At the end of my last recap of the wedding anniversary day of our Charlottesville trip, Mr. A and I had just finished the busy part of our wedding anniversary, from hiking to lunching to wine tasting.
With all that craziness out of the way, we headed back to our room to get ready for our dinner reservations at The Ivy Inn.
At this point, I would normally add a picture of us all dolled up pre-dinner. While let’s just say wine tasting and curling hair do not go together. It’s safe to say that my tolerance for drinking is pretty much non-existent these days so curling my hair turned into burning my fingers and cursing under my breath.
On top of that, it started raining as soon as we left for dinner, so we didn’t even have an opportunity to take pictures outside of the restaurant. Oh well, c’est la vie.
So here’s a picture of the outside of the restaurant that I borrowed from their website since clearly I was not going to stand in torrential rain to get this shot.
We picked the Ivy Inn over Boar’s Head Inn because it received resoundingly better reviews on Trip Advisor and it was significantly less expensive. The atmosphere also seemed more quaint and homey from the pictures.
The Inn certainly didn’t disappoint on the personalized features. As soon as we walked in the door, the hostess congratulated us on our 1 year wedding anniversary.
When she sat us at our table, we received personalized menus congratulating us again.
And a complimentary champagne toast.
The menu, developed by Chef Angelo Vangelopoulos, focuses on locally inspired seasonal American cuisine. We loved that the restaurant makes it a goal to use locally grown items from sustainable farms.
We started off our meal in our stereotypical regional corners.
Me with Shecrab soup (doesn’t get more Maryland than that)
And Mr. A with Shrimp ‘n Grits (which I readily admit that I have never made for him. Does that make me a bad southern wife?)
The soup was the perfect way to fight off the cold from the brewing storm and instantly made me feel at home. I’m pretty sure Mr. A loved his dish too because he didn’t even offer me a bite.
We moved into our entrees, where I went with the Spinach & Four Cheese Ravioli with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms. Typically, I hate mushrooms (something about the slimy texture) but the crunch from the grill really made them delicious.
Mr. A went with the Grilled Local Rag Mountain Trout served with crispy grit cakes, fried oyster, and a smoked bacon butter sauce. He actually went with this dish based on the recommendation of our waiter. There were so many good things to pick from he had trouble deciding. This dish came recommended hands down by our waiter and Mr. A totally agreed.
Since we had dessert waiting for us back at the B&B, we passed on The Ivy’s selection. If you are in Charlottesville, I recommend checking out The Ivy Inn. It has a great cozy atmosphere with warm and thoughtful servers.
After dinner, we drove back to the B&B for dessert and presents.
As soon as we walked in the room, I was treated by these beautiful flowers picked by Mr. A.
The flowers were flanked by the top layer of our wedding cake. (It got a little smushed in the 3 hour drive down…whoops)
Since we aren’t ones to follow wedding traditions (we did do a first look after all), we actually ate the real top layer in the time between our wedding and our honeymoon (clearly why I gained like 5 pounds post-wedding). So we asked our wedding cake maker, Karen Rodkey, to recreate our top layer a year later.
Best decision ever. The cake was so moist and delicious. Chocolate ganache you are my downfall.
After wiping away the drool from our mouths, it was time to exchange presents.
Mr. A went first and he was clearly confused.
I ended up purchasing a photo session with our wedding photographers, Procopio Photography, so we could do a 1 year wedding anniversary shoot on the beach. Originally, Mr. A and I wanted to get married on a beach but due to logistical reasons we had to push that plan to the wayside. I thought this shoot would be a good way to commemorate our love for the beach.
To announce this to Mr. A, I placed a card that read “A placeholder for your favorite picture from our 1 year anniversary shoot on Assateague Island with Jason and Cicely” inside a picture frame. He read the card a few items before it clicked and I had to explain what was so cool about Assateague. For those of you non-Marylanders, Assateague is a natural beach preserved by the National Park Service that has free roaming wild horses.
To say that Mr. A was a tad excited would be an understatement. Look for our pictures coming up in the next few weeks. (We even recited our vows on the beach…swoon)
Next, it was my turn. First, Mr. A had me open up his cute side gift.
A copy of the love letters from John and Abigail Adams (the inspiration for our blog name and for one of our readings at the wedding). How cute?
Then came the gift he had been working on for months. Mr. A hunted down the envelopes and calligrapher that we used for our wedding to write a handwritten love letter.
So sweet and so sentimental and just really amazingly thoughtful.
I’m so grateful that I have this beautiful letter to treasure for years and years to come.
With our presents exchanged, we cut two pieces of cake, threw on our robes, and hopped into bed to watch a movie together.
It was the perfect ending to the perfect one year anniversary. I couldn’t believe how quickly time has flown by and how much deeper our love has become.
It is truly a blessing to get to spend every waking moment with this guy by my side.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the last post in our Charlottesville series, where Mr. A and I tour the historic University of Virginia campus.