I am too lazy to do much research and don’t have the wherewithal to pay a researcher. So, with my limited resources and not expansive imagination, there are people (including dogs, of course), events, and places that serve as models, inspirations, or just act as catalyst to fire up an idea.
The imaginary Potomac County is very much drawn from the county where I grew up. Both are rural, somewhat idyllic, and with an underlayment of vibrancy. Obviously, the real county of my youth is now different; it has changed and, to some extent, grown up. The county is now a destination that welcomes and accommodates visitors. It is no longer the insular pass-through that it seemed during my childhood. Rappahannock County is well worth a visit when you’re in the area.
The Visit Rappahannock website (http://www.rappahannock.com/visit-rappahannock) lists seven vineyards or wineries, two breweries, and a distillery. That should keep the adults occupied during the day.
There are nine listed restaurants: some of which are public houses or taverns, one describes itself as a wine bar, also a pizzeria, and a couple of grilles. The most prominent eating establishment in the county is The Inn at Little Washington but only for visitors with both time and dosh to spare.
There are quite a few B&Bs and we (yes, humans and dogs) have enjoyed our stays at the Flint Hill Public House & Inn. It feels much like a fine B&B in that they have only four guest rooms. Good kitchen, great bar, and dog friendly. What’s not to like about that? (http://www.flinthillva.com/ )
Rappahannock is just an hour outside of Washington, DC. It is close to the Skyline Drive, with farm stands, and peach and apple packing houses that sell retail so you can take home a taste of Virginia fruit along with the wine and micro-brewed beer that you had already stashed in the boot.
Don’t drink and drive. The High Sheriff doesn’t like working road accidents.