Summer has been crazy and hectic working multiple jobs trying to earn as much money as possible before returning back to school this fall. To be honest with you, up until this morning my car’s sandy interior was laden with green tea bottles, empty coffee cups, KIND bar wrappers, and beach towels from running from one place to the next in a constant hurry. Although at 7 AM this morning– that all changed. I vacuumed my car. Emptied all the trash. Filled up my gas tank. Pumped up my tires. And called into work today (don’t tell my boss) in order to go to my guilty pleasure local city…
And my, oh, my was this trip long overdue. I will always consider myself a beach chick, but I do love the artistic allure of a hip city. With that being said, I rounded up two of my close friends, Sean and Morgan, last minute to join me on a quick road trip.
Tips to any good road trip:
- Good music selection in the car
- Great company
- Coffee, lots of coffee
In the two weeks leading up to this trip my coworkers have been helping me compile a list of things to do in Richmond and, needless to say, we accomplished a great deal of them. Again, I am biased. I LOVE Richmond as a quick little artsy getaway. The place is crawling with hipsters– yes, I’m talking about the ones with handle bar mustaches, tattoos, and snazzy clothes. But, it is also extremely diverse; all walks of life live here, so I really enjoy all the different vibes that everyone brings to the table.
Tips for once you arrive to the destination:
- Have a general idea of where you would like to go
- Park in a spot where you won’t get ticketed
- Get fuckin lost in the city– just pop into random stores, talk to strangers, chart your own territory. It’s cool to have a list of things to do, but don’t forget to just explore on your own. I just happened across the stuff on my lists without really looking for them.
We started off on a street none of us were too familiar with and ended up popping into random art galleries, local shops, record stores, music stores, and second hand shops. If it looked remotely interesting, we stopped in. I realized I was beaming after just an hour and a half going in and out of shops up and down this street. I needed the artsy local feel. I needed to feel this creative energy. It was refreshing.
Before we knew it, it was lunchtime. We were quite hungry, so we decided to stop at a place called Alamo BBQ. It’s a little dive on the top of this hill where if you walk about three minutes from the picnic tables you eat at, you can see all of Richmond (on top of Church Hill). Let me just say this… Alamo is fuckin amazing. Pardon my language, but my goodness this place was so good. It was recommended to us by a few of our coworkers and the food is relatively cheap, but packed with flavor. We all agreed that it was a great choice that we went there after all.
We then went back to driving around until we saw another place that looked interesting. We suddenly found ourselves exploring the older part of Richmond with cobblestone streets. We even meandered through an eerily silent train station.
Next we went to Hollywood Cemetery. I’m not super into the superstitious stuff, but with dark grey sky threatening us with rain and the sound of cawing crows, it set an ominous tone stereotypically fitting for a graveyard. Honestly, exploring a graveyard is a bit out of my comfort zone just because I never have really done it, but it was actually really interesting to see some of the intricate gravestones dating back to the 1800’s. It made me contemplate graveyard etiquette. This place was so cool, and I wanted to whip out my good ol’ camera and take pictures, but I didn’t know whether it would be disrespectful. Instead I opted to delete the pictures I took and put the camera back into my backpack. It only felt right.
We ended the day similar to the way we started it. Coffee. Some say don’t drink coffee after a certain hour, but I was certainly thankful for the amount of coffee I drank later when I drove us through a massive storm on the way home. We stopped at the most hipster coffee place ever called Lamplight Roasting Company. Man does this place know how to make some damn good coffee. I raved about this coffee for longer than I probably should have, and honestly longer than anyone would have ever really wanted to listen about coffee. I’ll spare the details and just say again– this place knows how to make some damn good coffee.
Afterward we went to a few more second hand vintage stores where I got high off the scent of Tobacco Black Pepper candles while contemplating whether or not I should spend nine dollars on these fancy toothpicks nestled in a test tube. After Sean and Morgan purchased some artsy mugs, we hit the road again to go back to our home.
How to know you had a successful road trip:
- You needed that coffee at the end of the day to stay awake, while driving home
- There were several minutes of silent contemplation
- You can’t wait to go back