Winchester

Now that we are firmly settled in our Fairfax City townhouse, the next focus is deciding where our next, and hopefully last home will be. The one thing that we are “fairly” sure of is it won’t be in Northern Virginia. Too many reasons to go into here, but unless the home of our dreams at a price we could pay appears, it’s not going to happen.

So, we have been driving around Virginia, doing the “Home Tour” as we call it. Last weekend was kind of an extreme version of that premise as almost 2 tankful’s of gas were consumed in our travels across the area.

Friday had us starting out in “Lake of the Woods”. LotW is officially in Locust Grove, VA and we had heard very positive things about the area. Some time back we had driven down to take a look and were denied entry as the entire area is gated. No access unless we were visiting someone there or had a realtor. A couple of weeks ago, we reached out to the Realtor that sold our house in Reston to ask if they knew someone down there who could escort us around. They magnanimously offered to do that, so Friday was our day. We had set up official visits of two houses and Doris said she would meet us there.

LotW is a beautiful area, but honestly it’s not for us. It’s very remote and isolated being a 20-30 minute drive on less than spectacular roads from anywhere for things like medical support, grocery stores, etc.

Saturday had us going to Stafford to see a couple of houses that were officially listed as open for viewing. What we saw was nice, but again, really not appropriate for us.

Finally on Sunday we picked a couple of open houses in Winchester, VA. Leaving early we wanted to walk the pedestrian mall in the middle of town before going to the open houses. We had been here many years before with Maggie and Ed when they came through town on one of their forays to New England to see Ed’s family. We were very taken with the quiet little community and always earmarked it as a place to come back to.

So we got up fairly early on Sunday, had a light breakfast and set out for Winchester. It’s not far, so we were there before 10 and to be honest, little was open as it was just a tad early. We walked from one end to the other, and by the time we had gotten back to where we entered, things were livening up.

It was apparent in our walks that the Coronavirus has not been kind to the merchants along the pedestrian corridor. There were at least 6 very prominent empty storefronts along the route, and a goodly number of folks just hangin’ around with no particular goal. Sad.

The X100f was in it’s own here, as it’s small, discrete and easy to use. The lighting was less than optimal as by this time, the sun was directly overhead and there was nary a cloud to be seen to soften the harsh glare. Heading southbound from the the northern entrance on Piccadilly this is what we found:

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Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
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Winchester
Winchester
Winchester

Getting to the southern entrance, we turned around and headed back north. Slightly different views this time.

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Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester

We decided to stop at the Wall Street Kitchen and eat as it was around 11. Breakfast was still being served, and I got the steak and egg special. And indeed it was special. It was very obvious that this was a fresh ribeye as it was flavorful and tender. Maybe the best steak I’ve ever eaten. That good. Anyway, we sat on the patio so we could enjoy the ambiance:

Winchester
Winchester

During our meal, the group at table next to us were discussing their next tour date, which just so happened to be in New Orleans. They were an indie band doing some kind of a self guided tour and were scheduled to play at the Hi-Ho lounge on St. Claude. After correcting their pronunciation of St. Claude (doesn’t sound like cloud, think Claude Rains…), we suggested that if they had time, as musicians, they owed it to themselves to see a show at Tipitina’s. We had a nice chat, left a comfortable tip, bade the burgeoning indie band members farewell, and meandered back to the car.

Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
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Winchester
Winchester
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Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester
Winchester

At this point we had a hour to blow before the open house started, so we just drove around Winchester. It’s a nice old town, but honestly, it’s not for us. We haven’t exactly found what is for us, but we will keep looking.

On the way home, we dropped in at open houses in Hillsboro, a recently created “city” carved out of area previously known as Purcellville, and in Lovettsville. Both were nice houses, both at the very top of our price range, and both on unpaved roads out in the boonies. No thanks.

Between the two visits, we encountered the Mr. Zion Baptist Church, in Eubanks, VA which had a for sale sign out front. Oh, oh. I’ve always had this fantasy of buying an old Church and converting it into an amazing living space….. It’s not listed for sale on any of the popular realty websites, but we got a picture of the for sale sign. Maybe we’ll give them a call.

Anyway, that’s all for today. This weekend has been spent finally finishing up a host of the low lying odds and ends to do in the Townhouse. A long list of items was crossed off yesterday. Maybe I’ll go for a nice walk around George Mason University this afternoon.

take care,