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.

IMG_7087
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.

IMG_7062
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. 😀

IMG_7090
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.

IMG_7042
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.

IMG_7067
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.

IMG_7085
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!

Advertisements

Murals

So, I’ve moved to Richmond. And in this new adventure I have discovered that people go nuts for murals and street art. Is there really a difference? Apparently because these murals are next level, guys. Next level. When I get things organized I’ll start to actually note where these were taken, but for the time being it is enough said that they are all from the city of Richmond, and that they are all pretty dang cool.

IMG_5858
Intergalactic Space Girl brought to you from a side of a deli in the Fan. 
IMG_5809
Halycon Girl: brought to you by the side of a quaint vintage clothing shop in the Fan.
IMG_5870
Chick With a Bird: brought to you by the side of a restaurant in the Fan.
IMG_5797
Weird Bird Thing: brought to you by the side of a residential house in the Fan.
IMG_5743
Coolest Bird Ever: brought to you by the side of a building of a parking lot Downtown.

Apple Orchards

img_2376img_2377img_2378img_2387img_2391img_2392img_2400img_2408img_2413

 

It’s almost that time of year again for apple picking! I took these photos when I was out in the Shenandoah Valley at an Orchard called Hartland Orchard. I’ve gone there a couple of times and I’ve never been disappointed. It’s not QUITE apple season here, but I’m excited to take a day trip out here again to pick some produce!

The Shenandoah Valley is gorgeous in the fall. Most of the time I drag my friend up here with me, and she is stuck keeping me company as I take a bunch of pictures. She’s a good sport about it though and teases me about it all the time. Since I like to do landscapes and florals she sometimes points at weeds and is like, “hey Meg. You gonna need a pic of this?”

Which I inevitably do.

Bonsai!!

 

Let’s talk about BONSAI TREES, PEOPLE. Look at these suckers!!! They’re old as all get out but they’re so petite and stoic. How do those things interact, you ask? Good question! Take a look at me. I’m 5’2″ but I am known to stand on cliffs and stare into the sunset. So stoic. So dramatic.

But anyway. I looked at these dudes and was like, “y’all are too cool for school, trees. I like that.” So I took their picture, and decided to do some basic research on how to take care of and grow these peeps. Take this with a grain of salt, mind you. I haven’t ACTUALLY successfully grown or taken care of a bonsai tree before. But, I’d like to. The sources I found weren’t too bad either so I figure they know what they’re talking about.

LET US BEGIN WITH THE PLANT KNOWLEDGE.

  1. There are different bonsai types: know which one you want!
  2. Placement in your house matters. Think kitchens and bathrooms with plenty of light.
  3. Water that sucker.
  4. Prune and maintain the form of that sucker.

When you are buying your bonsai, take a minute to think about it. Basically, we all know as first time bonsai people, we aren’t going to spend a bunch of time going and growing our own trees. Maybe someday, but that day isn’t today. There are a bunch of species to look into, and it’s important to know what you’re buying so you can research how to take care of it properly. See, that makes a whole lot of sense, yet I never would have considered that a different type of tree required different types of care. Also, there are indoor and outdoor varieties of bonsai trees, so make sure you know where you are going to keep the lil guy.

Here is a site for a to-the-point approach to bonsais. According to this site, when you purchase your indoor bonsai, location in your house is important. You should look for places that are slightly humid, so kitchens and bathrooms are optimal. Frankly, having a plant in the bathroom isn’t a bad idea. It seems kind of nice to get out of the shower and have greenery by the windowsill– The kitchen seems like a classic placement.

From what I can tell, the first rule to taking care of a bonsai is to water the ever loving crap out of it. According to this incredibly helpful site , you should NEVER EVER NEVER let your bonsai go dry. If the soil even appears to be slightly dry, you water it. If your plant is in full sun, you might have to water it more than once a day. P.S. this site is amazing. It’s super in depth, and I think you all should look at it.

In terms of pruning and cutting, from all the sources I’ve read they mention that you shouldn’t be too shy. The main rule is this; if it looks like a pine tree or has needles, use your fingers to pluck the needles out. If it has leaves, use scissors. Again, this seems obvious in retrospect but I never would have thought about it!

I’ll keep researching this nonsense. I like the idea of having an apartment full of plants, and it’d be nice to keep them all fresh and healthy!