James, is that you I smell?

Not the traditional greeting for a new year but we’ll get to that.

Eager to start 2016 with something new, we piled in the car on the 2nd and headed down to Richmond for the day. The first stop was Maymont which was a big hit for both short and tall Wiktors alike. The former private residence is now a great little 100 acre park carved out of the city and includes a historic mansion (which we didn’t make it to), a nature center, and a Children’s Farm. The latter two were great; the huge aquariums at the nature center and the goats at the Children’s Farm were the crowd favorites.

After a mini-melt down (cough… Will) we grabbed some lunch at the Lamplighter Roasting Company. Those dudes can make a cup of joe and the food was on point as well. Will stuck his thumb into a brownie at the counter so dad said we haaaad to buy it. Totally unrelated, mom and dad had a great brownie snack later in the day. After lunch it was off to the the Riverfront Canal Walk to take in a little history and stumble on some unexpectedly cool art. Mere took the glass and snapped some good pictures of the RVA Street Art. The woman painted on the far right wall gets credit for the odd post title. Apparently the James River gets rather fragrant in the summer.

The final stop of the afternoon was the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden which our super tour guide (Meredith) soon informed us is consistently ranked as one of the top gardens in the country. For the Christmas season they put on a pretty good Christmas “GardenFest of Lights” with a half-million lights and a bunch of model trains. Worth the stop if you’re in the area.. next year! Bring stuff to make smores as the fire pit is always open but it is BYOS.

Something tells me we’ll be back sometime this spring for more food and maybe some cold drinks.