Trip Start May 08, 2008
Trip End Jun 08, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Thursday, May 22, 2008

We got up this morning and enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the sun-filled dining room, drinking tea and reading the paper.  We walked into town and hopped on the free "trolley" (which was actually a bus) that took us to the University of Virginia campus.  We looked around the library and then explored the special collections, which had an old map exhibit and an exhibit featuring an original copy of the Declaration of Independence.  It was very cool.  We grabbed some lunch at the student union and went to the bookstore.  The whole campus is beautiful.  It was designed by Thomas Jefferson and has a very classical influence, full of trees and grassy spaces.  We went to check out the law school, which was very impressive.  The building was enormous and very very nice.  It had a cafe, a great courtyard, and a fabulous library.  I really really liked it.  I think I could see myself here.

My parents and Peter got in around 5 and we went to their hotel to meet them.  The Fairfield Inn we're staying in is very nice, especially compared to the other places we've stayed so far.  We then drove my parents and Peter around Charlottesville and the campus and showed them the law school.  Then we went to dinner at an Indian fusion restaurant downtown, which was very tasty.  Now we're all hanging out in the hotel room watching Top Chef.  Very nice day.

Leslie: I agree with Zoe - we did have a very nice day. Charlottesville is the type of town that is just idyllic enough for me. That seems like a strange statement, so let me explain with a comparison. We just visited Charleston, which was straight out of a book: porches populated with rocking chairs, crawling vines accentuating the perfect (but not pretentious) architecture, and cobblestone streets patterned with the shade of overhanging trees. Even the sun seemed brighter (but somehow not hotter) than anywhere else. In other words, Charleston was unreal. Charlottesville, however, is real - but also really beautiful. Even though it is glorious, it's not perfect, and, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm more comfortable in a less-than-perfect environment. Charleston is probably the most beautiful place we've been so far, but looking back on it, if I lived there, I would always be trying to measure myself against a town that was too perfect for me. But I highly recommend visiting. I could see myself in Charlottesville though. I liked the environment, and more so, the character of the town. Not to big, not to little, not too hot, not too cold. It was (almost) just right.
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