I got to spend an entire week with my siblings, sibs-in-law, niece and nephews (including meeting my newest one who's only three weeks old). Generally my trips to Virginia are over long weekends, and it's been a long time since I've gotten some serious quality time there. The last time I visited, nearly two years ago, we'd just found out we were matched with our son's birth mother. I knew life was about to change forever, and that visit had a desperate quality to it - trying to soak in my city for the last time as my childless self. While traveling with my son is certainly different, the kid is a rockstar. Vacations now include nap time, but I've found that isn't the worst thing. It makes me relax too, something we know I'm not good at.
Our first full day there was super hot. We visited my old neighborhood, Ghent, for lunch and shopping. I can't possibly be there and not buy anything in one of the many adorable local stores. I coveted houses for sale and imagined how much I'd love to live in that neighborhood again. It cultivated my love of walkability, and it does everything - from street design to its dearth of off-street parking - perfectly.
It was a busy week that in retrospect leaves me wondering how we filled our time. My husband and I knocked another state capitol off the list by visiting Virginia's State House in Richmond. Despite Richmond's relatively close proximity to Norfolk, I never visited there when I lived in Hampton Roads. I was there once for a debate tournament in college, but I don't remember much. It turns out I LOVE Richmond. Three years ago I interviewed for a job that would've been based in Richmond, and it wasn't a good fit. Now having visited Richmond I am kicking myself. It's a fantastic city.
|My usual - jumping in front of a Capitol|
We had a relaxing week spending time with family, playing at the park and pool, and visiting Nauticus in downtown Norfolk, home of the USS Wisconsin. Downtown Norfolk is one of my favorite places, and I got to spend some serious quality time there and in Ghent. I visited my former colleagues at city hall. My sister and I went out with friends at the Ocean View Pier. It was all in all a fantastic week.
|Love this view of Downtown Norfolk from the deck of the USS Wisconsin|
|Drinks on the pier with my sister|
|Love our different philosophies. I think she's onto something.|