Sunday, November 4, 2012

Outrunning Sandy

By the time we checked into our hotel after our spontaneous brewery tour, Richmond officials were beginning to get nervous with Sandy approaching. It wasn't looking so hot, and we weren't quite sure if I was going to make it out on Monday or not. Regardless, the weather was gorgeous and crisp on Saturday morning, and we headed onto James Madison University's campus to run. Six miles later, and one too many hills (all I'm sayin is Florida is FLAT), we called it a morning when it started to drizzle. We had the best diner breakfast of our lives at The Little Grill. No really, I think it was the best breakfast of our lives. There's just something about diner coffee and the bustle of a small, family owned restaurant. Love it. 

After we finished eating, we headed into Shenandoah National Park to drive the Skyline Drive and do some exploring. It was chilly, but sunny, and the views were spectacular. Eric and I stopped about halfway through the drive to hike one of the trails that went down by a couple of waterfalls. 

I'm not in as precarious of a position as I actually appear in the photo, don't worry!

Sidenote: Eric and I were surprised (appalled, really) at the number of people huffing and puffing back up the trail like it was the hardest thing they had ever done in their lives. Come on, America, lay off the chips and get movin. As you can see by our attire, this was no strenuous hike.

Anywho, at the bottom of the waterfall there was a wide, long path that I'm pretty sure just kept going on forever. And I would have walked it forever had Eric not reminded me how important it was to get out of the woods before dark. But really.  I could have just kept walking through those leaves...

We finished driving the Skyline, and then headed back to Devil's Backbone for dinner since it was on our way back to our hotel.  We almost never visit the same place twice on a trip, but we convinced ourselves it was okay because we basically only drank there on Friday, and the menu enticed us back. And because we both get grouchy when we get hungry. We may or may not have taken a slice of Walnut Pie back to our hotel with us to have with coffee after dinner.  While we watched Season 3 of Downton Abbey on the web. We were going to wait until January to see it in the US, really we were.  But then we couldn't. And ohmyword, it's so good. We're pretty wild and crazy vacationers, as I'm sure you've noticed by now.

Sunday was a bit cold and dreary with Sandy approaching, but really, I enjoyed it.  Sometimes those days are just cozy, ya know?  And cold weather is a treat when you live in Florida. We started out at Belle Isle on the James River. It's essentially this huge island in the middle of the river that you reach via a suspension bridge, and there are huge, beautiful rocks that you can walk out on over the river.  I can imagine that they would also be lovely for sunbathing in the summer as well.   

We spent the rest of the day meandering about stores and malls, lunching on warm soup by fireplaces and extra afternoon coffees.  We ended up at Buz and Ned's BBQ for dinner. Delicious. This place was featured recently on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, for all you Food Network lovers.  Eric does such a good job scouting out all the local eats when he travels for work. I always defer to his judgment on these things...always. 

When we went to bed on Sunday night, we still weren't too sure if my flight was going to get out the next morning.  The rain and wind were increasing, but it was so strange- instead of a hurricane approaching, it felt like a winter storm was coming on.  Luckily, Sandy didn't hit Richmond nearly as hard as expected, and I was able to get home on schedule with no problems. Eric was able to make it home on Thursday as planned with no problems either. This weekend in Virginia together was a million more times enjoyable and relaxing than the last one.  It's really fun for me to travel to where Eric is working sometimes to see what a normal run around town is for him during the week. Plus, it gives him a week off from flying every once in a while. In fact, I liked being there with him so much, I think Monsieur Pierre and I may taking an extended road trip there to be with Eric during the week while I'm studying for the bar. We shall see.  

I got home just in time to welcome trick or treaters on Wednesday night with Pierre.  It was his first Halloween in his "forever home," so we celebrated accordingly. 

We ended up having TONS of kids and dogs come by, and it was so fun! In fact, I ran out of candy this year! It's Murphy's Law...last year, I had a whole basket leftover (don't need that in the house, thankyouverymuch), so I bought less this year. Well wouldn't ya know...the kids came out of the woodwork.  I actually had JUST enough, and the very last kid took the very last of my candy. Saved me from being "that" neighbor. 

And in the interest of full disclosure, I did hit up the post-Halloween sales on Thursday, and Pierre now has costumes for the next three years.  I could tell you I'm just kidding, but that would be a lie. I know that I'm not alone...somebody. please. reassure me. 

Happy November! I've only got two weeks of classes left EVER in law school, and it's sure to be a good month!