Washington is warmest in the entire country, 100 degrees today, and over 100 degrees in the days to come.
We go outdoors only if we absolutely have to. Indoors, the air conditioning is humming, thank goodness, and I fear for all those who do not have air conditioning and I wonder how everyone coped in the old days, before air conditioning was invented.
On days like these you just want to get away, like the other day when we headed west to the wondrous landscape of Rappahannock County, Virginia, towards the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah National Park.
We headed to the village of Castleton and the Castleton Festival, a relatively new place of pilgrimage for lovers of classical music in the American capital, where conductor Lorin Maazel, from the New York Philharmonic and the Opera in Valencia, Spain, bought a lot of land a few years ago and now makes music every summer. This year is the festival’s third year. Several hundred young musicians from over twenty countries spend the summer here, treating festival visitors to works by Puccini, Kurt Weill, Ravel, Stravinsky, Bizet, Gershwin, etc. in the former chicken coop that has become a nice little concert hall or in the large festival tent.
Castleton is located about 60 miles from Washington and if you want to spend the night, there are many small inns in the area. The most famous is The Inn at Little Washington. It was opened in 1978 by Patrick O’Connell, who still runs what has now become one of America’s best restaurants. The dinner after the concert is excellent and we are full of contentment during the return to Washington and no one is homesick.