Richmond Last Days

Have we ever had a tour guide as pleasant as Mr. Hayes? Possibly, but I can’t remember when

Up to now the weather, while cool, had been mostly sunny and pleasant. With a cold drizzly Saturday we made good on plans to see two houses, but wimped out on the third one and the Museum of the Confederacy. Both were restoration works in progress, so there was not as much as we like to see, but we did learn some history, especially about Mr. Marshall, who defined the function of the US Supreme court more than any other single person.

Instead we drove out to Buz and Ned’s Real Barbeque. Buz and Ned are apparently famous from some reality cooking show, and several people told us not to miss it. The lunch was great, but the cold weather got us to thinking about going up into the northern US and Canada. It will be summer, but some cold weather is still possible. Last year when October got cold in Norfolk VA we turned tail and ran south. It was time we faced up to the possibility of inclement weather like the brave seapersons of old.

Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue. Definitely worth the trip. Especially with Goodwill nearby.

We didn’t have much warm clothing on board and weren’t ready for a trip back to Austin to get some, but Sue had spotted a Goodwill store on the way to the restaurant. By the time we left the store she felt she had balanced out our wardrobes for the loop. Yes, we will be throwing a few things out to make room.

Sunday came with promise of better weather. Sunday traffic allowed us to drive Monument Avenue slowly westward on the way to First Presbyterian Church, and to drive it slowly back afterwards. We liked the Lee and Jackson statues best, but the homes along that street are incredible. This was where the old money was spent in post war Richmond. If we’re back with warmer weather we need to walk both sides of that street.

We then went back westward for a drive through Carytown. Georgetown SC was cute, but the Carytown district of Richmond is the very definition of cute. It’s also perhaps the hardest place in the world to find a parking place, so we had no intention of stopping.

Midway through Carytown Sue spotted a Second Debut store. For those of you not accustomed to high end shopping, that is one of Goodwill’s outlets for their better stuff, such as designer label clothes. You won’t believe this, but as she spotted that on the left, I spotted a someone leaving a parking space on the right. With a cool head and nerves of steel forged from patiently parking 25 tons of boat under fire from wind and current, I snagged that space, and I have the picture to prove it. Sue got some good shopping in, and we had very good Gyros at the Greek restaurant in the picture.

Carytown: a continuous string of parked cars on either side with two continuous streams slowly moving past looking for a space. Ours is the white car in front of the Greek restaurant.

After this there was still time to visit the Museum of the Confederacy and the Confederate White House (Jefferson Davis’s house). While housing the “most complete collection of Confederate artifacts anywhere” the museum could be seen in two hours. The White House tour was great. After the war all its furnishings were sold off, but over the years nearly all of it has been given back by the various purchasers, so the house is completely decorated and furnished as it was originally.   The guide, Mr. Hayes was outstanding, making what would have to be a great tour regardless three times better. He’s a Vietnam vet and has been with the White House since that war. He really loves the place, knows everything about it as well as the history and ownership of all the furniture pieces that traveled away from and then back to the house. If you ever take this tour, make sure you get him as the guide.

We’ll get up early tomorrow. Monticello is only an hour away.


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