The first weekend of August was a lot of fun! Mostly because Nathan actually had a weekend. He gets one weekend off a month and this was it, so we made sure to take advantage of it. Not to mention we also had perfect weather: 75 and sunny with hardly any humidity. Doesn’t get better than that toward the end of summer.
We started things off on a sweet note with a dessert date to Splendora’s Gelato Cafe on the downtown mall after dinner on Friday. It was a beautiful night out and there was a lot of great people watching – a juggler, accordion player, and artist were among the highlights of the mall this time. It does make me sad that it’s getting dark earlier already though!
I haven’t had really good gelato in a long time, so this hit the spot! We each chose two flavors, and I got granduia (chocolate and hazelnut, so basically nutella) and salted caramel. So delicious, especially when they melted and started to mix together. The little spoons that came with our gelato were cute too. Am I the only one who’s always tempted to keep those?
I was glad we got to try Splendora’s after hearing so much about it. It definitely lived up to the hype, although Nathan decided he’s more of an ice cream guy than gelato fan. I can work with that! After we walked back home, we finished House of Cards season 4 (OMG) and called it a night.
On Saturday morning, we headed out to a highly anticipated hike: Humpback Rock! This was on our bucket list from the very beginning and we were glad a window to go finally opened up. We hadn’t been hiking together in far too long, and we were both craving a good mountain getaway.
It was a gorgeous ~30 minute drive from Charlottesville to the trailhead, which is directly off the Blue Ride Parkway. Up in the mountains it was a good 10-15 degrees cooler with a strong breeze too, but once we got moving we warmed up.
The hike to the lookout is ~1 mile with 800 ft. elevation. It is STEEP but we had been warned so we were prepared. The near-360 degree view at the top made it worth every step!
It was pretty windy at the top so this is as far as we ventured out!
After soaking in the breathtaking view, we took a different route back down the mountain that is supposedly part of the Appalachian Trail. It’s about ~3 miles down but a lot less steep, so we got to enjoy a more casual pace and good conversation. Overall, it took us a little over 2 hours to do the trail this way. Can’t think of a morning better spent than in the mountains together, and I’m so grateful we live close enough to be able to enjoy our free days like this.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, grocery shopping, and meal planning for the week before a casual dinner date at Chili’s using up some old gift cards we had.
We debated saving season 5 of House of Cards until season 6 comes out but we couldn’t resist, so after a couple episodes (#cantstopwontstop) we headed to bed. Deja vu! We slept hard Saturday night. Something about that mountain air…
Sunday morning we went to church together and then met up with a couple friends for brunch at Bluegrass Grill. We’d been trying to make plans with them for awhile, but the guys’ off-days never lined up until this weekend. We’d also been wanting to try Bluegrass Grill for awhile, so it worked out perfectly!
We soaked up some of the gorgeous sunshine outside for ~45 minutes until our table was ready. It was totally worth the wait! Everything on the menu looked amazing, but after some recommendations from the waitress, I decided to order The Hungry Norman and Nate ordered The Southern Belle. Yes, you read that right…please imagine my husband ordering “the southern belle” while I ordered “the hungry norman”. I hope you find it as entertaining as I did 🙂
*Shoutout to good friends who don’t judge when you take pics of your food!*
This was hands down the best breakfast sandwich I have ever eaten! The photo doesn’t do it justice, but buried under those eggs is my perfect sweet/savory combo of blackberry jam, goat cheese, and sausage. Whenever I make egg & cheese sandwiches at home, I always add grape jelly, so this was like that except on another level! It was kind of like a breakfast spin on my favorite burger at Twenty Tap (back in Indy) which uses tomato jam and goat cheese with an English muffin. Needless to say, I cleared my plate and was sooo happy with my choice. 10/10.
My friend got The Dirty Frenchman, which was french toast with brie, honey, & lavender on wheat-raisin bread. She shared a bite and it was to die for! Smelled amazing and tasted just as good. I want them to make a candle that smells like her french toast and I told the waitress that so…*copyright pending*. Nathan also loved The Southern Belle and I enjoyed trying it, too! It involved pimento cheese, fresh tomatoes, and jalapeño hollandaise…I forget the rest (it was a special).
Overall, the Bluegrass Grill is my new favorite breakfast place and I want to try everything on their menu. I like how they had classic, comfort-food staples like grits, biscuits ‘n gravy, bacon, etc. but then also put creative, classy spins on traditional dishes (like blackberry jam and goat cheese, or lavender on the french toast). The names (i.e. Hungry Norman) made it feel less stuffy than some of the ingredients would suggest (in other words, I could actually pronounce them). Plus, the portion sizes are perfect. Sometimes places give you these small little servings for fancy dishes and charge you more. That is NOT the case here and it makes it a perfect brunch spot for us! Word of warning – if you come visit us, we will probably end up back here at least once during your trip. I will also ask to try whatever you order. Thank you/you’re welcome.
The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning the apartment, doing some food prep for the week (two more new recipes on the meal plan whoop whoop), and relaxing. It was our favorite kind of weekend: a good hike, good food, and good time with friends. August is off to a great start!