Tuesday, May 19, 2009
DC's Wine Country
I'm writing this post on the morning I am to depart again to the same destination. I wanted to get my first impressions down on paper (well, on blog) before my second impression is formed. It's been less than 2 weeks since I went to Loudoun County, Virginia for the first time. The purpose: a presentation to the Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association to pitch the account for a branding agency.
Kimberly, my biz partner, had already been there months ago with our web marketing partner Jennifer. And, I felt partially like I had been there, because I've been working on some creative for Loudoun for Jennifer over the past few months. Not to mention, they have tons of fabulous destination videos on their website, which has helped me to get to know the place (btw, they have been Emmy nominated for their videos). But personal experience is a must for my own understanding.
Aside from the hour long delay in DC (my fault... and partly Jane, the ignorant slut of a GPS), we finally got onto open road for Loudoun. In theory, it's about 45 minutes from Reagan airport - unless of course you are a clueless tourist and your GPS doesn't work in the parking garage. Dulles airport is in the county itself, only we chose Reagan for the nonstop flight. Regardless, coming into Leesburg, the largest city in Loudoun County, I was reminded of my sister Karen's town in Jersey. The suburbs. Sloping roads with communities popping up here and there, and some commercial buildings and strip malls (nice ones, mind you). I did notice a bit of a difference in the wealth of the county. The houses are large and the golf club we passed was massive and stately. More like like a less congested Westchester County in NY.
Leesburg itself is so quaint and historic. Think Vermont meets Charleston. The scattered homes behind the village reminded me of my childhood home off Main Street in Tarrytown, NY. Post presentation, Kimberly and I managed to squeeze in a stop at Mama's Apple Pies (featured on "Road Tasted" - Food Network) and a stroll around downtown Leesburg before resting at the Wine Kitchen. We enjoyed 2 ounce tastings of wine with a cheese and meat board, inside a small but open storefront. Great concept - you can have 6 different wines and only drink 2 total glasses. We even tried 2 of the local wines. An antique shop called The Cottage caught our attention for a bit, and I couldn't help but think my summer traveling buddy Anne Marie would be beside herself in this store.
We were too stuffed to do any serious damage to our meals at the Lightfoot Restaurant, whose logo I just LOVE, but the food was outstanding. My soon-to-be-famous French Onion Soup was amaaaazing. The interior of the building is awesome as well. Our whirlwind trip ended that night at the Lansdowne Resort and I was impressed with the contemporary nature of the decor. I had imagined a more traditional golf theme like Sea Pines in Hilton Head. My favorite was the slate floor of our restroom (strange, I know).
Today, I leave for 2 whole days in Wine Country. The itinerary includes visits to more villages, as well as inns and vineyards. I cannot WAIT to give you my second impression. I think I'm going to like this account!!!