GOODBYE RVA… But not just yet…

Although our plan was to get up early and begin our drive to our vacation destination, we decided we could not miss two final stops in RVA to tour by car. Our helpful guide at the Visitor Center mapped out the best way see them and get to them.  First stop was to follow the blue loop road around Hollywood Cemetery passing Historic Grave Sites – including two presidents.  (Next visit we will definitely take one of the walking tours) Just wish we had known about this great map –   to identify what we were seeing.  HollyWoodNext we did a drive through of Memorial Drive – quick for by that time we were starving!  We decided to once again venture into one of the neighborhoods for food.  Clearly this is where the life is in RVA. – We headed into Carytown and quickly found an incredible lunch experience.. Can Can Brasserie – very well themed (I just love that), with delicious food and great service.   Excellent! Good selection of Beer on tap and in bottles too… I passed for it was too early for me.  However I left with a huge loaf of French Bread!  Yum!   We hit the road, sad to leave for there was so much more to do. I will be back to this city… but would pick another place to stay.  Parking is abundant and so no worries if staying outside of the city and driving in to the see the sites (many of them will pay for your parking!)

It turned out working well for there was not much see to along the way.  We had planned to stop in Wilmington NC  to see where they film the Dome but the traffic was bad and Matilda (our GPS) diverted us another way down a lonely rode through the countryside.  With little to see but crop after crop of tobacco (at the time we had no idea what it was) —   Our one stop was for our first batch of Boiled Peanuts along with some local produce.

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RVA Here We Are!

What a long drive! Did not arrive until close to midnight so we slept in this morning…  This was easy to do even in a second floor room – we were amazed just how quiet the city streets were on a Friday. After leaving the hotel, we quickly realized we were in a bit of a dead zone – no government building, no office building, only one other hotel, and very few buildings that contained some sort of business.  It was impossible to find a cup of coffee and a bakery item.  There are so many neat neighborhoods that I learned about from a cousin who lives in the area… but the hotel is not in one of them!  We stopped at my usual first and favorite stop – The Visitors Center – for a map.  Amazing help in planning out our short time.  We decided to follow the Liberty Trail – something they are just starting and it is really neat.  Check it out here: http://www.visitrichmondva.com/things-to-do/local-tours/liberty-trail/

We diverted off the trail to go up to the Observation Deck in City Hall (thanks to the tip from our helpful Visitor Center guide)!  It was really neat to get a bird’s eye view of the city. (Picture is taken from up there.)

One of our historical stops was a visit to the Museum and White House of the Confederacy.  This included a guided tour of the house by a great tour guide.  He really knew his stuff!  Museum had a lot of neat stuff – we liked the downstairs full of oddities – like this doll that

was use2014-08-15 13.50.42d to smuggle medicine.   We then followed the trail to the Virginia State Capital and Executive Mansion.  We were amazed to be the only people wandering around!

After a day of history, we decided to finish by wandering down the huge hill all the way to the Canal.  Shockhoe Slip neighborhood is super neat with lots of shops, people, and places to eat, and try out the local beer.    Southern Railway Taphouse was the just the right spot — Relaxed environment – not yet crowded so we were able to sit at a high top with our daughter.  Great deals on lunch and beer for it was happy hour! (Service not so great but that did not matter for did not mind the wait)

Not much to do around the hotel so we enjoyed an evening swim. There was one neat spot – Pasture – had some good local beers and food (boiled peanut hummus – yum!) to eat!