The last leg of our journey was full of twists and turns. Literally. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an alternative driving route between Viriginia and North Carolina. I chose a dicey spot to hang my Kammok hammock at the Iron Hollow overlook at 2,372 feet of elevation. You can’t really tell, but I’m hanging over a cliff! One of the dicey-est hammock hangs I’ve done, and well worth it! Shown below.
Before this epic hammock hang, two days to be exact, we arrive in Richmond, Virginia to stay at an AirBnb downtown. Richmond is where I was born, and I haven’t been back since my family moved when I was four. There was always something inside me that yearned to see my “homeland” after 20 years.
Danny and I get in late, so the following morning we find a coffee shop to get wifi and get some work done. There wasn’t much I heard about doing in the city of Richmond, except for Belle Isle in the James River near downtown. After coffee, we head over there, and enjoy climbing and exploring the river rocks this island is known for. I even found a sweet hammock spot, displaying not only Richmond’s waterfront but the quaint city skyline as well.
As the afternoon turned to early evening, we make our way to the house I grew up at in Midlothian, a suburb 45 minutes outside of the city. It was crazy to me how much I remembered! I knew exactly where it was on the neighborhood street, the driveway I busted my chin on, the hill in our backyard where all the neighborhood kids went snow sledding on. The memories began flooding back to me. I was really proud of the first house I ever lived in.
We make our way back to Richmond and go to two local breweries, Ardent Craft Ales and Isley Brewing Co. I went for Ardent’s seasonal, a ginger honey ale. We walk over to Isley, both breweries in the Scott’s Addition area of town, to enjoy some live music, taco truck, and a couple more local brews. The city was bustling on this Saturday night and (fast forwarding here a bit) the following day we have dinner at a pizza place called Shockoe Valley Pizza & Bar. It was a really hip scene, inside an old factory building converted into restaurants and apartments, but no one was there! We showed up to eat around 8:20, and they closed at 9, which seemed early because it was the last game of the Final Four (not that I care, but that usually brings in a crowd). The food was great and the staff was nice, which made me think that maybe Richmond dwellers have a bedtime. They go out on the weekend nights, but once Sunday night hits they’re comfortable with watching the game from their own TV at home.
Rewinding back a day, Sunday we make a day trip to Washington DC. It was about a 2-hour trip, so all we really had time for was the National Mall, which I had never seen before. It was a hot, sunny mid morning until late afternoon as we ride our bikes to each memorial, starting with the Capitol building and ending with the Lincoln Memorial. We only had time for one museum, so we checked out the American History Museum, among many other options. It’s incredible that all of the museums are free there, even though we had to stand in a long line with the sun beaming down on us. It was quite a relief getting inside with air conditioning and all. My favorite spot was the World War II Memorial, directly in line with the Washington Monument. Danny and I dipped our feet in the cool, fountain water and took in the incredible view.