Transitioning from the hustle and bustle of New York City where 24 hours in a day isn’t nearly enough, our next stop was former confederate capital. Heading down the 95 toward Virginia, the urban jungle of Manhattan and its fast-paced capitalism slowly faded away in the rear view mirror.
We arrived in Richmond, VA well past sundown (about 3 am) with no concrete idea of what our surroundings looked like. A rookie mistake to leave for a 6 hour drive at 8pm but finally the road trip had really begun…and what a better place to start than in a state with such deep roots in American history.
We were staying with my cousins, who both had early wake up calls, so in the morning – i.e. 4 hours later – we were greeted by a lovely Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy, who was more excited than anybody to become friends and gain some new cuddle buddies.
The lush and overgrown forest of Jamestown was our first adventure. Just outside the cit, this site is home to the first English settlement in America. Naturally, the best way to learn about it’s history was to take the 5 mile driving tour complete with infographic placards explaining the various artifacts and flowers found in the area.
We won’t say much about the tour, however, the glass blowing workshop there was amazing! These guys use a 2000 degree natural gas oven to cook up a billion different shades of glass, from glacier blue, to amber orange. Best part is, you can become a glass blower too! The only requirements are that you complete a four year apprenticeship with them and grow a beard. And since Elissa’s genetics won’t allow the latter, they turned our request for a trial down. Fuck estrogen.
Moving onwards from the “Jamestowne” settlement, we decided to take on Colonial Williamsburg. Let me tell you, these people know how to party. First off, the “costumes” were off the chain. Bonnets and wigs running rampant on top of stockings and shoes with big ol’ buckles. Compared to Jamestown, this was a rave.
Streets lined with shops and clerks untouched since the 1700s, the whole town is in a time warp where none say “What’s up?” but “Good day to you!” and “Closed for the day” is “I am obliged to leave my shop for the day. I shall be here on the morrow as usual. Your Humble Servant.” At the end of Duke of Gloucester Street – yes that’s a real name – some of the more festive events were taking place. Flutes, marches, canons made all sorts of hooplah. Again, they wouldn’t let us light off any of the artillery but we still had a blast (pun intended). See photos below.
Before we left we checked out the main Market populated by tourists and run by William & Mary students. A crowd was gathering ready to listen to a free weekly concert in the square from a band of troops. From a super exclusive insider tip we checked out The Cheese Shop and had our minds and tastebuds BLOWN like they were Jamestown molten glass. Fresh and artisanal produce from all over the world; amazing sausages, cheeses, wines and everything in between to stock up for our next few weeks on the road. It was the last thing we expected to find, and definitely the most delicious.
All in all, Colonial Williamsburg was a hit but we missed running water and internet too much. So back to Richmond for a drink we went, and a drink we did have. The downtown scene was a complete 180 from the country home we woke up in, littered with young hipsters and beer taps from micro breweries. It was here we met out first local, a cutie we shaded as Vintage Vixen Visonary Beige, at “The Portrait House,” aptly named for the framed pictures of astute gentlemen and even a gentleman sheep – with a crest surrounding his likeness. It didn’t really make sense, but it was cool and the beer was awesome. Personal favorite: “La Guillotine.” A good way to dust off the evening and the people weren’t half bad either!
Tomorrow we make our way towards the Carolinas for some less than colonial debauchery and trap music. Shout out to SoundSnobz for keeping us awake in the car during those long driving nights! Whelp, that about does it for Virginia. Signing off…
Photos by Skyler Greene