Every year, I crave an old fashioned Christmas. Simple joys are the most meaningful, the most enduring. One need only step back in time.
Leesburg is the kind of place where there are wreaths on every door. Charming, quaint, picturesque — a town where people actually smile more and have time to chat.
You can tour the historic district in a carriage if you like,
wave to the snowman as you go by,
guess what’s in those presents on the porch.
You could window shop all up and down King Street,
wondering what long-ago girl wore those skates,
trying to imagine what Nunnally’s Candies taste like.
If you get hungry, you can stop for lunch at Tuscarora Mill (“Tuskie’s” for short). You can tell it’s a good place because of the grand lady who greets you at the reception desk.
Truly, the food there is always delicious. Len had the mushroom soup and a house salad.
I had the Grilled Asian Chicken Salad (greens, soba noodles, mandarin oranges, peppers, crushed peanuts, ginger vinaigrette). Yum!
After lunch, you can surprise your friend Maria, who owns the BEST teddy bear shop in the world, My Friends & Me. Even though you haven’t seen each other in 12 years, it feels like yesterday. It’s so good to know she’s still there, surrounded by hundreds of beautifully handmade, one-of-a-kind bears in all shapes, sizes, and manner of dress. She even mentions Rosalie Frischmann, the artist who created the one and only Cornelius!
Later, you can explore a few more antique shops, go down side streets to see what you can see.
Oh! A pink building. Does that sign say, “Lola Cookies and Treats?” Naturally a little investigation is in order.
A small bakery in the back with three cheery girls. Lola herself wasn’t there, but we left with vanilla and cinnamon cupcakes (you never know when you might need a pick-me-up).
You know, after walking a little while longer in that nippy air, the thought of a nice warm cup of tea seems like an exceedingly good idea. And it’s been
forever at least a half hour since you had lunch.
Oh! Cabinets full of teacups, jewelry, and other tea paraphernalia. Some nice British treats, too, like Yorkie and Aero bars and digestive biscuits.
If you’re lucky, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge might join you.
Cream Tea (instead of a Full Afternoon Tea) might be best this time. A homemade scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam and a soothing cup of Yorkshire Gold. The perfect restorative! So good.
Leesburg is the kind of place where you can meander, meet an old friend, daydream, slow down, breathe in, breathe out.
No mall craziness, fighting for parking, standing in long checkout lines, getting worn to a frazzle. And it’s nice to support small, local businesses.
It’s definitely the place for a little magic, wonder, a few moments of reflection, a glimpse of the past.
Best of all, it’s where Santa Bear lives!
Have a merry and delicious day, wherever you are ☺.
jama and 300+ teddy bears
P.S. We enjoyed Lola’s cupcakes for dessert that night.
Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.