611 Slices
Medium 9781588438690

Middleburg

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

Where the Wine is Fine & the Hunt is On

Middleburg was named entirely for its location, halfway between Alexandria and Winchester on the 18th-century Ashby Gap trading route (today's Route 50). While Middleburg got its name in a mundane manner, it is anything but.

Located in the very heart of the lush, rolling countryside - with the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains slowly rising to the west - this area retains the aura of the 1700s. Here you will not only feel you've traveled back in time, you'll also think you've been transported to a village in the English countryside. If you time it right, you'll even see fox hunters riding to hounds. This is horse country with a capital 'H.' All around the area, you will notice huge well-kept equestrian estates. You'll also note that many of the village's specialty shops are laden with horsey and hunting items. And everywhere, the fox motif! Make no mistake, this is an affluent area. However, don't expect people to show it in their dress. In Middleburg, dressing down has been elevated to a fine art.

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Charles City County

Norman Renouf Hunter Publishing ePub

Plantation-Hopping in the Land of Tobacco

Everyone knows about the grandeur of the South's great plantation houses. Not many realize, however, that in one small corner of Virginia, you can not only visit a half-dozen such houses, but you can also stay in two. And the area has more to offer. Follow Route 5 - which runs between Richmond and Williamsburg - along the banks of the river that hosted the first American settlers.

The men who arrived here early in the 17th century were adventurers and loyal to their homeland; hence the names given to the river (the James) and the area (Virginia, for the virgin queen). Life here was not easy. The ravages of disease and the threat from Indians delayed the establishment of a permanent colony. Once tobacco was found to be a profitable crop, plantations were established. These boasted beautiful homes staffed by slaves. Many of these survive today, offering an intriguing glimpse into America's past.

Almost halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg you will find one of the most unusual and delightful bed and breakfasts anywhere. Edgewood Plantation,(804) 829-2962, (800) 296-3343 or wmbg.com/edgewood, is at 4800 John Tyler Memorial Highway (Route 5). The Gothic-style home was built in 1849 for Spencer Rowland, who had recently moved here from New Jersey. It was actually constructed on land that was originally part of Berkeley Plantation, just across the road. Much of the area's folklore centers around Edgewood's role in the Civil War. The third floor was used as a Confederate lookout; here, rebels spied on Union troops that were stationed at Berkeley. The ancient gristmill ground corn for both armies. Legend has it that Jeb Stuart once stopped here for a coffee break en route to Richmond; he carried information for Robert E. Lee regarding the strength of the Union forces. There is a sad story associated with Edgewood, too. Rowland's daughter Lizzie died of a broken heart when her lover failed to return from the war. Her name is inscribed on one of the bedroom windows, but you may see a more ephemeral presence. Don't worry; by all reports, she is a friendly ghost!

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Medium 9781588433152

Barbados

Rapp, Laura & Diane Hunter Publishing ePub

The first Europeans to land on Barbados were Portuguese sailors, who stopped here in 1536 to secure provisions on their route to Brazil. The sailors dubbed the island "Los Barbados" (meaning the Bearded Ones) because the fig trees have hanging aerial roots that resemble a man's beard.

Arawak Indians were still living on the island when the Portuguese landed, but by the time Captain Henry Powell came here in 1625 the island was uninhabited. Powell stumbled onto the island due to navigational errors and promptly claimed it for the British. In 1627 Powell returned with 80 settlers and a number of slaves, landing at Holetown, named after a community in England. Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, was founded in 1628 and named after an old Indian bridge.

Early settlers planted cotton, tobacco, yams and cassava but, after 10 years of difficulties, Sir James Drax introduced the alternate crop of sugarcane. There was high demand for sugar in Europe and the crop thrived. The original system of using indentured servants to man the vast plantations proved inadequate and plantation owners soon imported slaves from Africa to fill the shortage. Most of the great wealth amassed by the harsh system remained on the island and funded its infrastructure.

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Medium 9781556501357

Carnival

Kathleen O'Donnell Hunter Publishing ePub

For the shop-till-you-drop crowd, Trinidad will probably be disappointing, but with a little luck you may find something interesting. Here a few recommendations to get you started. 

 

T obago is small, but geographically diverse. No doubt, you'll find an area that is especially appealing to you. Oval-shaped and just 26 miles long by nine miles wide, Tobago runs from Crown Point in the southwest to Charlotteville in the northeast on the Caribbean side. On the Atlantic side it runs from Scarborough in the southwest to Speyside in the northeast. Most of the island's development is on the western end. Down the middle of the island there's a mountain ridge with the hemisphere's oldest forest preserve and very little settlement. 

Although recently expanded, Crown Point Airport is still wonderfully small and easy to manage. On leaving the terminal you'll probably be besieged by taxi drivers. Apparently, there's no queue system and it can be chaotic. Pick one of them, actively ignore the others, and they'll drift off. They're not aggressive, but the crush can be annoying after a long flight. 

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Medium 9781588439307

Manzanillo toPlayaAzul

Vivien Lougheed Hunter Publishing ePub

This little village can be visited as a day trip from Manzanillo or as an overnight. It is much quieter than Manzanillo.

Cuyutlan is about 40 miles/65 km from Manzanillo. Buses leave every half-hour or so from the bus station in the center of Manzanillos old town, by the docks. You can also hire a taxi for about $20. Cuyutlan is small; you can walk around town or take a taxi.  

Cuyutlan Salt Museum is a half-hour walk north from the village. From Cuyutlan, walk two very long blocks north of the jardin (plaza) and you will find the salt museum on the left side. It is housed in a barn made of hand-hewn boards. The barn and the storage buildings are about 100 years old. There are whalebones, photos of when the Adventures of Robinson Crusoe were filmed here in 1951 and tools from the salt mines from about the mid-1800s. Most impressive is to see how salt is mined.

ALL THINGS SALTY

Sea salt is used for other things besides consumption. For example, magnesium and boron is taken from sea salt and used in chemical fertilizers. The remaining minerals are given additives to make them whiter and to prevent water absorption. The product is sold as table salt. The additives preventing absorption also prevent absorption by the body. Some scientists believe that refined salt causes a myriad of ailments, including arthritis and decreased sexual capabilities. So, one of the answers is to use non-refined sea salt with all its natural elements. This is available at the salt museum.

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