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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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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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The Ukrops Monument Ave. 10K

Saturday morning I ran and completed my first 10K race – the Ukrops Monument Ave. 10K in Richmond, VA. Also participating with me were my brother Chris and sister-in-law Julie. The weather was absolutely perfect – sunny, low-mid 60’s in the morning. My parents and sister-in-law Jennifer watched and stayed with Abby while we ran.

I had started to get a tad nervous (good jitters) leading up to the morning of the race. I didn’t do the greatest job of training and prepping for the race so I wasn’t sure how I’d do. I only ran outside in the neighborhood a few times and the rest were on the treadmill at the gym (and we all know running on the treadmill is not the same as running on pavement and cobblestone streets). Which by the way, I finally joined a gym around here. It’s not a big flashy gym but it’s open 24/7 and was only $32/month.

Anyway, Julie arrived at our house Friday night and we got to bed around 11:45. Probably should have been a little bit earlier but we were too busy looking up “cicada apocolypse” images on Google. The alarm went off at 5:45am the next morning. We snarfed some bagels w/ pb, banana, Gatorade and were on the road to Richmond around 7:15 after my parents picked us up. We met up at the TORX office with Chris and Jennifer and got ourselves organized before heading off to the start line. Our wave time start was 9:20 and we literally walked right up to merge into the group as they were starting to move. Perfect timing.

The race was exciting – bands on every block (playing songs like ‘Eye of the Tiger’), cheering sections, different organizations set up to cheer you on dressed in various themes, kids giving high fives along the way, people holding all kinds of funny and/or motivational signs, balloons, people dressed in funny costumes, spectators all over, people grilling on their porches and drinking beer… so much fun. The houses and buildings along Monument Ave. are impressive as well so there was always something neat to look at. There were also plenty of water stops along the course. I nabbed water at 3 of the stops because my mouth was so dry but made sure to keep walking fast while drinking (if I tried to run and drink it’d be down my shirt). If I drank anymore I would have peed my pants while running – ha! I also stopped to say hi to Abby quickly when I saw her on the sidelines somewhere between mile 5 and 6. It was so nice to see them there and helped me move a bit faster at the end to get across the finish line. I finished with a time of 73:07. My brother was just behind me by about 40 seconds and Julie was somewhere around 64 min. I felt pretty good throughout the whole race, just sore and tired afterwards of course.

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We then nabbed some post-race food (bananas, 50,000 fruit cups, Martin’s rolls, water, powerade, granola bars) and other flare at the post-race event in Monroe Park before heading back to TORX.

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Next, we headed to casa de Rhines to shower and clean up before heading out to nom on some Mexico for lunch. I really enjoyed my grilled chicken quesedilla with guacamole salad and spanish rice… and of course chips and salsa and queso. Tasted oh so good.

It’s funny what you can do if you put your mind to it. A few years ago I would have said I could never (and would never) do a running race. I first tried last year by doing 2 5Ks and then decided to double it and try a 10K. Did I die? No. Did I blaze on through with a fast pace? No, but I ran and I finished and had fun. I don’t consider myself a runner by any means and I probably do all kinds of things wrong in terms of technique but I feel good after doing it and I reach my goals in steps – and that’s what counts. I’ve always said that I don’t think I could do a 1/2 marathon but who knows… never say never!

Thanks to my parents for driving us and watching Abby while we ran! Thanks to Julie for being my race buddy and for motivating me! Thanks to Chris for getting us to sign up and for running w/ me… and for picking up our packets and accomodating us w/ your office location and hot showers at the house! Thanks to Amy for being an inspiration to have me just run any distance. This girl runs all kinds of races, marathons, and is training for her first triathalon in September. Given what she does on a regular basis, I should be able to get off my butt and do a 5K or 10K here and there. 😉

Can’t wait to (hopefully) do the Monument Ave. 10K again next year!

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.  🙂  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.  🙂

 

 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 – not 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.

 

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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!