Road Trip Wrap-Up & What's Next

We are back with our daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law in Alexandria, VA after almost three weeks of road tripping through the Carolinas. We had an incredibly interesting time visiting Wilmington, NC, Kiawah Island, SC, Charleston, SC, Congaree National Park and, finally, Richmond, Virginia. We learned about the battles of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War up close and personal. We toured mansions, plantations and forts, walked miles and miles and miles, took walking tours, boat tours, canal tours and one very memorable ghost tour, enjoyed a bevy of craft beer, wine, and cocktails, and literally ate ourselves silly. In other words, we had a great time!

But we both agree it's nice to be back in familiar territory here at our daughter's for the last few days of our trip. This is our fifth time visiting since she and my son-in-law moved here in July, and it is feeling increasingly like our second home. Today, Sunday, we attended the Alexandria branch of the Unitarian congregation we attend in California and felt immediately welcomed and at home, so we have yet another activity to add to our list of things to do when we are here. And then there is our granddaughter, who continues to be the light of our lives, and who seems to love us as much as we love her based on her happy screams of recognition when we drove up yesterday.

Our thoughts are starting to turn toward California, however, because we have a lot of lovely things to look forward to once we return. We have our newly landscaped yards, front and back, and I'm so excited to see what has come into bloom since we left. We have our office project completion scheduled for next Friday, and that is going to be terrific to see completed because that will be the absolute end of the journey of six back-to-back projects we kicked off last December - new entry way flooring, new hardwood flooring, new backyard, new vanity and flooring in powder room, refinishing of existing floor, which turned into wood flooring replacement when the refinishing stain failed to match the newer flooring stain, and then, finally, my husband's home office project.

We also have a lot of fun social activities to look forward to when we return, and then in a few more weeks, the first of a series of California out-and-back trips involving our RV. Most of our trips will center around physical activities - biking, hiking and backpacking - so my plan is to dive back into strength training the moment we get back. We did a pretty good job of logging walking miles during our trip, and I even ran a bit of my walk this morning, although I made myself return to walking after just a 1/4 mile because I don't want to go to fast and re-activate the repetitive use issues I've been battling since last January 2016. As eager as I am to return to running, I know I absolutely have to go slowly if I want to avoid re-injury.

Here's a quick overview of what we did, and what we ate, after leaving Charleston, using the same one to three asterisks rating system. One asterisk for so-so, two for good, three for great. Also, I broke up the activities by day in that Richmond is very large, and we therefore grouped our activities by geographic region.

What We Did

Congaree National Park (on the way to Richmond, VA)***
Monument Avenue**
Richmond Battlefield National Park Visitor Center** Free!
Historic Tredegar**
Civil War Memorial Footbridge Across James River*** Free!
Canal Walk** Free!
Historic Canals Cruise**
Shockoe Slip* (More touristy than I expected)
Hollywood Cemetery** Free!
Virginia State Capital*** Free!
White House of the Confederacy***
Museum of the Confederacy**
Historic St. John's Church*** (Hearing Patrick Henry's famous 'Give me liberty or give me death!' speech acted out by docent while sitting in the same location where it occurred was unforgettable.)

What We Ate (All three of these were outstanding - thank you TripAdvisor!)

East Coast Provisions***
Greek on Cary***
Mama J's Kitchen***

And from Richmond:

Virginia State Capital, where we enjoyed an excellent, free, 90 minute guided tour.

Beautiful downtown Richmond views enjoyed from our historic canal cruise.

And more beautiful views along the memorial bridge walk of the Class 4 rapids along James river.

Make it a memorable day wherever you are!


  1. Love to read your travel recap and view the beautiful photos. Also wish to hire the contractor(s) who did your six back-to-back projects as I'm about to start renos for my investment property. "Patience" is the word I keep reminding myself ;-)

    1. May we not have to do any more renovating for a good long time to come - so disruptive! Almost all of the projects were done by companies we've done business with before, which took a good deal of stress out of the equation. I really feel like the house is as updated as it can be, and ready to put on the market at the drop of a hat should we decide to move. Hubby would prefer to stay put, but I continue to yearn for coastal living, as in walk to the ocean, not drive to it as we do currently. :-)


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