Family Travel: Richmond Fun

Over the weekend, we attended my sister’s baby shower in Richmond, VA and decided that since it’s a 4-hour drive to get there… we might as well just stay for the weekend!

I did a TON of research when booking a hotel and still kind of feel like I just threw a dart at a map. We decided to stay at The Commonwealth, which is right next to Capitol Square. The hotel was beautiful and the suite was HUGE – we had a bedroom, a large bathroom and a living room with a sleeper sofa for Jack. They do valet parking, which was nice and convenient (for $28). They were also running a “VISA Worlds Offer” deal, which gave us 10% off the hotel price and 2 breakfasts included.

With that being said, the food at the hotel was terrible and insanely overpriced. The waitress/bartender was super nice each time, but I think they were also the cook for the food… which was kind of odd. We had a late dinner there after the baby shower on Saturday and there were a total of like 8 things on the entire menu. We ended up with a Caesar salad with shrimp (me), linguine with meat sauce (Travis), a chicken sandwich (Jack) and a bowl of ice cream and it was $60. Everything was pretty bland and totally not worth the cost. We did end up going back for breakfast since we had the two free breakfasts on the room promotion… and it was $72 for a lukewarm buffet for the three of us, 2 coffees and an orange juice (before the 2 meals were comped…which I had to email them about once we got home). Sigh.

Anyways, the hotel was great. The people were great. The food was not.

Saturday was basically just the drive to Richmond and the baby shower, so on Sunday we decided to do a little exploring before we hit the road to come back home. We started by walking around Capitol Square and checking out all the buildings and sculptures.

Then, we grabbed our stuff, checked out of our room and drove over to Maymount. They have a free parking lot and the place has over 100 acres between the historic estate, gardens and wildlife habitats.

We started out by exploring the Japanese Gardens. To say that they were beautiful is a total understatement. We explored the whole area, climbed up next to the waterfalls and watched the gigantic koi fish swim around.

From there, we made our way over to the wildlife habitat where we saw two bald eagles. I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen a bald eagle in person and they were SO CLOSE to us. Travis and Jack also compared their wingspan to the wingspan of the eagle…

We finished up over by the petting zoo area where we got to pet some friendly goats!

We LOVED Maymont and wished that we were able to stay for their evening event, the Garden Glow. We could see where all the lights were set up for when it was nighttime, so it must be absolutely beautiful.

From Maymont, we hit up the Mellow Mushroom, a delicious pizza place my sister recommends. We got the Funky Q. Chicken pizza and it was great, a mix of BBQ chicken, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and Applewood smoked bacon. Highly recommend!

Since it was kind of our anniversary celebration too, we finished our day in Richmond at Shyndigz with a huge piece of fresh fruit cake. They have an adorable little outdoor eating tent, so we hung out at a table for our cake party and then Jack tried to catch some bubbles from their bubble machine.

I wish we had a few more days to stay and explore, because there were still a bunch of places I wanted to eat and the weather was beautiful. As it was, we hopped back in the car and drove 4-hours back home so that we could work and go to school the next morning.

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