East Bound & Down, in Charlottesville for WBC11

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Yesterday we left the sweltering heat of Houston in the morning, grabbed breakfast at the airport (never a good idea) and headed east to join our friends at the fourth annual North American Wine Bloggers Conference.

Although we had a “direct flight” Southwest Airlines really does ensure you are “free to travel around the country.” Our plane stopped in New Orleans to pick up a few more passengers and we headed to Baltimore. While Charlottesville, Virginia has a regional airport, it’s much less expensive for us to fly into a major city and rent a car. If only I’d chosen the 6 a.m. flight (we probably would never have made that one!) We arrived in Baltimore early enough to beat rush hour. But I didn’t print out the great avoid-all-the-traffic directions from one of our football message board friends, because I just assumed we’d hook into the Sprint network and see them.

Alas, Sprint doesn’t work very well at BWI baggage claim. Or the rental car facility. So we drove around a bit until we found a McDonalds, and a signal. By that time it was Rush Hour. So our 3-hour trip took about 4.5 hours.

We drove through this beautiful college town (home of the University of Virginia) checked in and headed out to find some other wineauxs. Feeling right at home in the 100-plus degree heat and humidity, we wandered out onto the nearby pedestrian mall guided by Foursquare to find Constance, Melanie0 (Dallas Wine Chick), Chandra (MoWine!), BrixChick_Liza and a host of others.

Joe was starving, because that airport breakfast energy had long faded. We stopped at Positively 4th St., just a few blocks from the Omni, for some late night food. If you have a chance stop by and sample the am FOG – local smoked mushrooms on a burger with gruyere cheese. MMMMMMMMMMMmmm!

After the fortifying late night dinner we headed back to the hotel to meet up with a few more bloggers and Jordan wine. Thea and Jason had finally arrived. The Winebratsf is definitely not used to this heat. And we got to meet Raelinn_wine and chat with our pal from the first WBC Denise aka thewinesleuth. We headed back to the room just as drXeno checked into foursquare, and called it a night. Looking forward to tasting some great wine, and meeting a host of new friends, and seeing old pals today.

Cheers!

The WineWonkette