Living in hotels, on the road in strange cities, I try to get out of the business traveler mode of work, happy hour and too big and rich dinners (with the occasional visit to the hotel gym thrown in).  I’ve been in Richmond, Virginia, since Sunday, so tonight it was time I made like a local and have a sort of normal night.  I’ve got a way cool Fiat for my rental car (!!), so being mobile it was only up to me to figure out what to do.

What would I be doing at home after work?  Well, just regular things;  run a few errands, pick something up for dinner, walk my pooch or go for a run, maybe catch up on one of my favourite shows.  Usually I try to find a Whole Foods market whereever I am, but I had already googled that and discovered there were none in downtown Richmond.  Then I remembered a market I had seen on my last trip here and set out to find it.  Ellwood Thompson’s is a funky market in Carytown that’s been working the Whole Foods model for 23 years.   Picked up a fabulous Chesapeake Blue ash washed goat cheese, roasted brussel sprouts and cold fried chicken.  Mmmm.  And then I spotted . . .wait . . what’s that . . .a craft beer tasting . . .in a grocery store!! Oh my, never in Canada.  Had the chance to try the Hardywood Belgium blonde, among others.  Delish.  How civilized,  a couple of those came home with me too.

After toiling in a wood manufacturing mill all day (how I earn the bread and butter), I needed some fresh air, so decided to try out the Canal Walk along the James River I had been hearing about.  Fantastic!  One block from my hotel is not only a fabulous urban oasis along the river, but also the site, and memorial, for one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War.  When I headed out in the the 90 degree heat and face washing humidity I was only hoping to get in a run.  Instead I got to spend an hour or so walking through four centuries of history.

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The fall of Richmond was a turning point in the Civil War.  When the city fell it represented many different things to the citizens.  But only one thing to the newly freed slaves and their champion, Abraham Lincoln.

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It was a wonderful evening walking through history, taking some great pictures.  I can’t wait to explore some of the other Civil War memorials and battlefield sites.

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After that bit of history geekiness, I came back to enjoy my feast at the hotel and ended up watching an NPR documentary about the Lewis and Clark expedition (which set out from Virginia) – history nerd reputation fully revived.  I’ll have to work extra hard at my party girl rep this weekend!!

Had Drew Holcomb in heavy rotation – getting ready for the weekend in Kentucky – “I Like To Be Me When I’m With You”.

http://youtu.be/gZ2mFxc-Fl4

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