“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” –Herbert Hoover
There’s still a bitter chill in the air here in Waynesboro, Virginia, but the warm weather is soon to come, bringing with it the 13th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival: “Held on the banks of the South River in Downtown Waynesboro, this festival is the largest outdoor fly fishing event in the Mid-Atlantic. Casting class with instructors, over 40 exhibitors with the latest gear, children’s fishing pond and some of Virginia’s finest vintners are just some of the activities offered over the weekend!” –Visit Waynesboro
Take classes for beginners, chat with fellow sportsman, taste Virginia wine, and visit the many different vendors. Also, if you are interested in obtaining a fishing license, you’ll be able to purchase one right onsite: “[The festival is] proud to announce that attendees will be able to purchase their fishing licenses and check on their driver’s licenses at the festival this year! That’s right: A partnership between Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Game and Inland Fisheries means one-stop shopping for anglers.”
This year, we here at the Iris Inn are offering a Fly Fishing Festival Package for our guests. This includes tickets to either day of the event as well as lunch at a fantastic nearby restaurant, the Greenleaf Grill. Pricing includes the cost of your room plus $75. If you’re interested in booking a room for this fun, warm-weather package, click here.
One of Charlottesville, Virginia’s most well-known entertainment venues is the John Paul Jones Arena. The Arena was built in 1976 by a University of Virginia (UVA) graduate named Paul Tudor Jones II, and it was constructed and named in honor of Jones’ father John Paul: “Mr. Jones has described his father’s life as being dedicated to four things: his faith, his family, the University of Virginia and basketball.”
While the John Paul Jones Arena does host both UVA men’s and women’s basketball games, athletics is not the only thing you’ll find there. A huge number of entertainers have performed there as well: “The arena is…host to a myriad of attractions including concerts, family shows, exhibits, trade shows, and community events. John Paul Jones Arena has hosted many of the biggest acts in live entertainment, including Dave Matthews Band, The Police, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Lady Gaga, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, George Strait, The Dead, Phish, Jason Aldean, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
Check out the John Paul Jones Arena calendar for upcoming events featuring the Harlem Globetrotters, Third Day, and WWE’s Wrestlemania. Also coming up soon is the world famous Cirque du Soleil in a performance of “Quidam.” If you would like to contact the arena, give them a call at (434) 243-4960, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to book your room or cabin at the Iris Inn!
“The Loft Mountain Wayside, at milepost 79.5 on Skyline Drive, serves as a hub in the park’s South District, with its popular campground, numerous trail heads, amphitheater and wayside restaurant” (National Parks Traveler). Furthermore, Loft Mountain serves as the location of various activities, including guided tours, educational sessions, and Ranger programs:
Along the Frazier Discovery Trail: “Hike to the summit of Loft Mountain for a stunning view during this 2-hour circuit hike.”
Bear Necessities: “Black bears thrive in Shenandoah National Park because of the large areas of contiguous, high quality, forest habitat. Discover additional necessities bears need and the role you play in their survival during this 20-minute talk.”
Where the Wild Things Are: “Celebrate the wild things of Shenandoah during this 20-minute talk.”
Junior Ranger: “Investigate the mysteries of Shenandoah through fun and educational activities. Ages 7-12. Adult must accompany child. 1.5 hours.”
An Ocean View: “Join a ranger for a short hike to Blackrock summit and to learn about this areas unique geology. 1.5 hours.”
Evening Hike: “Investigate a mountain forest as day changes into night. 2 hours.”
Campfire Program: “Join a Ranger for this National Park Service tradition. Dress for cool mountain nights. 45 minutes.”
(Note: These specific program schedules are from 2012, so they may vary about during the 2013 season.)
Though the weather will still remain chilly for a few more weeks still, it’s not too soon to start planning your summer getaway. Reserve your room in our B&B or in our cabins!
We’ve been receiving some questions about our new cabins, and if you find yourself wondering the same things, hopefully you will find an answer below. If you have any other questions, email us at email@example.com or give us a call at (540)-943-1991.
- Is breakfast included in the cabin rental rate? No, but you may purchase breakfast in the main inn in advance for $15.00 per person. Breakfast is served between 8 and 9:30.
- Is there a coffee maker, and if so, what kind? Yes, there is a Black and Decker 12 cup coffee maker.
- Are filters for the coffee maker provided? Yes.
- Can I cook in the cabin? Yes, there is a kitchen equipped with pots and pan, dishes, glasses and silverware. The oven is a microwave convection oven combination, with a two burner stove top.
- Can I use the hot tub in bad weather? Yes. The hot tub is on a screened in porch.
- Do I need to get a key to my cabin? No. Each cabin has a key pad on the door, and you will receive your key pad code before your stay.
- Do I need to check in/check out in the main building? No. You are free to park in the lower lot and go straight to and from your cabin.
- Are robes included in the cabins? No, however oversized spa towels are in each cabin.
- How do I turn on the fireplace? There is a switch to the left of the fireplace near the refrigerator that turns on the fireplace. Also, there is a light for the fireplace just above it to the left.
- What time is check in/check out? Check in is at 4pm, and check out is at 11am.
- How do control the heated floors in the bathroom? There is a panel to the left of the mirror that turns on and controls the temperature of the heated floors.
Of all the decorations at the Iris Inn, we’ve found some of the most striking and eye-catching pieces to be our artwork, most of which is the product of local talent. We’ve continued this pattern with our new cabins, and we are so pleased to be displaying the signed photography of the enormously gifted James Beeler.
Mr. Beeler states, “I have only been serious about photography for a little over two years now…In September of 2010, I took the picture that is hanging at the Iris Inn, a picture that I would consider my signature piece. I met Dave and Heidi at the Waynesboro Fall Foliage Festival this past year. They were interested in purchasing some canvases for their brand new cabins. When they told me they wanted seven, my eyes lit up! It was my first festival, [and] my goal was just not to lose any money. I never expected anything like this to happen. After a couple of meetings and discussions, we decided on the canvas that is hanging above the bed in the new cabins…It’s still very surreal to me to walk into the cabins and see my picture hanging on the wall, to think to myself, ‘I took that.’ I think it fits perfect[ly] in the room, and it being captured here locally makes it even better.”
Click here to visit and like James Beeler’s Facebook page. Click here to check out his website, and don’t forget to reserve your Iris Inn cabin!
Many people explore the Blue Ridge Parkway for the flora, but let’s not forget about the fauna, as well! The parkway is home to some absolutely amazing creatures, each beautiful in his or her uniqueness.
One can find 42 different species of amphibians along the trails, and of course, this includes the salamander. According to the National Park Service, the Southern Appalachians are the “center of salamander diversity on earth.” Not only that, but the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the “heart of this zone.” One can also find more than 250 species of birds along the parkway, including bobolinks, eastern meadowlarks, American kestrels, great blue herons, kingfishers, and peregrine falcons. This is an ideal setting for the avid bird-watcher! Along with amphibians and birds, the Blue Ridge Parkway is also home to 50 different species of fish, 22 species of snakes, and 7 species of turtles.
Spring is still a couple months away, so many of these animals are most likely staying warm in a deep hibernation,. This, however, doesn’t mean that the forests are entirely devoid of wildlife! The white-tailed deer are as active as ever, and you may even catch a glimpse of them right outside your room at the Iris Inn. Gray squirrels also remain prevalent throughout the year, scampering across the woods with impish drive.
Photo by Richard Seaman
Just remember, though, if you’re planning to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway during the winter months, be sure to stay up-to-date with weather related closures: “The most up to date closing information about the Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed by calling (828) 298-0398, 24 hours a day. You may also find some closing information on the National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm.”
“Masquerades disclose the reality of souls. As long as no one sees who we are, we can tell the most intimate details of our life.” –Fernando Pessoa
Masquerade. The word itself holds many connotations from fictional characters in lavish disguises to mysterious figures waltzing away in Regency Era ball rooms. And what do you get when you combine the extravagance of a masquerade with the energy of a New Year’s celebration? You get the chance to participate in your own Masked Ball at Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, Virginia on December 31, 2012. The evening will include “wine and hors d’oeuvers followed by a five-course winemaker’s dinner at 8 p.m. in Saddleback Hall” as well as “dancing until midnight,” which is when the “masks come off and the champagne flows!” Perhaps you think the party ends there, in which case, you would be incorrect. At 12:30 am, breakfast will be served!
Black tie is optional, so dust off your fancy jackets and formal dresses, and make a grand appearance in style. Also, remember to book your room at the Iris Inn so that when you’re finally done celebrating a masked New Year, you can return to the comfort of your own bed and rest your tired dancing feet.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Staunton, VA, which is only a quick drive away from the Iris Inn, boasts the only re-creation of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre. While the American Shakespeare Center is obviously renowned for its Shakespearean performances, their holiday shows are particular favorites among viewers.
A Christmas Carol- It’s a classic for sure! Charles Dickens’ story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge takes on a unique atmosphere on the traditional Shakespearean stage: “Expect to be right in the middle of this beloved tale with new twists, surprises, and a production filled with music and cheer for the whole family.”
The 12 Dates of Christmas- (RECOMMENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES) Looking for a fun, girls’ night out? This may be the show for you ladies (though men are certainly not dissuaded from going as well). This is a one-woman performance about Mary, who, after dumping her fiancé, spends a year navigating the complexities of dating.
The Santaland Diaries- This production is “an outrageously funny one-man play (from National Public Radio’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris) about the author’s experiences as an unemployed actor/writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City.” If you enjoy a bit of wry humor, you’ll definitely like The Santaland Diaries.
Buy your ticket for a show at the Blackfriars Playhouse, book your room at the Iris Inn, and have a wonderful holiday!
Photo by Tommy Thompson
During the holiday season, decorative lights abound with great flourish and fanfare. From glistening white icicle lights to flashing designs in the shape of jolly ol’ St. Nick, there is no shortage of festive illuminations.
If you find yourself at the Iris Inn, and you’re looking for an evening out, head over to Staunton, VA’s Gypsy Hill Park, and enjoy their Celebration of Lights: “The light display is organized by a group of community citizens who have found a way to utilize the beauty of the sprawling park during a season that brings families and friends together.” Make it a romantic stroll with your significant other, a night out with friends, or a fun viewing for the kids.
The Celebration of Lights lasts through January 6, 2013 and is open from 5pm-11pm.
And, though these lights are fantastically beautiful, remember the following: “Christmas is not in tinsel and lights and outward show. The secret lies in an inner glow. It’s lighting a fire inside the heart. Good will and joy a vital part. It’s higher thought and a greater plan. It’s glorious dream in the soul of man.” –Wilfred A. Peterson
Click here to book your room at the Iris Inn!
The weather is growing colder, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean you’re trapped indoors until the first signs of spring. Gather up your gloves, hats, and scarves, and brave the chilly beauty of the natural world.
As you can imagine, the Blue Ridge Parkways is steeped in rich history, and one particular area with physical evidence of the past is the Old Logging Railroad Overlook near Yankee Horse Ridge at Milepost 35. As the legend goes, Yankee Horse is the spot where a Union soldier’s horse fell and had to be put down. (It’s not exactly the most enthralling of legends, but it’s still interesting nonetheless.)
Further interest can be found in the Old Logging Railroad. Construction on the railroad began in 1918 and was completed in 1920, with the entirety of the railroad at 50 miles. As you can probably guess by the name of the track, it was built to haul lumber during the pre-parkway logging days, and it used to be known as the Irish Creek Railway. In a document from 1918, one individual reported, “At present, however, a logging railroad is being built up Irish Creek to a point near Irish Creek post-office, and this would make transportation somewhat easier” (Henry G. Ferguson). Click here if you’re interested in reading the entire document.
Although the use of the railway for logging has long since been forgotten, it now makes for a beautiful complement to the surrounding scenery. If you’re staying at the Iris Inn and heading for a hike at Crabtree Falls, consider visiting Yankee Horse Ridge, as it’s only a short distance away.
Thank you to Deborah Scannell Photography for this stunning photo!