This is the second part of my blog post about my time in America this May. Check out my previous post to hear about the wedding I went to and my first week there!
Des Moines > Richmond
After leaving Des Moines I flew to Chicago where I changed to fly to Richmond. We were delayed on both flights and it was with Delta (not a great first experience!) They have sent me a $150 voucher if I choose to use them again though! I was so glad to get to Richmond and it was close to midnight before we got back to Adam and Michael’s house.
My friends Adam and Michael have recently moved to a new home and it was lovely to see. I had a week in Virginia before heading to Washington D.C. to fly back to the UK late-May.
Monday 21st May – Charlottesville
When I was in Virginia we did a lot! I had to actually use the images I’ve taken with geolocation information and dates to remember it all! On the Monday we headed to Charlottesville and had lunch in The Ordinary at Michie Tavern. They had a buffet style lunch menu with lots of delicious veg, fried chicken, BBQ and fresh biscuits. It was all served on tin plates and we had tin cups as well for our drinks. It was a lovely location and very scenic.
After lunch we looked around the shop there and then headed to Carter Mountain Orchard. They had fresh fruit/veg you could pick yourself as well as a market at the top with freshly baked goods and other local Virginia produce. We picked up an apple pie to take back with us!
For the evening we headed to Short Pump Town Centre and browsed around some of the shops before having food there. I love this shopping area – it’s something we don’t see often in the UK due to the weather we have not being suitable most of the year. So our ‘malls’ tend to be indoor/undercover centres mainly.
We headed back to the house and had our apple pie for dessert and we watched some TV / YouTube before heading to sleep.
(Selfie @ Short Pump Town Centre)
Tuesday 22nd May – Downtown Richmond
We headed to downtown Richmond today and saw the university. Had lunch at Millie’s Diner before having a walk around the area.
This was a lemon shortcake dessert with fresh whipped cream and raspberries. I was too full from lunch so I shared this with Michael. I’m more of a starter-main person than main-dessert when I go out.
We went to look at some of the residential areas along the waterfront. This building above is actually made up of apartments and they kept the chimney from when it was an industrial site. I like this repurposing of buildings as it has so much character.
Along the waterfront there were some geese and goslings. I kept my distance as they can be quite snappy animals! This photo was taken on my iPhone X with the 2x optical zoom lens.
As much as I dislike the tobacco industry I had to take this shot of the factory downtown. It looked better in black and white as well so I did a bit of photo editing on this one. I believe that is a water tower to the left. I always associate water towers with America because I rarely see them elsewhere on my travels.
Wednesday 23rd May – Williamsburg, Hampton & Yorktown
We visited colonial Williamsburg on Wednesday and saw the old buildings and homes. There were some nice shops there as well which we had a look around.
The buildings were all so unique and they had horse and cart rides down the main road. There were a lot more shops/stalls, attractions and museums etc. but it was such a hot day we decided to just have a leisurely stroll around.
There were people dressed up in traditional clothing who took part in reenactments, gave museum tours and ran shops/stalls. It reminded me a bit of St Fagans in Wales.
(Selfie @ Colonial Williamsburg)
We headed to the cinema shortly after that and saw Deadpool 2. It was a really good movie and I enjoyed it as much as the first one. We watched it in a Dolby Atmos certified screen and the audio was something else! It felt like we were in the movie from the movement in the seats from the sub woofers. The seats were also really comfortable. They were leather electric reclining ones and it was the comfiest cinema experience I’ve ever had! It was literally like sitting a the living room to watch the film.
(A Sailboat in the Water @ Yorktown)
We had a lovely meal that evening in Yorktown before having a walk across the waterfront.
Thursday 24th May – Fredericksburg
We went to Fredericksburg today and the image below shows Carl’s ice cream and shakes place that we went to. I didn’t actually have anything though as I think I had overindulged since being in the States so needed a sugar break.
We visited a Tiny Home construction company when we were in the area and saw three of their projects outside. To be honest the company were not very accommodating or friendly at all and from what I could tell they were only interested in sales. I prefer it when off-grid and likeminded tiny home / van life people can have a chat and interact with one another instead of it being too business-orientated as it felt like here. We had a nosey nonetheless and it was good to see a few models.
The middle image above was my favourite of the three externally but I didn’t like the all-wood interior. I prefer more modern looking tiny homes.
This was a selfie I took outside Walmart to prove that Adam had been there (he prefers Target). I just couldn’t justify paying more money exact same grocery products so insisted on Wally World! It’s also great for people watching.
This is the library in the neighbourhood where Adam and Michael live. They have a lot of construction work going on in the area and they are only 15-20% done with the whole complex/development so I’ll have to return when it is finished.
I took this shot using the long exposure setting on my iPhone X. I love how it looks when photographing moving water.
We finished the night with a Shawn Mendes: The Album listening party with beer and pizza. I had been eagerly awaiting the release of Shawn’s new album so had to stay up late until it was released. I wrote a blog post on this if you wanted to check out the ‘reviews’ category.
Friday 25th May – James River Park
We headed to the James River today and by gosh was the water rough! The water level was extremely high and it was very fast flowing. We parked up and walked across the footbridge to the island and had a walk around there.
I took some long exposure shots of the water with the iPhone X (just had to make sure that the foreground was still and I didn’t move the camera whilst taking photos). They turned out really well and it made the water look majestic (and a lot calmer this way than the image above).
There were some people around the area who used the rock faces below to plan routes and climb throughout the day.
I’m not sure what this used to be but there were ruins on the island of old derelict buildings. We had a great day and I was happy with the photos I captured, especially the long exposure ones.
Saturday 26th May – Maymont Park
Today was my last full day before heading to Washington D.C. for my flight on Sunday, we went to Maymont Park and it was really beautiful (as you’ll see in the images below).
The waterfall and Japanese Gardens looked like something from a Disney movie. They were really scenic and relaxing.
Such a beautiful park and we only visited a fraction of what was on offer there. I’d definitely recommend going if you were in the area.
Sunday 27th May – Washington D.C.
On Sunday we had a lazy morning and I packed my bags before heading up to Washington D.C. for the airport. We stopped off for lunch and we also went to a mall and had a browse and look around. IKEA was another stop we made and I was fascinated at how in the U.S. they walk around the store the opposite way to us in the U.K.
I had to head to the airport late afternoon / early evening to check in for my flight and head through security. I had a few hours before my flight so ended up getting a drink and relaxing in the departures lounge. It was a really long terminal and I walked up and down the entire thing a couple of times!
(Saying goodbye to Adam and Michael @ IAD)
Bag-drop before heading through security at the airport.
Monday 28th May – London to Kilgetty
Today was a long one… I had an overnight flight from Washington D.C. to Iceland then changed onto another early morning flight to London Heathrow. When I got back I headed straight to the Heathrow Express and made my way back to Paddington. Unfortunately I was met by more bank holiday chaos with amended train times but thankfully made it there in time.
My trip to the U.S. was an absolute delight. I have been to the U.S. ten times now in total between vacations and working at summer camp. This is definitely one that’s in my top three and I can’t wait to return next year!
Have you got any travel plans this year or been anywhere so far? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading as always and have a great day! ✈️