Tag Archives: Virginia

Posts about the Commonwealth of Virginia, my home state for most of my life.

Places I went in 2012

Alexandria, Va.
Arlington, Va.
Ashburn, Va.
Bluemont, Va.
Burke, Va.
Fairfax, Va.
Falls Church, Va.
Leesburg, Va.
Mount Vernon, Va.
McLean, Va.
Purcellville, Va.
Vienna, Va.
Washington, D.C.
Burnham, Pa.
Claysburg, Pa.
Harrisburg, Pa.
Lewistown, Pa.
Baltimore, Md.
Dickinson, Md.
Rockville, Md.
Welden, N.C.
Wilson, N.C.
Avalon, N.J.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
Tuckahoe, N.J.
Conway, S.C.
Murrell’s Inlet, S.C.
Pawley’s Island, S.C.

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Touring Port City Brewery in Alexandria, Va.

Port City bar
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Recently, two friends and I — The Ombudsman and someone that I will call “the English Teacher” toured Port City Brewing Company on Wheeler Ave. It was something I had wanted to do since before it even opened. Port City is one of several Washington D.C. area breweries that have opened in the last few years.

My two friends and I met up for the 2 p.m. tour. The reception area has two bars and one was open for the tour with over a dozen people already there. After we indicated to the bartenders we were there for the tour, we were served their flagship Optimal Wit. After The Ombudsman treated us to the tour, we picked up our tickets and followed the tour into the main area. One of the bartenders described the history of the brewery and the process by which the beer was brewed. Barley malt was passed around for sampling. Hops were also passed along, though actually eating any was discouraged, one woman did. We also got to taste some Essential Pale Ale right out of the kettle. Since it was prior to the dry hopping (adding additional hops after fermentation), it was nothing special as one would expect. We also got to see the Hop Cannon which is used to inject hops into the kettles with minimal or no oxygen.

Hop cannon

Other parts of the brewery and the process, like bottling (sadly not in process at the time), were described before adjourning back to the reception area and bar. Each ticket was exchanged for a sample of Port City beers — Optimal Wit, Essential IPA, Monumental IPA, Tartan Scottish Ale and their Porter. I liked the porter the best. We enjoyed them there before heading out. The English Teacher picked up a Monumental IPA six pack for the rest of our afternoon on my patio.

Some suggestions to enjoy your visit — have a good meal beforehand and look into getting a ride or a taxi to and from the brewery.

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Survey on Silver Line names, plus potential labor problems loom

There is a survey for station names along the Silver Line survey in Fairfax County that is worth filling out. Coming up with the Tysons station names isn’t really easy.

Meanwhile, disagreements over the type of labor (union vs. non-union) are the latest snag in the efforts to build the second half of the Silver Line (WTOP). Large-scale infrastructure is never easy to build and I am still kind of shocked seeing the Silver Line construction daily. It along with a baseball team in D.C. are two things I never thought I would see.

Loudoun County may want to opt out too. Probably short-sighted in the long-term, but I get it.

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New state route numbers for Fairfax County, Franconia-Springfield, Prince William parkways

3 commuter routes to be renamedWTOP
Three Northern Virginia county parkways that were built as secondary highways will be “promoted” to primary state highways.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the transfer to VDOT Thursday.

The move converts the three thoroughfares into primary roads, meaning they may be eligible for new funding and maintenance priorities. The routes will be able to receive federal funding for paving, guardrail and bridge improvements, along with other projects.

I don’t know whether this is a good thing from a funding perspective or not, since highway funding, especially in Northern Virginia, is troubled.

Virginia Route 286, the new number of the Fairfax County ParkwayThe Fairfax County Parkway which has been Secondary Route 7100 will become primary state Route 286. This number was used in the 1930s near Williamsburg. I believe it was also posted on state highway maps for what became the US 29 bypass of Danville.

Virginia Route 289, the new number of the Franconia-Springfield ParkwayThe Franconia-Springfield Parkway which has been secondary route 7900 will become primary state Route 289. This number was used near Whytheville in the 1930s.

Virginia route 294, the new number for the Prince William ParkwayThe Prince William Parkway which has been secondary route 3000 will become primary state Route 294. This number was used near Troutdale in the 1930s.

Signs for “Old Route 7100″ “Old Route 7900″ and “Old Route 3000″ will be posted for about a year after the change.

The Loudoun County Parkway which has four different route numbers and could really use just one is unaffected. Perhaps when it is completed, it will get a single, primary state route number.

Historical information: Virginia Highway Index

Signs: Shields Up!

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Amazon.com: Alexandria is merely the 2nd most romantic U.S. city now

Remember several years ago when I posted that Alexandria, Va. was the most romantic city in the U.S. according to amazon.com? Remember how I pointed out that it might be a good thing?

It has been suggested that perhaps the criteria amazon.com uses, “sales data of romance novels, relationship and sex books” indicates a lack of romance. Seeing that we’re lumped in with Cambridge and Ann Arbor supports that statement — what do Cantabs and Wolverines know about amore anyway?!

Anyway, Alexandrians, we are now second to Knoxville, Tenn. home of the Volunteers when it comes to romance (WBIR TV, Knoxville). But what is the old saying about being #2 — we try harder?

No other BeltwayLand community is represented this time — Arlington and Washington D.C. charted previously.

h/t Holly Anderson @SIHolly

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Alexandria snowfall total for January 9 – 1.75 inches

Blurry snow fall photo
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Yesterday’s snowfall was surprisingly measurable. I took several readings with the same method I always use (a yard stick in one hand, camera in the other) and all came in over 1½ inches. I grabbed this photo (sorry for the blurry) as the median of the readings. Let’s go with 1.75 inches, the first measurable snowfall of 2012 in Alexandria’s West End.

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Places I went in 2011

Every year, I go places and list them. The primary criteria are 1.) Having a sit-down meal 2.) spending the night in that location.

Alexandria, Va.
Arlington, Va.
Burke, Va.
Fairfax, Va.
Falls Church, Va.
Franconia, Va.
McLean, Va.
Reston, Va.
Vienna, Va.
Annapolis, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Columbia, Md.
Crownsville, Md.
Ellicot City, Md.
Poolesville, Md.
Avalon, N.J.
Ocean City, N.J.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
Wildwood Crest, N.J.
Woodstown, N.J.
Belleville, Pa.
Burnham, Pa.
Harrisburg, Pa.
Hershey, Pa.
Hummelstown, Pa.
Lewistown, Pa.
Mercersburg, Pa.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Reedsville, Pa.
Springfield, Pa.
State College, Pa.
University Park, Pa.
Washington, D.C.

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Ski Cherokee: I-66′s lost ski resort

Every once in a while, I have recalled there being a ski resort somewhere off of Interstate 66 about 20 years ago. I never went there, but was curious if my memory was accurate. Recently, I was able to get the right search terms together and came up with this from DCSki.com: Mid-Atlantic Lost Ski Areas: Ski Cherokee. In short, Ski Cherokee was a tiny ski area near Linden (Exit 13) which is about 62 miles from the Washington D.C. border. There wasn’t much to it (one chairlift) and the lifespan was short with warm winters being part of the blame. The area is being turned into a housing development. Oh what could have been!

Anybody make it out to Ski Cherokee during its run?

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