We left Bethesda, MD yesterday and began a 4-month odyssey across the U.S. and British Columbia, and back to the east coast. CW will be continuing his “maltrepreneurial” activities, introducing craft brewers across the country to his hand-crafted smoked malts from a small distillery in Virginia; I’m focused on finding farm to table restaurants and diners, local food production including coffee, chocolate, cheese & cider (the 4 “C’s!”), and oh, let’s add Kombucha even though it starts with a K, organic agriculture, unusual museums and experiencing the differences in climate and culture as we travel.
We’re also on a mission to explore communities to which we might someday move – there’s not really a checklist, but we are looking for access to hiking and the outdoors, culture and cultural diversity, a sustainable economy and food system, community, education & health care, among others. “Climate” is a parameter on which we still have some differences.
Day 1 – we drove not far, from Maryland to Charlottesville, Virginia though the urban density of the greater Washington DC area, and into the gorgeous, verdant, rolling hills of Virginia horse country. The pace will pick up soon, but these first few days are focused on Virginia breweries and Civil War sesquicentennial activities at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for the May 1864 Battle of New Market, in which CW’s great-grandfather, John S. Wise, participated as a VMI Cadet.
Dinner was at The Local, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms and engaging local craftspeople to create a rustic, comfortable restaurant with a balcony looking over the tiny village of Belmont. http://thelocal-cville.com/ The dinner, from the fried green tomato and burrata salad, to the house-made fettucine and mushroom ragout, to the incredible peanut butter brownie sundae, was a rewarding end to day one. Figuring out how to exercise on the road and work off the local meals we plan to enjoy is the next challenge!