I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many beautiful places in this world, both overseas and across our gorgeous country, and yet, there is always more beauty to discover. This past week, I discovered the beauty that is Richmond, Virginia, and its surrounding countryside.
A while back, I had a job that required frequent travel, and by ‘frequent’, I mean I was alone on the road for three straight months each year. At the time, I didn’t quite appreciate how much that experience would inform the way I approach travel but with each location I visited, from tiny towns to big cities, I discovered within myself the desire to explore beyond what I knew. While I’ll always love those big, “Top 10” cities — NYC, LA, San Francisco — I’ve found that it’s the smaller, more humble cities that inevitably tug at my heart, almost always leaving a lasting impression. Richmond did just that with it’s cobblestone streets, pastel-colored homes, passionate people, and the rolling hills and greenery that lie just beyond city limits.
We rolled into town on Tuesday night and prepared ourselves for the events of the days to come, but not before grabbing a bite to eat at the Roosevelt, a beautiful little restaurant located in Richmond’s oldest neighborhood (Church Hill) in a turn-of-the-century building. If you happen to find yourself in RVA, I highly recommend stopping in and staying awhile, I am still dreaming of the food I enjoyed there. The next day we pointed our compass to the mountains and trekked out to Graves Mountain with some of our gorgeous FPMe girls for a day of apple picking and horseback riding. We arrived bright and ready for the day, and left feeling sun-kissed and exhausted from one of the most incredible afternoons on record. Early the next morning, we had another full day ahead of us, this time spending the majority of it with the incredibly talented and inspiring Brittany of Eating Bird Food, before heading over to the Free People Richmond store for what we were all looking forward to: our Food & Fashion Festival.
On Friday, I bid my coworkers farewell as they headed home, and turned my attention to the interviews and tours that filled my schedule for the next two days. If there’s one thing I learned from those cumulative nine months of travel that dominated my life all those years ago, it’s that when given the opportunity to visit a new-to-you place, it’s best to take advantage of the temporary relocation as much as possible. Go see the weird and wonderful, explore beyond city limits and expectations, find your connections in a place and call upon them. That is precisely what I did, and I can’t wait to share the results with you.
I’m sharing a few snapshots with you today, but stay tuned for more Richmond posts in the days to come!
If there’s one thing I look for in every city I visit (besides a good thrift store and a great meal), it’s a good cup of coffee. Thank you to everyone who recommended Alchemy and Lamplighter, and for the many other recommendations!
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