Ah the joys of the long weekend. The beginning of it’s great because you know the general fun of the standard weekend is going to last long. The end is great too because the following work week is a Monday-less, four-day walk to the next go around.
This MLK weekend had plenty going on from very competitive NFL playoff games (the march toward a Super Bowl XLII rematch continues) as well the welcoming of a new basketball power in L.A. However when it comes to a time like this, I am a big fan of the day trip to break up the weekend, and with a car you can easily put the district in the rearview.
Looking for history and nostalgia outside of DC, last Saturday my girlfriend and I made the easy one-hour drive south to Fredericksburg, Virginia. I had heard various reports that this was the “bit farther but just as nice” Old Town Alexandria and was worth a drive down 95. My advanced scouting was accurate as the town is a mix of pre-World War I homes and antique stores on every single corner (I kid you not). The attractions and small museums made for the perfect day trip as we spent around five hours there.
Highlights of our Fredericksburg Day Trip
How Many Antique Stores Can You Have? The answer for Fredericksburg is “not enough.” One after the other, all containing really old books, dated posters, and classic America stuff. The only one worth mentioning was a store called Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. It felt like a trip back to 1996, meaning it sold classic Nintendo, grunge rock on vinyl and funky leather jackets.
The Civil War Wasn’t Pretty. If that wasn’t clear to you during your high school civil war class, take a stroll to Fredericksburg and learn about the Civil War battle there. As it is a national historic landmark, there is plenty of background and a well funded museum, which comes fully loaded with a great educational video narrated by James Earl Jones (complete with historic re-enactments). It was at times a bit creepy walking around the battlefield knowing the gory details — similar to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — but made for an interesting afternoon.
After checking out this battle, we then jumped in our car and took a great driving tour of both the greater battlefield there and the nearby Spotsylvania Court House Battle site. Both these battles included lots of key players such as General Burnside, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Bottom line: Great experience for the history buffs in Borderstan.
I Hear the Food is Tasty. We only stopped at a delicious coffee shop famed for its espresso art but if you’re a bit classier than I, there are some fine dining options for you. I guess a Virgina foodie would be more help than me.
Owning a car in DC is the difference between being “limited by the Metro” to “where can we go this weekend?” If you are feeling that history vibe, especially Civil War, this is the trip for you.
What Really Grinds My Gears
This. DC cabs are bad enough and now that. Ugh