Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Doing the Tourist Thing

With all the house guests we have been having, we spent some of our time showing off the area. Last Thursday we took Andy and Abby on my very strange version of sightseeing in Richmond.

river view
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
First off we went to Hollywood Cemetery, located on the banks of the James River. It may seem to be an odd choice, but it is one of Richmond’s most unique spots to visit. In addition to lots of dead people, Hollywood Cemetery features some spectacular monuments, the graves of two US Presidents (Monroe and Tyler), one Confederate President (Davis), a bunch of famous confederate soldiers and dramatic views of the city and the river (or the Rivah as it is referred to around here).

We started off with The Pyramid, a ninety foot tall monument dedicated to the confederate dead. It is an enormous structure that dominates its corner of the cemetery. It is also remarkable for not just its size, but that it is a dry stone (i.e. no cement) structure. If you click on the picture of the kids looking at the river it will lead you to a set of pictures from the cemetery. From the pyramid we wound our way through the cemetery, stopping now and then. At one point Jake spotted a large bird perched on a headstone. I’m not sure what it was, other than it was a juvenile of some sort of bird of prey (eagle, hawk, I don’t know). When we reached the Palmer Chapel I parked the car in a tiny scrap of shade and we all piled out. I love the chapel: it is always cool inside from the breezes coming up from the river and has a beautiful view of the river. It was there where I got the shot of all four kids looking down at the James River. From there we climbed a hill to see Monroe’s and Tyler’s graves.

Our next stop was Carytown, or more accurately For the Love of Chocolate. It is a wonderful chocolate store located in a funky part of Richmond. It has everything from high end hand made truffles, fudge, Jelly Bellies and all the way down to 39 cent candy necklaces. I love how the scent of chocolate envelopes you when you first walk in the door. We spent a long time in there and a fair amount of money. Then we started to head back home.

As we drove along the city streets I realized we would be passing by The Jefferson Hotel. I think a visit to Richmond is not complete without a pit stop at The Jefferson. It is a gorgeous old pile of a building that has the best public rest rooms in Richmond. I’ve even dragged Meryl there. Anyway, everybody was suitably impressed by the rotunda and the main lobby. And yes, we did use the facilities and I would like to note that even Jake and Nate were amazed by the bathrooms.

On Thursday I'll tell you all about our visit to the capital.

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