Have you ever lived in a place, loved it, left, and come back, only to discover that you can’t recall why you’d ever leave such a great place? That happens to me pretty consistently but never so much as when I return to Fredericksburg VA. I lived there off and on for a number of years and every time I return I want for nothing more than to never leave. Andrew had never been before (a bit of a trend for him, but he’s getting those frequent flier miles in now!) so I decided to plan a quick weekend getaway to my once -and always- home of Fredericksburg.
Our amazingly located hotel, the Marriott Courtyard Fredericksburg Historic District, was amazing. I can’t say it enough. This place is RIGHT downtown. We were able to walk all over Princess Anne St, Caroline, etc, so quickly. I was so happy I decided to go with the Marriott rather than a B&B! The hotel is actually a little better located than some of the B&Bs and the bed was out of this world. We had more pillows than I think I’ve ever seen in my life just on one bed. So of course I took the pillows from the other bed and overcompensated for the severe lack of amazing pillows in my day-to-day life (you can see how happy I am in the inset photo below. I was fully clothed, threw the pillows together, and then dove in – I’m probably halfway to Nirvana in the shot Andrew took). The staff was amazing and very efficient. We had a minor issue with our AC not working at first but they got it going in no time! We never had a problem with noise, lack of outlets, anything. The only off thing was that there isn’t a fan in the bathroom, which was very odd to me but not a deal breaker. The rooms were decorated with photos from around the downtown area which was a HUGE plus to me. I don’t know of many hotels that do that sort of thing, especially within a huge chain like Marriott!
We had so much fun exploring some of the newer additions to Fredericksburg outside of our hotel room (weird, right? Who would leave THAT room??). We spent a little time at Splitsville which is an awesome bowling alley/food venue that’s connected to the movie theatre in the city proper. What a perfect date night idea! Lucky for us it was very quiet when we went and we had a great time. Even though I forgot to bring socks (I’m a flats kind of girl) they sell them at the alley and they weren’t TOO pricey, around $5 for one pair. Of course I wouldn’t normally spend this amount on one pair of socks but they’re cute and I was desperate. The food was pretty standard for a bowling alley, but the one stand out was their loaded fries. YUM. Enough for probably 2-3 people to share. Splitsville is also apparently great for improving your bowling game because for once I got higher than double digit scores!
Dining-wise, Fredericksburg has become a gem. Our first night we stumbled upon La Petite Auberge as we were starving and certainly didn’t want McD’s. If you check out their menu they’re obviously a little pricey. It’s definitely not our standard dinner out but we treated this as a special occasion/date night and splurged. Boy, I’m happy we did! We split their cheese plate to start and WOW. Such a variety. I wish I’d written down what we got but I was starving – something to keep in mind for my next trip :). I chose the Filet Grille Béarnaise – a small portion of course but packed with flavor. Andrew chose the Baked Stuffed Shrimp with Crabmeat and he couldn’t stop raving about it! The portion size was much bigger than the filet as well, as he wound up bringing some back to the hotel with us! The next night we wound up at Kybecca, much lower priced but goodness, the quality didn’t lower. We split another cheese plate – this time I can recall we had a lavender and coffee crusted cheese, a triple cream brie, and a chives cheddar (I believe? Again, will write these things down next time!). Y U M. We decided to split their hanger steak (which I don’t see on their menu anymore) and for $21 we STILL HAD LEFTOVERS. This thing was huge. Absolutely massive. And the flavor was overwhelmingly amazing. We had a wonderful time there and will return – plus, you can’t beat the outdoor seating.
Exploring downtown is amazing. The shops are local, the people love their town, and it’s hard to not fall a little in love with the idea of living in an above-shop apartment, walking to work, and knowing your neighbors. I had so many favorite parts of this trip, but let’s keep it to just a couple: exploring Riverby Books which I have a tradition of buying a book from each time I visit: so far I’ve gotten Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris and The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe. Seeing how much the city has changed over the years and how much it has also stayed the same.
Visiting a rowhouse that my grandmother used to live in on Caroline Street (see the shingle holder below!) and then seeing that Roxbury hasn’t changed since she worked there. I remember many a day “working” here for $20, followed by a run over to the library which is a wonderful 3 stories of books. We also managed a stop at the Fredericksburg Battlefield and Cemetery as Andrew is a big Civil War buff and had always wanted to visit.
Being back in Fredericksburg was wonderful. Being able to show a part of my past to Andrew was great, and seeing him fall in love with the city made the trip even better! We both want to move overseas at some point, but now we’re discussing a quick “stopover” in Fredericksburg. It’s an amazing feeling sharing a love of something with someone you love – and that only makes the thing that much better!
Wishing you many small town love affairs,