3 days in Pleasantville — or Charlottesville, VA

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Now that I’ve recapped the actual race, how about a recap of our visit to Charlottesville? Steve and I had never been there but heard great things from Katharine and everything that I read on KERF.

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We arrive in Charlottesville on Friday afternoon and checked into our airbnb rental. (If you’ve never used the site, I highly recommend it!  They have yet to disappoint.) This was a small converted apartment in the back of a very large house and it was so quaint. It was about four blocks from Charlottesville’s downtown open-air mall, which was the perfect distance. We parked our car on Friday afternoon and didn’t use it for the rest of the weekend.

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We walked to the race expo on Main Street and grabbed lunch at Baggby’s, where I had turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce. What is better than Thanksgiving in a sandwich? Not much, and this was my favorite thing that I ate all weekend. We were able to sit outside and do some solid people watching, too.

We stopped at a few shops and walked back to the apartment, hung out for a little while, ate our pre-race pasta dinner, and turned in for an early night.

After Saturday’s race, I spent some time stretching on the back patio and soaking up the sun. I couldn’t stop saying how cute everything is in Charlottesville. The houses, the trees, the shops, the cats that just wandered the streets—it was all just too cute.

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We headed back downtown for lunch at Sal’s Caffe for another outdoor lunch. Steve had a great thin-slice pizza and I went with a white-crust flatbread with ricotta, arugula, chicken and veggies. We were happy with the food and the portion sizes, which were pretty large for the prices. I wanted to celebrate with a cupcake, so we stopped at Cappellino’s Crazy Cupcakes on the way back to the apartment. I had a vanilla cupcake with raspberry and lemon butter cream. It was definitely good, but didn’t measure up to Midnite Confections.

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After solid afternoon naps, we went to have celebratory drinks at The Whisky Jar. Be forewarned, it’s called that for reason: Those drinks are strong on the whiskey! The bar was very cool and rustic, right on the edge of the Main Street mall.

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We were waiting for a table at Citizen Burger Bar, whose staff was kind enough to call us when our table was ready. We were seated after an hour, and the wait was worth it. I had an antibiotic-free (LOVE!) chicken sandwich on a house brioche roll with avocado, provolone cheese, barbecue sauce, and mushrooms. I ordered the highly recommended sweet potato fries and they lived up to the expectation. I also  had a Bluegrass, an infused vodka drink with elderflower and blueberry.

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Steve went with an grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free Timbercreek beef from five miles away. It was mouth-watering to look at. I can’t eat red meat, but he gave it rave reviews. He went with a local beer from Blue Mountain Brewery.

The next morning, we stopped at the Blue Moon Diner per Katharine’s recommendation. It was about a 30-minute wait but definitely worth it. Steve had that breakfast burrito with hashbrowns and I went with granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Neither disappointed and we were stuffed by the time we left.

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While we may not come back to race again, Steve and I definitely want to go back to spend more time in Charlottesville. It seems like there are lots of outdoor activities and plenty of other restaurants and shops to check out, plus it’s only about three hours from Baltimore.

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