Oh Shenandoah | Part 2

Happy Veterans Day. Thank you to those who have served to defend our nation and our freedoms.

The results of the US presidential election have people feeling a lot of things.

Regardless of who you voted for, it is important that we actively work together to effect positive change. Voting for president is not the best that we can do as far as making this country or this world a better place. Whether you’re happy or upset about the outcome of the election, we can all agree there is a lot of work that needs to be done.

I’d also like to recommend this post by Tim Urban on Wait But Why and this video by John Green on vlogbrothers.

Back to your regularly-scheduled programming.

After checking into our B&B and filling up on fried chicken, Ben and I were excited to explore the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to celebrate our anniversary a week early!

We set an alarm so that we’d be awake for the lovely breakfast set outside our door: apple & sour cream pancakes with sausage and fruit and orange juice.


If you don’t like thinking about what to get for breakfast and like the idea of someone making that executive decision for you and then bringing it to your door, you’ll love bed & breakfasts. 😉

This was a vacation, so Ben and I lazed about sleeping a little more and watching videos on our phone before we headed out to see the Luray Caverns! But first, lunch! And being able to finally see the B&B and the properties in the daylight!


Although we were tempted by the many Burger Kings we saw driving out to Luray (we just don’t have enough BKs near home…), we went to Triple Crown BBQ for a delicious barbecue lunch. While I was still shaking off the sleepy not-really-hungries when we arrived, by the time I was breathing in the smoky barbecue scent next to the truck, I no longer wanted to share a meal with Ben.


He got a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and I went in with the seasonal smoked turkey (with bacon!) with cranberry sauce served alongside two perfect little corn muffins and potato salad. All washed down with a cup of sweet tea. So tasty! (Really glad that Ben didn’t go to Burger King when I sleepily mentioned it as we pulled into the BBQ parking lot…) I perked up immediately after our lunch and was excited to hit up the Luray Caverns!


We were nervous that we wouldn’t be able to actually see the caverns because we wound up arriving quite late and the line was very long. However, we lucked out and managed to grab our tickets and hop on one of the one-hour tours.
Bonus: Your admission ticket includes admission to:

  1. Car and Carriage Caravan Museum – awesome museum with vintage cars, from old horse-drawn buggies to swagged-out Rolls Royces from the ’40s – definitely stop by!
  2. Toy Town Junction – collection of antique toys and trains throughout the years that we were unable to visit this time around
  3. Luray Valley Museum – learn the history of the this part of the Shenandoah Valley, including its role in the Civil War and how the people here lived


And of course, the actual caverns themselves! You can definitely spend a few hours here on top of the one-hour tour with the additional attractions that are included on your ticket, but this is what you came for:

“Fish market”!
This looks like an alien planet and I’m not convinced it’s not


“Bacon” in the curtains
A seasonal formation that I thought looked like an ice cream cone!
A wedding was being set up down here, surrounded by the stalactite organ
Wishing well (with a lot of paper money in there and even more gleaming coins)
“Fried eggs” that I thought looked more like oysters

So glad that we were able to visit the caverns on one of the last tours, we drove from Luray back to Harrisonburg while the sun set. It was a really gorgeous autumn day, and we were almost a little sad that we spent so much time in a cave! But off we went for our early anniversary dinner!


Dinner was at Local Chop & Grill House, which we found great reviews for when looking for places to eat in Harrisonburg. It was a really delicious meal and a super awesome value. You pick your meat, the way you want it seasoned, a sauce, and two sides for a very reasonable price. After a few disappointing higher-end meals, we were super happy with this one.


Duck rubbed with gremolata served with mushroom bordelaise, roast broccoli, and mushroom risotto
Filet with house rub served with gravy, mashed potatoes, and asparagus
Crème brûlée with a little message


Quick stop for some bubble tea before flopping on the bed after a big day!


I am currently in Cincinatti at a conference (and giving a quick 5-minute talk that I’m super nervous about!) but there is one more Shenandoah post coming your way!

Have you visited caverns like Luray before? I visited a really cool one in China once that had a lot of multi-colored lights to light up the formations!

What was your favorite nice meal out? This was a pretty good one, and last year was also very nice, but I want us to not do a steakhouse for our anniversary next year. (This year we had a geographical constraint to take into consideration.)

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