Category Archives: Travel

Belle Isle

Recently, Peter, Abby and I enjoyed a really nice day together down in Richmond.

First we had a delish meal at Kitchen 64. http://www.kitchen64.com/ We’ve only been here two times but each time has been excellent. Great food, always busy, quick service.

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We then went to explore Belle Isle. It’s a 54 acre island on the James River that used to be where a POW camp was used during the Civil War (also previously home to a hydroelectric plant). It is now a park with paths, an area for rock climbing, and apparently the most popular thing to do is lay out on the rocks in the sun and/or take a dip in the river. To get there from the north side, you have to take a suspension footbridge under the highway. Earlier in the year, we visited just across the way at the Tredegar Iron Works and we’ve also been across the river at the Hollywood Cemetery.

Here are some pics I took from Belle Isle:

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Someone has such long hair right now!

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Afterwards, we figured oh, we might as well make a stop by Legend Brewing Co. http://www.legendbrewing.com/ We weren’t hungry for dinner yet but it was too nice out so we sat out on their deck and enjoyed an appetizer and some lagers before heading back home. All in all, a great day!

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Summa-summertime!

Oh man, I’ve been neglecting the good ol’ bloggy blog! Not on purpose – just enjoying the fun and sun of summertime. We’ve been having fun with daytrips, family visits, trying new restaurants, concerts, swimming at the pool, visiting the lake and “beach”, working around the house, cookouts, ice-cream consumption, walks in the neighborhood, a vacation at a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, playing outside and more. Our first summer at our new house and new neighborhood. ūüôā

This evening I was scoping out some more places for daytrips and found a whole lot of wildlife refuges and state parks I want to check out with Abby (and the hubby if he isn’t working). Plus there are a number of breweries to look into, heading out towards Charlottesville and west, toward the Shenandoah Mountains. Lastly, maybe not for this summer but for next I’d like to go to Virginia Beach and Sandbridge which is just south of VA Beach… and maybe further south to OBX since we are not so far away as we once were. I want to take advantage of the rest of the summer/early fall while we have it because before we know it, it will be back to school time and the weather will be getting cooler. Why can’t summer be longer?

Maybe I will try to start blogging / photo blogging a little bit more, not sure. It’s fun to look back on older stuff but at the same time it’s annoying to find the time to update on a regular basis and sometimes bothersome to even publish a blog entry. However, it’s sometimes therapeutic to document some of this stuff we do as a family. Whatever happened to good ol’ scrapbooking? HA!

Here are a few recent summer-related pics I took:

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Maymont Maybe?

Since we’ve moved to Fredericksburg and closer to my brother and sister-in-law in Richmond, we’ve been talking about visiting Maymont Park with them. Well la-di-da, we finally did it! The husband had a rare day off on Sunday and it was so nice out, so we took the opportunity to go with Abby, my parents, and Chris and Jennifer down to Richmond.

First, we met up for lunch at Kitchen 64. First time there – it was very busy. I ordered the Rhysdale sandwich which included smoked turkey, cranberry spread, herbed cream cheese and mixed greens. And a side of potato salad. HUGE-mongo sandwich and very good.

So, off to Maymont. It was so pretty there! There are approximately 100 acres and includes various gardens (Japanese, Italian), ponds, waterfalls, fountains, statues, big ol’ trees, lawns, horses, petting zoo, wildlife (bear, bobcat, eagles, bison, fox, etc.), and the Maymont Mansion, or Dooley Mansion. James Dooley was a wealthy Richmond lawyer and he and his wife left their house and land to Richmond to enjoy after they passed.

There was lots to see as we made our way around the grounds. Abby had a good time and of all things, she especially liked the trees that had “skirts” on them (see picture below), even though at the end she told me she was a little bit afraid of them. We look forward to going back again sometime!

“Some” (haha) pictures:

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Historic Tredegar Day Trip

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Yesterday we took a trip down to Richmond for the day, as Peter had a rare Saturday off with us. First order of business was lunch at Q (BBQ). I think this is my favorite place to eat pulled pork sandwiches. So yummy, and their mac n’ cheese… yes please! I wish one would come to Fredericksburg.

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After Q, we saw the site where Jeb Stuart was mortally wounded and then headed to the Tredegar Iron Works area, down by the James River. We walked around outside, as well as inside the visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park (NPS). During the Civil War, the iron works was the primary iron and artillery production facility of the Confederates, and the remaining structures is where we visited. It was a really nice sunny day so it was great to be outside after a week of rain and gray. Abby was quite energized to say the least.

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Barney had fun here too and wanted to see how the cannons worked.

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Tiny snowman!

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We walked around the Riverwalk Park too, getting some close-up views of the James River and let Abby run around. Lots of people were out biking, running, or segway’ing.

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We had some time to kill so we drove around in the car throughout Richmond while Abby took a catnap before meeting up with Chris and Jennifer at Red Robin for dinner. After we woke up Abby from her nap she was in a crabby, dramatic mood but towards the end of dinner she was ok, as she shredded her napkin and placed strips of it on Barney’s head and laughed at him. After a somewhat tough day with her, of course on the drive back home she was really good and just talking with me the whole time.

Richmond: Children’s Museum, Hollywood Cemetery, BBQ, and Beer!

Somewhat, kinda, sorta recently we took a trip down to Richmond for the day and had a great time with Abby and my parents. 

First on the agenda was lunch at Q Barbeque.  Yes please and thank you!  It was most excellent.

Then we took Abby to the Children’s Museum of Richmond and she had a lot of fun.¬† It’s a great museum for little ones and I’m happy to hear that the same museum organization is building one in Fredericksburg for 2013.¬† ūüôā¬†¬†The pictorial:

 

She had fun scanning and ringing up plastic piles of spaghetti, tacos, and green beans. 

¬†Our lil’ Abicus playing with a lil’ abacus.¬†

 

And playing with a big abacus.

 

 

Teacher Pete!

 

 

This is FUN Mom!

 

 

 Big apple tree.

We can’t wait to take Abby on her first camping experience some day!

 

¬†Abby’s first ride on the merry-go-round.¬† We let her pick and of course she wanted to sit on the kitty-cat.¬† ūüôā

 

 We checked out the big craft room but only drew with crayons on the table for a little.

 

 She had fun jumping up and down on these outside making music, and hitting other musical instruments with that mallet.

 

 Since it was so hot out, we then went inside where Abby decided to rotate some tires.

 

 Then made a new friend in the sandbox, although this was filled with tiny particles of rubber Рnot sand.  She would have stayed in here all day if we let her!

 

 

Fun family day!

 

After the museum we went to explore Hollywood Cemetery for a little bit.¬† Abby fell asleep, it was HOT, and it was closing soon so we only drove around for a bit and got out at a few spots.¬† It’s a very beautiful cemetery.¬† We’ll have to go back again sometime.

 

JEB Stuart

 

 

Very interesting tombstones and headstones here.

 

Noticed this FISHER tombstone and even though it’s not an uncommon name, I found it ironic to find a Fisher tombstone in this huge cemetery since at this time I was finishing up the excellent HBO series Six Feet Under.¬†

 

Another neat tree tombstone.

 

After the cemetery, we met up with brother/uncle Chris at Legend Brewery for some grub and brews.  Perfect way to end the day!

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Too tired/lazy to write –¬†¬†here are some pics instead!¬† Will be back soon with some updates and pictures on Abby’s 2nd birthday, Prince William Forest National Park, Children’s Museum of Richmond, Hollywood Cemetery, Memorial Day Luminary event at Fredericksburg, and some food updates.¬†

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inner Harbor Memories

Peter and I took Abby to Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD the other week for the first time.¬† We met up with Kelly and her daughter Ev too which was nice!¬† I had recently found out that the aquarium now cost $25 to get in (woah!) so we are going to save that for when Abby is a bit older and will appreciate it more.¬† It’s a good aquarium but wow, prices have gone up more than double the last time I was there.¬†

We walked around with Abby and Ev and they shared their stuffed animal buddies with each other.¬† We walked around the harbor, near the ships, checked out the visitor center, and the various shops and restaurants – there wasn’t a whole lot going on and a lot of restaurants seemed to be changing.¬† I remember when it used to be Planet Hollywood, Hooters, and Cheesecake Factory and Phillip’s.¬† Now Phillip’s is moved into the big spot where ESPN Zone used to be, Cheesecake Factory is something else, and they’re putting in a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.¬†¬†Abby played around by the jumping fountains and we took a snack/lunch break for the kiddies to munch on some nom noms.¬† Abby started¬†eating¬†cold peas because Ev was that day, but now¬†when we’re back home at our house, she’s not into them.¬† Figures!¬† I have such a picky¬†eater for a daughter¬†(hm, not surprised)!¬† Before we headed back home to VA, we grabbed dinner at¬†a place called Lenny’s Deli.¬† After we ate, I was changing Abby in the bathroom and her diaper had soaked through her pants a bit too much.¬† So I¬†changed her into new pants and off we went.¬† At some point when we were on 95S, I realized I had left her¬†wet pants hanging in the bathroom; I never put them in my bag.¬† Haha – oops!¬† Someone must’ve come across some pee-pee pants that night in the¬†bathroom stall.¬†

Speaking of 95S, all was great on our way home until some accident happened just ahead of us and all lanes came to a dead stop with lots of 4-ways flashing.  We were lucky that Abby had just fallen asleep before we stopped because we had to wait about 35 minutes not moving (which I know is not too horrible, but with a toddler it potentially could be).  There were fire trucks, ambulances, many state troopers, etc. and at one point a medivac helicopter came and landed on the 95S lanes just ahead of us.  Eventually, they came around and told us that we had to turn around and go backwords to cross through a barrier and get into the HOV lane to continue south, otherwise we might be there all night.  Thank goodness we were far up front and not far back in the traffic.  I guess the big trucks just had to wait it out!  Crazy.

Anyway, it was a nice lil’ day in Inner Harbor.¬† I have great memories of going there¬†a number of other times:¬† weekend trips with Peter when we were younger, trips with some old friends (seems like ages ago), trips to Fells Point, Girls Weekends, Kelly’s bachelorette party, Halloween at¬†Power Plant Live, trip with Kelly, college trip when we rode the Chessie pedal boats in the harbor, and more.¬† Here are some pics, old and new.¬† I’d love to post even older ones but sadly they aren’t even digital!¬†¬†It’s funny to even think of having to take your film into a store to get processed – such a thing of the past, i.e. I’m getting old.¬† ūüėČ

 

Kelly and I at her bachelorette party a couple years ago:

Kelly and I the other day with our mini-me’s:

 

Abby and Ev:

 

Abby and her beloved ducks:

 

This was just after one of the ducks snapped at Ev’s toe!

 

Abby and Peter walking around:

 

The girls and their buddies:

 

 

 

Family pic:

 

At the fountain:

 

 

Harbor pics:

 

 

Kelly and Ev:

 

Oldies from Kelly’s Inner Harbor bachelorette party:

 

At the old Cheesecake Factory and Tex Mex:

 

 

Abby and Ev blowing bye-bye kisses to each other:

Zoobilee National Zoo

We took Abby to the zoo the other day for her 3rd zoo experience but first time at the National Zoo in DC.¬† The cool thing is that it’s free (as is most stuff in DC), except for parking.¬† It was a nice zoo but a lot of the animals were sleeping, hiding, or just not there (uh, well where were they then?).¬† It was fairly hilly too but had a decent layout.¬† Since it’s free/open to the public, runners can go through but I found it to be kind of annoying (as a runner and as a zoo guest) since there are so many people around and kids¬†scattering all about.¬† I wouldn’t think it would be conducive to a satisfying run – but I digress.

 

The first animal we saw was a cow.¬† Wow!¬† Imagine that.¬† Actually, they had a “farm” section for kiddos that included cows, donkeys, alpacas, etc.¬† We saw elephants, pandas, tigers, cheetahs,¬†aquatic animals, monkeys, zebras, and more.¬† No giraffes though.¬† Here are some pics:

 

Ack!  This thing was creepy.

 

 

 

 

Cherrylicious Blossom Festival

Earlier this month, no – ¬†make that late last month (time is f-l-y-i-n-g), we took the opportunity to drive north to Washington, D.C. ¬†to partake in the popular Cherry Blossom Festival.¬† We’ve been to DC before but I’ve never been there to see the cherry blossom trees and experience any of the month+ long festivites.¬† I’ve always heard people talk about it before but I just thought – eh, trees that are budding.¬† No biggie.¬† But now that we live closer and I’ve heard more about it, I wanted to go and see what all the buzz was about.

Peak time arrived earlier this season so we wanted to take advantage of it.  I took a 1/2 personal day and away we went with Abby and my parents.  The first part of the day was cloudy, almost rainy, and not very spring-like but in watching the forecast, we knew it was going to spiff up to be a beautiful day.  It worked in our favor because it was not super busy or hot.

Well, I must say, it is much more than just trees that are budding.¬† It’s one thing to see it in pictures but to¬†be there in person really is scenic.¬† The cherry blossoms were beautiful and I didn’t realize just how many there were until we walked around the whole Tidal Basin and stopped at a number of national monuments along the way.¬† Paddleboaters were on the water, people from¬†all over the world were walking around taking in¬†our nation’s capitol, and it was simply a fun, spring day.¬† We didn’t experience any¬†actual festivities but I saw in the schedule that there are concerts, performances, parades, contests, food, etc.¬† I am glad we got to see those budding trees.¬† Abby had fun too!

Enjoy the following slideshow (about 20 pictures)! 

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Downtown And In The Mountains

Final pics of our anniversary weekend.  Less talk, more pics.  Lots to catch up on!

 

Downtown FRED:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleepy after a busy day out and about!

 

At Shenandoah Mountains, only an hour + west of us.  I love that we are close to cities like DC and Richmond, have quaint downtowns like Fredericksburg, Culpeper, etc. and have the country farmland and mountains not far off.