On our day of site seeing in Richmond, Virgina, we spent a considerable amount of time driving around, trying to find our way and deciding where we should go. Before our trip, I emailed John and Sherry, from Young House Love, since they're natives to the area, perhaps they could recommend some good spots. Sherry kindly emailed me a blog post with their Five Richmond "Top Fives". On the list was Maymont, a beautiful expansive park with historic buildings, botanical gardens, gazebos, fountains, a nature center and a petting zoo. And it's free!
We decided to check it out. However, as we entered through the iron gates at 4:30pm, the loud speakers began to announce "THE TIME IS NOW 4:30. THE PARK WILL BE CLOSING AT 5:00. THE GATES WILL BE CLOSED." At which point, we made a mad dash, trying to see as much of the park as we could while capturing a few photos! It was a 30 minute scramble to soak in the beauty surrounding us. We didn't even make it to the petting zoo, Japanese garden, or set foot inside the mansion.
It was beautiful nonetheless. Scenic views, flowers and rolling hills.
There were a couple photo shoots actually taking place. Definitely a perfect location.
I'm glad we got to see it, and if given the chance, I'd go back and enjoy a more leisurely tour.
After making it out of the iron gates in time, we drove by the Richmond Raceway Complex, and snapped a couple pictures for my Nascar loving Nephew, Elijah.
On Sunday, we left the hotel and headed for home. But not without stopping at IKEA in Woodbridge, VA! The mother ship of home furnishings, textiles, organization and all things Swedish made and affordable. Why, oh why won't they come to update New York? I have been to IKEA before, but this one felt like a college campus. The place is huge.
We took home a cheese grater (no ordinary cheese grater) and a portable wardrobe closet organizer. Ok, two portable wardrobe closet organizers. I got a little overzealous as I tend to, when it comes to bargains and organization. One of these is already helping my husband to corral his clothing off the floor.
As if that wasn't enough, my husband proved his love for me once again by taking me to the newly opened Fredrick, MD Wegmans. A beautiful store with a packed parking lot (of course). It felt like home. We got lunch and hit the road.
It was a nice little trip to Virgina. Here are a few takeaways:
1. "We're in the South" - what John and Andrew kept saying whenever we discovered something good, different or better about life in Virgina.
2. People are nicer in Virginia. There definitely seemed to be a greater sense of common courtesy and chivalry. People opened doors for you. Store associates went out of their way to help you. Even in the not-so-good areas of town people were kind.
3. Why on earth are there random toll stops on sections of the highway requiring .30 cents EXACT CHANGE? Who keeps .30 cents on them? We're pretty sure we'll be receiving a ticket for .60 cents.
4. How does CiCi's Pizza Buffet make money? All you can eat pizza, salad and soup for an adult is $5.49. Kids under 3 are free. ALL YOU CAN EAT. If I had a family of 12, I'd be eating there at least once a week. I saw a few of those families doing just that.
5. Last but not least, it's always fun to travel to new places and make memories (even crazy ones) with good friends.