When you go on a whirlwind trip to Richmond, Virginia, there are two things you need to make sure you have. First you need a place to rest your weary head. Second you need sustenance. Fortunately for my husband, Bobby, and I, we were able to have both in very close proximity of each other.
We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown Richmond. We’ve never stayed at this type of hotel before. It is a beautiful hotel with many wonderful amenities. The staff was great and very helpful to us. The room was spacious with a mini kitchen. The bed was super comfortable – – which we needed after such a long drive.
We ventured out on Monday, June 6, for some sightseeing. We had planned to head towards the Old City Hall area, but took a wrong turn. (I am a bit directionally challenged at times.) Realizing the error and the fact that we were actually hungrier than we realized, we decided to stop for lunch. We wanted to get our bearings and refresh a little before tackling the Richmond heat and humidity.
We found a Mexican restaurant named Cha Cha’s. It was so good. They started us off with chips and salsa. Their salsa was fresh and with just a little bit of spiciness. The chips were the tri-color type (yellow, red and blue).
Cha Cha’s has specials every day of the week. On Mondays it is the enchiladas. Since neither of us are fond of enchiladas, we made other choices.I ordered the taco salad with carnitas (pork). Bobby ordered a Chimichanga. The menu didn’t have it listed, but Bobby asked if they could make it. They were very accommodating. He decided on queso as a topping.
One of the reasons I like taco salads is for the edible bowl. This salad’s bowl was perfectly crispy and not at all greasy. The portion sizes of our meals were quite impressive for lunch time. The prices were also very reasonable. I only wish we could have been there on another day to take advantage of their specials.
From lunch we headed out to see the sites. We got a little turned around again (I must be very directionally challenged when tired). We did end up at the Main Street Station, which is still an active train station and has been since the early 20th century. The architecture was amazing. There is a marble staircase that takes you to the train platform, as well as marble columns throughout the expansive lobby. It was nice to see the pictures they had hanging on the walls. The pictures depicted the history of the station and its passengers. There were pictures from WWII with soldiers saying goodbye to their loved ones. Other pictures showed a time when the river crested and flooded the streets up to one of the top steps of the station. I kept thinking how my dad would have enjoyed looking at those pictures, too, because of his love of history and trains.
After Bobby was able to pull me out of the station (I am my father’s daughter), we headed to see the Slave Cemetery and Lumpkin’s Jail. It isn’t a terrible walk to it from the station, but it is kind of back behind buildings and if you don’t know where you are going (which we didn’t) you aren’t sure you are heading in the right direction. The cemetery isn’t what you would think. It is a grassy area with headstones or grave markers. There are historical markers explaining the location and Lumpkin’s Jail. It is pretty horrific to read how some people were treated.
The heat and the sobering trek to the cemetery left us pretty exhausted. When we had started our excursion to explore Richmond, we had high hopes to see many things, like the Capital Building and the Old City Hall. However, by this time all we wanted to do was return to our hotel and rest. Thankfully we were not far from our room. We returned to the refreshing air conditioned room and stretched out to rest our weary bodies. More adventures awaited us for later in the day. Which will be shared in another post, another time.