Montross Oktoberfest & Port Royal Antique Shopping

My husband and I got a rare kid-free weekend this weekend, so we headed to a part of Virginia we rarely visit – the Northern Neck. Our first stop was Port Royal, a tiny town on the banks of the Rappahannock River with a history that is long and colorful. Beginning as a colonial port town, Port Royal was also where Abraham Lincoln’s killer, John Wilkes Booth, hid out before being captured and hanged for his crime. All this information and more can be learned at the Port Royal Museum of American History, where you can also view artifacts from the local area’s history and a selection of White House china sets.

The Port Royal Trading Post has a wide selection of antiques and vintage finds, from rustic homegoods and antique books to tobacco memorabilia, movie posters and props and more.

After visiting Port Royal, we crossed the Rappahannock River and headed to the tiny town of Montross, stopping in another antique shop on the way. The annual Oktoberfest, held on the grounds of the Inn at Montross, features live music, wine tastings from Ingleside Vineyards, delicious seafood and German fare and crafts from local vendors. We had fried oyster sandwiches with cole slaw and potato wedges, and did a wine tasting before checking out the local vendors.

On our way back home, we stopped at Red Barn Antiques in Colonial Beach for some flea market shopping. We found this amazing mid-century bar, but alas, had nowhere to put it so we had to pass it by!

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Dumpster Diving Find

I’m not afraid of a little dirt if it means I can find something vintage and amazing I can clean up and use in my home. Lately I’ve had a couple of awesome dumpster finds:

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This antique Dubl Handi washboard was made by the Columbus Washboard Co., an Ohio-based company that has been manufacturing washboards since 1895. My guess is that this particular washboard was made around the early to mid 1940’s. It looks great in my kitchen now, and will look even better when we redo our kitchen to have more of a rustic-industrial look.

This awesome Nordic Ware bundt cake pan was found intact, in the original box, with the original paper liner complete with recipes. It seems to be from the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, and looks like it’s only been used once or twice.

I gave it a try by baking my favorite vanilla pound cake in it (recipe by King Arthur Flour). The pan still works like a charm, and the cake was delicious topped with Aldi’s blackberry jam and whipped cream!

What are your favorite dumpster diving finds? Do you have any favorite bundt cake recipes?

River Rock Mason Jar

On our trip to Madison, Virginia a few weeks ago, my kids loved playing in the gorgeous stream behind our cabin. The area where the stream was located was so peaceful and tranquil, and every few minutes a butterfly or two would drift along with the water. While the kids played, my mom and dad and I roamed up and down the banks looking for interesting pieces of wood (for my dad, the woodworker) and interesting rocks (for me, for craft projects). Many of the rocks in the stream bed were the prettiest blue color, and I gathered a bunch, along with some stray pieces of birch bark.

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On our visit to Feed Store Antiques in downtown Madison, I came across the perfect container for my river rocks:  an antique Mason jar with a zinc lid in a beautiful blue shade.

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I washed the rocks, washed out the Mason jar and lid and let everything dry well, then I carefully filled the jar with the river rocks, put the lid on and voila – a gorgeous window decoration with rustic charm that brings back memories of the peaceful stream we discovered on our trip!

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