Fun on the Fourth of July

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, and so we celebrated as many Washingtonians do: by driving in the opposite direction from all the tourists on the Mall! Been there, done that, and anyway, it was raining.

The random choice of destination for the day was Culpeper, VA, a little town more or less in the direction of Charlottesville, and just outside the DC orbit. The plan was to grab some lunch, go to the town museum, and explore a few antique stores.

But no one told us there would be a big Fourth of July car show going on! My husband was over the moon. There were some pretty cool cars on display, along with food vendors and live music.

I remember trucks like this.
I remember trucks like this.
04-IMG_0007
All the cars were lovingly shined up, even the engines.
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Hot rods in front of the tea room.
My parents once owned a car like this. It was old even then, though.
My parents once owned a car like this. It was old even then, though.
Most awesome car of the show in my opinion.
Most awesome car of the show in my opinion.
Most of the cars were owned by old folks wearing their best Fourth of July gear.
Most of the cars were owned by old folks wearing their best Fourth of July gear. They seemed to having a great day hanging out and talking cars (I guess) with each other.

While the husband was drooling over the cars, I went for a short walk around town. Culpeper was founded in 1759, and there are some beautiful old houses. I went into one of my temporary we-really-should-retire-somewhere-like-this moods.

For sale!
For sale!
Great old porch on the side.
Great old porch on the side.
Lovely sitting porch.
I’ll take this one, please.
Old signs on the buildings are one of my favorite things to spot in Southern towns.
Old signs on the buildings are one of my favorite things to spot in Southern towns.
We got a personalized tour of this Art Deco theater when we stopped by.
We got a personalized tour of this newly renovated Art Deco theater when we stopped by.
Like many Southern towns, Culpeper has a lot of Latino immigrants.
Like many Southern towns, Culpeper now has a lot of Latino immigrants.

The town museum has a lot of Civil War stuff, of course. Everywhere in Northern Virginia claims a piece of Civil War history. Culpeper, being located on a major rail line and near two navigable rivers, got run over several times by both armies.

Buy your Confederate erasers here. Really, I don't care, but it is interesting how many things have Confederate flags on them now we're all noticing them.
Buy your Confederate erasers here. Really, I don’t care, but it is interesting how many things have Confederate flags on them once you start to notice.

My husband wanted to visit the moonshine distillery in town. I gently discouraged that in favor of a stop by the Old House Vineyard. What a lovely place to stop for a glass of wine! We sat on the porch and listened to a live bluegrass band for a while. It was good wine, too. We left with several bottles.

Sigh.
Sigh.

In the evening, our apartment building had a fireworks party on the roof, so went up to watch with a bunch of tipsy millennials. We had a pretty good view of the main show on the Mall. It looked like DC was being bombed with all the fireworks on the horizon! Military helicopters circling overhead added to the effect. Yikes.

The best my camera could do.
The best my camera could do.

So, it was a really fun day. The only problem with days like this, in fact, is that I start wondering why on earth we would want to leave the country! I have to remind myself that I appreciate America so much more because I have lived out of the country. Not really sure I need to do it again, but with less than three weeks until wheels up, it’s too late to change my mind.

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