The One with Sarah and Chad

You've been secretly waiting for this moment since I started this blog - when I will finally release my ultra-top secret recipe - the one for The Most Perfect Day in Charlottesville.  Not to worry, dear ones.  I've added my finishing touches and executed it flawlessly last Saturday, with Sarah and Chad as witnesses.  They approved, and so do I.

The Most Perfect Day in Charlottesville is as follows:

Blog 423 aBlog 423 bYou start your day with donuts from The Spudnut Shop - actually the best donuts I've ever had (which is saying something, if you knew that I used to live walking distance from one of the oldest Krispy Kreme's ever).  You then meander across the railroad tracks to The Charlottesville City Market, a local farmer's market filled with produce, flowers, and all kinds of yummy grub.  Chad borrows a hoodie from the car, and proceeds to hear "Go Gators" for the rest of the morning (this part is essential, I tell you).  You grab a lavender lemonade from the station next to the Jam According to Daniel stand, because your breakfast wasn't quite sweet enough, obviously.

Blog 423 cBlog 423 d

Next, you hop over a block to the downtown mall, conveniently home to oodles of cute boutiques.  Sarah models hats in your favorite shop, while Chad patiently waits for the girly part of the day to move on.

Blog 423 eBlog 423 fYou insist on an impromptu photoshoot of the couple, during which an elderly lady walks by and compliments the cuteness of the pair.  Of course, you snag a goofy picture with the leading lady before heading towards UVa's Grounds...

Blog 423 g... Except that on your way, you happily discover a group of dancing teens in the middle of the downtown mall.  Complete with traditional outfits and everything.  You take obligatory photos, and briskly walk away when they ask for volunteers.

Blog 423 hBlog 423 iOnce on grounds, you explore the historic buildings and throw in another awkward photo shoot with your obliging models.

Blog 423 jBlog 423 kWhile exploring grounds, you stalk some of the private gardens, and stumble upon Edgar Allen Poe's living quarters during his time at UVa.  You and Sarah take a really great photo, except that you close your eyes like a moron, and kick yourself later, because really everything else about the picture is kind of perfect.  You then walk back towards the Corner to grab sandwiches from Littlejohn's New York Deli, although really any sandwich place on the Corner would be a good choice.  You swing back home to pick up your picnic essentials and your husband, then hit I-64 to Veritas Vineyard & Winery.

Blog 423 mBlog 423 nYou first walk into the main tasting area (as Sarah adjusts herself), where you do wine tastings, complete with descriptions and a beginner's guide to wine tasting, thanks to a patient server.

Blog 423 oBlog 423 pThen, you pick your favorite wine, buy a bottle and a cheese plate, then head to a picnic table outside for a smorgasbord sandwiches, wine, and cheese.  Once you demolish the wine, you and Sarah relax on a blanket while the boys throw around a football.  After lounging for a good long while in the sunshine, you pack up and head back home to clean up before dinner.

Blog 423 sFor dinner, you head back downtown for burgers and beers, only to have the boys refuse to sit next to their respective dates and focus on sports instead.  Towards the end of dinner, you and Sarah have a photo contest to see who is paler.  It seems to be a tie, so you leave dinner and head to your last stop for the night...

Blog 423 tBlog 423 u...The Annual Dogwood Carnival.  The four of you ride on the rickety old ferris wheel, complete with uncontrollable giggling.  To end the night, you and Sarah ride the scrambler while you let Joe take unflattering photos.

And for dessert, you eat a salted caramel brownie that Sarah brought from Amelie's French Bakery in Charlotte.

That's it, friends.  The Most Perfect Day in Charlottesville with a brownie on top.  This recipe is good for any spring, summer, or fall day (provided that there is some sort of carnival in town and it's farmer's market season).  Enjoy with friends and family, especially Charlottesville newbies and those with a sense of adventure.

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