Northern Richmond VA

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
I started at the Robins Visitor Center to get my ticket.  The normal price to get in is $11, but this weekend it was $6.

I’m not sure if it was because of the season or for their Valentines Day special with Tea House Valentine’s menu, but the guy at the desk was very nice and gave me a map and a sheet of flowers to look for that were in bloom or to note.

I wanted to get a bite to eat for lunch, and there are two options . The ‘Tea House’ or the ‘Garden Cafe’. I wanted to check out the Tea Room which was only a few minutes walk from the entrance. When I got there, there were about 6 couples at tables, but no hostess and no servers. I waited for a few minutes, but since no one showed up I left.

I walked around the entire estate, except for the Conservatory and Library, and went back to the Robins Visitor Center to get a bite at the adjoining Garden Cafe. The prices were much better here, around $8 for a sandwich, where as the tea house meals were around $16. I had a grilled salmon sandwich that was quite good. I ate the pickle, but not the chips.

Afterwards, I went to check out the conservatory and the Library.

The conservatory was one reason I was drawn to this Botanical Garden. It is quite lovely and impressive from the outside.

The inside however was pretty, but surprisingly small. The main entrance had a tall glass ceiling and a pretty fountain adorned with plants. To the left was a cute cottage surrounded by flowers, such as pink cyclamen (in the picture).

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To the right wing was a section of fountains and orchids. The back section was under construction -no plants yet.

Overall, I liked the garden, but feel I need to give it a second chance in the spring. There looked like covered walkways that would be covered in lovely flowers, a rose garden that would be lovely in bloom. There were sweet little bridges and streams that ran into ponds. The Snydor Lake, I’m sure is more picturesque with flowers in bloom around it.  It seems like a nice place for weddings.

I was a little disappointed in the overall size of the place, but I think it would have taken me longer had there been flowers to look at instead of bare branches, and had I not had to think about how my face and fingers were freezing.

http://www.lewisginter.org/

 

Science Museum of Virginia
About 20-30 minutes away, I went to the Science Museum of Virginia.  It was a neat building that was originally an old train station.  The museum was more geared towards children, a lot of hands on displays.  I think it was a bit pricey for an $11 ticket but  I think it would have been better with kids.  I walked around for about an hour . . . I think I liked the building mostly -lol

http://www.smv.org/

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Virginia Center for Architecture

After the science museum, I went to the Virginia Center for Architecture.  Partially because it was only a few minutes away, but also because I appreciate good architecture (The small museum section was interesting).  I loved the building, inside and out.  It was small-ish and quaint, and I loved its character.  The grassy garden area enclosed by a brick wall, the style of the house, the windows, the rooms.  So lovely.  I would love to live in that house.

http://www.virginiaarchitecture.org/vca_index.html


Monuments

In a few steps walking distance, I saw the Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson Statues.

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Virginia Museum of the Fine Arts
About a 5 minute drive away, I went to the Virginia Museum of the Fine Arts.  Parking was $3, but it was Free to see the museum, unless you wanted to see their featured collection (Mummys) or their special exhibit (Photos of Elvis).  My feet were a bit tired from walking all day so I just did the free tour.

I really liked the hallways, corridors, and rooms.  It was a nice layout for exploring and showed off their statues in center areas really well.

I liked their Ancient section with Greek and Roman pieces, the statues, the coloured walls.

I want to go back when their new East Asian Collection opens up.  It will feature Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art.

The photo to the left was the outside section of the Cafe with the reflecting pool

http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/Default.aspx

Dinner
For dinner, I found a Korean restaurant and had bibimbap.  It was nice, but I still like my local fave Korean restaurant ^^

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles . . . minus the planes ^^

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In Roanoke, there is a Transportation museum – not too big, but a decent size in an old train station. They had a working model train, a section with old cars like the Studebaker, Herbie the Love Bug, and some other cars from movies, and a train section. It was neat to be able to go out to the train yard to see the trains up close. Ones that have been renovated, and some that are in the process.

Added Note: actually there was one small plane they were rebuilding in another section, but it was blocked off 🙂

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Virginia Mountains

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20110717-085132.jpgYesterday, I drove my parents to Virginia to see the mountains.  We stopped off at Natural Bridge first.  20 stories of natural rock was pretty impressive and really pretty to see in person.  We got to see where George Washington Carved his initials in the rock, as well as a few other people from long ago.

I liked that they had a bus to transport you down to the start of the trail, which was great for my parents or you could have taken the trail down.  We got the basic tickets, which was for everything except the caverns.

The ‘Butterfly’s at the Bridge’ wasn’t as big as it sounded on their website – mostly it was a small room with plants and butterfly’s but it was also good so my parent’s didn’t have to walk too much, but could still see the butterflys.

The toy “museum” wasn’t much to look at, but really we went to see the bridge and the butterfly’s.  Afterwards we drove to Roanoke which was only about 45-ish minutes away.

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We found a hotel in Roanoke, a nice Mariott and then got some dinner close by.  We stopped off and got a deck of cards after dinner and in the evening, we played cards and watched TV.  I found a regular size deck with cute lil’ doggies, and then I found a smaller Coca Cola deck that I’m going to keep in my purse. 😀

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