Philly is where we have made our family, where my kids will consider “home”. There is a part of me, however, that will always feel like I am not truly going home until I cross River Road on Gaskins (going over the bump that thrills my children to no end) and turn down Old Country Trace. Richmond, though I couldn’t wait to leave, is where I spent my most formative years, and it was a treat to revisit some of the places that were so beloved to my childhood on this recent visit.
I took the kids to Richmond on a sunny Thursday: a whole week of playing with Nini and Pawapaw lay ahead of us and we dove right in. Elijah got his customary haircut with Don, who is literally the only person who cut my hair until I was like 20 years old. We went mini-golfing on Patterson Avenue where I fondly recalled numerous outings with my family (and also a few dates!), but it was kind of a sad trip because it was a million degrees out and Remy fell after the first hole. Elijah tore through the course with my Mom while I carried a very sad Roo around.
I vaguely remember the Science Museum-I think I more remember getting some of that disgustingly delicious space ice cream from the gift shop. The kids loved it, although there were several exhibits that they would likely enjoy more when they were a bit older.
I really liked how interactive the museum was-Remy liked pressing all the buttons and trying out some of the “experiments” even if she didn’t know what she was doing. Remy and I also liked the “smelling room” in the body area, where real scents come out and you try and guess what they are.
Elijah’s favorite area included huge building blocks. I think he would have stayed there all day-he was so very proud of his creation.
Their newest exhibit, Boost!, was pretty high tech, and very fun. It includes ways to enhance your mental, physical, musical, etc skills. While we were there, someone demonstrated how to make watermelon lemonade in their kitchen, Remy and I did yoga, and both kids created some pretty sweet beats.
All of us trekked down to Carytown for the Watermelon Festival, which was less of a family tradition, and more something I remembered doing when I was a teenager with friends. I also remembered it always being beastly hot outside and slurping watermelon gazpacho in an effort not to pass out. It was pleasantly overcast this year, so we were able to stroll for several blocks (popsicles in hand).
I was underwhelmed with their kids area…
but this magician more than made up for it.
Elijah asked for days, “But how did he do that??”
One of the highlights of our trip to RVA was going to Maymont, which I am going to write a separate post about. But there was this:
We went to Avalon a few times, where I loved to swim as a kid (though Raintree will always hold the heart of my swimming memories). Elijah jumped into the pool about a million times, and Remy mostly hung out on the stairs with my Mom as she was concerned about getting her booboo wet.
Remy and I went on a playdate with some of my dear friends from childhood and their kids, while Elijah got special Nini time. Catching up with my old buds (and “lunching”, which I rarely do in Philly) are some of my favorite traditions in Richmond.
We also did our favorite things at NiniPawpaw’s house: playing with the train set, play-doh, bubble blowing, and relaxing.
Coming back to Richmond is always a delight-one of my favorite places to recall my own childhood memories while creating new ones for my kids.