Sadly, Andy couldn't stay with us all day for the grand tour because of a long honey-do list (for those on the Left Bank, that's a long list of small errands wives or girlfriends give their husbands.) After lunch, Lee and I left Carytown, making a beeline for the Museum and White House of the Confederacy. We wanted to get in all of the museum as well as the White House tour. It turns out I have been taking enough people through the White House that I got a guide I had before. Mark acemj will remember this guide- a very intelligent middle-aged gentleman who remembered me from 3 years before, who has ties to Halifax County (he even knew of my Grandpa Terry). He is a staunch defender of Robert E. Lee. As any of you who have done the White House of the Confederacy know, that tour is a real cardiovascular workout. After we saw the whole of the museum including the gift shop, we were off to the Canal Walk. I had toured part of it before, but this was the first time we went all the way to Belle Isle. Along the way, we walked through the Alcoa plant, saw the Christopher Newport cross, walked on footbridges to Brown's Island and back to the mainland, through to Belle Isle- a 5-iron from the Virginia War Memorial where David and I toured ourselves alone the previous day. When we started the Canal Walk, food was the four-letter f word. However, after the round trip of 3.25 miles (5 km.) we could have eaten a horse and chased the rider. Luckily, Bottoms Up Pizza is virtually along the eastern fringe of the Canal Walk. We ate there and watched the American football games from the bar on the restaurant's back porch as passenger trains passed by from nearby Main Street Station.
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The only reason I didn't post this as an official VT meeting is that I wasn't sure until the last minute we would be able to pull it off. For once, things went pretty much according to original plan. David and I were going to tour Carytown in any case, but there were two variables. First, because Lee gipper84 was traveling early from the Northern Neck the timing was uncertain until that morning. Second, because of the uncertain timing, I didn't know what to tell Andy Hopkid until after I heard from Lee. It turned out well, we rung Andy on Lee's mobile phone as we approached our original eating destination Nacho Mama's and almost collided as Andy doesn't look much like his VT passport photo, in my opinion. The only wrinkle in plans, in my opinion for the better, was that we decided to eat at Double T's Barbecue. David, Lee, Andy, and I spent a good hour and a half together eating and swapping VT and other stories. Hopefully, Richmond's VT contingent can get together and show one of y'all from out of town a good time. Andy, Lee, and I know where the good restaurants are and we know the history of the place, so tell us when you'll be in town.
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Fondest memory: Despite a perfectly awful day in terms of weather (cool and damp to the very marrow of our bones), Phil toured the campus of the University of Virginia and Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's estate), Phil and I toured Richmond. Time constraints and the aforementioned bad weather made this an abbreviated b1bob adventure. The bright side is, there will be plenty more to see next time out. I would have had Phil spend the night, but he had to catch an early flight back to Minnesota. We sat up together from the time we got back from La Casita until 2am. He figured in the time it took to turn in his hired car, undergo security scrutiny, and allow a window for the unexpected. Next time, hopefully, he'll bring his lovely wife Becky and they'll stay long enough for me to give them a proper tour and use my guestroom.
Fondest memory: If you didn't know any better, you'd think Matt worked there in his chic Krispy Kreme cap. Actually, that came with out doughnut order and I dared him to wear that as he boarded the plane the following day. He will soon have a similar photo of me on his Richmond page.
Fondest memory: This visit really materialised out of nowhere. In mid-August, David e-mailed me saying he had tickets to the 10 September 2005 Richmond NASCAR race. Knowing had a long-standing invitation to stay at my house, an excellent adventure was in the making. He arrived here on the evening of Friday, 9 September. Tired from the trip, I had supper ready and we just hung out. The following day was race day. However, it was an evening race, so we hopped to some light touring. We started at the (grand) Jefferson Hotel. Then it was off to the Virginia War Memorial. Before lunch, we saw each and every statue on Monument Avenue up close and personal. Lunch was itself a cultural experience. We ate at Sugar & Spice for some Southern food. It was David's first go of collard greens and, to my surprise, he rather liked them. He went off to the race on which he centred this entire trip that evening. The following day was the big touring day. Straightaway after church, Lee gipper84 and I escorted him downtown. We started at lunch in Carytown, then proceeded to the Museum of the Confederacy, the whole of the Canal Walk, and supper. David left to tour other parts of Virginia for the following week. For his last night he came back whereupon Lee and I took him to Carini's for supper at Krispy Kreme for dessert. It was great showing him around, but also introducing him to my friends Lee, Andy, and Bill.
This is where we used to live
Broke into the old apartment
Tore the phone out of the wall
Only memories, fading memories
Blending into dull tableaux
I want them back
My fondest memory of Richmond was living there. When I graduated from college in... er... 1997, I moved to Richmond to start a fantastic new job with a regional bank headquartered there. Very cool. So this apartment in Richmond was the first flat of my adult life. Everything was great. I moved there on June 20, spent a week hanging around town, starting working on June 30, and had a tremendous time getting to know Richmond and Virginia. Then on July 20, I learned that my bank had been taken over by a large national bank based in Charlotte, NC. Since I was in marketing, and marketing a bank that no longer exists is rather difficult, my job was in effect terminated. They couldn't fire me until the merger went through, so basically, they paid me to do nothing. For two months, I goofed around town, went out partying every night, and had one last crazy summer. Then I moved to Charlotte...
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