Yesterday, the weather here in Warrenton was absolutely gorgeous. Around noon, it was still in the lows 70s with low humidity and few clouds in the sky. It would’ve been a crime not to take advantage of it, so I decided to take a slightly longer lunch and have me a bit of an adventure.
If you’re thinking something like “I knew she doesn’t really work all day,” you’re wrong. I work hard. But my schedule is sometimes flexible. I knew I’d be working late yesterday, so the extended lunch was completely justified.
One of Mom’s friends, Jill from Indiana, is coming to visit next week. Since the guest room is full of stuff out of Mike’s office (that’s for another post), I had to recommend some local hotels. There are several near town, but the place I would stay, which is about 30 minutes away, is The Inn at Fairfield Farm, an historic bed & breakfast located near the center of the 4,200-acre Marriott Ranch. Yes, that Marriott. It’s the only B&B in the Marriott portfolio.
I love that area. You have to take two of my favorite motorcycle roads (Leeds Manor and Hume Roads) to get there. I hadn’t been up there for a while, so that’s where I headed.
I did make a few quick stops along the way for some photos. It was SUCH a pretty day.
My first stop was the parking lot of the Providence Baptist Church at 7111 Leeds Manor Road in Orlean. I knew it was a great spot for a barn capture. Love that barn…
Apparently, a lot of people like the barn. A nice gentleman leaving the church said to me, “You won’t believe how many people photograph that barn.”
It was the kind of day only a fool could not love, so I decided a picnic was in order and stopped at the Orlean Market for provisions.
I didn’t have much time for dilly-dallying, so off I went.
There weren’t many cows out. And those I saw weren’t close enough for good pics. But I do love those Marriott barns with the mountains in the background.
There was a big shade tree on the lawn of the inn with a little outdoor sofa beneath. Looked like a good picnic spot to me. That shot above was taken close to there.
Now, it make look like I was MILES from home, but the ranch is only 25-30 minutes from OTW. I ate quickly, took one more pic (below) and then headed home.
This next shot was captured at one of my favorite spots along Leeds Manor Road… Wickland Farm. One of these days, I’ll actually have to stop there for a visit. And a closer look at the critters, of course.
Continuing south on Leeds Manor, I passed the Orlean Market again and then made a last-minute decision to stop at The Village Green, a cool, larger-than-it-looks gift/antiques/flower/painted furniture shop.
I’m so glad I did. It’s an awesome little place. Not little literally. I was surprised at how big it is on the inside.
As it happens, Sandy also owns the Orlean Market. I laughed when she told me that, then explained that I’d gotten my picnic lunch there. I think she said her son runs the market.
That’s where I met Sandy Gilliam (two syllables, pronounced like GILL UM), one of the owners. She was super-sweet, said I could take pictures, and even showed me around a bit. I told her I was rushed and would have to come back sometime.
Sandy has quite a few very nice pieces there. She carries both painted furniture and what she called “brown wood” (unpainted antiques). There are an awful lot of people who prefer stained wood over painted wood.
In addition to furniture, there’s lots of other stuff. I’ll do a better, more-detailed post after my next visit.
The folks behind Middleburg Photo captured a nice set of Orlean shots, which you can see HERE.
I really had to boogie, but I did capture one last pic, which makes me smile.
The second I saw a shelf full of concrete rats with a couple mice sprinkled in, I knew I had to have some. They remind me of one of my all-time favorite books, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.” They look quite cute snuggled in my trunk for the journey home, don’t they?
The concrete critters and birdhouse are just a few of the items, made by local artisans, that Sandy carries.
I thoroughly enjoyed my impromptu lunch-time escape. I hope you liked the virtual tagalong.