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Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun at Foxfield Races, Charlottesville

On Sunday September 25th Family Day was held at Foxfield Races.  It is a great tradition to go to the races with your family or friends and enjoy a wonderful afternoon watching the horses race, the kids play, see the antiques and enjoy being outside.  The race always benefits a charity.  This year it was the charity was Kid Pan Alley.

The day starts off with the Jack Russell terrier races.  These always capture the kids attention (and the "kid" in each of us adults).  This year was no exception as you can see from the look on the people's faces.  Those little terriers sure can run and jump the hurdles after that fox tail!  It is the one time during the year that I wish I had a Jack Russell.

Then it's off to see the horses race.  Foxfield is a steeplechase race course.  It is a delight to watch these beautiful animals race around the track.  This year with the rain that we've had here in Charlottesville the track was in gorgeous condition for the horses.  There were very few scratches from the races this year due to ground condition (last year it was very dry and the ground was hard so that it was tough on the horses to run).

It's time to start thinking about attending next year.  The spring event is usually crowded with UVA and area college students but the fall event has lots of space for you to wander around, see the horses before and after the races and to watch at the rail.  It's a great tailgating event for everyone.

Come stay with us at Foxfield Inn for your race weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Apple Pickin' in Charlottesville, VA

As fall weather starts to arrive I think back to the time when my family used to go apple picking in Michigan.  Now that we live in Charlottesville, VA I have discovered some great places within a 15-30 minute drive to drop by and purchase some apples already picked or to pick my own.

In Crozet just a few miles from Foxfield Inn a great apple and peach orchard can be found at Henley's Orchard.  They have been a family owned and operated business since 1932. They have quite a few different apple varieties to choose from in their apple shed.  We enjoyed their peaches this summer and look forward to serving their apples here at the inn.  I just got done making a Butterscotch Apple Bar that is simply delicious!  It uses some of their great Granny Smith apples.  Of course for eating as a fresh apple nothing can compare to the Henley Golds.

Also in Crozet, a bit further beyond Henley's Orchard is Chiles's Peach Orchard.  OK, while you may think they only have peaches since that is in their name they are also known for their apples and pumpkins in the fall.  They have a great pumpkin patch which is fun to wander through in October and pick your own to take home.  I haven't been to Chiles for apple picking but based on their fruit availability calendar you can pick your own Granny Smith and Fuji apples in late-September and October.    If you don't want to pick your own apples they do have quite a few varieties for you to select from in their farm stand.

And if you are going to Monticello you might want to stop by their sister orchard - Carter Mountain Orchard - to get some apples.  Every weekend in October they have an Apple Harvest Celebration that is very popular.  If you are here mid-week you might want to stop by and pick up some apples without having to negotiate the crowds on the weekend.  Of course at Carter Mountain you can pick many varieties of apples - currently Jonagolds and Golden Delcious are ready for you to pick.

Whichever orchard you visit you are bound to have a good time talking with the teams of people working the orchard.  So come stay with us at Foxfield Inn and head out to an orchard for some really great apples!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Foxfield Races - Steeplechase in Charlottesville

It's almost time for the second steeplechase of 2011 at Foxfield Races.  It is a great tradition here in Charlottesville, VA area. We've gone to the fall event every year that we've lived here (okay that's only been 2 years so far) and are looking forward to it again this year.  Each year we've had a wonderful time. The weather in 2009 was absolutely gorgeous fall weather - sunny, slight breeze and in the 70's.  Last year was a bit chilly with a hint of mist in the air.  This year - who knows?

The races take place on Sunday September 25th,  gates open from 10:00am to 5:00pm.  There are six exciting steeplechase races you can watch from the rail - up close and personal as the horses zip by.  Before each race you can view the horses in the paddock area.  Besides the horse races there are Jack Russell Terrier Races, a race course walk, and bagpipers.  You can also watch the jockeys weigh in at the beginning and end of the races.  The first year we went there was also a sky-diver to start the races.

This year's race benefits two charities - Kid Pan Alley and our area food bank.  Kid Pan Alley is an organization that inspires and helps children to be creators of music and not just consumers. They help children learn about teamwork, the value of other people's ideas and collaboration through a group songwriting process.  It helps our children express their feelings through music. 
The food bank benefits by everyone bringing a canned food donation.  If you do not have one we will gladly provide one for you.

It's a fun day and shouldn't be missed.  If you stay with us at Foxfield Inn before the race be sure ask for the picnic lunch and snacks we prepare for you to enjoy in-between races.