Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Day 62: Richmond, Virginia

Today was a day of perfect timings for everything, plenty of nature, and good food! Although the main reason we came to Richmond was basically because it was on the East coast and we randomly picked it off the map, we found plenty of things to do here and had a pleasant day.

What went well? 

  1. It was an early start. We got up at 5.50am to catch a 7.30am bus to Richmond. We got to the train station at about 6.30am and were wandering around looking lost because we couldn't find the actual station, but someone kindly asked what we were looking for and pointed us in the right direction, and we caught the train on time and therefore got to our bus on time.
  2. Enjoyed sight-seeing in Richmond. We walked to Maymont estate, and walked around the sprawling, peaceful grounds and a tour of the mansion.

  3. Also, went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts! I can't believe this place was free too. Very extensive collection, and so interesting to see how much art varies according to time and place. Was also really impressed by the work they had on display from some high schoolers (the first three pictures):
  4. The artist who drew this was 14!? Wut.

  5. Public transport in Richmond was super cheap. It was only $1.50 from Maymont to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and only $1.75 to our hotel (which was over an hour away by public transport - it would have been a 15 minute taxi ride, but we chose to save that money and put it towards good quality food since we didn't really have anything better to do in the evening).
  6. The weather generally worked out really well. It didn't start raining until midday, when we'd walked around most of Maymont, so went and took shelter on the mansion tour. Then it rained while we were in the art museum and really pour when we were on the buses, but generally wasn't that bad when we were actually outside. Thanks, weather!
  7. Found a great place for dinner (the HappyCow app has served us very well, showing us all the veg-friendly places close by). I got this miso tofu dish, and it was probably the best meal I've had since I've been in the US. I was inspired!
  8. Satisfied my cupcake cravings induced by the sadness of Georgetown Cupcakes running out of vegan cupcakes yesterday. We walked down the street after dinner since we had some time to kill before the bus arrived, and found Carytown Cupcakes just down the street! And they had vegan cupcakes, woo!! So I got a lavender vanilla one and an apple cinnamon one. Totally savoured the lavender one, it was actually a perfect cupcake - perfectly moist, fluffy, and yummy. You would not be able to tell at all that it was vegan, and I can say that honestly since that statement does not apply to all vegan baking!!
  9. Saw this on the street too and thought it was cute:
  10. Our hotel was really, really good value! We stayed at Days Inn Richmond and it was only $45 for a double room. Yes, $22.50 each. Actually cheaper than an actual hostel. Including free wifi and free breakfast! Highly recommended!

  11. Proof-read the final study design for the new positive intervention we've been working on in our Positive Psychology lab!! It's actually super exciting to see it finally coming together and getting ready to be submitted for IRB approval and then unleashed onto the public!! Wheee!!

Woah that was a lot of WWW's. Hey, what can I say - it was a fab day!!

What did I learn? 

  • You have to pay a $1 "exit fee" to get out of the metro system in DC. What!
  • If you look sufficiently lost, people will help you :P
  • Carytown cupcakes are awesome.
  • Apparently, according to Victorian etiquette, it was not ok for two women to converse for more than 15-20 minutes. Bizarre!
  • Just read that an Obesity gene has been identified, apparently. I find these genetic developments very interesting to follow, because it really creates questions about determinism, free will, and personal responsibility. What proportion of variance do genes account for? How much control do we really have? Hmmmmmm...

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