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!

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Let’s talk about baked dirt

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When I was in college (about a year ago) I liked to experiment with different art classes. I actually got my degree in Historic Preservation (a story for a different time!) but I have always liked making things. I’d never taken a ceramics course before, and boy let me tell you I am glad I did! I loved it. It was a beginners course, and the professor didn’t even teach us how to use the wheel until the last month of the semester. I’ll be honest, I was terrible! The last assignment for the final was to come up with a perfect cylinder to show that we had mastered the basics of wheel throwing. This video isn’t mine, but it still has some good tips and the basics of the thing. Take a look!

Special shoutout to Lark Crafts on youtube. Here is the link to the channel.

The big thing is to create a grounded mound in the exact center of the wheel, and using your fingers to bring the clay up while keeping your thumbs in the center of the mound. Hypothetically, this will give you a cylinder that you can then bring out to make bowls, plates, cups, whatever!

I never go that far.

ha.

I REALLY like what I made- I love the shape! I made so many of them! They are all dishwasher safe and right now they are sitting in my closet… *sigh* But don’t get me wrong- I am totes aware that I am far from being a ceramic artist! I just thought I’d show what I could make. During the final critique my professor said that they were, “representative of the process.” I think I understand the art speak for that. But I also know that they looked cool so I was fine walking out with my B grade. (I think? I actually don’t remember.) All I know is that on my sketchbook my professor wrote, “Hope to see you in Ceramics 2!”

Alas. Twas not to be. I had to finish my actual degree and didn’t feel like taking the course. Kinda wish I did, to be honest. Guess that just means I’ll have to find a ceramics studio close to home and get my fix!! I’ll upload more pictures of my ceramics when I get a chance! TBH there are so many of them it’s going to take awhile.

If anyone has any tips, hit me up. Like seriously.