Monday, October 31, 2011


In case you missed out on our Halloween decorations, check them out here!

Growing up can be a bummer, but when all else fails...
...wear holiday themed socks!

I'm tempted to wear shorts at the gym today so everyone can see these snazzy skeleton socks (thanks mom and dad!).

We hope you all have a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hollywood Cemetery

In the spirit of Halloween, we decided to take a stroll through Hollywood Cemetery.  Far from your ordinary graveyard, this special place is host to 18,000 confederate soldiers, a few generals, the President of the Confederacy, and two U.S. Presidents.

We began our driving tour with Confederate soldiers' graves.  The area is highlighted by a memorial pyramid.

Near this area lies J.E.B. Stuart, the Confederate general and cavalry commander who has appeared on this blog in the past.  He lies here...

Another Confederate general, by the name of George Pickett, rests eternally here.  To make a long and complicated story short, Pickett is often credited with losing the war for the South after the infamous Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.  

Downtown Richmond from the cemetery!

Ok, back to the dead guys.  Next we came across the grave of Jefferson Davis.  Davis served as the first and only President of the Confederate States of America.

Our journey concluded at the President's Circle.  Here lie James Monroe and John Tyler, the 5th and 10th Presidents of the United States, respectively.

President Monroe's tomb lies visibly above ground inside here

Happy Halloween!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Buggin' Out

Virginia has a lot of the same bugs as the Midwest. You know, your bees, your mosquitoes, your spiders- the usual suspects. I can live with those bugs. I mean, I'll admit I still slightly freak out like a little child when a hornet gets close to me- but then again, who likes something with a needle for a butt an inch from their face?

One bug I've never seen in the Midwest that I know are in abundance down here is the cockroach. I'm not saying they don't exist in the Midwest- but I looked into it, and evidently the southeastern states of the USA have a much bigger infestation of cockroaches. COOL. I haven't been around those buggers since I lived in Peru- and let me tell you- I have zero interest in moving on my tip toes to avoid the skittering creatures all over the street EVER. AGAIN.

So far, the only one we've seen in our apartment was a dead one in the pantry when we moved in. I will Lysol our place day and night to try to avoid them, trust me. I'm told however, they can practically survive nuclear attacks, so a using a lemon scented cleaner against them is like using a Vikings player 10 year old boy to block Clay Matthews. So if a live one happens to weasel in to our place, I will let you know immediately - or at least immediately after I let Michael go at it with a baseball bat.

We have seen some other creepy looking kind of bug on our walls:
Aaaand a nice close up:
I don't know what it is, and I sure as heck don't want to. Normally I'd be all "oh let's just catch it in some tupperware and put it back outside so it can live a long happy life with its bug friends!", but with these guys, they are wayyyy too gross to let near my tupperware. Thus, I let this happen:
Big strong man vs Bug
So that's what's up with us this weekend in Richmond. Bug killin'. Be jealous.

Friday, October 28, 2011

biiig koi

After checking over my last blog post, Michael made the point that the picture of the koi I put up didn't do them justice at all. They were HUGE. Like...swallow your arm whole if they ate human arms huge. Check 'em out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The other day Michael and I went to a few new places near Richmond with my friend Matthew- a Richmond native I used to work with back in Madison. One of the places was a cemetery that is the final resting place for around 18,000 confederate soldiers and a couple U.S presidents...but Michael will write about that one. You all love his history posts, right?!

I'll be writing about Maymont, this amazingly gorgeous 100 acre estate that was given to the State after being lived in for about 30 years by a business man after the Civil War ended. Whew that was an unnecessarily long sentence. It's now an amazing park, with walking trails, animals, a nature center, and two breathtaking themed gardens.  Here's the main mansion of the estate:
 Matthew walking around the trails in the fall colors:
 Past the nature center are numerous sites with animals, including owls, falcons, hawks, bald eagles, foxes, black bears, deer, bison and more!
 One of Michael's 30492305842359 pictures of the real eagle:
The park has two main themed gardens; the Italian Garden and the Japanese Garden. Here's the entrance to the Italian one...

 This fountain was beautiful and relaxing. At the bottom is a stone bench you can sit on an enjoy the sound of the water:

Now moving on to our favorite part, the Japanese Garden:

 HUGE koi
 Michael sizing up a tree:

You can find more information on it here or here if you'd like!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Table time

We have a table. 
It's funny how you take a normal human sized table for granted. Seriously. Before we got ours, we were using a table fashioned out of a cardboard box, a laundry basket, and an ironing board. Yeah. I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not. I didn't snap a picture of it before we excitedly kicked it over to make room for our real table, but I think you can get a mental picture. 

Anyway, thanks to a housewarming gift from Michael's awesome sister Kelly and her fiance Erik, we were able to run over (read: speed  drive the legal speed limit for 1.5 hours due North) to IKEA and get this beauty with 4 matching chairs:
Of course, nothing from IKEA actually comes built, so my personal builder Michael put together all the chairs and the table. The table is a really light pine, and didn't come finished- so after our IKEA trip we headed to Lowes and grabbed a can of polyurethane. We wanted to keep the table with as natural of a wood look as possible, so we went for a satin finish instead of a super glossy one.

Once Michael had finished sealing it with 4 layers or so of polyurethane, I finally got to decorate it. Of course, we're not fancy enough to actually have a table set this nice every night, but I figure once we have visitors I can impress them with my Martha Stewart wanna-be table settings.

 See those awesome napkin settings? Also a gift from the stylish Kelly!

 As for the fall themed centerpiece- you may remember the pumpkins I painted here. The leaves I picked up off the sidewalk from one of our Monument Avenue walks and just pressed them between book pages for a few days until they dried.

 So there you have it! Although now that it's all set up, I miss our ironing board/laundry basket table a little bit...

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