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Any suggestions for things to see and do in Richmond?

 
 
CowDoc
 
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2007 07:23 pm
The wife and I are heading east again this summer. We have a week's worth of meetings in Richmond, Virginia. Anybody have ideas about what she can do while I'm in session? Also, we may have one free day we could use together.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,177 • Replies: 17
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2007 07:27 pm
I don't know anything about it except for that it's beautiful.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2007 07:34 pm
Too sleepy to play, CowDoc, but I know some places, if they haven't been demolished by now.

Tomorrow then....................
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 06:41 am
I would suggest this place:

Richmond, VA
Landmark Theater

Virginia Opera performs at the historic Landmark Theater, formerly known as The Mosque, this season. Shriners built the theater, which is located to the west of downtown Richmond, in 1926 as their Acca Temple Shrine. The City of Richmond purchased it in 1940, and a 1994-95 renovation restored its splendor. One of the most striking buildings in Richmond with its towering minarets and desert murals, the Landmark Theater is well known for its excellent acoustics and boasts the largest proscenium stage on the East Coast.

Something tells me you would enjoy it, CowDoc.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 07:26 am
I'm thinking RJB might have some ideas for you, CowDoc. I sent him a PM...

If you have a full free day, then a day trip to Charlottesville might be fun. Home of Jefferson (Montecello), the UVA campus (designed by Jefferson), and downtown Charlottesville are all well worth visiting. I flew in/out of Richmond the first time I visited Charlottesville, I think it's about a 1 - 1.5 hour trip.

Is this the same meeting that brought you to Chicago last summer?
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 02:21 pm
bm. Be back in a bit.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 03:07 pm
cowdoc :
you are only about an hour from ...COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG (link)...
we've been to williamsburg numerous times - stayed a whole week at one time - and we are canadians :wink: !
imo it's interesting both from historical point of view but also because of the beautiful , restored mansions and gardens .
i'm sure we'll visit there again some year - we always went in the spring when it was quite mild and the springflowers just started blooming .
if you go , have at least one meal at the "williamsburg inn" - breakfast is a treat !
hbg
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 03:51 pm
Virginia is all about history which is great if that is of interest to you. In Richmond itself, the Virginia Museum is pretty good and the Museum of the Confederacy is surprisingly fascinating even for folks not deeply into that.
My most obvious suggestion for Ms Cowdoc is a day-trip to Charlottesville. It's an easy hour and a half drive from Richmond on I-64.
She would definitely want to go to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. He was an amazing individual. Once John Kennedy hosted a dinner of Nobel laureates at the White House. JFK noted that never had there been so much brilliance there since TJ dined alone. The Monticello folks have done a commendable job of not trying to hide the fact that TJ was a slaveowner and there is the whole Sally Hemmings issue.
Lunch with Realjohnboy, if that is of any interest, on the downtown pedestrian mall.
TJ founded and designed UVA. It is well worth doing the tour there, led by one of the student-guides. It is considered an honor to be selected to be a guide.
Including travel time, this would be an 8 hour day.

About an hour in the other direction-to the east-is Colonial Williamsburg. Again, it is an easy drive and there are organized tours. A lot of colonial craft demonstrations and folks in colonial garb. To some extent it is kind of like a theme park, but they too are doing a pretty good job of presenting a more balanced depiction of life in the mid-1700's. The College of William and Mary is also there, which is where I did my undergraduate work.
Again, that would be about an 8 hour day.

Speaking of theme parks, King's Dominion is a few miles north of Richmond.

Near Williamsburg is the Jamestown settlement (1607). This year is the 400th anniversary of that. There will be lots of stuff going on down there this summer, including a visit from the Queen of England. It would be tough to do Williamsburg and Jamestown in one day. but the latter could be combined with a quick trip to Virginia Beach and a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

Neither the beach nor King's Dominion is of much interest to me. I am a country boy. I would probably head instead towards one of the state parks around the Dismal Swamp in southside Virginia. I would have to do some checking to see how far away from Richmond that is and what kind of tours the park people offer.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance. -johnboy-
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CowDoc
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 04:52 pm
All the suggestions sound great. I would assume that a car rental is a must, but that can be arranged. Yes, JPB, it's another one of those damned county meeting things, so I won't have nearly as much free time as the Mrs. Wish it was a bit closer to Chi-town. Maybe you can come to Kansas City next summer. I know that town a little better. Either that, or meet us in Fairbanks next month!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 06:56 pm
I don't know Virginia well, though I lived in Alexandria for a few months as a five year old. I did go to Williamsburg with my girl scout troup when we lived in Illinois, and did a trip to Washington. I remember it as cutsie... (sorry).

My husband and I visited Washington in 1987, and took a day to drive down to Charlottesville and see the University and Monticello. I heartilly recommend doing that, completely worth it. Too bad I didn't know JohnBoy then, I'm sure we would all have had a great conversation. On the way back to Washington we stopped and walked around George Mason's place, which was closed, but a nice little walk - and then ate in Alexandria. Those are too far north, I think, to be of interest to you...
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 08:59 pm
CowDoc wrote:
I would assume that a car rental is a must, but that can be arranged.

Probably, most certainly, I would say yes.

But Johnboy feels a story coming on here. Amusingly, this ends up relating to some of the other writing I have done on A2K. When I was at William and Mary I would periodically go home to Charlottesville. And I would do it by hitch-hiking the two hundred miles. This was before the interstate system, so it involved getting through the entire width of Richmond.

But I always had pretty good luck.

Often, since I was travelling on a Friday out, I would get lifts from sailors from Norfolk heading home to West Virginia or wherever for the weekend.
By the time they stopped to pick me up in Williamsburg, they were only a bit drunk. By the time we got to Richmond they were a bit more drunk.

There was no by-pass around Richmond then. There was a long trek along Broad Street. Miles and miles of Broad Street. Past the Greyhound Bus Station and the Trailways Bus Station and all of the seedy bars and diners. And all of the hookers who hung out in that neighborhood.

I often volunteered to take over the driving at that point, so that all of the drunken sailors could leer at the ladies and maybe, if we were stopped at a light, they could chat with them for a moment before the light turned green and I would continue west, towards Charlottesville.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:06 pm
Good tales, RJB..

Was that the start of your trekking ways, or did you roam about when in high school too?
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:52 pm
High school, too, to some extent. But if you have ever read any of the Gothboy stories that go back a long time here, Gothboy was "conceived" in that two block stretch between the Greyhound and Trailways bus stations in Richmond, VA in 1978. Sometimes my hitch-hiking west would end there. I would have to start anew from there.
There was a lady outside one of the bus stations, She was always incredibly cheerful. She had a camera, a camera that would print the photos pretty quickly. Poloroid, or something. She would take pictures of couples and then try to sell them for a buck or two. I walked by her for the entire four years I was in college, but I would only see her once or twice a year, but she said that she remembered me from the last time I walked by.
She was always there, everytime I came through. And she was always smiling and it seemed to be a genuine smile. Gothboy would have taken the time to find out more about her.
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CowDoc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2007 10:53 pm
Be warned, johnboy! My flight reservations are made, and they include a car rental. We may have to have lunch in the pedestrian mall. I'll try to be in touch with more specific details before we leave.
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 May, 2007 11:19 pm
Awesome! There are, alas, no other A2Kers in this area.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 May, 2007 08:48 am
oooohhhh -- Mr B and I enjoyed a lovely lunch on the pedestrian mall when we were there. CowDoc, Charlottesville is my second favorite place on the planet (after New Orleans). Wish I could be there to see you and T again.
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realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 May, 2007 11:19 am
Cowdoc: What is the span of dates when yall will be at your meetings in Richmond?

JPB: For several years, C'ville was listed as being "the best place to live in the U.S." by Foder. I never put too much value on that. But the ranking was based on climate, scenic beauty, proximity to a big city (DC), cultural amenities, access to high quality health care etc etc.
This year, Cville fell to 17th.
The culprits are too much growth too fast and the high cost of living. Our teachers and our cops can't afford to live here.
We are working on that, but it is a big problem.
The new #1, by the way, is Gainesville, Florida.
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CowDoc
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 May, 2007 12:03 pm
We fly into Reagan on the 11th and home on the 18th. We'll make more specific plans as the time nears. I might point out, also, that the people who rate communties have never been to Salmon. :-)
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