Moochdocking in Manassas

We are moochdocking in Manassas, Virginia, at long last at Steve’s awesome cousin Linda’s. Linda’s home is on a beautifully secluded cul de sac in the historic district of Manassas. We parked under shade trees in her driveway for the week.

Moochdocking in Manassas

Moochdocking, if you’re not familiar with the term, is RV camping on a friend or family’s property at no cost.

Moochdocking in Manassas

Juanita, Linda’s mother, passed away a year ago at the age of 100. At the time of our visit, Linda was heavily involved in planning her Mom’s upcoming memorial service. She was also experiencing a few health issues and simultaneously boxing up, getting ready to move. Linda was busy!

Moochdocking in Virginia

Linda’s husband is unwell at this time, so we planned our visit to help Linda as best we could, with some packing. She is a few years older than we are, so we are all slow movers. It is a colossal task to empty a house of all its decades and decades of memories and begin a new life chapter.

I was blown away by Linda’s constant, unwavering smile, genuine kindness, and hospitality – all the while plodding consistently along with her obligations. We enjoyed the most wonderful visit with this incredible lady. Oh, and she is an excellent cook! What great meals we had.

Manassas Civil War Museum

6511 Sudley Road

Here we are, visiting more Civil War museums. You can read about the last two museums we visited in New Market, Virginia, at my Excellent Adventures in Virginia post. Of course, we all learned about the Civil War in school, didn’t we, but I’d forgotten so much sad sad history.

Linda, Steve, and I took a day off from packing and struck out to visit the Manassas Civil War Museum. It was a beautiful and warm summer day after the freezing rain days we’d recently experienced. We were fortunate enough to watch a Memorial Day presentation while there.

Moochdocking in Manassas

Bull Run Monument on Henry Hill

This museum explains the history of Manassas through exhibit illustrations of early settlement and plantation life and the construction of the area railroad junction. The Battles of First and Second Manassas Civil War battles are prominently exhibited and illustrated at this museum also.

First Manassas

Moochdocking in Manassas

Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson

The first major battle of the Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run, won by the Confederacy, was fought on July 21, 1861. This battle has the distinction of being the bloodiest battle of the war at that point in the war and the battle at which Thomas Jonathan Jackson earned the nickname “Stonewall.”

Second Manassas

Moochdocking in Manassas

A second battle happened here 13 months later, in August 1862, and was also won by the Confederacy. Both conflicts caused a significant change in how this Civil War was perceived and greatly impacted the war’s length and outcome.


Moochdocking in Virginia

After leaving the museum, we meandered around the beautiful countryside with Linda guiding us to this charming little town. Less than an hour from Washington, DC, Clifton has a lovely historic downtown where you will travel back in time to small-town America.

Moochdocking in Virginia

Most houses on Main Street have historical signs in their front yards with stories about the history of each one. We discovered connections here to Nancy Regan, Tom Hanks, and even the Titanic.

Jeff Arch wrote the screenplay for Sleepless in Seattle at the Buckley House.

Trummer’s restaurant, formerly The Clifton Hotel resort,
frequented by Presidents Arthur, Grant, Hayes and Roosevelt.

Clifton Old School Primitive Baptist Church was built in 1871.
It is the oldest African-American church in Fairfax County.

Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot

This was the highlight of the day – ice cream at Peterson’s. Yes, we had to stand in line for a very long time, but the wait was worth the taste. This is a charming small-town ice cream shop, just like ones you probably frequented when you were younger.

Benefits of friendships

There are so many benefits of friendships, right? The greatest one we recently discovered was the opportunity to visit the grown-up “with children of their own,” children of one of our dearest friends, Chris Arispe.


Moochdocking in Virginia

Chris’s oldest son, Juan Carlos, his wife, Jennifer, and their children live a short distance from Manassas in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We drove to Fredericksburg and had a great visit over lunch and decided to return to watch Carlos’ band perform that evening in Fredericksburg.

Billikens Smokehouse at the Chimneys

623 Caroline

Moochdocking in Virginia

Carlos has a great rock ‘n roll band with the catchy name Whiskey Tango-6. They performed at Billikens Smokehouse at the Chimneys that night in historic downtown Fredericksburg. Very little is not historical in this area, of course.

Dee White – lead male, vocals/guitar, Taylor Buel – lead female vocals, Guy Champagne – drums, Mike Kallis – lead guitar, Nathan Andrew – rhythm guitar, and Juan Arispe – bass guitar.

Whiskey Tango-6 is a terrific band, and we truly enjoyed their performance.

Did you know that sometimes the temperature reaches 42 degrees in Virginia in May? Well, I certainly didn’t! Steve and I had only summer clothes, no jackets, no long pants! We stopped at a Target and purchased a couple of questionably stylish hoodies; that was it.

Moochdocking in Virginia

Linda provided a warm blanket, and Jennifer loaned me a warm and cozy coat to wear after we arrived at Billikens. Thank goodness we were well taken care of because we had not been prepared for drizzly cold rain.

Billikens was a fascinating place; an old house known as The Chimneys built around 1771-1773 is now over 250 years old and most surely haunted by its past residents! The Chimneys name comes from the fact that there is a stone chimney at each end of the house.

The barbeque and drinks were outstanding, we met some interesting friends of Carlos’ and had a great time even in the cold. It is a testament to how great Whisky Tango-6 plays that such a good crowd was present to watch this outdoor performance.


Moochdocking in Virginia

Missy, Josh and me

I’m getting a little ahead of myself because this was several days down the road, but I want to “keep the family together.” So when we left Manassas, we also had an opportunity to visit Chris’s daughter, Melissa Devine, and her husband Josh at their home in South Carolina.

Missy met us at a nearby gas station and led us into her neighborhood to a side street where we could safely park the RV. We walked just a few feet to her backyard, where her terrific vegetable garden was. Steve became very homesick for his tomato crop growing back home without his help.

Homemade tacos!

Unfortunately, their two children were at school, and we missed seeing them. Still, we enjoyed catching up over a delicious lunch of Missy’s homemade tacos and watermelon. We told her we did not have time for lunch, but just like her incredible mother, she made sure we were fed anyway!

Josh is a professional-caliber pianist!

We had no idea Josh was such a musician! He plays piano impeccably. We enjoyed listening to several classical pieces, which I love and just relaxing. When Carlos visits, we were told that they play together, Carlos on his guitar and Missy joining in on drums!

THE 1968 Mustang

Moochdocking in Virginia

A little Arispe family history here. Carlos and Missy’s Dad, Juan, purchased a shiny new 1968 Mustang 289 for the whopping sum of $2,200 after he saw it revolving in the showcase window at a Ford Dealership in Houston, Texas.

The car was involved in an accident, never repaired, and stored in the Arispe garage for many years. Then, sometime after Missy married, her Dad gave the Mustang to her, planning that it would be a car for Missy’s son when he was older.

Moochdocking in Virginia

Well, Missy and Josh, with some of their other siblings’ help also, I believe, have restored this Mustang into a stunning piece of beauty. For as long as I can remember, it was a non-working vehicle stored in the Arispe garage. Today, it is beautiful!

Moochdocking in Virginia

I even got to go for a ride! Most of the Arispe clan will gather at Missy’s next week for a big reveal for their Dad. I know he will be so amazed and so proud of these guys for all of their hard and challenging work.

I don’t want to neglect the other two Arispe “kids,” Sergio and Michael. Although the Arispes are a very close family, each lives in a different state. All four are unique and successful adults. Who knows, maybe we will run into these guys along the road somewhere in our traveling future?

Well, we’re on the downside of this month-long adventure but still have lots of people to meet, history to see, places to explore. Please subscribe, leave a comment, and check back next week to see where in the world we are.

Moochdocking in Manassas

3 thoughts on “Moochdocking in Manassas

  1. Pingback: New friends to make and new fun adventures | Always Want To Go
  2. started.. came back…. finnall y got to see it all… it is a lot to take in.. enjoy

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