Friday, August 14, 2009

Bonnie's 30th birthday weekend :)

This blog may be unnecessary since Bonnie has described it on her own blog, but maybe I'll add some extra details :)

We've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks or months...we used to take road trips like this all the time but then life happened, and we have to structure our time a little more now. So this was the best of both worlds - structured, but reminiscent of old times.

Saturday morning, our first stop was Brick House Diner, a little dive Dave's parents discovered. In my opinion, best breakfast in Richmond. I haven't done much research, but it would be hard to beat the down home feel of this place. The coffee cups have Richmond advertisements, there is an antique clock restorer next door, and there is no shortage of blue hairs there on Saturday mornings. Love it.

Once we downed our pancakes and Belgium waffles, we were off to Natural Bridge, VA! First stop, Virginia Safari Park, a drive through zoo where the animals are so conditioned to know that car equals little white bucket of food pellets that they will walk right up to you and stick their heads in, as if to say "Food for me? Food for me?"

Our first experience was the apparent sexual assault of an alpaca. It was unnerving, but we couldn't look away - the handlers had it all under control, with the use of a whip-like device. That was a little unnerving too. I had flashbacks to the circus.

Through the park we saw deer, emus, camels, cattle that I have tentatively identified as "Virginia longhorns," and gazelles:

Bonnie was licked by a zebra when we had the nerve to spend too much time looking out the windows on the other side of the car, looking at this guy:

And another one of the animals was just being goofy:

When we were finished at the park, we drove south to see the Natural Bridge, "20 stories of solid rock, carved by the fingers of nature." I'll share one picture of the bridge...

...but since everyone and their mothers have been there, I'm going to quickly move on to the faces and objects we saw in the rock formations. Kind of like finding pictures in clouds, but of the geological nature instead:

Here is George Washington:

A buffalo:

A ram:

Lastly, an Indian chief:

When we got back to the Visitors' Center, we walked through the wax museum (free with the bridge pass, because no one would ever pay to see this thing). I have no comment, but I do have a picture of Thomas Jefferson. This pretty much sums up the quality of this place:


To finish out the day, we stopped in Staunton, took a picture of the huge watering can, and had dinner at the Mill Street Grill. I highly recommend "The Packard" if you make the trip.

Then it was time to head home. This is where you think my blog will die down and end? No. We were all tired and hot and sweaty and about to fall asleep, but couldn't because someone needed to drive home. So we decided to do what all high school girls on a road trip do to stay awake - TEXT OUR BOYFRIENDS! Just kidding, that's illegal you sillies! We sang our hearts out and developed sign language versions of the songs we were singing. Here's our play-list - we know these songs aren't cool or trendy or even good, but they are SO fun to sing in an obnoxious way:

New Radicals - "Someday We'll Know"
Nick Lachey - "What's Left of Me"
Celine Dion - "My Heart Will Go On"
One Republic - "Apologize"
Elton John - "Tiny Dancer"
Journey - "Don't Stop Believin'"
DMB - Crash
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant - "Please Read the Letter"
Blind Melon - "No Rain"
Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend"

There may have been more, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of our weekend - to be posted soon!

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