Friday, September 14, 2012

29 Hour Vacation - Part 2: What to do in Kilmarnock VA

OK, we got through reasons 1-3 to go to Irvington and Kilmarnock. the other day. (See the post here.)  Just to recap, for the people in the back, all three reasons had to do with the Hope and Glory Inn.

Now moving on...The rest of the reason all have to do with cool things to do and eat in Kilmarnock/ Irvington.

BTW, I don't think I was very clear in the first post about the difference between Kilmarnock and Irvington. Just to be clear, they are both small towns on Virginia's Northern Neck. If you are coming from DC, and driving down Route 3, you get to Kilmarnock first. In Kilmarnock you take Route 200 south and then in about 5 minutes, you are in Irvington. So for this girl of the 'burbs, they are close enough together to count as one location, though they really are two separate cities. Irvington is the more upscale of the two. That's where the Hope and Glory Inn is located.

Now back to our "regularly scheduled' vacation:


4. Windmill Point-
This is the "beach" in town. But it is actually the Chesapeake Bay, not the ocean.
You'd never know from the views:

The hotels say that sections of the beach are "Private".
The laws and the locals say the whole thing is public.
I say "It is easier to get forgiveness, than permission," and went wherever I wanted.

Amazingly, we had the whole beach all to ourselves.

It was a fantastic place to watch the sunset.

So we did just that.

Enough said.
5. Thai Pot Restaurant

Thai Pot is one of the most delicious Thai restaurants I have ever eaten at. Here is a Yelp! review if you don't believe me. It is located along Main Street in Kilmarnock. (36 N Main, to be exact). The owner is this cute, little, high energy Thai lady. She waits tables with the staff and walks the floor to make sure everyone is happy. We instantly became her favorite customers when she took our order and we said we wanted "medium heat." I guess the local palate prefers things a little less "colorful."

I ordered the fried fish dish with tamarind sauce. I had to keep myself from licking the plate. I really did have to tell myself, "Self, you are in public. You cannot lick this plate just to make sure you ingest every last drop of this sauce." Fortunately for the other diners, I listened to myself this time.

You really do want to eat there. It's beautifully decorated with original Thai art, like this golden finial in front of the kitchen. The kitchen is open to the dining room, so you can watch them make all your little goodies. I love that.
6. The Crown Donuts Truck
We stumbled upon this one by accident. After a futile attempt to go shopping before the stores actually opened, we looked across the street and saw all these people lined up in front of a truck. Now I don't know about you, but if I'm on vacation and there is a line up to a brightly painted truck parked in a gas station, I'm going to go check it out.
That's one of the delights of not having anything better to do.
This particular truck was full of donuts. Well maybe not full of donuts, but they had this cool little machine that was cranking them out as fast as people could by them.
So we bought some. A bucket full to be exact. For the kids....of course.
7. Christ Church
This is a cool original brick Anglican church built in 1735. I am always amazed that anything can survive that long. Especially in Virginia's humidity and rain. Here is the website of the Christ Church Historical Society. They can tell you a lot more about it than I can, because the visitor center was closed when we got there. So we did what all intrepid travelers who have to leave so the babysitter doesn't abandon their kids. We parked in front and tried to peek in the windows.
Sadly the windows were way too high. So we walked around the grounds and read the gravestones.
There is a guy buried there that was a doctor in the Revolutionary War.
And a few soldiers from the War of 1812.
I don't know about you, but there is always this sense of "I wonder if all that really happened?" that gets shattered when you see something from that era that has made it across time until now. I never realized that I didn't "believe in" the War of 1812, until I saw the gravestones of people who had actually fought in it. Funny how things work.
So while all of this "history really happened" stuff was super cool, I still really wanted to see the inside of that church. So I started looking for options. And then I found one.
I did it. I totally looked through the keyhole, just to see what I could see.
And my guy thought it was so funny, he took a picture to show the kids.
I promise, I totally did not stage that photo.
The best part was, I actually could see the inside of the church through the keyhole! And through the miracle of technology (and my guy's Blackberry camera,) so can you! Ahh the things a man will do for his woman's blog....
Everyone loves a nice pair of antique carved wood ten commandments, right? I suppose, someday I should go back and actually take the tour. If you all ever do, let me know what I missed, OK?
8. The Drive Along Route 3
I was so ready to be away from Northern Virginia and the DC Metro Area, that even the drive was total bliss. (Execpt for the two hours it took us to go 30 miles as we were leaving said metro area. Not so much bliss there. Thank goodness for the bumpin' mix CD my guy made for the trip!)
You get to Tappahanak, which is a very cool name for a town, and then cross a bridge to the penisula that makes up the Northern Neck. The road that takes you all the way down to the tip is Route 3. It's a charming and calming drive. Little towns, no traffic, beaucolic farms everywhere. I kept wanting to stop and take pictures, but I only had one card with me and it could only hold 70 pics, so I held off. There were a million little places I wanted to stop and check out, but my guy was impatient to get to our destination after being stuck so long in traffic, so I just relaxed and enjoyed the view. It looks nothing like where I live, so it was perfect.
Here is the coolest old broken down farmhouse. I made him stop on the way home to take pics.
Totally worth stopping for, right?
So I walked around the front to get in a little closer and quickly realized that I was not the first person to have this idea.
So I didn't go any farther than the ominous "No Tresspassing" sign,
but I couldn't resist taking this last shot.
I plan on titling it "But Honey....Think of the Potential".
So that's how I spent a very pleasant 29 hours. The only vacation I had this summer. And we made it back just before the babysitter had to abandon the children.


  1. WOW!!!!! Your photos are beautiful!

  2. So - 3 things to add!
    1. I don't know how fast Allen was driving, but it takes 3 hours!
    2. If any of you plan on going to Christ Church - every summer they have a festival for kids (totally free) where they do colonial "things". Really fun, my little guy loved it!
    3. Windmill Point Beach IS PUBLIC! I don't care what their stupid signs say! That is taxpayer sand they are claiming as their own!! :)