An Airlie Way to Experience Winter

Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing winter the way it should be experienced, relaxing during a bucolic getway at Airlie in Warrenton, VA. The funny thing is it was a bit of an accident.

I booked an Amarone wine tasting for my husband for his birthday, The American Wine Society tasting was at one of our favorite Virginia vineyards at Pearmund. It was on Sunday before Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday. We accidentally booked the hotel reservation at Airlie for Saturday night. We showed up at the winery wondering where everyone was. Oops! Fortunately for us Airlie was right down the road and it was their winter rates. We booked another night and were able to fully enjoy a long weekend getaway, when it was 2 degrees below freezing. Here are some pics from the weekend.

Airlie's main mansion_Art Is Everywhere

The main Airlie House / checkin area

Love is in the air at Airlie and on the hillside_AIE

Love is in the air and on the hillside

Bucolic Airlie vistas_AIE

Topiary Love Knot Garden_AIE

Topiary Love Knot Garden

Main Airlie Dining Room_AIE

Airlie’s Main Beautiful Dining Room.

We only ate breakfast in the main dining room. It was a glorious setting with morning light streaming in and Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra seranading us. The majority of this space was reserved other times for two wedding parties while we were there.

Instead, we headed down the side steps to Harry’s, where we ate at least four delectibal meals. I’m still craving the juicy seared pork chop with sweet potato puree and delicious brussell sprouts. I wish I had taken a picture.

Mural walk to Harry's at Airlie_AIE

Mural walk to Harry’s

Airlie Mural walk 2_AIE

Grisaille Airlie Mural detail_AIE

Grisaille detail

Trompe l'oeil Airlie Mural detail_AIE

Trompe l’oeil detail

Reward: many rounds of their Boulevardier and Manhattan Slings in tribute to non-prohibition days_AIE

Reward: many rounds of their Manhattan Slings in tribute to non-prohibition days

Harry’s is names after Harry Connelly Groome, the original owner of Airlie.

Just outside the bar doors is a lovely pond and fountain. Most of it was frozen except at the center. We saw geese crossing over to where they could swim.

Signs at Airlie guide you_AIE

Signs guide you

Main Airlie pond and fountain_AIE

Main pond and fountain

Geese cross the Airlie Pond_AIE

weddings at Airlie on Art Is Everywhere

Weddings galore

Our Airlie Lodge on Art Is Everywhere

Our Lodge

Lobby in Airlie Lodge on Art Is Everywhere

Lobby in Lodge

There are many things to do at Airlie, including a lot of weddings. There were two different wedding parties while we were there.

You can enjoy a firepit with friends, play archery (in warmer months), walk the many paths, take bikes to other cottages to workout or play pool. We rode bikes to these and their organic farm. It was frigid and I couldn’t feel my face much less my fringers in the 2-degree below cold. I wouldn’t advice riding in this extreme cold but it was a fun adventure.

And check out the interactive map.

Airlie Firepit in the round on Art Is Everywhere

Firepit in the round

Many pathways to meander on Art Is Everywhere

Many pathways to meander

Airlie Bikes & Cottages on Art Is Everywhere

Bikes & Cottages

Biking the Airlie property_Art Is Everywhere

Biking the property

Airlie's Organic Farm on Art Is Everywhere

Airlie’s Organic Farm

You can reserve an organic dinner with friends in the garden and under the stars. How romantic and memorable it would be! The uncanny thing is this is the very dinner I’ve been wanting to do through Vermilion, one of our favorite restaurants. Airlie is one of the farms that provides their produce and where you can book a farm to table dining experience.

Airlie Organic Farm Table Experience on Art Is Everywhere

Organic Farm Table Experience

Airlie Organic Dining under the stars_AIE

Under the Stars

We had so much fun relaxing at Airlie that we were starting to feel transported with the sensation of being back at Sewanee, sitting on the porch, watching the shadows shift as time just drifted by. I caught up on some journal writing.

Beautiful Airlie Panorama_AIE

Beautiful Panorama

However, I neglected to take pictures of the wine tasting but you can read more about our previous experiences at Pearmund. Tomassi is a brand that usually never disappoints and we were happy to have it at the tasting. What a Airlie way to experience winter and a wonderful birthday celebration.

Love the Sunset on Art Is Everywhere

Love the Sunset (literally)


Feeling the Arctic Freeze

Here’s a quick post about feeling the recent arctic freeze.

It’s freezing cold outside! If you are on the East Coast, you know, with double-digit negative numbers that we’ve experienced!!

Fortunately, in the DC area, we’re not digging out of snow, although, I wish we were!

Instead, I’ll post the first frozen image of our fountain. This was from a month ago when it was only 32 degrees. I thought the swirling formations were really unusual and I wasn’t sure what would have caused them particularly since the fountain wasn’t running.

Look closely, is it just organic swirls, or God’s way of saying, “Hey, humans, you can’t control this weather. My finger is on the trigger!” Do you see a thumb and possible hand? Hmmm…Was this a warning of the arctic freeze to come…?

Frozen fountain or miraculous thumb print on Art Is Everywhere

Frozen fountain or miraculous thumb print?

Fall and winter are some of my favorite months but I have adverse physical reactions to both. Raynauds kicks in when just walking by the frozen food section in the grocery store, so you can imagine what happens when it is negative 10 degrees and feels like negative 20 outside. In fact, I’m postponing an onsite project until it warms a bit because I may not be able to feel the brushes.

Managing the cold could be fun as long as I could stay internally warm.

If I were living in a very cold place, like Iceland, I’d want to enjoy it here, in a Bubble Igloo Hut. It gets a 5-star rating, btw.

I’ll have to finally write about my 2017 Scandinavian heritage trip this year because I’ve already been to Gullfoss waterfall and the Blue Lagoon. The views were exceptional.

Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland via Buubble on Art Is Everywhere

Gullfoss Waterfall (with a filter no doubt, but rainbow is actually there) via Buubble

When I return, I think I’ll take this Golden Circle Tour and test the Bubble for viewing the Northern Lights. It’s on my bucket list, which I’m thinking more about accomplishing lately.

An Aurora Borealis Lagoon in Iceland via Buubble on Art Is Everywhere

An Aurora Borealis Lagoon in Iceland via Buubble

It’s either the Bubble Igloo or other top places to stay and watch the Northern Lights.

Like in Finland, where the glass igloo Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is located, described on Thrillist.

Kakslauttanen Arctic hotel on Art Is Everywhere

Kakslauttanen Arctic hotel

Either way, I’ll be happy and no longer feeling the arctic freeze.

In the meantime, if you are traveling outside, please take care to prevent freezing.

This Podcast from Outside Magazine is “chilling” and will make you remember how easily it can happen. (Scroll to the bottom to listen to Episode 1, #55 on the list)

Outside Magazine on Art Is Everywhere

Outside Magazine Podcast – Episode 1 the Science of Survival

Also, don’t run in the cold either. Just watch the movie Wind River, and you’ll see what can happen in severe cold. Stay warm. Stay safe.

Click here to see previous wintery posts with visual inspiration.