Monday, February 28, 2011

Best Winter Weekend Getaway

I sell insurance for a living which makes me paranoid. After my rebellious teenage years I flipped the script & started "playing it safe"... Probably safer than need be, actually. So, being paranoid & playing it safe have held me back somewhat. Yes it's true that I've never broken a bone or had a cavity... but I've also never tried many of the things that other people my age have. So, when my inlaws moved to MT & I went for my 1st visit in Feb 2008, my husband (then boyfriend) encouraged me to "step outside my box" as he likes to say. I tried snowboarding & hated pretty much every minute of it. My 2nd trip to MT in Dec 2010 was completely different. Instead of forcing myself to try something that I didn't have any desire whatsoever to try again (snowboarding), I found another snow sport... cross country skiing. My mother-in-law goes XC skiing all the time in MT & was sure it would be more my speed. She was 100% right. I love XC skiing! It's expensive to fly to MT & it pretty much takes a whole day of flying to get there, so in Janurary I started looking into other places near VA to XC ski. (Nothing will ever compare to our MT ski spot, but that will have to remain a special occasion trip, for now anyways...) I found an article talking about how the Canaan Valley in WV is getting record snowfall. I played on the internet searching for places to XC ski in WV & came across Whitegrass in Davis, WV. After looking over their website I was sold on WV & the next step was to find a place to stay. I found Douglas Falls, The Bed & Breakfast on Whitegrass' website. So in Janurary we made a reservation for Valentine's Day weekend & anxiously awaited our trip.
I was hoping for the best, but not really sure what to expect of WV. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with the small town charm, laid back atmosphere, & fresh powder of WV. I still can't believe how much fun we had in such a short amount of time. We felt like we were across the country, not just 6 hrs away from our hometown of Virginia Bch, VA. Here's an overview of our trip:

1) We left Va Bch around 1:30 PM on Thurs

2) Arrived at Whitegrass Cafe at 8 PM for dinner (how is it possible that I live on the coast but ate the best fish tacos I've ever had in WV!?) Oh by the way, is was approx 8 degrees when we arrived! But that was the coldest it got the entire time we were there. Phew!
3) Checked-in at Douglas Falls B&B around 9:30 PM, Thurs (*see pic below)

4) Breakfast @ 8:30 AM, Fri at our B&B (amazing homecooked meal!)

5) Fri afternoon was spent XC skiing at Whitegrass (*see pic to the Lft), followed by coffee/wi-fi at HypnoCoffee & then lunch at Hellbender Burritos (Davis, WV)

*Ben's new friend outside of Hellbender Burritos---> HypnoCoffee. Love.

6) Fri evening we relaxed at the B&B, drank wine, & went to bed early in anticipation of a long day of skiing on Sat

7) Another amazing homecooked breakfast on Sat morning at 8:30 AM, then we went to Blackwater Falls State Park to XC ski. We ended up on the wrong trail & skiid for 10 miles in a winter wonderland. It was beautiful, challenging, & a lof of fun- an experience I'll never forget. We rewarded ourselves with a growler of local chocolate & espresso stout from Hypnocoffee. We drove around town & checked out, The White Room, a local art gallery. We also relaxed in the hot tub surrounded by snow at our B&B.

(Thomas, WV)

*Growler from HypnoCoffee ----->

8) Sat evening we went to Sirianni's Cafe in Davis, WV for an Italian dinner (delicious pizza). After dinner we went to The Purple Fiddle (in Thomas, WV) for drinks & a good time. We drank local beer out of mason jars & listed to live music. Why don't we have places like this in Va Bch?? WV is a different world & I wanna go back every year to experience it.

*Beer on tap at The Purple Fiddle (below) / Sirianni's Cafe (right)

The Purple Fiddle Stage------------>

Sun morning- another wonderful homecooked meal at 8:30 AM followed by a walk in the snow along a rail trail down the street from our B&B (Blackwater Canyon Trail). We packed up the car & headed into town for one last trip to Hypnocoffee for coffee, chai tea, spiced cookies, & smoothies. YUM.
Rail Trail (*above)

10) Sun afternoon we stopped in Charlottesville, VA for lunch & then headed back to Va Bch. We pretty much talked about our trip the whole drive home & already started planning another trip next Winter.

If you live in Hampton Roads & are looking for a winter wonderland to XC ski, downhill ski, or snowboard, you should skip Snowshoe & check out Davis, WV instead! (Davis, Thomas, & The Canaan Valley are all very close to each other.) You can ski at Whitegrass, Timberline, Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley Resort.

------ Blackwater Falls State Park ---------------------------- WhiteGrass ------

----- Blackwater Falls State Park ------------------------- WhiteGrass ------