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Listening to the folk band at the Maymont whilst he melts under the 79 degree sun. Seriously.

Penn State has been a bit ridiculous this semester; maybe slightly more so. The problem being that one of my courses is a bit work intensive, and the other has a good mix of too much reading and too much discussion posting (which I inherently abhor). But that is neither here nor there since my semester ends in two weeks. Consequently, so does Little B’s, which is fantastic because I don’t think either one of us has looked forward to summer break as much as we are this one.

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Strolling past the barn towards the japanese garden.

For one, it’s been really cold here. I love the snow but goodness, it just felt like the cold was going to drag on forever! And for another, balancing homework with homeschooling The Boy and being a mom and wife has been tiring in the sense that I put off my homework when it just doesn’t fit in and then I scramble to get it done, which is not my M.O. I’d much rather be just mom and wife without worrying about fitting in papers or reading or the much hated discussion posts.

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Because here’s the thing, as much as I love the As (and thankfully, both grades reflect that) I love my boys so much more. And I’d much rather spend time playing with B, teaching him, coming up with fun stuff to share and do with him than pore over books, taking countless notes, etc etc. And I’d much rather be wife to Brooks, taking care of him, doting on him, loving him, laughing with him and sharing a life with him than typing furiously on the computer, or poring over research journals analytically. Seriously, I think I’m suffering from senioritis, 13 years in the making!

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He was loving this shortcut which led to the waterfall.

So Saturday we opted to stay close to Fort Lee so that I could work on my homework (ahem…. the homework bit never happened – true story). We ended up going to the  movies, one of the The Boys favorite things to do, and then ended up visiting a part of The Petersburg National Battlefield we had not visited before.

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The waterfall

The sad thing is that this particular portion is assessable from inside Fort Lee. It’s right across from Brooks’s work, and thus a very quick car ride from the house. So we hiked and explored and all agreed that we DB and I both need bikes so that we can ride back in the woods.

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Koi and rock skipping

Sunday was supposed to be buckle-down-wake-up-early-get-the-school-done day. But I woke up later than I intended. I saw a post on Facebook about the Maymont having live music (a folk band, nonetheless), and I began eking out a plan speed through my schoolwork so that we could make it to this event, just in time. I even planned for snacks, picnic blanket, and camera to accompany us. I put more thought into leaving the house than my poor neglected school work. AND, horror of horrors! …. I skimmed my reading! I answered questions without TONS of detail. I didn’t double and triple check answers! I hit SUBMIT without nary a second glance!

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Loving the brave little turtle.

Oh boy, oh boy!

Loving these roots.

Loving these roots.

Am I ever grateful for those high A’s because I did all that without stressing over my grade. My gosh. What has become of me?! 🙂

The nature center's theme is the James River Basin. Pretty cool.

The nature center’s theme is the James River Basin. Pretty cool.

So off we headed to the Maymont, little B asking repeatedly. “Isn’t it just so hot? When are the pools opening! Might there be some water for me to run in?”

It was 79 degrees. Just saying.

The Maymont was super duper busy when we arrived. I’ve been hearing about The Maymont since we arrived in Richmond. But with all B’s activities and sports, field trips, etc etc it just hasn’t happened.

http://www.maymont.org/

Now we can see what all the hubbub was about. The Maymont, in a nutshell, is an old estate situated on 100 acres, which was left to the city for the enjoyment of it’s citizens. It’s old and grand. It has so many gardens and beautiful scenery we could see why there were so many couples arm in arm. The coolest thing is that you’re allowed to stroll the grounds, not merely following paths. So it’s the perfect setting for things like live music, or frisbee, or sunbathing even. There are several gardens to enjoy, a pretty neat waterfall, animals, a nature center, an area for children, an old mansion, etc etc. There really is just too much to do in one day, especially if you’re footing it across the aforementioned 100 acres. They do have a tram but I refused because the day was so gorgeous and perfect.

So the Maymont will definitely be one of our favorite places to visit in Richmond. But I did learn a few things. Bring a backpack to pack in snacks and drinks. They are allowed, though they do have a snack shop by the nature center. Sunscreen and bug repellent will be a must, I’m sure as the days warm up. And don’t wear sandals 🙂 The ground can be uneven and there is lots of hills and stairs on the property. I may or may not have had a hard time in mine 🙂

Afterwards, we capped the night off by enjoying a new eatery near Carytown: Sticky Rice. http://www.ilovestickyrice.com/restaurants/ We haven’t has a whole lot of luck finding eateries we LOVE but Sticky Rice was fantastic. The boys enjoyed sushi while I had a chicken sandwich with edamame. Seriously yummy. Afterwards, we headed to Carytown to peruse the shops, eat some ice cream at Bev’s, and to watch a movie at The Byrd.

And this time, we triple checked our headlights 🙂

PS I’ve included photos The Boy took while at The Maymont… He’s loving the new Rebel.

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