Fall in Virginia: A Photo Look Book

I know, I know. It’s December. But as fall has officially wrapped up and as we are moving into winter and all the joys of the season, I wanted to share some miscellaneous pictures I took! No story to be honest, just pictures of fall from around Virginia.IMG_7363

 

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The Deal with Pumpkin Patches

Hello.

I, like many, many other individuals out there, adore the seasonal pilgrimage to local farms and country lanes on the pursuit of locally grown produce.

I guarantee that through the entire month of October you were all informed on all platforms of social media that your friends, family, and that one weird girl from high school you still follow cause it makes you feel better about your life, have made the trip to a pumpkin patch. These photos and status updates will include, to some degree, a photo of themselves in a reasonably fall outfit (while it is still 78 degrees), a slightly disgruntled and bored looking partner, and one or two images of the produce. See below for examples.

 

Now. You, like many before you, may be wondering what exactly the, “big deal” is with these goddamn squashes. It’s not like anybody on earth wants pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread in July. It’s literally just the months of September-November. So. What’s the deal with these gourds.

I have a two fold theory.

  1. I blame LLBean. It all begins with marketing. Imagine- you’re back in elementary school. It’s the end of August. School is going to start soon. What’s this in the mail? A catalog for LLBean? Sashaying their wares in front of your eyes? What’s this? A well priced and long lasting back pack and lunchbox? Warm winter jackets? But most importantly, images of happy families doing outdoors activities including hiking, pumpkin carving, bonfires and overall smiling? Oh, that makes sense. School = LLBean = new backpacks = fall = leaves = pumpkins = family activities and overall sense of seasonal contentment. Remember, you’re still imagining you’re a kid at this point so stay with me. So you get this new backpack and maybe you’ve got a new fall jacket for school. You look just like the kid in the catalog! That’s so wild! Your mom is starting to pull out the fall decorations, and your house is filled with the smells of various baked goods, and the banister on the stairs is covered in this multi-colored leaf garland. Dad starts spending more time outside in his beanie doing lawn things you don’t particularly care about. Things are going swell, you’ve got that freshly-cleaned school and new pencil smell in your nostrils and you’re off to do that learnin’. (Stay in school, kids.) Awesome. Next thing you know you’re off to the scholastic book fair, and what’s this? A fall festival? Best thing ever! You get to bring home a volunteer slip to mom, who whips up some rice crispy treats and some leaf garland to bring to the festival. You skip into class and show your teacher, who smiles and tells you to tell your mom, “Thank you.” Karen’s mom brought plastic forks. Nobody likes Karen’s mom. Right, so you skip off to the fall festival. It’s everything you could hope it could be. There’s candy and games, and there is even a pumpkin carving contest! You won!  Golly! You grow up a little bit, and the fall festivals morph into more Halloween-centric activities. You hang out with both your family and friends, but in separate doses. Your mom still likes doing more crafty-baking things, and frankly you like eating so you’re on board. Your friends and you like to do things solo, but you’re like 12 so your parents are skeptical but allow you to run free at the local orchard and pumpkin patch to go do whatever it is that you do. As you get older things change but also fundamentally remain the same in regards to this transitional season. The trip to the pumpkin patch becomes less of a family outing so you can win the pumpkin carving contest again, and more of a trip that you and your friends pretend is for the nostalgia. Ie, you’re in college and, “Omg, remember when we went to the pumpkin patch as kids? Like, we should go again just because. Lol.” And you go. You and your friends go to the pumpkin patch and pretend you’re in the 5th grade again, and you pick out the ugliest gourds you can find and go home and carve them on the back porch with cider and boxed wine somebody had in the back of their pantry. This continues every year. Then, next thing you know, you’re in your twenties. You haven’t done a lot in terms of decorating this year- work has been wild and you literally don’t remember what you’ve done for the past two months. You pull on a jacket, go out to get the mail, and what’s this? No, literally what’s this you never signed up for catalogs. After the initial shock of getting junk mail, you look again.
    It’s an LLBean catalog.
    You flip it open.
  2. The novelization of pumpkins keeps their industry alive. Nobody wants a winter squash in July. It’s gotta be a government conspiracy to make sure that the farmers get subsidized.

Solo Adventure: Williamsburg

Hey y’all!

Wouldn’t you know it, I went on another solo adventure. This time, I went to Williamsburg! I’ve been plenty of times, but I’ve never been a solo adventure there before so here we go!

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I went to Colonial Williamsburg which is one of my favorite places. You have the option of just wandering around taking it all in and doing some shopping, or you can pay for various tours which are fantastic. I personally opted for the, “taking it all in and doing some shopping” route. There are tons of ways to walk in. In all honesty, just find a parking spot and go for it. I wandered in around halfway down the main strip, and stopped at a little farmhouse with a full garden. There were these huge sunflowers and an adorable farm stand with books, candles and knick-knacks for sale.

 

If you looked through the flowers you could see part of one of the buildings in the downtown area.

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After hitting that up I found myself wandering up and down the lane just really enjoying the overall atmosphere. Colonial Williamsburg kinda has this air which is a nice mix of local, student, and tourist. Like, there’s a nice mishmash of individuals which just really creates a refreshing and freeing environment that blends history and modernity. Which sounds like a tourism pitch, but it’s really accurate. It’s like the city itself is a sort of live in adventure park for history dweebs. (Guilty as charged.)

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As a heads up, though, keep an eye out for the horses.

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Tons of the shops are set up in houses and town house looking structures like they would have back in the day-day. What’s great is that each shop has it’s own wares, so you won’t find the same kind of souvenirs in each of the shops. Like, okay. You’ll find the same root beer and pins, but there’s enough variety to keep you on your toes and interested. I’ve frankly been to Colonial Williamsburg more times than I can count but it’s still fun to look through the shops and see what’s new.

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It’s also fun just to wander up and down the lanes looking at the houses. Be careful, though. Some of the houses belong to actual families and not the city.

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Ok, so when you’re done with the strictly historic, the lane sort of naturally veers towards more modern shops. I of course wandered through those and eventually hit up the outlets (terrible idea for my bank account). I didn’t take a ton of pictures of that, but I did of one of my all time favorite candy shops. Ignore the terrible shot and focus on the name cause you’re gonna wanna go when you visit.

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Look at this super pale individual. I live in Virginia. You’d think I’d have a tan or something.

Alright! That’s it for a super quick post about a super quick trip to Williamsburg. I’m planning on going later in October, so until then Williamsburg, I’ll see you later!

Solo Adventure! Charlottesville, Virginia

Hey Y’all!

One of the great things in life is having the freedom to take yourself on personal road trips. When I moved out of my parent’s house I decided that being solo doesn’t mean jack shit in the big scheme of things and that taking personal adventure days is the absolute fucking best.

I went to Charlottesville in the beginning of September for a day. I woke up and decided it sounded like a fine idea and went with the flow and ended up having a grand time.

Charlottesville is located in around the Blue Ridge mountains in Virginia and is gorgeous. Home of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello and UVA the town is flush with tons of young people, nature and history.

Which a whole lot of hooplah in reality and sounds startlingly like a tourist add. (Hit me up agencies I’m available.)

But, fundamentally Charlottesville has a cool, sorta academic vibe which I can get behind. I decided to go to the downtown area called the Mall to explore.

The Love sign is in the middle of the downtown area and is like a huge welcome to everyone who comes to visit. Families and couples were taking pictures in front of the sign so I, of course, did so too! Like why not? The Love sign is everywhere in VA and is a great tourism attraction and is a great way to unify the state.

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The Love sign is everywhere in VA.  

There recently has been a lot about Charlottesville in the news, but as I wandered into a shop, I think that the MLK quote really encompassed how the city was dealing with the protest. The protest may have been over, but I think that the town really banded together and was putting forward its best intentions for a loving, peaceful community. I was just a visitor, so I really can’t speak more than what I observed.

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Considering all that’s going on in the world, I think this quote was really appropriate.

I wish I took more pictures encompassing how lively the downtown area was, but I was too preoccupied living in the moment, and wasn’t paying too much attention to trying to take pictures. But, I of course took a few and am throwing them in for you guys. 😀

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Some of the shops had flowers and plants in the windowsill and we all know I’m a sucker for taking pictures of plants haha

Wandering up and down the Mall can take awhile and there is a ton to see. The main center is filled with tables for the nearby restaurants and the entire area is sectioned off as a pedestrian space only.

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I love giraffes! There were tons of cool pieces scattered around but this was my favorite.

Outside of the downtown area things sort of quieted down. There weren’t as many shops or people, which meant to me that there were more secluded things to find. At this point in the journey I was more into the main square and its shops and people so I just sort of wandered back to that after taking a picture of the railroad.

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This was taken a little off from the main downtown area

 

The one thing I thought was fascinating about the city was that there wasn’t a huge tourism-logo-slogan grab. Like, Richmond has the RVA logo, DC is just DC, it seems like everywhere has a, “Thing.” Charlottesville really doesn’t. I asked a lady at a shop and she said that the closest thing that Charlottesville had in terms of the whole tourism thing was a heart with, “Charlottesville” in the center. Good thing I was on the case and picked one up at the train station! Gotta keep up my souvenir addiction.

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I try to collect something from everywhere I’ve been whether that be a map, a bumper sticker, or a pin. It’s just a thing I picked up from when I was little. Thanks, mom and dad!

My dudes, I really liked visiting Charlottesville. There are apparently a ton of wineries around the area and a lot of hiking to do, so I will definitely be returning! Till next time!