David and I just returned from visiting Meg in Richmond, a trip we’d planned even before she moved there since tickets were so crazy cheap. Even with the fiasco of the protests (read ‘riots’), we decided against canceling, hoping that our visit would help give Meg some feeling of normalcy.
I had reserved a cute B&B about 15 minutes from her, but when I had mentioned our visit to her landlords, Jim and Celia, he insisted we stay in one of their empty apartments in an historic building right next to Meg. I happily took him up on it and cancelled the other place.
Meg picked us up around 9:00 p.m. on Thursday night. She had to work the next day, so we had access to her car (she rarely has to drive it with her downtown location), but we discovered there’s plenty to walk to near the area we were in. Unfortunately, by the time late morning rolled around, the heat index was crazy, and we couldn’t stay out for long. That night Meg made a wonderful pot roast, and we made plans to visit historic Belle Isle Park in the morning before it got too hot.
David decided to pass, so she and I walked the very cool suspension bridge under the highway and found ourselves in a lovely shaded trail park filled with history and lots of people walking and biking, even at an early hour. Luna swam, I took pictures and eventually, when it began to heat up, we went back home.
If you can get past the devastation from the graffiti and the defacing of the statue pedestals, driving around Richmond is eye-opening in a good way. There are really cool residential areas like Church Hill, where Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty” speech, with tree covered brick streets and Chimborazo Park . Or Scott’s Addition, a former industrial area that has been redeveloped into what has to be a beer-lover’s paradise with pubs, breweries, and parks for entertainment. The Upper Fan District has beautiful old homes all in a row with inviting front porches and upper balconies for added character. There are too many restaurants to mention, and even during this pandemic, if you’re a mask-wearing customer, you’re welcome.
Sunday found us taking it easy indoors, finding fun restaurants and enjoying the day. After a tasty dinner of salmon and rice, Meg drove us the 15 minutes to the airport where we boarded our one-and-a-half-hour flight back home. I was so glad to see a more normal version of the city where she was born. While it’s certainly not the city it was before the riots, it’s definitely a place worth visiting.