the North-East, if you eat fish you are in heaven. Steaks are not the ludicrous half-a-cow you get in Texas, just a simple 12 oz. EVERY nationality is catered for, and I have honestly never had a bad meal [apart from one "neighbourhood" Indian Resturant, which would not have survived a week in the UK!

6. Travel. Washington [Dulles] is realistically [from UK] only accessible with BA or Virgin from LHR. Flights are roughly 8 hrs westbound, 7 eastbound. Dulles is an easy airport, with car rental lots on site. Air fare this time [on a BA sale] is £1300 each Club Class [book early in Economy and you're talking £500]. Car rental ... I'm having a Grand Cherokee at around £28 a day [Dollar, through Airline Network].

7. Accommodation. We have discovered an interesting dimension to accommodation over there. Imagine a former apartment block. Turn it into a Suites Hotel, designed for longer-stay visitors [Government officials, Military] who are "in town" for a few weeks/months. What you actually get is a full-service apartment ... bedroom, sitting room, kitchen, bathroom ... daily maid service and, if you pick the right one, an in-house restaurant. OR, you go to the local grocery store, and self-cater. It's like home from home, without the clearing up and cleaning. We pay $140 a day for our apartment, BTW.

There you go ... my sales pitch for Virginia. In our view it has everything except tourists!!

If anyone wants to PM for more info, feel free. It's not a secret, just undiscovered genuine America!!
And please do feel free to PM, unless you're taking the pi66, in which case please don't bother :lol:
 
#2
Sucks for Mexican food, though. :-D
 
#3
TankiesYank said:
Sucks for Mexican food, though. :-D
I could guarantee there will be a restaurant in Del Ray that would persuade you otherwise, actually! I just can't remember the name, but friends took us there one evening :wink:

Or seafood in Old Town Alexandria, of course ...
 
#4
blue_sophist said:
I could guarantee there will be a restaurant in Del Ray that would persuade you otherwise, actually! I just can't remember the name, but friends took us there one evening :wink:

Or seafood in Old Town Alexandria, of course ...
I'll take the seafood. That's something you can't get in the same grand style on the West Coast, unless you go to Baja.

I do love Virginia...in addition to your list, I'll add.

SCENERY and BATTLEFIELDS.

If you're a history buff, do one of the Civil War battlefield tours. Some of the scenery in those spots, particularly the lowlands, is unrivalled anywhere in the States for greenery and beauty.

If you're lucky you can also see some of the older churches and buildings - very similar to country architecture in England, and really gives you a sense of the dignity and grace of the culture.
 
#5
TankiesYank said:
I'll take the seafood. That's something you can't get in the same grand style on the West Coast, unless you go to Baja.
I do love Virginia...in addition to your list, I'll add.
SCENERY and BATTLEFIELDS.
If you're a history buff, do one of the Civil War battlefield tours. Some of the scenery in those spots, particularly the lowlands, is unrivalled anywhere in the States for greenery and beauty.

If you're lucky you can also see some of the older churches and buildings - very similar to country architecture in England, and really gives you a sense of the dignity and grace of the culture.
Excuse me, Sir ... I think I mentioned scenery and battlefields. :)

Especially the latter, as I have a book-case full of stuff on that, that I pick up at the Annual fund-raiser at Fort Ward, a part restored Fort that was part of the defences of Washington :wink:

Be very careful, or I'll start posting pictures as well!!

Enough for today ... you have a good one. 8)
 

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