Aunt Maud at the Airport, May 2013

Mom, Aunt Maud, and Estelle at the Dulles Airport International Arrival’s

Don’t you just love the international arrivals at the airport?  I’ve stood at the Dulles Airport many times picking up friends and family and it really never gets old. I get nervous and then I tear up once I see them come out from those big doors.

My Mom’s sister, Maud, came to visit us for three weeks in min-May, and there we stood, my mom, my niece, Estelle, and I. Estelle had picked the balloon and together we anxiously watched as travelers lugged their suitcases past us. Good thing Swedes are so easy to spot “now, Estelle, I think Aunt Maud should be coming out soon.”

Maud, Erica and Marita at Monticello in Charlottesville

A fun-filled Mother’s Day at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, with Aunt Maud and Mom

We enjoyed a delicious grilled dinner on the patio where I presented them with their joint ‘Mother’s Day Gift’ – a trip together with me to Charlottesville (2,5 hr drive south of DC) and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and a couple of other things.  Aunt Maud shares me love for history and has seen photos from my previous visits to Monticello. All three of us enjoy nature, architecture so this was really a wonderful day together. A stunning place on earth for sure.

Maud and Casey at Willowcroft Farm Winery

Maud and Casey at Willowcroft Farm Winery

During her stay, we enjoyed a day touring a couple of wineries. Virginia is famous for it’s beautiful scenic horse and wine country, and charming and historic towns and villages. While the region has produced wine since the 17th century, it has quickly grown over the last several years. I believe there are close to 200 wineries now… The top five are chardonnay, caberanet franc, merlot, vidal blanc and viognier.

We started off with Willowcroft Farm Winery where we met Flint (the kitty with thumbs you see in the background in the above photo. I really enjoyed it – totally right up my alley with the rustic style and overgrown garden.

Maud and Casey at Bluemont Vineyard

Picnic overlooking the Virginia landscape from Bluemont Vineyard

Maud and Erica at Bluemont Vineyard

Maud and me at Bluemont Vineyard

Then we took the winding roads to another new favorite, Bluemont Vineyard, which has the most wonderful views. We did some wine tastings and then enjoyed a picnic. It was such a fun adventure!

Maud is back in Sweden and we hope to see her next year and create more great memories.  Her next stop is France though… so jealous.