August 27, 2023

Apple Blossom Festival

Well, this is a bit awkward….

Completed missed this opportunity to yapp about a wonderful experience.

H’mmm, “old-timers” disease perhaps? Well, we’ll leave that discussion for another day.

As part of my retirement celebration, the kids and I decided to visit the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, VA. It’s kind of an odd thing, as this is held at the same time as the Wine Festival in Winchester. The difference is the Apple Blossom Festival is free to enter while the Wine Festival is a paid entry. It made for an interesting situation getting around in Winchester, and it definitely wasn’t an ideal situation. Hopefully the Winchester folks can see their way clear to deconflict these two events next year.

Anyway, if you have been around, you will know that Melanie and I are fond of Winchester. We had discovered it years ago, 2009 to be exact, when our family friends Maggie and Ed came for a visit. Ed is a painter and he wanted to gather some cat-o’-nine tails for some of his still life’s, and in doing so we wound up in the Shenandoah mountains in which Winchester was located. After collecting the samples, we headed into Winchester for lunch.

The city center had been turned into a pedestrian mall some time earlier, and it made the inner part of town this magical, wonderful place. It was a crisp fall afternoon which further enhanced the pleasure.

Anyway, as part of our search for the “Grand Retirement” destination, Melanie and I visited Winchester shortly after we moved into the townhouse. What we found, some 2 years ago, was a shadow of it’s former self, having been absolutely devastated thanks to Mr. CV19. You can read more on the posting above.

So when the kids proposed the Apple Blossom Festival, I jumped at the idea. Melanie is still struggling with her back issues, so she decided to stay home. You can find the entire album of photos here.

Today, the camera of choice was the Fuji X-T2 mounted with the XF16-80. While this lens is definitely bigger and heavier than the XF18-55 used previously on the X-T2, it’s an extremely versatile walk around lens. I’m seriously thinking of selling the XF18-55 and replacing it with a XF56mm f2.4 macro that I can use for a number of things, digitizing slides and negatives for one.

There were a lot of folks milling about, and it was approaching lunchtime, so we got a bunch of empanada’s from a one of the stores and sat outside and ate while watching the crowd.

Meghan wanted to visit one of the antique stores on the mall. A lot of what was for sale looks much like all the stuff that Muzzie (my mother in law) collected all those years. We still have a lot of the furniture. I’ve restored/rehabbed most of it. Truth be told, I actually enjoy rehabbing old furniture. The china cabinet was given to Meghan when we sold the house in Reston. Hopefully the kids will want the rest of it when we leave this earth.

Leaving the antique store, we ambled down the mall. Getting photos without people was a challenge, especially near the Wine Festival access points. It was clear though, that Winchester has made a significant recovery from last time we were here. Good to see.

Nicely crafted storefronts all along the mall.

This guy was wailing away, so I had to grab a shot as we walked down the mall.

We stopped here for an adult libation.

Lots of the kinds of places you hope to see in small towns.

Kind of unusual to see a motorcycle in the storefront window of a barber shop.

After traversing the mall, we headed over to the library, which is renown for it’s architecture. Beautiful place.

Beautiful atrium.

And that’s it for now. As you can see, the website has settled down, thank goodness. I’ll manage this theme for a while, until we move and can then get my development system (a Raspberry Pi4 with a WordPress install) back up and running. That way if I bugger something up, it won’t be catastrophic like last week.

The kids came down for the 4th of July, and we went to the Fairfax 4th of July Parade, but truth be told it wasn’t different enough from the last two times I’ve went, and posted about to post on it. Am I getting jaded? Perhaps….

The reason the kids came down was we had a nice trip on the Allegheny Special as a retirement gift. We’ll have a look see at that next time! I know I promised this some time ago. Old timer’s again? Who knows… I’ll attribute it to the hustle and bustle of getting ready to take possession of our retirement home in Williamsburg.

Until then,