Monday December 28, 2015
Today we started our 2016 World Adventure. Left Hockessin on schedule around nine this morning. Surprisingly, we were well-prepared (luggage packed and in truck, Christmas decorations put away, garden "put to sleep," kitchen cleaned, laundry done, needlepoint selected, destination entered into navigation, etc.) and we encountered no last minute snags.
R decided to be adventurous with our route (following the nav instead of the usual route) departing from the loathesome Washington Beltway in favor of some Parkway or another. This took us "up close and personal" with the Capital building (dome is currently under scaffolding), the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Eventually we arrived in Alexandria where we visited with our two fun-loving, wise-cracking friends named Gordon and Jen. Their two girls are teenagers now (how time flies!) but they still came over to us and shook our hands and gave us a big "Hello." So polite. We were shocked (as you can tell we are accustomed to much less from ... certain people who I will refrain from naming in the interest of family harmony).
Lunch was at our favorite Indian restaurant called Raaja (sp?) They make the best Butter Chicken but we resisted its allure in keeping with our freshly proclaimed status as vegans. After lunch we hit the road again -- this time we encountered heavy traffic and light rain.
We arrived at Hotel Quirk in Richmond around 5:30 pm. The hotel has a lively reception area complete with bar, restaurant and ... gallery (of course). Our room is smallish but has high ceilings and a loft-like feel which makes one not immediately notice that there is no place to sit other than the bed or the desk chair.
Dinner necessitated a multi-block walk from the hotel to Ipanema, a self-proclaimed "Vegetarian Cafe" which featured numerous vegan options. It's a funky place with low ceilings, tattooed twenty-something staff members and a single menu on the chalkboard by the front door. I had a Ceasar salad and chicken-fried tempeh with dirty rice (we are in the South now, y'all) and R had mushroom ragout.
Thoughts for our first day? Anxious about leaving of course and concerned that our fourteen pieces of luggage (no joke) will prove to be too much for both Captain Charley's Limo Service and ultimately for Holland-America. We have luggage issues, what can I say? Fortunately for you, you will only have to hear about our luggage once at the beginning of this trip and then again at the end but since we are staying in one room for the entire trip there will be no need to repeat the luggage transfer debacles of our previous vacation.