Friday, June 25, 2010

Things I Love Thursday - Virginia Edition

This week finds me in Virginia, a lovely conundrum of a state. Far enough north to contain all the attributes of the fast-paced, close-quartered East Coast lifestyle, yet mountainous, sweltering, and howdy-if-you-please enough to be considered a part of the rambling South. 

  1. Richmond - My uncle lives just a jot away from the streamlined bureaucratic nation’s capitol, and yet two hours south is Richmond, a pleasing kaleidoscope of accents and cultures in a big sweating glass of iced tea. Last summer I came with the express purpose of doing research for my thesis. I spent the entire day absorbed in the culture of the Civil War: Monument Avenue, the Museum of the Confederacy, meeting people and feeling the pride that comes from living in a city steeped in the legacy of the Confederacy.  This summer my visit was for leisure and I saw no traces of the proud Southern Son.  This Richmond was a modern city, revamping its image (as cities are wont to do) but retaining that delightful mishmash of culture. New apartment complexes rising up in what used to be bad neighborhoods, acres once containing a stately Southern manor now containing a public park. Tiny vintage shops, pricey boutiques, an Italian restaurant named Greek House, and a homemade skate park in an abandoned lot.  The city is distinctly Southern and at the same time, ubiquitously American.
  2. Blue Ridge Mountains - I have never seen a landscape so aptly named. Here in Northern Virginia, all you have to do is look up in any direction and your eyes are filled with the imposing varied stance of the mountains. True to form, they are varying shades of blue, no matter the time of day or the season. While it makes driving interesting (and not for the weak-stomached), the Ridges make for a backdrop I never get tired of seeing. Not to mention the climbing! No one who knows me would ever call me athletic but I love the hiking here. Nothing is quite so rewarding as the view from the top after the enormous physical and mental challenge of getting there. For me at least. Can’t say the same for the rest of my family who are all apparently half mountain goat.
  3. Bygones Vintage Clothing - Cutest vintage shop I have ever been in. Located on West Cary Street in Richmond, this store has everything from old shoes to costume jewelry to antique pillboxes. Of course with vintage comes a hefty price tag, so all I walked out of there with were some replica post cards. It was a hipster’s dream.
  4. Gram and Grampie - Nothing sweeter than a few hands of Phase 10 with my dear grandmother. Nothing quite so endearing as watching Grampie weed the garden in rainboots, a straw hat, and those old lady sideblinder sunglasses. I hold tight to these fleeting moments.
Short List
  • The sound of Uncle David’s harmonica on top of the mountain
  • Jumping on the trampoline with my sister like we did when we were children
  • Looking at the craters of the moon through a telescope
  • Air conditioning (Virginia, you are too too too hot)
  • The sea foam colored roof on Uncle David’s house
  • The tree swing
  • Having one of those deeply ponderous talks about life and faith with cousin Wendy
I’m currently on vacation visiting family and yet I still find the time to give my dear readers their weekly dose of all things lovely. I’m such a giver, the Internet can hardly contain it.  I am typing this into Word as we speak because the bandwidth has literally melted under the weight of my munificence.  But seriously, if you’re reading this on Friday, it’s not for lack of trying. The connection from my uncle’s hilltop abode is rather spotty.  Pictures to be added later.
Hopefully this week finds you mellow and appreciative. Stay out of the heat.

1 comment:

  1. Love your writing... still! ;) Especially like the first paragraph- VA is a conundrum of a state- great!

    Soak up the moments with your grandparents...


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