Turning 70 is a monumental milestone, but what could be better than taking a walk on a scenic trail and lunching at a fantastic restaurant. Both softened the blow of reaching the seven-decade mark, and luckily were conveniently located near each other.
The walk, which totaled seven miles, was in the height of winter on my actual birthday Jan. 11, but my husband and I made it tolerable by bundling up and walking fast, averaging 17- minute miles. Then we were rewarded with a delicious meal in a warm, cozy environment,
We started out on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (WOD), which begins in Purcellville and continues into Washington, D.C. It is relatively flat, paved, and runs through or beside several small towns and residential neighborhoods. The web site, bikewashington.org, describes it as a rail trail through Northern Virginia counties. The 45 miles is paved with nine-foot wide asphalt, and there is a parallel horse trail along much of the trail.
My husband enjoys biking the trail, but joined me on a walk to commemorate my seven decades – he reached the milestone two months later but considers me the older woman. Thinking about the lunch reward at the end of the walk was also a big incentive for him.
Walking 17-minute miles, we worked up a fierce appetite and headed to Magnolias at the Mill, which sits at the beginning or the end of the trail depending on the location where you start. We began at Purcellville and then trekked back to total seven miles.
Magnolias, an amazing restaurant, is in an old mill that has been restored to a full-service eatery. My husband discovered it years ago when he had gone on a bike ride on the trail. He kept smelling amazing aromas coming from the building and decided we had to check it out. We did, loved it, and have been going back ever since.
On that momentous day, cool and crisp, we arrived at the restaurant just in time for a late lunch that didn’t disappoint.
The web site, magnoliasmill.com, states that “At Magnolias, we strive to provide wonderful food and incredible hospitality. Our menus contain a vast array of cuisines.” It is also described as having American dining with a full bar in a country mill, housing barnlike wood decor, quilts, and farm items.
Even though it was a Monday, it was relatively full and offered a special lunch menu. The service was impeccable as usual, the bread fresh and warm, and the menu choices tantalizing. It is always hard to decide what to order. Nothing is ever a disappointment at this cozy venue.
I was even treated by the restaurant to a special birthday dessert. A tray full of sweet delicacies are presented for selection, and it is most difficult to decide on just one.
The whole experience softened the blow of turning the big 7 0. I highly recommend the WOD Trail walk, followed with a scrumptious meal at Magnolias, for any special event in your life or just for something to do on any normal day.