Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Get Out!

If you're like most other Washingtonians (or Arlingtonians, or Marylanders, etc...) you're planning to get the heck out of of Dodge on Inauguration weekend! Yes, I am thrilled to see my president (there, I said it) elected and sworn in, but I will be even happier to watch from the cozy comfort of my own home!

With the mad dash to plan great escapes from the city, I started thinking about another kind of weekend getaway: The Mini-Moon.

I've noticed of late that the mini-moon is becoming much more common. Whether for financial reasons (who isn't tapped out after throwing a great party?), an inability to get the time away from the office, or just a desire to take a long vacation at a later date (that's us!), mini-moons seem to be more popular everyday!

Mr. Fairfax and I knew we wanted to take a ski vacation out west for our honeymoon right away! No kidding, this detail was decided before we'd been engaged 24 hours. We also knew we wanted a fall wedding...uh, there ain't snow in October, even in the Canadian Rockies. It works out just fine though.

Since we're waiting till mid-winter following the wedding to take a honeymoon we'll have a few advantages. First off, we'll only need to take time off for the wedding itself. We'll have been at our jobs long enough to rack up the extra vacation time to take a niiiiice loooooong trip. Plus, I'm a fussy traveler. I don't think I would even want to travel with me when I was worn out from a wedding! Our bank account should have some time to recover before we head out to hit the slopes too.

In place of a honeymoon right away, we have discussed taking a one night mini-moon to get away for some alone time and do something special together to mark the occasion. We haven't decided on anything yet, at the very least we'll go out for a special dinner on the evening after, but here are a few ideas I've collected and want to share with you!


Did you catch the Washington Post Travel section this weekend? If you didn't stop right now, and click here. Ok, good, you back? Alright. The Post did a three part story on budget vacations. The premise was for three writers to plan vacations on a little budget: one third of $2,009 (get it?), or $669.67. One writer headed to Berkeley Spring, West Virginia for a luxurious, yet budget friendly, one-night get-away with her sister.

Located just a 90-minute drive from the DC metro area, Berkeley Springs has lots to offer mini-mooners. The state park is home of hot mineral springs were Virginians of old came to "take the waters."

The author and her traveling companion booked a one-night stay at the Country Inn (pictured above), a local hotels with an adjoining spa. Between the excellent prices and the descriptions of the fluffy duvets in the cozy hotel rooms, I was ready to jump up and head to Berkeley Springs immediately.

Other attractions in Berkeley Springs include Panorama at the Peak, a locally-owned restaurant that emphasizes organic and local foods, and a little downtown area with cafes and health food stores. Don't just take my word for it though! Be sure to check out the article on the Post!


Ok, so don't tell Mr. Fairfax, but my secret dream is for our mini-moon to include dinner at the Inn at Little Washington.* I was ELATED when I discovered the mini-vacation package I'm about to share with you.

Enter the Foster Harris House and their Tour d'Epicure get-aways. Stay two nights in one of the beautiful rooms at the B&B, while taking guided bike tours around the Virginia Countryside for two days. But that's not all! Your biking guide will lead you to tasty destinations like Foti's Restaurant in Culpeper, Virginia and Virginia wineries like Rappahanock Cellars. Oh, and don't forget dinner at the INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON!! Whoo!...is this a foodies dream or what?
Check the website for availability and dates. They're spread out pretty evenly over weekends and weekdays. Depending on the availability you can have your choice of rooms at the House. The FAQ page for Tour d'Epicure even has tips for getting ready to do all the cycling!

Need to tone the cost down a bit? Book a one night stay and bring your own bikes (or rent from the Foster Harris House for $25/day) and be your own guide! VirginiaWine.org is a great tool for researching local Vineyards and creating your own itinerary. Skip the Inn at Little Washington and try some of the other great restaurants in Front Royal, Middleburg or Culpeper.


Let's not forget our neighbors to the Northeast while we're getting on our mini-moon on (ha!).
I can't recall where I first read this, but I just loved this article about Annapolis as honeymoon destination. The couple featured in the article traveled all the way from New York for a five-day stay, but for us DC'ers, Annapolis is the perfect distance (about 45 minutes) for a mini-moon.

Take a page from Michelle and Jim and book a stay at the Lowe's Annapolis Hotel or check out one of the many of the historic Inns or Bed & Breakfasts in town.

And what could be more romantic than an evening stroll around the water, taking in the Naval Academy grounds and maybe grabbing a drink at Pusser's water-side bar? Oh, maybe letting your new husband unleash his inner Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson/Christopher Walken with a cruise on the same schooner used in Wedding Crashers! Yep, Woodwind Cruises offers 2 hours sails and sunset dinner cruises. I had the opportunity to take one of the dinner cruises this summer and I can verify that food is tasty and the crew mixes a mean cocktail! You can even sleep on the boat if you want to!

Cruises are limited to the more seasonable parts of the year--April through October--but there are plenty of other options for having a great time on the water in Annapolis and the surrounding areas. Check out Visit-Annapolis.org for much more information!

Are you planning to take a mini-moon? Have you started to plan it?

*And by don't tell him, I mean e-mail him right now and tell him. Thanks.

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Blogger AmyJean {Relentless BrideĀ®} said...

Ohh! Mini-moon sounds wonderful!

I'll be here Inaguration weekend... and living right in PennQuarter, On the 20th, i can not carry a bag more than the size of a small camera case and must have id with my PQ address on it, or they wont let me back into my building! EKE! but i'm kinda ready for the madness :)


Wednesday, January 07, 2009 9:13:00 AM  

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