Girls Weekend in RVA

What’s better than a weekend spent with girlfriends?  In my opinion, there’s not a lot!! It was EXACTLY what I needed when two of my best friends came up to spend the weekend with me a couple weeks ago.  These are girls who I have known for more than 20 years, and we truly know EVERYTHING about each other and can laugh at all our embarrassing moments, share some of our darkest secrets and keep “non-postable” pictures from the weekend to ourselves! THANK GOODNESS, we all have each others backs!!!

And yes, it is hard to believe it’s been so long since we were in high school, when we drove around like we owned the world listening to Robert Myles and just waiting for one of our parents to tell us they were going out of town for the weekend, so we could start planning the party!  Thankfully our friendship has remained strong and we are just as close (if not closer) as we were back then.

I received one of the greatest compliments from someone taking our picture when he asked:

“Are you girls related, or have you just known each other so long you’re morphing into each other”

Unfortunately Ashley and Katie were only here for less than 48-hours, but we fit in as much as possible and had such a great time! We spent way too much money, drank way too much alcohol, devoured a years worth of calories and added to our never-ending list of memories.

Their flight was delayed and after hearing the horror story from the flight, I was concerned they wouldn’t get back on another airplane! (Although that wouldn’t have been too horrible!) We went straight to The Daily to get them (and me) fed – Katie got off the flight white-faced and me, geographically stupid, kept taking the wrong turn. She handled it WAY better than I would have handled it and probably was cursing my name internally the entire time!!! Food was just what we needed to fuel us for an afternoon walking around Cary Street, which I absolutely love to do. Unfortunately we ran out of time to hit up ALL the cute little shops (although my wallet is probably saying “fortunately”) but we had a fun rooftop bar that was calling our name!

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We made it to one of my favorites, Lunch or Supper for a late evening dinner where we had appetizers to set a base for the rest of our evening. Major fail on my part when I tried taking them to the breweries and THEY CLOSED AT 10:00!!! I knew it was early, but not THAT early on a Friday night. DULY NOTED! Went to one more rooftop bar before catching up with Brian who was at a place right by my house. And LET.ME.TELL.YOU. we were VERY much out of place.

 

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I honestly would’ve never realized this little place that I thought was a restaurant (and always wondered how it made money because it was never open) turned into a club at night.  There were glow sticks, a DJ, balloons being tossed around and lots of drinks being poured. In the restroom Katie and Ashley were asked if they were teachers – they said “NO!” and the response was “Well your friend is, right?” (asking about me) WHAT?!? we looked cute!!! How could this be?!?!

We went home with our head down in shame, but woke up the next day to do things more age-appropriate (apparently).

First stop:  COFFEE, sorry girls, I don’t have a coffee maker.

Then off to Maymont, which O-M-G, I am OBSESSED, I had no idea this was literally in my backyard.  Ok, not literally, but only about 10 mins from my house!!! I have been coming to Richmond for 12 years and only heard about it, I didn’t know anything more.  But now, I realize it is a 100-yard estate, with trails and a public park and GOATS you could petThere is also a bear, a boar (I believe) and Japanese Gardens, that unfortunately we didn’t get to see!!! The grounds were so pretty and we could’ve explored there all day.  We did make a point to tour the mansion and pet a few goats (one even bit my finger in the cutest way possible), but definitely need to spend more time there in the future.

However, the wineries in Charlottesville were calling our names.  We hit my favorite of them all, PippinHill. No, it has nothing to do with the name, it is just BEAUTIFUL and the views are amazing!!! There we met some girls who said they went to Jefferson Vineyards and we figured we would go there because they were open later and I have never been. They actually had a concert going on that night that we would’ve loved to attend, but it’s a far drive and we needed to get back. NEXT TIME!

PIPPIN HILL FARM & VINEYARDS:

JEFFERSON VINEYARDS:

Came back and had dinner at The Savory Grain, before we had one last stop at another rooftop bar.

As always, I was a bit ambitious with my planning, but we fit A LOT into a lil bit of time and had a blast.

Things I learned the weekend:

  1. I need to memorize the words to Gangsta Paradise (those two were belting out all the words on the way home from the wineries – I was quite impressed)
  2. I’m a bit of a prude and I never realized it until I was given a glow stick at the club and I legitimately had no idea what to do with it
  3. The word decollage – THANKS ASH 😉

Thanks for visiting, love you ladies!!! 

 

 

 

 

Luray Caverns

A post from the Bachelorette shenanigans is soon to come, hopefully after I’ve fully recovered from the debauchery, but I have been wanting to highlight a trip I recently took, but haven’t had time: LURAY CAVERNS!

My parents were in town a couple weekends ago and I figured that was the perfect opportunity to drag them out along with my sister and her family to explore with me! There are many things on my Richmond bucket list, but at the top was Luray Caverns – and what better time to go then a hot summer day!!!

What’s even better is trying to drag seven people out of the house before lunchtime for a last minute excursion two and a half hours away! My 10 year/old niece was hoping to go shopping for summer camp supplies, my brother-in-law was planning on putting some meat to smoke on the grill, my dad had to go shopping for tennis shoes, etc. but somehow I managed to make it happen and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, was so thankful we went!

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I was giddy-excited, my nephew even started to mock me as I danced my way to the car!  I was so excited, it didn’t even bother me that I was sitting in the WAY back with the kids (for the record: all the other “adults” graciously offered to switch with me, but I was fine) – I was literally that excited!

The day was incredibly reasonable – $28 for an hour long tour.  The caverns were open enough and not even a concern of claustrophobia. The temperature inside was perfect, about 75 degrees and the tour guide was very knowledgeable.

I didn’t retain a lot of the information, I was too busy enjoying the views, but a few things I learned:

  • Stalagmites (from the bottom, might reach the top) and Stalactites (hanging tight to the ceiling)
  • The stalactites grow the size of a cheez-it every 120 years!
  • They said they were a designated bomb shelter and the safest place to go – BELIEVE IT OR NOT!!!
  • This guy fell 7,000 years at 170,000 tons

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  • And this one shows how thin the “drapes” are, light will show through it! IMG_1995

 

This was by far my favorite area – the stalactites are reflecting off the water for an optical illusion making it look like there are stalagmites below.

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And just some more photos because it was so pretty!!!

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I’d also recommend checking out the Car and Carriage museum, honestly, I wasn’t at all interested at first, but others were going and I figured “why not?” and it was pretty cool seeing all these old cars! IMG_9825

There was a small winery on site and believe it or not, I didn’t go. . .well, that’s a lie, I checked it out, but wasn’t able to take wine outside of the small patio and it was too hot to drink alone outside!

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On the way to the Caverns, there was Cooter’s Museum which was a free Dukes of Hazard  museum – we will be checking it out next time we go! Just didn’t have enough time this trip!

Regardless, it was a great day! Thanks to my loving family for being so willing to explore with me!

Oktoberfest

A few weeks ago I had to make an emergency road trip to Richmond to help my sister with the kids when her husband was stuck at a hospital in Tokyo. Long story short, he was on a flight from South Korea to Tokyo when he started having trouble breathing and they rushed him to the hospital in Tokyo threatening to do emergency surgery.  He is fine now and was able to come home four days later, but my sister had meetings out of town that she had to attend, so I was fortunate enough to work from home up there and help out.  (Side note: I have my niece and nephew convinced that I’m not an adult because I don’t have kids, came to backfire when my 9 y/o niece was nervous about me watching her overnight because “I’m not an adult”)

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So I finished some things up at the office on Friday and jumped in the car for the short 10 hour drive (UGH!)  Halfway to Richmond, my a/c went out, so I opened my sunroof and this random rubber thing fell down and kept blowing in my face – needless to say, I was READY to get there, but made the best of it and blasted music! (My car is a 2009 Acura TL and I still love it and not ready to trade it in – fortunately it only cost $92 to fix the a/c)

 

Saturday morning we woke up and were trying to figure out what we wanted to do – knowing that it was the first weekend of fall, I started looking for Oktoberfest celebrations and found one in Downtown Richmond.  We went down and my sister and I were happy having a few German beers while Caroline was getting her face painted. The Polka Dancers were so much fun to watch and I could’ve listened to the music all day!

This weekend I went to the Jacksonville Beach Oktoberfest celebration – thinking it would be similar to the Richmond one – WRONG!!! The only Oktoberfest thing that was there was a small little trailer to purchase beer steins. They served Bud Light and we listened to reggae music. Instead of polka dancing, I was entertained by a “hooper” which was a term I just learned!

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Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great time, but I’m wanting some REAL fall-like festivals to come to North Florida.  I guess I’ll have to continue to go north as it’ll be hard to find with temps still in the mid-80’s.