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Monday, October 8, 2012

Outrunning the Presidents Race

This time, I am talking about the real one, and not the one recently won by Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals Park. If you live anywhere in the United States, it is difficult to get away from the race between Obama and Romney, especially with less than a month to go before election day. But imagine the plight of those who live in and around Washington, DC. Politics is always ubiquitous, and if it's possible, even more so during the month before a presidential election. To boot, Virginia is in play, which means that even in deep blue DC, we are being pelted with ads from the right, from the left, and from those central players involved in the game thanks to Citizens United.

So, what's a Washingtonian to do? My advice is to get away and avoid TV. Fortunately, in these Mid-Atlantic parts, October is the perfect time to do just that. After all, it's fall foliage season and Virginia Wine Month, all in one stellar month.

During the past decade, Virginia has become purple in more ways than one. In addition to swinging Obama in 2008 (despite having a state leader Rachel Maddow dubs as "Governor Ultrasound"), the state has mauved to the center of the East Coast wine movement. With more than 200 wineries, the Old Dominion is #5 on the state list of wine production, a statistic that would make one Thomas Jefferson very proud. Throughout October, Virginia wineries and vineyards celebrate the grape every weekend with tastings, harvest festivals, live music, and art shows. Check out www.virginiawine.org for a full calendar of events from around the state.

Next up--leaf peeping. October is the month for fall color in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The best color starts mid-month in the mountainous regions of this stately trifecta. For a status report on  Virginia's non-partisan colors, call (800) 424-LOVE. For West Virginia updates, call (800) CALL-WVA.  Maryland's number is (800) 532-8371.  Finally, if you want to venture even farther, the U.S. Forest Service hotline reports on foliage throughout the country at (800) 354-4595.

Fully sated by nature's bounty, head back to home in November and remember to vote.


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