Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Vacation Part 1

Greetings on this grey and misty Wednesday.  We had a touch of rain overnight, but I have some pictures that will brighten things up.  Warning:  picture heavy.

We started our trip by driving to Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, April 27th.  We had had some very high winds (and tornado warnings) on Friday and the winds were still pretty strong on Saturday - not fun going over bridges while towing a camper.  But, we made it safely to our KOA which was small and very quiet (yay!!).  We set up our camper, cooked some dinner and tried to have a fire, but the wood we bought was very damp.

Sunday dawned and it was a gorgeous day.  After breakfast we unhitched the car, left the camper and drove down to Richmond.  We met a couple of Fletcher's cousins and his aunt at Tazza's Kitchen for lunch.  Really good food!!  After several hours of hanging around chatting, we followed Fletcher's cousin Kathy and her husband Rex back to their home in the Fan District of Richmond.  We took an afternoon walk along the walkway across the James River.  There were lots of turtles (including some snapping turtles) and birds.

We saw a group of people practicing rock climbing on a very steep wall.  We fixed some salads for dinner and later in the evening took a walk in their neighborhood.  It's kind of like walking around Society Hill in Philadelphia - very elegant homes.  The only difference is that there are a ton of Confederate statues all along the different roads.  Here's a picture of the front of Kathy & Rex's home:

Monday was a bit damp and on the cool side.  We had coffee and then made our way to the Stir Crazy Cafe (a local, funky coffee shop) for breakfast.  After that we headed to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens - 50 acres of gorgeous gardens.  So many plants in bloom, so many peaceful places.  It was wonderful.  Some snaps:

Pitcher Flowers
A beautiful carved gate...and Fletch
Pink Lady Slippers
I want this bench!!
This is the same tree that I showed yesterday (with Fletch & me standing in front of it).  HUGE!!  And, over 100 years old.

There were greenhouses with beautiful flowering cacti and other tropical plants:

And a room with just butterflies!!

They put out dishes of fruit and also water for the butterflies to enjoy
They were everywhere!  You had to watch where you stepped because some were resting on the walkways.

There was also a very large community garden with ripe tomatoes (already!!), squash plants in bloom, plenty of greens and bee hives!!

We walked around for over 3 hours and then ended up at the cafe on property for lunch.  If you are ever in the Richmond area, I cannot recommend this garden highly enough.  It is gorgeous!!

We headed back to Kathy & Rex's, packed up our car and drove back to Charlottesville and the sun came out!  We fixed a great dinner of nachos (done over charcoal) and then had a small campfire to end out the day.

Tomorrow - Part 2.  Thanks for sticking with this long, picture-heavy post.


  1. Love the photos!!!! What a beautiful place.

  2. That looks wonderful and beautiful! I always enjoy botanical gardens.

  3. Beautiful photos.

    Why can't WE have a funky little coffee shop (one with plenty of seats). LOL Looking forward to seeing the Part 2 photos.

  4. Oh I really enjoyed this post. I'm sorry the weather didn't cooperate fully, but it looks like you still made the best of it and saw lots of interesting places. The butterfly garden sounds absolutely wonderful.
    I didn't know you were camping. What kind of camper do you have?

  5. Wonderful! I've only been to Virgina once, but I'd go back in a heartbeat! I didn't get to explore nature when I was there (we explored Williamsburg and Jamestown) but it looks amazing!

  6. The garden looks like a great place to explore again and again. Butterfly houses are amazing. I love the photos of the butterflies drinking and eating.

  7. Sounds like a delightful time and excellent photos! I'd love that carved gate and some lady slippers in my garden, and those butterflies! That garden is on my list if I ever find myself in Richmond (and I wouldn't mind some nachos done over charcoal, either)! Looking forward to Part 2!

  8. Beautiful butterflies. Glad the wind and storm potential quit. That had to be a little scary!

  9. Your trip sounds lovely. The Garden is fabulous. Thanks for sharing. I imagine Spring is a good time to visit Richmond. I'm glad you are home safely.

  10. Looks like you had a great trip! Such fun!

  11. Welcome back ... I"m so glad you had nice weather ... and wow!, it looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing it with us (there is NO SUCH THING as a blog post with too many photos!)

  12. Welcome back. I do love walking through botanical gardens and seeing unusual trees and different plants. The butterflies are a lovely addition. So glad the weather largely cooperated for you. Love Fletch's look--very dapper and outdoorsy.

  13. Welcome back! It does look like you had perfect weather and did such fun things!

  14. I would love a visit to this garden! What beauty to enjoy!

  15. Picture heavy is picture beautiful!