All geared up for our Segway tour of historical Richmond
Saturday, October 24, 2015
It’s Day 3, and after having our morning chat and coffee and breakfast, we managed to get out of the apartment by 12:30. We walked along the same route to downtown that we followed yesterday, noting already-familiar landmarks along the way; the mural walls, the uneven brick sidewalks, Firehouse 12 with the really nice firemen who gave us directions yesterday. Although it was overcast and quite a bit chillier than our first two days, it was still a nice day and we enjoyed the walk. Despite all of this, after about half an hour I had to say “uncle”. My ankles have been deteriorating pretty steadily over the years from arthritis and whatever abuse I have subjected them to, and despite having had a cortisone shot in one of them only a month ago, they were screaming after the long trek yesterday. And so, I decided it was time to expose Lori to Uber. She had never used the service and was admittedly wary of the entire idea, fearing vulnerability for female riders. Also, she said there is a lot of controversy in Oregon over the use of Uber over taxis. This spurred an intellectual conversation between us the next day (OK, really it was a rant on my part about free enterprise in this technological world, and calm acceptance of my right to rant on Lori’s part). Our Uber arrived in 3 minutes flat, and we were glad to have called it when we saw how far we still had to go to reach our destination.
And where exactly were we going on this fine, autumn morning? We arrived at Segway of Richmond at 1:30 sharp, after spotting and stopping at a Starbucks a block away. We were about to take our first Segway rides, and both of us were extremely excited. The experience did NOT disappoint. After signing all the prerequisite forms and donning the appropriate safety gear (I spotted a pink helmet and a Segway covered in pink ribbon decals, and immediately claimed them both), we all went out for instructions and practice time in the alley.
Then Lori and I and 14 others who had the same marvelous idea, were off on a 2-hour tour of the historical and landmark sites of downtown Richmond. One of our stops was in gorgeous St. Paul’s church, where all of the stained glass windows were done by Tiffany.
Our guide also took us down to the St. James river, as well as to the government center so that we could roll up to the governor’s mansion to say hey! We had a great time, and now Lori wants a Segway so she can tool around Salem on it.
After our tour we were STARVING. There was a restaurant right across the street called the Urban Farmhouse, a farm-to-table kind of place that looked good, so we went there. We each had a bowl of delicious tomato basil rice soup, and shared a Cubano sandwich with ham, pork, and sharp brown mustard on a wonderfully firm yet flaky roll. YUM YUM YUM! With our tummies full, we called an Uber and came back to Carrytown, the area in which we were staying. There is a great vintage clothing store next to the Byrd Theater called Bygones, where we had purchased our tickets to the Phantom of the Opera the day before and we were wanting to spend some time in there, because our quick stop in to buy the tickets revealed that they have some VERY cool stuff. Since they didn’t close until 8:00, this was our chance. We spent a delightful couple of hours in this fascinating place. They had amazing vintage clothing and jewelry, and the “shopgirls” were completely dressed for the occasion, in vintage 40’s clothing, hair, and makeup. Lori found an amazing sequined dress in a gorgeous blue that she thought looked like me, and encouraged me to try it on. With a body in the dress it took on a wonderful shape… unfortunately, I had a bit too much wonderful, and couldn’t get it zipped. So Lori tried it on, and it zipped up nicely, but as she is … uh… shall we say, almost completely wonder-free on top, it didn’t work on her either. So we mournfully gave up the dress and had to be satisfied with admiring it on the hanger. I bought a full slip from the 50’s and a new dress that was a reproduction as my trip souvenir, and Lori purchased an awesome OLD burgundy velvet cape with a hood for her daughter Megan, who is a budding photographer and is always looking for great props and costumes.
We left the store and walked home to our little adorable apartment (which is what it’s called on Airbnb) and settled in for a cozy evening of red wine, writing, picture sharing, and internet surfing. Our old bones have been exhausted by all this fresh air and walking, and when we went to bed we were asleep within moments.