Virginia – Days 9-10: Richmond and Williamsburg

On day nine we ventured to Richmond, VA to pick up Meghan’s friend Ashley on our way to Williamsburg. Meghan went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. I was super excited to visit Megz’s alma mater. If ever I wanted to put a visual on a place I’d heard so many stories about, it was William and Mary.

But first, we picked up Ashley in Richmond and went to Belle Isle and wandered around there for a while. Belle Isle is a park in Richmond on the Rappahannock River. There were lots of flat rocks in the river so we tried hopping across it, but couldn’t find a way to get all the way across. So instead, we doubled back and used the bridge to get to the other side because Meghan really wanted to check out the abandoned building on the other side.

Rocks on the Rappahannock River, Richmond, VA.

Rocks on the Rappahannock River, Richmond, VA.

After an unsuccessful attempt to breach the building from the side nearest the water and bridge we took a circuitous route around, climbing along a dam wall until again finding our route blocked by a high ledge. Then, being the rock climbers they are, Meghan and Ashley decided to climb up the super sketchy rusty grate, swing around, and hug climb a deteriorating concrete pillar and get up on the roof. Now, having watched them do this, I reasoned that despite my skirt, I just might be able to also get up there. However, always one to think ahead, I also realized that if I got up there I would likely not be able to get down. From where I was I saw another possible entry point so I traveled back along the dam wall the long way to get to the potential point of entry because I couldn’t find a good place to jump from one mud covered creek bank to the other.

View into the room Meghan wanted to get inside in the abandoned hydro plant, Belle Isle, Richmond, VA.

View into the room Meghan wanted to get inside in the abandoned hydro plant, Belle Isle, Richmond, VA.

By the time I found my way to where I thought I could join Meghan and Ashley, I couldn’t see them anymore. Or hear them. I called out and got no response. I walked toward the first opening, which is where Meghan had wanted to go in the first place, but still didn’t see or hear anyone. The place I thought I could get in was blocked by a locked metal door whose frame spanned a good four feet beyond the wall in both directions and the wall was a solid twenty foot drop on one side, so I abandoned that effort and pulled out my phone to call Meghan.

That’s when I saw the text message: “Got busted. Meet you at the car?” Well, at least they hadn’t been arrested… I went through a number of comical scenarios in my head, the funniest of which were: A Draco Malfoy-like character pulling the sleeve of a police officer and saying “see, I told you they were in there.” and my personal favorite, a security guard in a swivel chair sitting on the other side of the building just waiting for someone to break in. There was also something to do with helicopters and search lights, though I realized I probably wouldn’t have missed that.

What actually happened was pretty close to the security guard sitting in a swivel chair waiting for them. Meghan had propped herself up to look through the window and was trying to figure out how they could get down a level when she noticed the gate was open. She told Ashley who was like, “Are you serious?! Did you just pull instead of push when you checked it earlier?” “No,” Meghan replied, “I swear it was locked earlier.” and then she looked again and saw a man. A man with a hat. Uh-oh.

“Ladies,” he said, “Kindly exit through the door.” So they did, and when he didn’t follow them right away they just kept walking and that’s the story of how Meghan and Ashely got busted for breaking and entering without actually getting in to any trouble. They also totally would’ve been stuck had they not gotten to exit through the door, but I guess that no longer matters.

View of the abandoned hydro plant from the bridge, Richmond, VA.

View of the abandoned hydro plant from the bridge, Belle Isle, Richmond, VA.

After our abandoned building adventure we went to Boyer’s for coffee because Meghan had had amazing coffee there before. We learned that you should always go with whatever is recommended on the sign at the register, that’s what Meghan had done the previous time she’d been there, and that’s what Ashley got this time and Ashley’s was amazing. It literally tasted like Christmas in a cup, but Christmas you’d want to keep drinking forever. Then we went to Sticky Rice and had sushi for lunch.

We drove the rest of the way to Williamsburg and wandered around for a bit. We went to Wythe Candy and Gourmet Store and shared a chocolate caramel apple. Yum. I wish I had gone to William and Mary just for Wythe. It was like Honeydukes but in the Muggle world. Love! Pretty much all of colonial Williamsburg was like Hogsmeade, it was wonderful.

After eating our chocolate caramel apple and wandering into a few more stores we hung out in the bookstore for a while until it was time for our Williamsburg Ghost Tour. The Ghost Tour was actually kind of a let down. Especially since it was the number one rated ghost tour in town. I mean, how bad were the other ones? I feel like I would’ve been much more creeped out had I just read the stories online and then went and visited the places myself. Maybe our guide was just a terrible storyteller? It was too bad really, the tour had such potential. Though it didn’t help that it was freezing and I could barely feel my feet by the end, but still, it was not very fun or creepy.

We stayed with Meghan’s friend Charles/Alex that night and had fun hanging out with him and his roommate Alex until super late/early. Then on day ten we had 7-Eleven donuts and coffee for breakfast and took a walk around campus and visited most of the places I’d heard so many stories about. I loved seeing the places I’d heard so much about it was super awesome! We ended our Williamsburg adventure with a broke college kid lunch of bread butts and house dressing from The Cheese Shop. After lunch Ashley’s boyfriend picked her up and Megz and I drove back to Springfield so Meghan could go to work.

Meghan in her favorite window at William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

Meghan in her favorite window at William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

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