The Adventures of Brizette and Loverto Part I

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One final day on the road will take us out of Kentucky, through West Virginia and into Richmond, VA to hang with Lizette's sister (Lovette) and boyfriend (Norby) for a few days. But first, a morning dip in the little lake by our campsite to wake up!

We’re just thinking that maybe we should camp here one more night to take advantage of this awesome campsite, but as fast as you can say "How about another dip?" a fast-moving, thunderstorm makes us pack up camp as fast as we can. We stuff our soaked tent and rainfly in the trunk of our car and decide, it’s time for us to move on.

Along the way we indulge in the frozen wonders of the Snickers and Heath Bar DQ Blizzard – it’s been many, many years since we’ve tasted this treat – and it is definitely worth the calories.

Driving through Lewisburg, WV, which was just voted the Coolest Small Town in America, we spot a directional sign for the Smooth Ambler Bourbon Distillery. At this point we are damn near bourbon connoisseurs, so we are compelled to try this one out. They turn out to be bottling today in their brand new facility, but the host takes the time to let us sample their impressive lineup: two bourbons, white lightning, gin and vodka. Although, honestly we don’t try each one since we’ve still got three more hours on the road.

From there we press on to Richmond, where Lovette and Norby greet us from their porch in their well-kept neighborhood called 'The Fan’. After feasting on the exceptional Cuban cuisine at Kuba-Kuba down the street, we spend hours yakking and catching up on the porch, and quickly lose track of time. Today turns into tomorrow and we find ourselves taking shots of peach moonshine with their neighbor Alex at something like 2am. Moonshine was definitely on our roadtrip to-do list, so we consider that task done! [This blending of time turns out to be a recurring theme while we are in Richmond, as the only part of morning that we see is the wee hours of it. Props to Loverto for maintaining their work / class schedule while hosting a couple of unemployed vagabonds.]

The following day, we hit up Weezie’s Kitchen for brunch and amble down the main drag of Carytown, checking out the shops and the new branch of Clementine Lovette has just helped launch. Way to go Lovette! A quick pit stop for towels, then we all drive down to the James River to cross the hanging pedestrian bridge that runs below the Robert E. Lee Bridge over to Belle Isle for some sun. Belle Isle was a detainment camp for Union soldiers during the Civil War and is now occupied by the locals that venture over to perch themselves on the river rocks and watch the kayakers maneuver the gentle rapids. We are both getting the same feeling: “Richmond is our kinda town.”

Dinner that night is artisanal pizza from a pizzeria called 8 on Strawberry Street and the activity is movie-watching while the cats (Little One & Mankee) get used to our presence by laying all over our bags and circling our legs. We stay up telling scary ghost stories after watching Paranormal Activity 3 and Lovette and Norby tell us about the dark and creepy basement below their place. We decide we’re not dumb enough to go down there – well, not yet.

The next day is sort of a catch-up for us – it’s all of a sudden Thursday. We make an attempt to update this blog, send out a bunch of job-hunt emails and start looking at the apartment availability in NYC. We also set up the tent in the backyard to air-dry after breaking camp in the rain two days prior and do a couple of loads of laundry. Norby returns from writing all day and we reward our productive selves with some bourbon from the trail. By the time Lovette makes it home, we’re all hungry, so we walk a few blocks to our hosts’ favorite sushi joint, Akida Japanese, and it is good stuff. We settle back in for a fairly early night.
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