Sunday, November 23, 2008

Virginia Here We Come!!!

  • The Long Beach assignment is now a memory (bad for Sheryl, she left Long Beach Thursday night and drove into Amarillo Friday evening. We packed our stuff and headed for Richmond VA, bright and early Saturday morning, our goal was Nashville TN. We did stop in at OKC and had breakfast with her son Joseph and then we were on the road again. Once we started getting into eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, the drive started to become a thing of beauty. With the rolling Ozark mountains and the fall leaves turning it was just a beautiful drive. We made it into Memphis TN. around dinner time and decided we would try some world famous Memphis BBQ. So off the 40 and into downtown Memphis and the visitor center, where we learned of 2 famous BBQ joints, Neely's and The Rendezvous (both have been featured on Food Network.) Since Neely's was on the other side of town and The Rendezvous was right down the street, to the Rendezvous we went. We arrived pretty early as dinner standards go(4:30) so we were pretty much one of the few dinners. Ok enough of the build up, how was the dinner you ask??? We had the ribs and I hate to say we were a bit disappointed, they had good flavor, however were kinda dry, not the juicy, succulent fall off the bone ribs we were expecting. We hope we just got a bad batch, but next time we'll give the Neely's a whirl.
  • On a side note, Best ribs to date: Ellis Island Casino, Las Vegas, NV. After leaving the Rendezvous we were on the search for desert, mainly cheesecake. Our waiter suggested a place about a mile away, good thing was you could take the trolley and it would drop you right next to the place. The trolley was pretty cool, as both Sheryl and I had never rode one before. Well, what better place to try some cheesecake, than a place called The Cheesecake Corner. I must say, what a great place, around 20 different kinds of cheesecake, we stuck with the classic plain with a strawberry glaze. The cheesecake was very good and the presentation was great and we recommend it to anyone passing through Memphis. As mentioned before, the drive was beautiful, probably the prettiest interstate drive we have ever taken, mainly due to the time of year. We made it to Virginia, yeaaaaaaa, now only a mear 5 or so hours to go. Of course we did the tourist thing and picked up all the pamphlets we could. We arrived in the early evening, about will be Sheryl's new home for the next 13 weeks. The room is nice, how ever like any hotel kinda noisy, especially with her working mids.
The following day we decided to go exploring, we picked a park down by the river, so off we went. The park is on a island in the middle of the river, you have to take a foot bridge to get there, and of course we had to do it the hard way (ok we got lost) but ended up finding the back way in and a cool little canoe/kayak put in area on the other side of the river. At the trail head there is the makings of a old dugout canoe, sponsored by one of the local collages. Sheryl just had to jump in and take her turn at shaping the canoe.
The James River runs right along downtown Richmond, in the springtime it has class IV/V whitewater, one of the only urban whitewater areas in the country.
Once on the island, history abounds, the island was home to factories, civil war prisons, Indian villages and numerous others throughout history.
The James river is pretty low this time of year and you can almost walk across it
The island has a beautiful hiking trail which skirts the shoreline, about a mile long.

A couple of days later, we visited the American Civil War Center (part of the National Park Service) It was a very interesting tour and we learned alot about Richmond's role during the war and how the war help to shape our country today. Richmond also offers a riverside pathway, the path is a couple of miles long and has many historic sights. Above is an old factory wheel (part of a display) I thought it would make a good picture depicting the old with the new building.

Speaking of old and new, there is the old R.J. Reynolds Tobacco building (long since abandoned) with more of the new Richmond skyline.

A look at downtown Richmond from the footbridge to the island (yes, the one we were looking for
I was off on my own today, so I hit the hiking trails on the island again. Along with the main trail there are several other that wind there way around and through the island.
Another shot of Downtown.

Well, my trip was over and time to head home, but not until we visited and old friend who lives in Norfolk VA. We had dinner with her and a all around good visit. The first leg of my return home was to Washington DC and a 1 1/2 hour layover.
Since it was lunch time, and I had time to kill, food would be the order of the day. As luck would have it, I found this little burger place tucked away in the corner of the airport, and I must say they had the best burgers at any airport I have ever been to, again, give 5 Brothers Burgers a try if you ever find yourself at the DC airport and hungry.
The next leg of my journey home brought me to Dallas and an almost 6 hour layover. This layover was planned so I could meet up with my daughter Kayla and her future hubby Chris. They showed me there new place (very nice) and feed me some really good pulled pork which they had made, Great Job kids!!!! It was good to see Kayla and Chris again, even if it was only for a short time. Good news is, they'll be headed for Amarillo to join us for Thanksgiving, so we get to see them again soon.
Well that was the VA trip in a nutshell, tried to post at the hotel but the connection was wayyyyyyyyy to slow. Ok, that's it for now, take care and drop in again as we love our life.