All posts by ianbush

Loudoun County Public Schools Schedule 2019-2020

This year, LCPS decided to opt for a longer Winter Break, slightly extending the school year till June 10th.

Aug. 30 – Sept. 2: No school for Labor Day holiday (administrative offices closed Sept. 2)

Oct. 14 – No school for students (Columbus Day)

Oct. 28 – No school for students (county-wide staff development)

Nov.1 – End of first quarter

Nov. 4-5 – No school for students (planning/records/conference days)

Nov, 27-29 – No school for Thanksgiving holiday

Dec. 23-Jan. 3 – No school for winter break (classes resume Jan. 6)

Jan. 17 – End of second quarter

Jan. 20 – No school for students (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

Jan. 21 – No school for students (planning/records/conference day)

Feb. 17 – No school for students (Presidents’ Day)

March 3 – No school for students (county-wide staff development)

March 26 – End of third quarter

March 27 – No school for students (planning/records/conference day)

April 6-10 – No school for spring break

May 25 – No school for students (Memorial Day)

June 10 – Last day of school for students/end of fourth quarter

June 12 – Last day of school for teachers

Loudoun County Public Schools Schedule 2018-2019

The Loudoun County School Board adopted the 2018-19 school calendar at its Tuesday, November 28th, meeting.

The 2018-19 school year will start on Thursday, August 23, 2018, and end on Friday, June 7, 2019. Following is the student calendar for the 2018-19 school year:

August 23: First Day of School

September 3: Holiday (Labor Day)

October 8: Holiday (Columbus Day)
October 22: Student Holiday (County-wide Staff Development)

November 2: End of the Grading Period
November 5-6: Student Holidays (Planning/Records/Conference Days) November 21-23: Holiday (Thanksgiving)

December 21-January 1: Winter Break (Classes Resume January 2)

January 17: End of Grading Period
January 18: Moveable Student Holiday** (Planning/Records/Conference Day)
January 21: Holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

February 18: Holiday (Presidents’ Day)

March 28: End of Grading Period
March 29: Student Holiday (Planning/Records/Conference Day)

April 1: Student Holiday (County-wide Staff Development)
April 15-19: Holiday (Spring Break)

May 27: Holiday (Memorial Day)

June 7: Last Day of School/End of Grading Period

**NOTE: Parents with childcare or other weekday scheduling concerns – Date of the Moveable Planning/Records/Conference Day between first and second semesters may change if the school calendar must be changed due to school closings for inclement weather or other emergencies.

Aldie General Store and Cafe


Have you been out to Aldie recently and checked out the Aldie General Store and Cafe? No? Then you don’t know what you are missing!

Aldie General Store and Cafe Sign2
It’s No Lie! The Food is Terrific!

Owners John and Penny Gulick have created an amazing new experience in Aldie on the site of the original Partlow General Store that had been a mainstay of Aldie for many, many years. As longtime residents of Aldie and the owners of a local construction company, they knew the community was “hungering” for a local place to pick up sundry items and enjoy a nice meal. As you can see from the pictures and video, they have knocked it out of the park!

Aldie General Store and Cafe Menu
Breakfast, Lunch and Take Home Dinner

Aldie General Store and Cafe Store Racks
Plenty of Sundry Items

Aldie General Store and Cafe Seating
Welcoming and Comfortable Seating Area


The store is open daily with the following hours:

Monday through Friday 6-10:30 a.m. for breakfast, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch, and for dinner take-out until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the store will be open from 8 a.m. to noon for breakfast, from noon to 3 p.m. for lunch, and from 3-6 p.m. for take-out.

Aldie General Store and Cafe Menu
A Menu with Lots of Options

Aldie General Store and Cafe Sign
Driving Down Rt 50? Stop and Take Home Dinner!

Aldie General Store and Cafe: 39285 John Mosby Hwy, Aldie, VA 20105 (703) 327-8989

Christmas Lights in Purcellville!

One of my family’s favorite things to do during the holiday season is visit the multitude of Christmas light decorations that our neighbors throughout Western Loudoun have assembled. Whether tacky or tasteful, they are all great to see.

Fortunately for us, the Town of Purcellville in Western Loudoun makes our task easy, by supplying us with a map and directions during their annual “Trolley Tour” on Friday, December 9th. If you can’t make the trolley (with multiple convenient stops around town), check out the map and directions below. After stopping off at either LoCo Joe or Market Street Coffee for a cup of steaming hot chocolate, you and your family can enjoy one of our family’s traditions here in Western Loudoun!

Christmas in Purcellville Directions
2016 Christmas in Purcellville Directions

Christmas in Purcellville Map
Christmas in Purcellville Map

Best Haunted Places and Homes in Loudoun County

With a history dating back to the 1700’s, and its fair share of Civil War and other battles, Loudoun has become “HOME” to many ghosts, goblins and other haunted sites certain to scare you to death. Our happy haunts love to come out to play in October and scare the heck out of the most hearty residents and visitors to the area. If you are looking for a frightfully good time this Halloween, check out these local haunts.

Shocktober Haunted House

haunted house
Courtesy: Shocktober Website

Billed as Northern Virginia’s only “Real Haunted House”, Paxton Manor is the story of the Carver Family who were banished from the Leesburg area and forced to live in nearby caverns. After one hundred years, they have returned and are taking back the family’s thirty-two room manor. Visitors are required to sign a waiver due to the scariness of the attraction. Admission is $30, with all proceeds going to benefit Loudoun residents with disabilities. 601 Catoctin Cir NE, Leesburg, VA 20176

Night Maze at the Plains

corn maze
Courtesy: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers

Everyone knows that navigating a corn maze at night can be scary, especially when there are surprises at every turn. In the case of the Corn Maze in the Plains, you need to be sure you bring a flashlight or you might not come back alive. Compared to the “fear factor” of other attractions, its not as scary, however its not for everyone. Admission $10. 4501 Old Tavern Rd. The Plains, Va 20198

Haunted Woods

haunted forest algonkian park
Courtesy Haunted Forest Website

On land that used to be the location for an elite children’s boarding school, lives an old caretaker said to have become bitter over his failed career as a circus clown. Taking pleasure in the terrorization of the students, he was said to have “gone too far” after being fired from his job, but he was never charged with a crime. You can now experience the terror in the woods where the school was located, including a special tour where thirteen children from the school disappeared mysteriously one night. Admission is $25 which includes a special ticket to a new attraction, the Haunted Asylum. Algonkian Regional Park 47001 Fairway Drive Sterling, Virginia 20165

Loudoun County Public Schools Schedule 2016-2017

LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA — The first bell on the 2016-17 school year will ring on August 29 and that means parents need to get their calendars in order. To help out, here’s a listing of important dates in the coming year:

  • September 5: Holiday (Labor Day)
  • October 10: Holiday (Columbus Day)
  • November 4: End of First Grading Period
  • November 7-8: Student Holiday (Planning/Records/Conference Days)
  • November 23-25: Holiday (Thanksgiving)
  • December 22-30: WINTER BREAK
  • January 2: Holiday (New Year’s) (Classes Resume January 3)
  • January 16: Holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • January 26: End of Second Grading Period
  • January 27: MOVEABLE STUDENT HOLIDAY**(Planning/Records/Conference Day)
  • February 20: Holiday (Presidents’ Day)
  • April 6: End of Third Grading Period
  • April 7: Student Holiday (Planning/Records/Conference Day)
  • April 10-14: SPRING BREAK
  • May 29: Holiday (Memorial Day)
  • June 9: Last Day of School for Students/End of Fourth Grading Period

**Parents with childcare or other weekday scheduling concerns – The date of this MOVEABLE

Planning/Records/Conference Day between first and second semesters may change, if the school calendar
changes due to school closings for inclement weather or other emergencies. Parents with childcare or
other scheduling concerns should be prepared.

9 Week Grading Period Ending Dates:

  • November 4, 2016
  • January 26, 2017
  • April 6, 2017
  • June 9, 2017

Schedule subject to change based on possible school closing due to inclement weather, according to Loudoun County Public Schools.

Source: Loudoun County Public Schools

Halloween in Loudoun County

When I was growing up, my parents would take me to my uncle’s house in Richmond where, during Halloween, he adorned his front yard with ghouls and all kinds of scary decorations. You can see the place when the local news covered it in 2011:

Ever since, I have worked on decorating my own house for Halloween to celebrate the season, and now I like to go out and find the houses of people who share the same passion. I am in the process of compiling a map of locations, which I am sharing below, and welcome other suggested locations in the comments.

Please let me know if you know of any other places that I should include so that folks in the area can find the best places to visit during this time of year!

And, make sure to be on the lookout for our revised Christmas Tree Farm Map, which will be updated by Thanksgiving!

Market Street Coffee

Market Street Coffee Interior
Market Street Coffee

I stopped into Market Street Coffee today for a meeting with a client and I was reminded of why I like the place.

After meeting another client at S* the other day (their choice) and seeing the cramped space, I am now looking forward to asking clients to meet me here in the future.  They have lots of comfortable seating, books on the wall, and of course, really good coffee AND gelato.

While I am on the topic of small business…recently it has become popular to say “Shop Local”, but then we forget about places like Market Street Coffee in our rush to get somewhere in Loudoun.

Sooner or later when places like this close, we end up with a neighborhood that looks like everywhere else in the world. Of course this is sad, because the level of service that small business owners provide is often better than that of national chains.

So, I encourage you to consider visiting these guys today and remind yourself why shopping local makes our community a better one!

And, if you wonder why I care, it is because I used to be a restaurant owner in Western Loudoun who struggled to keep people coming through the doors. With places like Market Street Coffee, I know that we have something really special in Western Loudoun and we need to keep supporting them.

If you liked this post about Market Street Coffee, check out our 12 Days of Western Loudoun showcasing other small businesses in Western Loudoun.

If you want to move to Western Loudoun, check out our sister site, for more information about homes in the area.

Market Street Coffee (Yelp)
1020 E Main St # I
Purcellville, VA 20132

Sweetnova at Creeks Edge Winery

On a recent visit to Creeks Edge Winery, I encountered a really great sounding Folk Pop/Jazz Duo performing, and I thought I would write up a quick note on the experience.

Sweetnova, Amy and Luke Denton
Courtesy of Sweetnova: Amy and Luke Denton

While I didn’t get a chance to stay for their whole set, I can honestly say that I was blown away by the range of Amy’s voice and Luke’s piano and guitar accompaniment.

During my time watching their performance, Amy did her own version of “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, and it got a solid round of applause from a crowd that was mostly interested in enjoying Valentine’s Day with their significant other. I consider that a strong affirmation of how great they sounded because Amy’s voice really got the attention of the Valentine’s Day lovers.

If you liked their performance as much as I did, please check them out at an upcoming show (under Shows…Some events may be private). I hope you enjoy their music as much as I did.

Sweetnova (Amy and Luke Denton)



Interested in finding a home to enjoy more performances like this in Loudoun County? Take a look at these Lovettsville close by homes for sale with the Bush Realty Group and Loudoun Homes!

Creeks Edge Winery

Its a cold Saturday and I am traveling the backroads of Lovettsville heading to a listing appointment looking to kill a few minutes, so I stop into another of Western Loudoun’s great vineyards, Creeks Edge Winery. I sit down at a beautiful natural wood table and order their Valentine’s Day special and drink in the ambiance of the place. There are quite a few couples milling about, and for a moment I wished that I was here with my wife, because the place is so romantic.

Creeks Edge Winery Fireplace
Fireplace at Creeks Edge Winery

For a place that opened in the Spring of 2014, it is impressive how many people have started following this vineyard and their offerings of Merlots, Vidal Blancs,  and Chardonnays. The crowd turning out on this cold Saturday speaks volumes to how popular this place is becoming. I imagine that they have quite a few events booked where many of the couples I saw will be celebrating another “special day”.

Bar at Creeks Edge Winery
Bar at Creeks Edge Winery

In addition to offering a wide variety of wine, they have a light menu provided by Market Table Bistro, and live entertainment most weekends. I would imagine that on a warm weekend, sitting out on their balcony enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Gris or a glass of sangria (which I had here in the fall) would be pretty nice.

Vines at Creeks Edge Winery
Vines at Creeks Edge Winery

Creeks Edge is located in downtown Taylorstown,  just around the corner from Lovettsville and offers a nice alternative to some of the large vineyards that are in Loudoun (but equally good).

Creeks Edge Winery (Yelp)
41255 Annas Lane
Lovettsville, Virginia 20180


Interested in finding a home close to this jewel in Loudoun County? Take a look at these Lovettsville close by homes for sale with the Bush Realty Group and Loudoun Homes!