Monday, May 3, 2010

The Confederate Capital

To start things out, our weekend by the numbers:
17: hours spent on the road
10: hours out of the 17 that were spent listening to This American Life
7: bottles of wine purchased from Trader Joe's
4: states traveled through (NY, PA, MD, VA)
1: apartment on a tree-lined street

We began our stay in nearby Glen Allen, where I readily took in all of the comforts of suburbia. The Qdoba where we picked up dinner (traded a burrito for a birthday coupoun that arrived in my email!), the Costco where I plan to stack my cart with bulk paper towels and twelve packs of pasta, a World Market where the future furnishings to our apartment are sold, and the Trader Joe's where they have bottles and bottles of delicious, cheap wine from reputable areas like California and Spain. Seriously, you should have just seen me in there. Giddy is the only word that can really describe it. Chris--Mr. Voice of Reason--had to talk me out of buying nearly the entire store. But I did make it out with some dark chocolate covered pretzels, dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, red wine, fruit leathers, and cats cookies. Mmm mmm mm.

The next day we hopped on the freeway and into the heart of Richmond. I will say that I got a little worried when we took the exit into downtown...the abandoned industrial buildings, dusty parking lots, and sprinkling of fast food restaurants made me want to run back to the comfort of the burbs. But then things changed. Within one block, the buildings turned into brick houses from the 1920s, the streets were lined with trees, and instantly I fell under the charming spell of Richmond. Seattlites--picture a very, very flat Queen Anne type of area. Portlandians--picture something like the streets of NW 23rd. Everyone else-- picture historic heaven.

Finding the right apartment was extremely tiring and disheartening. To only have 24 hours to find the place you are going to inhabit for the next YEAR is a big task. But we think we've found the one. Hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall, and a balcony that offers views to the museum across the street. More practically, a dishwasher and air conditioning. Right smack dab in the center of the Fan and Museum districts of Richmond--two neighboring areas that are teeming with little restaurants, coffee shops, and local stores hidden among the beautiful residential streets. There was so much that I wanted to see and do there, but there will be time for that. And I guess there will be time to get used to some of those confederate flags hanging about too....

P.S. One more number to add to the list. 
24: as of Wednesday, that's what I'll be!

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