Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Our Day in Richmond

One of the aspects of homeschooling that I love the most is being able to take a day and head out on a road trip. We love living in Virginia because there are so many options for road trips. We live near the mountains, near D. C., not too far from the beach, close to five other states, and on and on go the possibilities. And in Virginia, alone, there are multiple cities and sites to explore. 

Last Friday the kids and I hit the road for a long-overdue excursion to Richmond. It was our first time to visit, but it will most certainly not be the last, as there is so much to see and experience. Just check out the Richmond Region promo video:  

I had done a little research and had a couple of places in mind, but the first stop we made was to the Bass Pro Shops. None of us had ever been to one, and I knew I would score some major Mom points with my guys. I had also noticed that there was a Richmond Visitor's Center in the store where we might find maps and brochures to possibly assist in our adventure.  

The second stop we made was to the Historic Polegreen Church. I had recently seen a photo of it online somewhere (I cannot recall where), and it piqued my curiosity. What a unique structure. What in the world was the history behind it? 

Polegreen Church is considered the birth place of religious freedom. Wow! I had never heard of it and wanted to learn about the people and reasons why it was so important. The history is fascinating and I have been thinking a great deal on the impact this one little church and its people had on the religious freedom we have known in America. I encourage you to research and read more about it if you, too, had never heard of it until now.

Moving on, it was after noon, so I pointed our Tahoe in the direction of downtown Richmond, and we made our way to Jefferson Avenue and Alamo BBQ. It had been a little difficult to come to a decision about where to eat, because Richmond has so many enticing choices. I knew that we wanted something local and unique, and when I came across Alamo BBQ, I knew it would be something the kids and I would enjoy. Being from Texas and also knowing how we like to barbecue our own brisket, we have pretty high standards. I forgot to take photos until two of the kids went back for a second order on Brisket Tacos and then remembered to snap the one below. These tacos were delicious! The JalapeƱo Mac and Cheese was also a hit. Yum! It's probably good that we live too far away to make weekly trips to Alamo BBQ. 

After lunch, we headed to Agecroft Hall for their Homeschool Day. Agecroft Hall was the main reason we were in town, and it was another fascinating part of our day. This beautiful 15th century English Tudor home was originally located in Lancashire, England. It was purchased by successful Richmond businessman, T. C. Williams, Jr. in the mid-1920's, dismantled and brought to the United States. The house sits in a quiet neighbourhood overlooking the James River.

We had a wonderful docent and learned so much about British culture and the two specific families who had made Agecroft Hall their home. We weren't allowed to take photos inside the manor, but one of my favourite things to see and learn about were the lantern clocks. There is only one hand on the lantern clock because hours alone were marked in the 17th century. People were not as concerned with exact time as we are today. Something else to ponder.

After our tour of Agecroft, the kids really wanted to get a closer look at the James River. I ducked back inside to ask our docent if she had any suggestions for us, and she immediately suggested we head to Tredegar Iron Works. She said we could take a tour of the Iron Works (and the American Civil War Center, if interested), as well as access the river from there. It was a lovely day to walk along the river and canal and to cross over to Brown's Island.

"The Headman" statue on Brown's Island

The James River

We had a fabulous day, learned so much and look forward to going again. We have several places already on our must-do list for next time, including Maymont, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and the Science Museum of Virginia.

Have you been to Richmond? What are your must-see places?

Blessings and love. xo