Michael and Sandy have left the power center inside the Beltway, sold their home in Arlington, and moved to become a gentleman and gentlelady farmer two and a half hours away, in Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, and now the Krepons. Michael continues consulting on his own and through the Henry Stimson Center, trying to get the nations of the world to disarm. His motto is drawn from the noble words of our former Secretary of War and State: "Can't we all just get along?" Sandy still does therapeutic massage. Her massage parlor has been raided only twice by the Virginia State Police.
After a two and a half-hour drive from Baltimore-Washington airport, we found ourselves on Skyline Drive in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We passed Manassas, Fredericksburg, and other scenes of great Civil War battles. The stores and gas stations disappeared, and the landscape became quite hilly. There was the occasional shack off the road, and scenes of "Deliverance" flashed through my mind. I kept checking the rear-view mirror.
We stopped in Leon, Virginia at the Prince
Michel Winery. There was something about the name that attracted me.
We tasted some surprisingly good wines and bought a couple of bottles.
Finally, we arrived in Charlottesville...well, not actually Charlottesville, more like Batesville...well, not actually Batesville, more like North Garden, Virginia. Their home is contemporary, in wonderful shape, and very large, located on 9 acres on a hillside, surrounded by forest and plantings, decks on every side, a large pool, lots of birds, wild animals, a stream, and quiet, not a house in sight. They are really quite settled in, and it looks like they've been here for 10 years.
We had a wonderful lunch of tuna salad with red and green peppers and
melted cheese on bagels, garlic hummus, and a stupendous Fess Parker chardonnay.
Misha joined us, with her friend, Kevin, and we had dinner.
Michael barbecued, of course,
and Sandy made a wonderful dish of cold green beans, portabella mushrooms, and tomatoes, as well as a crisp salad of frisée, all with another bottle of Fess Parker. It is a great wine, with explosive melon, citrus, pineapple, and a hint of raccoon. For dessert, they presented us with a gorgeous and delicious anniversary chocolate mousse cake, with a glazed bitter chocolate on top, chocolate mousse, and a layer of what seemed to be chocolate Rice Krispies. It was like a Kit-Kat, and it was delicious.
On to University of Virginia & Monticello