I had so much fun on my trip that I figured I should type it up formally with pictures even though I have already gone through each detail with my readers (mom and FV) but I thought the pictures should be part of the full story. This week we toyed with the idea of taking the kids on a weekend jaunt somewhere we’d never been before. My husband suggested we try New River Gorge which seemed amazing but after a longer trip a week or so before I preferred to stay closer. I’ve always heard about Harpers Ferry being an interesting place to see and did some reading online. Harpers Ferry is most well known for John Brown’s raid in 1859. I brushed up on the history of the town and my husband sang the same repeat of “Country roads, take me home/To the place I belong/West Virginia, Mountain Mama/Take me home, country roads” driving down the road. Trying to get the kids to regurgitate the history is a challenge when their father asks, “What’s a mountain mama?”
Harpers Ferry was a quick enough trip that if we wanted to spend the day we could but if we decided to stay overnight we’d keep busy enough to do so. Once we got there I fell in love with the town. It was super hot and hiking was exhausting but so much fun. It is a mountainous town and you get a lot of exercise so I was glad we all packed comfortable shoes. We hiked up past ‘Jefferson rock’ which is known to be where Jefferson stood and said, “perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature” and he wasn’t kidding. I drained the battery on my phone snapping pictures as I walked. There is the area by the river that was the footprint of the armory from years ago near the old Harpers Ferry train station. The museum type displays are, in my opinion, even better than Williamsburg. Each shop is meticulously recreated to appear quite authentic and the people are SO NICE. Everywhere we went – from shop keepers, to the staff at our accommodations, to fellow drivers – everyone is unhurried and very polite. We did end up staying overnight because it was such a fantastic place to visit and the flea market was scheduled for Saturday and I was determined to keep flea marketing until I become good at it – spotting the deals – meeting the people in the area and learning about the culture of a town – while adding to my collections.
We stayed in a bed and breakfast that is part of the select registry group of bed and breakfasts called Hillbrook Inn. I stumbled upon it by chance and was so happy I did. Since we didn’t make reservations nor plan the trip out – arriving and not even knowing whether we’d stay overnight I was absolutely astounded at my good fortune for finding Hillbrook. I like history and appreciate the history of a town so staying at a bed and breakfast (actually in Charlestown) that was actually situated on George Washington’s first land purchase in 1750 was wildly entertaining. The hostess pointed out that there were parts of the Tudor home’s walls that originated far back, while the house had been added onto periodically to include now 18 guest suites – some in separate cottages from the main house. When the manager escorted us to our room my son commented that “it was magical.” I was embarrassed by his unguarded honesty but I completely agree that is was magical. Our cottage, seated on top of a hill with sprawling grounds, a life-sized chess set, Canadian geese meandering near the ponds, the grounds are perfectly maintained and the towering trees offer shade to enjoy the afternoon on a swing or hammock – it was the most dreamlike place I have ever seen. The next morning we enjoyed breakfast in the main house of two courses – a fruit and a grain. The food was just another bit of perfection – a baked apple topped with cream, fresh mint and raspberries and roasted potatoes, eggs topped with hollandaise sauce with juice and coffee/tea. The host and hostess were delightful and I would go back in a heartbeat. If you’re planning a trip be sure to stop by: http://www.hillbrookinn.com/.
On our way back into Harpers Ferry, we stopped at two flea markets. I always wish my grandmother was shopping with me when I am hitting the junk stores or after new old treasures because she’s the only one who gets it. I marvel at the varied collections of the vendors and my daughter and I split from my husband and son so each group could shop separately. I found some great items; the only thing I didn’t get that I regret two flea markets into the whole experience was an old fruit box – I want one to keep the shoes in once little feet kick them off into a pile in the laundry room temporarily until they are put away in the front hall closet rather than being strewn fromt eh doorway into the kitchen. I saw one at the Raleigh flea market for $15, but passed it up and was deterred when my husband said, “An old wooden box?” This trip I was determined – saw one for $6 from the lady I bought blue and white dishes from, passed it up – saw another one for $15 and meant to go back for the one for $6, but then everyone was tired. Next trip….Flea markets are my idea of heaven, and for my husband….they are…not quite. I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures to commemorate the trip:
It was such a great quick turnaround trip – we definitely will have to go back in the fall when the folliage begins to turn.