Our Trip To Richmond Part 6

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On Monday, we met up with Becca again at her house, and went to Boychik’s Deli for breakfast again. Ken met us there. We decided that we would go back over to the shopping center where we had eaten dinner the night before and go to the New Balance Shoe Store. Fabgrandpa really needed a good pair of shoes. It didn’t take long for us to get waited on. The saleswoman measured his feet, and brought out the shoes we picked right away. It was probably only twenty minutes from walk in to walk out. He wore his new shoes out of the store. 

Fabgrandpa, Becca, and Ken sitting outside of AC Moore

Fabgrandpa, Becca, and Ken sitting outside of AC Moore

From there we went shopping at another craft store. A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts has some really inexpensive goodies for crafters. I bought some beads for making a couple of necklaces, some glitter heat transfer vinyl for my Cricut, and various other crafty things. I also got a great deal on blank T shirts as they were only 4/$10, or $2.50 each. The best price I have found in stores near me is $3.50. When I came out of the store, I found my three companions sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and nice weather. Can you tell they are amused at me for taking their picture?

Beautiful blooms on the cherry trees.

Beautiful blooms on the cherry trees.

They were sitting under this cherry tree which was in full bloom. It was gorgeous, and I was taking so many pictures of it, and that is probably why they were trying not to laugh at me. 

Another view of the cherry blossoms

Another view of the cherry blossoms

Ken had to get back to work so we drove him back over there. Then Fabgrandpa, Becca, and I went back to her house one last time. We hugged and hugged some more, and said our goodbyes. She took Fabgrandpa’s old shoes, and my Penzey Spices so she could ship them to us. I did not want to take them with us because I was afraid that TSA would confiscate them at airport security. 

Becca's cute doggies, Lexie and Konza

Becca’s cute doggies, Lexie and Konza

We were really early getting to the airport, but we wanted to miss the afternoon traffic on I-95. We arrived with plenty of time to spare, and turned in our rental car. The Enterprise employee called for the airport wheelchair assistance for us, and pretty soon the attendant showed up with two wheelchairs. He was a pretty big guy and was able to push both of us along with our luggage. Again, he was very very pleasant, talking with us along the way, and asking us if we needed to stop for a restroom break or for food. I can not tell you how impressed I was with the service from the employees of the contractor who supplied the wheelchair service. 

Aveda Moisturizer

Aveda Moisturizer

We got to the security check point, and all was going good until my things went through the scanner. I had packed a bottle of Aveda Moisturizer that I bought in Carytown and paid $41 for. It was 3.5 ounces, 1.5 ounces more than is allowed by law. I was about to cry, because Aveda has the best moisturizer ever, and because it was $41. I was begging and told that TSA person that I am old, I NEED my moisturizer, and for goodness sake, I’m on Social Security and I spent $41 for that tiny bottle of moisturizer. At that point, just before I burst into tears, the agent put my bottle of moisturizer back in my toiletry bag and waved me through. I know it was not supposed to happen that way, but what would you do if it was you? I probably should have left it with Becca to be shipped to me with all the other things. 

Fabgrandpa taking the wheelchair ride at the airport

Fabgrandpa taking the wheelchair ride at the airport

After all that, we got to our departure gate about two and a half hours early. While it was going to be a long wait, we thought it would be a ot better than sitting in traffic on the interstate. We had also decided to get something eat after we got to the gate. But, as soon as we got to the gate, the gate attendant for Delta asked us if we would like to get on the flight that was just getting ready to take off. We said, yes, of course we would! So, they checked our bags, since we were the last ones to board the plane, and we were taken right on the plane, and got the first seats in coach, in row 10. It was nice to get close to the front of the plane, but the seats were really close together, and we are both fat, so we were scrunched in like a couple of sardines! And, because there was no seat in front of us, there was no lap tray. Well, there was one, but it folded out of the arm rest between us, and because we were so packed in there, we couldn’t get it out, LOL! 

Circling the airport in Atlanta on the way home.

Circling the airport in Atlanta on the way home.

The air traffic in the Atlanta sky kept us circling for about a half hour. We finally got on the ground, to the gate and off the plane, where wheelchairs were waiting for us. The attendant, again, was such a cheerful guy, and took us all the way to baggage claim, and then out to the shuttle parking for off site parking garages. It was good to be almost home. While this may not have been the most exciting trip I have ever written about, it was one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved seeing my daughter’s new home, and all the hugs I got from her. I hope to be able to see her again soon. I was also really happy to learn that there is airport wheelchair assistance available. Where are you planning to go on your next trip? I think we are going to Arizona next. 

Our Trip To Richmond Part 5

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Sunday in Richmond was another fun day. We gave Becca and Ken a break from us, and we went to IHOP for breakfast. It was close to the hotel, and easy to find. After breakfast, our friends, Cheryl and Katie, met up with us. We had gotten our signals crossed somehow, and because we were supposed to meet them at Cracker Barrell, we went ahead over and just had coffee and dessert while they ate lunch. It was so fun to see them and talk for a while. We met them when we worked at Granite Hill Camp Resort in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania back in 2007, the last year we worked at a privately owned campground before we went to work for the National Park Service. I was the night shift supervisor, and Cheryl was the day shift supervisor. Our shifts overlapped for several hours each day, and we became friends while working there. Her daughter, Katie, worked at the campground, mostly at the boat rental shack. 

Fabgrandpa and me with Katie

Fabgrandpa and me with Katie

Katie is a sweetheart. She just celebrated her one year anniversary of marriage to her charming husband. She drove her mom up from the Northern Neck of Virginia where they live now to meet us. 

Here we are with Cheryl

Here we are with Cheryl

Meeting up with Cheryl and talking for two hours was like we just saw her last week, even though it has been nine years since we worked together. She was always fun to talk to, and that has not changed one bit. 

Mama duck with some of her brood of babies

Mama duck with some of her brood of babies

When we walked out of Cracker Barrell, we found this Mama and Papa duck with a brood of ducklings. I think they were lost, but there was a lake nearby and that is probably where they were headed. Cheryl, Katie and I decided to go shopping at Michael’s, which was over by the IHOP where we had breakfast. Yes, more things to stuff in my suitcase on the way home. We had to say our goodbyes to Cheryl and Katie much too soon, but they had to get headed towards home. We went back to the hotel and rested a big, and might have napped a bit too. 

When I was refreshed, I called Becca and asked her if she and Ken wanted to go get something to eat. We decided on going to Longhorn Steaks. No good road trip is complete for us without a good, tender, juicy steak. Dinner was as go0d as we expected it to be. While were leaving Longhorn, we saw a New Balance store and decided to come back over there the next day to get Fabgrandpa a pair of shoes. 

Our Trip To Richmond Part 4

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Carytown Square

Carytown Square

Saturday in Richmond started out at Boychik’s Deli again for breakfast.  We decided to head in to Carytown. Carytown is an urban retail district along Cary Street in Richmond. There are more than 230 shops and restaurants, and is home to the Byrd Theatre.  The area was developed in the 1930’s and the first strip mall in the area was opened there in 1938. Carytown is a popular destination for locals and tourists. We found a some shops we loved, but there was entirely too much walking for me. Fabgrandpa was getting winded, too. 

Penzey Spices

Penzey Spices

The first shop I went in was Penzey Spices. I love to try new rubs and herb seasoning combinations, so this place was a treasure chest! I spent way too much money in there. I got some Vietnamese Cinnamon, some vanilla, some Tuscan Sunset, some Sunny Paris, some white peppercorns, and I can’t remember what all else.

This is a cook's treasure chest!

This is a cook’s treasure chest!

I didn’t bring them home with me because I did not have any room for them in my suitcase, and I was afraid that the security people would take them away from me at the airport. So, Becca is shipping them to me. I can hardly wait for them to get here! I’ll be grilling every day. 

AlterNatives

AlterNatives

My favorite shop of all was the AlterNatives Free Trade Shop. They sell crafts and products made by indigenous women from Central and South America. I bought a pretty blue necklace that goes with the outfit I was wearing that day that was made out of nuts. I am amazed at the quality and craftsmanship of the piece. There were also home decor items, clothing, shoes, mirrors, and more. Fabgrandpa bought a Jaquar vase that was handmade in Nicaragua. 

Clothing made by indigenous women in South America

Clothing made by indigenous women in South America

If you find yourself in Carytown, you have to go in there. I love that they support women’s businesses and empower them to be able to support themselves and their families. They have a shop online, but it doesn’t have nearly as much merchandise as there is available at the physical location on Cary Street. Here are some pictures I took of things I really liked:

Metal Wall Sculpture

Metal Wall Sculpture

 I want this metal wall scupture for my living room. It is so beautiful, hand crafted, and unusual. 

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Carved wooden serving pieces; onyx elephants; and a metal rooster. 

These items are typical of what is available in the store. There are so many unique hand carved or hand crafted items from which to choose. 

Tree wall sculpture

Tree wall sculpture

I love tree art, so this metal tree wall sculpture appealed to me. 

Woven shoes

Woven shoes

These woven shoes are so cute. Becca tried a pair on. I didn’t because I did not have an inch of space in my suitcase to be able to take them home, but I can tell you that if I could have gotten them on the plane, I would have a pair. Please go look at the website. These women are just to talented. 

After leaving Carytown, we went to downtown Richmond to The Hard Shell Restaurant for dinner. I was wanting to get steamed blue crabs while I was in Richmond, but we could not find a place that served them at a restaurant. The only places we found were like seafood shops where you could buy them by the bushel basket or by the dozen. Since we did not want to stink up Becca’s house with crabs, we chose the next best thing and went to a restaurant that had crab legs on the menu. I forgot to take pictures because I was busy talking and enjoying the company of Becca and Ken. I have never been to a restaurant where they had a combination plate of ribs and crab leg, but since I love both of those things, that is what I ordered. I wasn’t disappointed.  That is probably why I didn’t take pictures, too, because my hands were full of crab legs and barbecue! It was a very satisfying meal. My entree came with asparagus and a potato croquette. We finished off dinner with key lime pie. 

That was a great ending to a busy day. We all enjoyed the shopping and the eating, but Fabgrandpa and I were ready to drop Ken and Becca off at their house and get back to our comfy bed at the hotel. 

 

Our Trip To Richmond Part 3

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We got a  good nights sleep, but were not quite ready to take on Richmond just yet. We met up with Becca at her house, and then we all went to Boychik’s Deli for breakfast. Ken, Becca’s fiancé met us there.

Boychik's Deli

Boychik’s Deli

We were a bit too late for breakfast, but the waitress told us we could order anything on the breakfast menu that did not have “gravy or syrup involved.” Boychik’s  Deli is a Jewish deli located in Glen Allen, VA. It is right next door to Ken’s office, so he and Becca have eaten there many times.

Boychik's Inside

Boychik’s Inside

The deli has been in business since 1990. They serve a variety of breakfast and lunch choices and also do catering. I was impressed with their full service deli featuring Boar’s Head products.

Catering by Boychik's

Catering by Boychik’s

If I lived in Richmond I would be going there often. You can see their menu here. If you go on a road trip to Richmond, it is on my “must eat” places. 

After breakfast, we went back over to Becca’s place to see her house and meet her fur babies, Konza and Lexi. We were greeted at the door by them, and sufficiently sniffed out from front to back by both of them, LOL. They are cute, well behaved dogs that were rescued while Becca and Ken lived in Canada. 

Lexi is the blonde, and Konza the brunette.

Lexi is the blonde, and Konza the brunette.

It was so good to see my Becca! She looks so good, and has a job she loves. I think that when a person is happy in their work it makes a big difference in their whole life. She is working as a children’s librarian and gets paid to read to children, create bulletin and flannel boards, and plan book related events at the library. 

Becca with her Dad, Fabgrandpa

Becca with her Dad, Fabgrandpa

We rested a bit and decided to cook out on the grill later that evening , then Fabgrandpa and I went back to our hotel and took a nap. 

me and Becca at her house.

me and Becca at her house.

I got a chance to look at all her crafting supplies and fabric, because as you know, I am a fabric collector! She is too, a chip off the old block that girl. She showed me the quilt she made, and some of the items she knitted and crocheted. The painting on the wall in the photo above with Fabgrandpa is her work, too. She is a very talented girlie. 

When Ken came home from work, we cooked steaks on the grill. They were served with roasted root vegetables and a tossed salad. We visited with them some more, then headed back over to the hotel for the night. Tomorrow, we go see Richmond. 

Our Trip To Richmond Part 2

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When we landed in Richmond, imagine our surprise to find wheelchair assistants waiting for us at the door of the plane! We were picked up right there when we got out the door, and wheeled all the way to the Enterprise Car Rental parking garage. The attendant in Richmond asked us if we needed to make a stop at the restroom, and if we needed to get something to eat. I’m telling you, if you are not traveling because you can’t walk through the airport, don’t put it off any longer. Delta has got you covered. Actually, I was told that most major airlines provide the wheelchair service now. 

The Fairfield Inn

The Fairfield Inn

After we picked up our rental car, we depended on my Google Maps app on my iPhone to get us to the hotel. HA! That witch took us around the block several times, got us thoroughly lost in interstate traffic, and made me a nervous wreck before we got to our hotel. It took us from about 6:00 p.m. when we picked up the car, until almost 9:00 p.m. to drive the twenty or so miles. We were both frazzled by the time we got there. I don’t understand how something so simple can get so messed up. 

Handicapped accessible bathroom

Handicapped accessible bathroom

I chose the Fairfield Inn on Mayland Drive because it is only five miles from Becca’s house. She did invite us to stay with her, but we like our privacy at night so we opted for a hotel. We have stayed at Fairfield Inns around the country before, so we knew we could expect it to be nice. We were right, too. The bed in the room was soooo comfortable. We both slept really good in it. I had also asked for a handicap accessible room, and had no problem getting it. The only thing I don’t understand about hotels is why they put the handicapped rooms so far from the elevators. Why is that?

Handicapped accessible bath tub

Handicapped accessible bath tub

There was a small refrigerator and a coffee maker in the room, but the refrigerator did not have a little freezer section in it. I was counting on  that to be there so I could refreeze my ice pack for my diabetes supply bag. However, when we checked out I found out that I could have asked at the front desk and they would have put my ice pack in their freezer in the kitchen. 

By the time we got settled in to our room, we were both exhausted by the trip . Becca called just as I was putting the key card in the door. She couldn’t believe how long it took us to get to our room. We told her we were just too tired to come over that night, and made plans to meet at her house for breakfast the next day. 

Our Trip To Richmond Virginia Part 1

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Fabgrandpa and I decided to take a short trip to Richmond, Virginia, to visit our daughter, Becca. We talked about driving, but we did not want to spend two days driving there and two more days driving back.  Next, I looked into taking Amtrak, but the price was just too high. Then, I found a good price on round trip tickets on Delta, so we took our first trip by plan together since 1992. 

Fabgrandpa at the departure gate

Fabgrandpa at the departure gate

We started off the trip by parking at Wally Park, which is on Herschel Road, just outside of the Atlanta Airport. I found a half price deal for parking there on Groupon, which made parking for five days only $35. We did have a little bit of a problem with that, because neither the groupon page or the company’s website made it clear that if you use Groupon codes for parking, you do NOT have to make a reservation on the company website. Wally Park also had incorrect information on their website, offering a complete carwash/detail service for a fee while you were gone. Because of what I saw on their website, I made the reservation and paid for the car wash service online, for a total of $91.25, which was charged to my credit card. When we arrived at the parking lot for our departure is when I found out the car wash service was no longer offered. Wally Park DID give us a complete refund after we got back home, but I had to call them on the phone, fill out some paperwork that they emailed to me, and wait four or five days for the refund to process. However, since I did get the refund, it only cost me $35 to park for five days, and that was paid for by giving them the Groupon codes I bought. I DO recommend using Wally Park with the Groupon codes, though because it was a good deal. 

Wally Park Atlanta

Wally Park Atlanta

When I flew to New York last summer, I did not know that there was complimentary wheelchair service at the airport. I walked the entire way to the gate and wound up exhausted by the time I boarded the flight. This time, I was standing in line to check in, when a Delta Customer Service person approached me. She asked me if she could help me, and I told her that I needed to check in but that I had some questions. She said she could answer my questions, and I could check in at the self serve kiosk, and not have to stand in line. When I asked if there were wheelchairs available for rent, she said, “No, but we do have free wheelchair service.” So, Fabgrandpa and both were able to get the service, and had attendants who wheeled us all the way from the wheelchair service area, which is right by the check in kiosks, to our gate. The wheelchairs have a space underneath them where the attendant places your carry on luggage. I can not tell you how much more pleasant this service made our trip. 

Because we had used the complimentary wheelchair service, we did not have to wait in the long long security checkpoint line. The Delta empoyees who were assisting us were able to go to the front of the line. We also did NOT have to remove our shoes or take my computer out of my suitcase. Fabgrandpa did have to remove his belt though, because his belt buckle triggered an alarm going through the scanner. 

The wheelchair attendants were so cheerful and pleasant! They asked us several times if we wanted to stop at any of the shops, or if we needed to use the restroom. When we got to our departure gate, they “parked” us in the front near the check in desk. We sat there in our wheelchairs until time board. When the gate attendant arrived, I was first in line to ask about an upgrade, and we were able to get our seats upgraded to comfort seating for no additional charge. It is not first class by any means, but you do have a little bit more room in those seats. 

When it was time to board, we were boarded first (along with other wheelchair passengers) and wheeled all the way to the door of the plane. I know I said it before, but I can not tell you enough how courteous, helpful, and cheerful all of the Delta employees we encountered were. Delta, and other airlines who offer complimentary wheelchair services, are getting it right and making travel for people with disabilities so much easier.