Pieces of a Staycation

This post could meander a bit.  Please don’t act surprised.

So as I’ve noted on Facebook, my parents have been in town for a couple of days.  Let me explain their trip first, then circle back…

They left the west Chicago suburbs last week to drive to Long Island for my cousin’s wedding last Friday (9/20).  Then on Monday, they drove from Long Island to Richmond (through the small corner of hell that is the extensive rebuild of the New Jersey Turnpike), getting in just in time for us to go out to dinner.  They’re leaving somewhere around dark:30 tomorrow for the next leg of the trip, a jaunt down I-95 (and then some other, less significant roads) to spend a week with a friend of theirs at The Villages of Lady Lake (south of Ocala, FL).  After that, it’s down the road to Kissimmee for a week at their timeshare, before a short tour visiting all of their friends who’ve fled the North and are scattered around Florida’s Gulf Coast… then driving back to Chicagoland.

Let me remind you that these are my parents, and I just turned 50 (do the math!).  And they’re doing all this not in an RV, but a diesel-powered Volkswagen.

If you ever wondered how I come by my occasionally-odd ways… you now have a clue.

But seriously… it’s been so much fun for the last couple of days “seeing” Richmond the way they do.  My dad was down to Richmond once – during one of the many mergers that, over time, converted Wheat First into Wells Fargo Securities (I think it was Everen into Wachovia, but I lost count somewhere).  My mom has never been here before.

Tuesday morning, we went down to the Metro Richmond Zoo (you may have seen a couple of pictures I took when I finally remembered that my iPod has a camera) – in my almost 20 years here, I’d never been there.  Coming back, we hopped off 288 to get lunch at Chesterfield Towne Centre, and as I was navigating, I thought it’d be fun to back-road it back across the river… it was, but not the way I expected.  Watching my parents’ heads swiveling to try to see all the old homes along Three Chopt Road near UR (they LOVE old homes!) led to one small change in plans.  I ditched any thought of using highways, and any travel time the last couple of days was along surface streets so we could check out more of Richmond – at one point or another, we hit all of Broad Street from 288 to Shockoe Bottom, and also went down Hermitage Rd and the Boulevard (which isn’t the normal path from my apartment to the west end, but…) where my mom thoroughly loved how silly “Richmond Flying Squirrels” sounds to a non-Richmonder, after she asked who played in that big ballpark…

Today we did the Canal Walk Cruise – something else I never would have done – and did lunch at the Tobacco Company.  While there, I showed them where I work now (James Center) and where I’ll be working in 16 months (the hole in the ground that will become Gateway Plaza).

In the end, what I found was that (1) I’d seen most of it before and (2) I’d never really seen it at all… because my parents saw so much as visitors that I have taken for granted as a resident, it was like seeing Richmond for the first time again.   That was the real fun of it all – constantly being caught off-guard at what they were seeing of a place I’ve been for almost 20 years… I have to start paying more attention, I think… 🙂

And, of course, just having them on home turf for a couple of days was fun – usually I only see them in Chicago (or, when I have money and/or time, at the Kissimmee timeshare).  I only wish their schedule allowed for them to see a CSzRVA show where I was voicing… maybe next time.

As noted, they’re off to Florida early tomorrow, so the rest of my week off from work is mine and mine alone (not that I minded sharing)… no idea what happens tomorrow, but Friday I’ll head up to Day One of the 2013 State Fair of Virginia.  A few weeks ago, they put season passes on sale for $20 (for a fair where a single weekend-day ticket is $15).  So for an extra $5, I got access to the entire run instead of just one Sunday afternoon.   I couldn’t pass that up, could I?

Friday and Saturday nights, I voice at CSzRVA (Friday at 8, Saturday at 9:30) so come by if you wish… in between, I’m working the board for multiple remotes at Main Line (the first starts at 7:45am Saturday – OUCH)… and then Sunday, a day of rest before going back to reality Monday morning, at which point, I’ll certainly be telling people that somehow, vacation days don’t seem to have 24 hours, because they go by so fast.

Hope you’re having fun, whatever you’re up to.

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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