James photo bomb in Maymont Park!
We arrived in the afternoon on Sunday. James was pretty good for the first 5 hours of the drive but then he wasn't so good for hours 6 and 7. Nonetheless, we were excited to make it from Long Island to Richmond in just 7 hours with just a few stops for sanity and food. When we got in, Michele suggested we take James to the park so that he could get some energy out after sitting in the car all day. She took us to Maymont Park, a big beautiful park with a children's zoo. We toured the whole thing and got some fresh vegetables for dinner from the vegetable garden volunteers. Michele's family was nice enough to invite us to dinner.
James loves Maymont Park
At Chiocca's enjoying some crazy sandwiches.
Potato chips make him thirsty.
We grabbed some coffee after lunch and then headed over to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Both the outside and the inside of the museum is lovely and impressive.
Michele and I outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
James is concerned that this giant lady is falling
Michele in the Eastern art section
Enjoying the interplay between the sculpture and the canvas
Sweet tea vodka on the porch. I could get used to Richmond!
Hanging out on the porch with Michele's brother and mother
Kevin used to visit one of his friends in Richmond all the time before we met, but I had never been out in Richmond before, so Kevin offered to stay in and watch James so that Michele and I could go out for drinks. I was thinking like the parody song "32" says,"It feels like one of those nights I'll have like one drink." But we went to a Cuban cigar bar and ordered mojitos and they gave me the biggest mojito I've ever seen, so really, one was plenty.
Havana 59 Cigar Bar in Richmond
Wednesday, we finally went to Buz and Ned's. I have been dreaming about it basically since last time I went in 2006 or 2007. It held up to my expectations more or less since my BBQ roadtrip of 2012 dramatically increased my BBQ expectations. I would have liked it more saucy, but that was the only critique I had. The hush puppies, beans, and apples were divine. James strongly approved of every portion of the meal.
Kevin and I with scary portion of food at Buz and Ned's
Michele feeding James some beans
Group self-photo outside of Buz and Ned's- cute times 4!
At my suggestion we walked through the large famous Hollywood Cemetery. It's a little weird, but Kevin often checks out famous graves at cemeteries anyway, and I had my sights set on the pyramid I saw listed in the Richmond Wikipedia entry.
Pyramid to honor Confederate soldiers in the Hollywood Cemetery
After lots of exercise in the hilly cemetery, we went to Hardywood Brewery to cool off with some local beers. The main part of the brewery was closed for a law firm event. Figures. But the Brewery also had a large outside area with a farmers market. They provided some chalk as well, which was all James needed to be entertained for hours.
At Hardywood Brewery
James artistically expressing himself at the Farmer's Market
Finally, since I'd expressed an interest in getting a good view of the James River, Michele took us over to Libby Hill Park. James loved playing in the fountain until he was soaked. Water hoses and fountains are a huge passion of his.
Libby Hill Park fountain
Michele taking a photo of James who is about to use a stick to make a wish
She made us a delicious dinner on Wednesday night. We left Thursday morning, but only because Michele was leaving for her brother Matthew's college graduation in Vermont. Otherwise, she might have had some trouble getting rid of us. We took her to the airport so that we could spend every last second with her, and we miss her already!