A Writer's Journey

January 8, 2018

(Almost) A Week in Virginia

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 1:00 pm
Tags: ,

Happy New Year! I know I wished you all that last week, but I wanted to repeat it. I hope you all had a great holiday week and that you ended 2017 on a good note.

I also hope you ended it some place warm because even though I was in Virginia, we were cold. I think we only got above freezing two days.

I flew down to Richmond the day after Christmas. I worked that day, running my company’s payroll for the last pay of the year. Then I hopped in my car and drove the ten minutes to the airport, leaving my car in long-term parking at Newark-Liberty International Airport.

Which is about three miles from the airport itself. I just kept driving and driving until I found the lot. Planes were landing overhead and I had to take a shuttle back to the terminals.

I got to Terminal A and breezed through security. I grabbed some food and then did some writing as I waited for my plane to show up. Our flight ended up being delayed but not by much. I think we got into the air about a half hour after we were supposed to.

Our flight was only an hour so we pretty much landed on time, though we spent some time taxiing to the gate. I hurried off the plane and met up with my parents, dismayed to find out it was just as cold in Virginia. No relief from the cold for me.

I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before as I was still packing. And then I had developed a stuffy nose that woke me up, preventing me from getting a good amount of sleep. While it hadn’t effected me while working, I was definitely tired by the time I got to the hotel. I took a shower and pretty much went to bed.

We spent Wednesday mostly shopping. Well, my parents did. I went to WalMart with them but then chilled in the room while they went elsewhere. We then met up with my sister for dinner before going to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Spoiler alert: We loved it.

(If you want more information about the movie, you can check out my review/recap on my other blog, My Little Corner).

Thursday was spent at the Science Museum of Virginia, which was really fun. I learned that right now, I can’t outrun a rat, let alone a bear. I also can’t hit a baseball, but I already knew that. My hand-eye coordination is not the best. Nor is my spatial judgement.

We also watched a movie about dark matter in their giant dome theater that was narrated by Tilda Swinton. It was pretty cool but I’m afraid I got motion sickness, especially once we got to the CGI recreations of what is happening in the LHC. But then we got to see some giant renderings of planets, so that was cool.

After the movie, we then went down to the BOOST exhibit which is a bunch of cool interactive features for both children and adults. I did a bunch of them, including attempting to walk a tightrope (not very good). I also got a cool new recipe to try—peanut butter chicken. Maybe while my parents are away…

I also did an exhibit featuring yoga. My company’s annual health assessment suggested taking up yoga and I had started to consider it. So I gave some of the poses a try and I did ridiculously well at level 1 yoga. I might actually take up yoga now. I just need to get a mat—I already have access to a class since it’s offered at my Y!

We then spent the evening with my sister at her new place—she’s renting a room from a friend. Said friend has two dogs and his girlfriend has a dog, so in addition to my sister’s dog, four dogs greeted us at the door. Balto, my sister’s, was more focused on my dad and somewhat focused on my mom. Which left me at the mercy at the other three (very friendly) dogs. As a French bulldog, Rupert is now the smallest dog to jump on me. (I’ve learned that the bigger the dog, more likely it is to jump on me. You should’ve seen how big my eyes got when I realized my cousin’s Rottweiler was going to do that). My sister, mom and I went to get dinner at a nearby diner before we just chilled at the house, where boxer Maya decided to keep licking me.

Friday was another movie day. Since my sister didn’t want to see The Last Jedi, my parents and I went to go watch it instead.

Spoiler alert: I loved it. My parents were more so-so on it.

(Once again, you can check out my other blog for a review. Coming soon!)

We returned to my sister’s house and hung out with the dogs again as my mother helped her move a few things into her room. As I sat there, I was suddenly struck with everything I could’ve been doing—mostly all the writing I could’ve gotten done instead.

Eventually, we went out to get barbeque before hitting up a Michaels for items my sister needed to decorate her room. We dropped her and my father off before my mother and I drove to the airport to pick up my aunt. Then we drove back to my sister’s and picked up my father to head back to the hotel.

Saturday was probably our most eventful day—even more eventful that Thursday. We met my sister at the hotel and I drove with her to Williamsburg, listening to Pandora the entire time. We were listening to the Broadway Showstoppers channel but encountered a lot of Phantom of the Opera. So much so, she got annoyed with every Phantom song and I couldn’t help but laugh.

We had lunch at the Golden Corral before heading to Busch Gardens for Christmas Town! Every inch of the park is covered in Christmas goodies with special Christmas shows and some really good hot chocolate. There was musical retelling of the Christmas story that made you clap your hands and tap your feet. And there was a musical version of A Christmas Carol that was also pretty good as well.

My sister and I were able to do Invadr, the new roller coaster at Busch Gardens but were unable to do Verbolten. It ended up closing up because of the weather—it was too cold to run any of the rides. And it was definitely cold—but the warmest day of our time in Virginia. But by the end of the night, I could barely feel most of my body.

Night time, though, included a magical experience. They lit up the park in a ton of lights—putting them everywhere, including the flumes of Escape from Pompeii, since no one was going to do a water ride anyway. There was even a show called O Tannenbaum where they coordinated the lights on a giant tree in Oktoberfest to blink in time to a medley of Christmas songs. It was quite breathtaking. We also wore large plastic Christmas lights that lit up around our necks after the sun went down.

We called it a night and the next day was New Year’s Eve. It was a lazy day spent mostly in the hotel, broken only by Mass and dinner at Cracker Barrell. Still, we were much warmer than the people in Times Square. We rang in the New Year and I hope 2018 will be better than 2017.

And then I flew back to New York with my aunt on New Year’s, though we only got home about an hour before my parents. Still, it was better than seven hours in the car.

So, that’s how I ended 2017. Now I’m looking forward to diving into 2018, even if we started with a cold snap and a snow storm. How about you?

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