Southern Summer 2010: RVA

Collin and I are back from our summer vacation and time off celebrating the 4th of July. I wish sleeping in could last forever.
I really do, even if I am a morning person.

Richmond was beautiful despite the 103 degree heat and we had an awesome time with our tour guides Meggan and Ben. We had a rocky start (getting sick on an airplane is really embarrassing as an adult) and a rocky departure (mixed up flight days and severe cramps) but the in between was sweet.

Our first night in town we went to see friends from Gainesville play a show at Emilio's. Hot Graves and Battlemaster. Metal is the way to start a Richmond vacation. At one point I looked around and was the only girl wearing color. Until Meggan came back in from the bathroom that is.

Friday daytime had us walking through downtown browsing the shops and people watching. Meggan and I hit up cute thrift/vintage clothing stores while Ben and Collin had a beer and watched some World Cup. We met up to visit Plan 9 and pick through their stacks and stacks of records. The downstairs was dedicated fully to $1 records. Collin found some Avail, we grabbed a Steve Martin stand-up recording and I threw in an original cast recording of My Fair Lady along with the score to Disney's Fantasia.
By then we fully felt the 100+ degree heat and went to have lunch. Then we went home to just hang out.

The next morning we were off to the James River to swim. Belle Isle actually. To get there, you walk a suspension bridge hung from below US 301. How fitting - the highway that runs through Sarasota and Gainesville both.

We swam, tubed down the small rapids, tried not to trip and sunbathed on great big rocks. Eventually we found a little nook for ourselves where we could break out our PBR's out of sight.

Check it out - somehow I'm also allergic to Virginia freshwater too. Looks like I won't have to debate whether or not to get a kayak for the next time we go down the springs here in Gainesville. Too bad, but at least it's not that terrible. Just a little uncomfortable and a little ugly.

We finally took off after the boys hit 301 and went home for lunch and a sad watching of the US-Ghana game that we had recorded earlier in the day while we were out. I also have a photo of Collin on the floor after the game-winning goal, but I won't do that to him.

I took most of our photos that day. During the rest of our trip we also went to have a picnic at the botanical gardens that would have been gorgeous if not for the scorching sun. We spend some time at Ben's family home while his sister and her family were also in town, playing croquet with the little one Ava. We ate late night pizza at Bottom's Up, under the trains and highways. I hate a slice of the 'Chesapeake' that had blue crab and old bay and parmesan and omg. Washed down with Magic Hat Wacko on tap and served to us by a cute waitress who happened to be at the show Thursday night and didn't mind chatting with us made it even better. We took an afternoon to see the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. I could have spent all day there and I only wish we'd gone earlier in the morning. There was a special exhibit of Tiffany glass and entire wings dedicated to Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Fabrige Eggs and British fine silver serving sets. Guhhhhh I don't know how I didn't have my camera that day,
Oh wait, yes I do. I gave it to Collin to take some pictures at Ben's uncle's workshop where he hand crafts guitars. Then he didn't take any photos and left it on the coffee table when we left for the museum. Boo. We also just spent time driving around. We might have walked to see the sights had it not been so blazingly hot outside. The confederate memorial and museum, The Fan downtown, immaculate examples of Southern architecture and Hollywood cemetery housing among others, James Madison's tomb.

I loved Richmond, but I do wish we had been able to make time to visit in March or so when the trees and flowers are putting on their full show.
And when it doesn't get hotter traveling farther north in The South.