Schola Cantorum is a local, volunteer choral group “formed to present great works of the master composers to the community.” They are comprised of immensely talented musicians and oftentimes partner up with other musical groups such as the Waynesboro High School Concert Choir and the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra.
One of their upcoming projects is “Murder with a G String,” a delicious murder mystery fundraiser held at Barren Ridge Vineyards on August 19, 2012. Partake in a complimentary glass of red or white wine, indulge in a lavish dinner, attempt to solve the theatrical murder, and purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win some fantastic prizes—a six-month family membership to the YMCA, a one-hour home deck inspection, a Pulsar men’s watch, a pair of Waynesboro Players season tickets, and more. Once you’ve eaten your fill and quickly solved the mystery—all our guests are incredibly clever—return to your forested privacy at the Iris Inn.
“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’”– Peter Maher
Why is running good for you? You’ve probably heard all the reasons before, but sometimes we all still need a quick refresher:
Affordable form of exercise
Easy to learn
Helps with weight-loss and muscle toning
(These facts, along with numerous others, are courtesy of RealBuzz.)
If you’re an avid runner, a jogging newbie, or you just need to wake up with a morning walk, there is a lovely area just down the road from the Iris Inn that will satisfy your exercising needs. On South Delphine, heading towards Lyndhurst, there is a small road just past the Wildlife Center of Virginia. You can either start your run/walk at the Iris Inn and make your way on foot to the entrance of the road, or you can drive there and leave your car at the gate.
Is there any doubt that the weather around here has been blisteringly hot? In fact, in a couple days, it’s supposed to reach close to 100 degrees! Now, you have several options to beat the heat, most of which include either swimming, consuming vast amounts of water, or laying motionless while praying that the air conditioner keeps you cool. However, if you want a tasty alternative, we here at the Iris Inn offer a delectable little treat known as Divine Icy Wine: “Turn your wine into a frozen delight!”
Directions: Combine contents with 4 to 6 cups of water to taste. Add 1 bottle of dry white wine. Stir until dissolved. Freeze 6 or more hours. Thaw for 1 hour. Stir, serve and enjoy!
We offer such delicious flavors as Tropical Delight and Sweet Red.
Next time you’re staying at the inn, be sure to inquire about our Divine Icy Wine, and fight the miserable heat with the fine taste of wine.
The kindness of strangers is oftentimes overlooked, especially in an age where it is easy to become cynical. But ever once in a while, someone will surprise you with a thoughtful act.
We meet a lot of wonderful people here atour inn. One such wonderful person is Wendy. Wendy and her husband Jeff hail from Pennsylvania, and after finding the Iris Inn last fall by means of an online search, they bookmarked our website and planned to visit. Wendy, however, ended up breaking her ankle, so she and her husband postponed their trip to give the injury time to heal. In the mean time, Wendy became the Crochet Queen, crafting a series of beautiful baby blankets. After gifting the blankets to various people, Wendy found that she had one still remaining. Jeff questioned her as to whom she would give this final blanket. Wendy’s answer was simple—“Heidi Lanford.”
Eventually, Jeff and Wendy made it to the Iris Inn, and Wendy humbly presented her last baby blanket to Heidi. Having never before met Wendy, Heidi was speechless and incredibly touched by the gift. Not only had Heidi recently become a first-time grandmother, but the blanket also included two of her favorite colors, and Wendy had known neither of these things when choosing Heidi as the recipient of her gift.
Needless to say, Wendy’s blanket made a lasting impression on the innkeepers of the Iris Inn. Thank you, Wendy.
As with any culture, that which surrounds the hikers on the Appalachian Trail is a world unto itself. From the jargon to the equipment, these hikers are immersed in what is more than just a hobby, an exercise, or a casual fascination. Rather, it is a lifestyle, and it takes a uniquely dedicated individual to complete the approximate 2,184 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
We were delighted to have one such dedicated hiker as a guest at the Iris Inn. Bill, also known by his trail name “Ranger Bill,” is a hiker who hails from New Hampshire. On March 16, 2012, he began his Appalachian Trail trek in Georgia, and by the time he reached our B&B, he had covered around 856 miles of beautiful scenery, inclement weather, rough terrain, and memory-making adventures. But what’s a good story without a little romance? Not only did our fearless traveler leave behind a well-paying job to pursue his trail dreams, but he also bid farewell to his lady-love, knowing they would only see each other a few times throughout his journey. The Iris Inn happened to be one of their meeting points. After two months of separation, Bill and his girlfriend Michelle were reunited and eager to spend a few days hiking Shenandoah together. (Bill was also happy to have a bit of luxury and privacy: “It was a treat to stay in Hawk’s Nest with the hot tub.”)
We wish the very best for Ranger Bill and Michelle, and we thank them for the wealth of hiking knowledge and trivia that they shared with us:
- On average, around 2,000 individuals start to hike the Appalachian Trail, but only 20% actually finish it.
-A huge goal is to keep the weight of a hiker’s pack as low as possible. This includes carrying only necessities and making sacrifices such as sawing a toothbrush in half.
-In Damascus, VA, there is a huge event known as Trail Days where there is a hiker parade with residents of the town hurling water balloons, shooting water guns, and tossing buckets of water on the hikers that pass by. Damascus also provides free showers, medical screenings, and gear vendors with sales on hiking supplies.
-A Trail Angel is someone who has either hiked the trail before or is interested in the hiking culture and in turn, provides services to hikers. This includes leaving out coolers or food and drink, giving rides to hikers, and much more. The actions of Trail Angels are known as “Trail Magic.”
We here at the Iris Inn have been lucky to meet some wonderful individuals who pass through as our guests. Two of these individuals, Colin and Derek, proved not only to be polite and respectful young men—traits that mirrored their training at Fishburne Military School—but they also showed themselves to be calm and collected in an extreme situation.
On the night of February 18, 2012, a fire broke out beneath the porch of our bed and breakfast. Colin and Derek were the first to notice the fire. Derek stayed with the flames to see if there was any way he could tend to them, as Colin calmly made his way into the inn, quietly insisting that Dave follow him to see something. The way in which he approached Dave kept the situation from becoming panicked chaos.
The arrival of the fire department was delayed, and during the wait, the young men requested a fire extinguisher and baking soda, then making every attempt to help smother the flames. When the fire trucks eventually arrived, Colin and Derek aided the men in unloading the hose, while speaking with the fire chief, and giving a brief interview to the media.
Colin and Derek are two remarkable young men, sensible and level-headed. We offered them a “heroes dinner” to thank them for their help, but nothing we do can adequately express our gratitude. The fire undoubtedly would have been too much for us to handle without their assistance.
And so, Colin and Derek, you have the deepest thanks of the Iris Inn.
The warmer weather means that it’s time for a host of outdoor celebrations—graduation parties, wedding receptions, birthdays, etc. If you are in search of a tasty yet simple h’ordeurve recipe, we believe we can help you out. One of the Iris Inn’s contributions for the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia’scookbook is our recipe for Shrimp Crostini. And so, we present this recipe to you in hopes that it delights your taste buds enough that you simply have to have the entire cookbook. (If you would like more in depth information about the cookbook, check out one of the BBAV’s blog entries.)
2 10-inch loaves French baguettes
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz. Cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb. cooked shrimp
½ cup minced green onion
1½ Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
Fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat broiler. Slice the baguettes into forty ¼ – ½-inch thick diagonal slices, and lightly brush one side of each slice with oil. Broil until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
Peel, devein, and coarsely chop the cooked shrimp; set aside. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard in a large bowl. Mix in shrimp, green onions, dill, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread 1 tablespoon of shrimp mixture on top of each toast. Arrange on baking sheet, and broil until shrimp mixture begins to brown, about two minutes. Top with parsley.
We here at the Iris Inn are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a wealth of Virginia history, and one nearby city is proud to offer a celebration of its heritage. Charlottesville, Virginia, having been founded in 1762, is remembering its 250 years of history, and part of this commemoration includes the Virginia Festival of History, May 26-June 3, 2012: “The Virginia Festival of History teaches and celebrates the diverse cultural heritage of the Commonwealth. The culmination living history weekend allows people of all ages to step back in time and meet people from the past through reenactments and period crafts, music, dancing, games, and food. Most events are free and open to the public.”
This signature festival will begin by honoring all who have served and died in war, and it will end with a two-day costumed reenactment at Court Square and Lee Park. (Even if you’re not a hardcore fan of history, the reenactment will bring life to what is usually only observed in the written word.)
May 26- Remembering Those Who Died in the Civil War
May 27- Remembering the 200th Anniversary in 1962
May 28- 250 Years of Sacrifice in Our Nation’s Wars
May 29- 250 Years of African-American Community Life
May 30- 250 Years of Growing Neighborhoods
May 31- 250 Years of Religion, Education and Culture
June 1- 250 Years of Architecture, Development and Design
June 2- Living History Festival of Our First 200 Years
June 3- Reenactment of the British invasion of 1781
Carter Mountain Orchard, which labels itself “a Charlottesville family tradition since 1912,” is a unique experience for all of its visitors. It boasts not only a vast number of apple and peach trees from which visitors can pick their own fruit, but also a bakery, a country store, and a wine shop. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the absolutely stunning views surrounding the orchard.
Carter Mountain Orchard is also well-known for its events and festivals, and coming up in a little more than a month is one such event. Starting on June 7, 2012 and continuing until October 4, 2012, every week the orchard will feature its Thursday Evening Sunset Series: “Come pick your own fruit when it’s a little cooler, shop in our Country Store, grab some donuts and cider from our bakery, and dinner from our Grill, and then head into the Carter Mountain Wine Shop for wine (tastings, by the glass, or by the bottle). Perch on our two large decks to listen to free live music, and catch an amazing sunset.”
Charlottesville, Virginia’s nTelos Wireless Pavilion is well-known for hosting concerts, shows, and tours of all musical genres. They have just released a list of the first half of the performers for their ever-popular Fridays After Five Concert Series, and whether you’re a die-hard fan of bluegrass, a lover of rock, or an admirer of world rhythms, you will most certainly find a band to suit your tastes.
All of the performers are local artists from central Virginia, and you will be delighted to know that all the performances in this concert series are free. Also, part of the proceeds from concession sales will go towards local non-profit organizations. (How great does this concert series sound???)
If you aren’t able to make any of the shows during the first half of this 2012 concert series, have no fear. A list of musicians for the second half will be released sometime towards the end of June.
April 20- Love Canon (Low Fat. Bluegrass. Eighties)
April 27- No BS! Brass Band (Modern Funk Brass Band)
May 04- Skip Castro (Swing, R&B, Boogie Woogie)
May 11- Soul Transit Authority (Golden Hits of Soul)
May 18- Honey Island Swamp Band (Bayou Americana)
May 25- Chickenhead Blues Band (Soulful Dancing Blues)
June 01- Second Draw (Jam Band, Bluegrass)
June 08- Baaba Seth (Worldbeat Dance)
June 15- Indecision (C’ville’s Favorite Jams)
June 22- The English Channel (British Invasion Rock)
June 29- Terri Allard (Rootsy Country Folk)
Book your room at the Iris Inn, and start planning your Fridays After Five activities!