On Sunday, September 18th, I made a deal with Steffanie that we would spend half of the day at battlefields and the other half at wineries. We ended up making it to two battlefields and only one winery. Steff was a bit disappointed our plans got shifted when the drive between the two battlefields was longer than I had anticipated. I made good on the deal by making sure we went to another winery the following Friday.
Our first battlefield stop was at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. We did a self guided tour of the Sunken Road on Marye’s Heights.
The road was the position the Confederate troops took to hold off Union forces in a battle that started in the town below. Parts of the wall along the road have stood since before the battle and there is a building still scarred with bullet holes.
After spending some time reading all of the placards around the site, we took some time and sat on a bench inside the Fredericksburg National Cemetery located on the same site.
After touring that battlefield and cemetery, we were ready for lunch and tried to find a spot for lunch. After driving around unsuccessfully, we actually ended up back right across the street at the Battlefield Restaurant. We definitely should have just eaten there in the first place, as Steffanie was sure to remind me that was her original suggestion. It turned out to be a nice little greasy spoon where we could have a quick bite to eat.
Next, we were supposed to find a winery, but I was worried we might not make it to the next battlefield before the visitor center closed. So the plans changed to go straight to the next battlefield instead of going to one of the wineries next. We headed out to the Manassas National Battlefield Park. We made to the visitor center located on Henry Hill, where the Confederates finally forced a Union retreat at the end of the First Battle of Bull Run.
It is a pretty large open field, with many cannon placed where they likely stood during the battle. We also stopped down the road at the Stone House, which was used as a hospital for the wounded during the battle. There was a ranger there about to close up for the day, but he gave us a short tour and talk about the history of the home.
To Steffanie’s relief we were finally going to head to a winery. Less than 10 minutes from the Stone House is the Winery at Bull Run. We found a spot at the outside tasting counter and sampled the wines. The grounds were very pretty, overlooking the vineyards and a horse paddock. They even had a band playing while we did our sampling.
We didn’t stay too long, because we still had hoped we would make it to another winery for the day. We wish we would have just bought a bottle and relaxed there instead. After rushing to try and make it to the next winery, we arrived to find out that it had already closed for the day. It was a sour ending to an otherwise nice day.
The following Friday, we made plans to go to the Potomac Point Winery right after work. We did a wine tasting and then bought a bottle to share while we snacked on a wine & cheese plate outside on their patio. There was a band playing, and we tried our best to relax after a stressful week.