Pumpkins 2017

Growing up in Southern California, there was never an absence of fresh anything. You want to pick your own apples, done! Strawberries, of course! Avocados, you bet! Pecans, absolutely! Pumpkins, perfect!

Pumpkin picking was a favorite pastime of mine when I was a kid. We drove to a pumpkin farm and we could roam around for an hour looking for perfect pumpkins. Living in Richmond is a little different. There are farms, but you have to pay to get into them. Then you have to ride a tractor to get to the part where you can pick your pumpkin. Not always ideal.

However, after a little bit of inter-web searching, I found the PERFECT Richmond pumpkin patch! Gallmeyer Farms sorta near the airport was not only close by, they didn’t charge an entrance fee, and I could also WALK to the patch! While I didn’t purchase my pumpkins here, I very much enjoyed walking around. I will return for sure next year!!

They had a ton of jumbo pumpkins!

The field of pumpkins! They did have a tractor ride (for a fee), but you didn’t have to ride it to get to the field.

So many pretty pumpkins!

Proof I was there.

You had a take a wheelbarrow to cart your pumpkins away.


This is where I bought my pumpkins. Not the same experience, but they were super cheap!


This one had some interesting stuff growing on the stem.


On to the carving!



This picture was taken four days after I carved them. I put some Vaseline around the cut edges to help preserve them a little. The little black flecks you see is mold on the inside.


I wish pumpkins were year-round. I would carve one for every holiday!


The Jefferson

The Jefferson is one of those places that I tend to take for granted. It is close by, so I have no excuse. It is historic, so there are plenty of photo opportunities. But because it is right there, I don’t go often.


In a nutshell, it is a luxury hotel built in the late 1800s by Lewis Ginter and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Beaux Art. It has been partially rebuilt twice from fires, and undergone numerous renovations. 13 presidents stayed there, along with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and countless other celebrities.

Apparently, alligators used to live in the pools at The Jefferson. They now have sculptures in and around the building to memorialize them.

I’ve been twice (or three times, I can’t remember) for their infamous Sunday Brunch Buffet. I’ve also gone to a couple of work-related happy hours during the holidays.

The most recent trip was for a belated birthday brunch for Mom. Her birthday is in July, but they didn’t have any openings until August.

We were seated right next to the giant dessert table!


My perfect breakfast (including a mimosa!)


Me and Mom :)


That is what a normal photograph of people in a picture should look like. The next one is, well…a representation of the kinds of photographs my Mom used to take before we banned her from taking pictures (we purposefully posed for this one).

Note the ice sculpture is now “growing” out of her head…


…and cue the “photo fails“…

Snickers & Twix – 12 years

Last year at this time I posted about Twix’s “episode” and I didn’t think he was going to make it. Let alone make it to his next birthday. He lost a lot of weight. He won’t let me weigh him so I’m not sure what he actually weights, but he probably lost 10 lbs.

His biggest problem now is that he doesn’t walk very well anymore. He gets around just fine, but he swings his hips and flaps his feet in a weird way. Still devours his food. Still takes naps on my lap. Still insists I use both hands when scrubbing his face. Still “mushes” my stomach. His toy-playing time is reduced to a minute or two, but he still loves his toys and play-time.

Happy twelfth birthday boys! Here’s to many, many more!!


Tacky lights 2016

In addition to traditionally driving around and looking at tacky lights, this year I drove north to Doswell to Meadow Event Park to drive through the Illuminate Light Show. It is synchronized to Christmas music on a radio station, which in and of itself is an amazing engineering feat. But I kind of expected a little more. In fact, on my driving tour later that night, there is a house on Laburnum that does the same thing and was even prettier!

But Illuminate has been going on for a few years and it’s only a short drive up the 95, so I figured I should check it out at least once. You drive and snake your way through for about 20-30 minutes. And yes, I was driving and taking pictures, as I always do (we were only going about 3 miles an hour).

The characters sang along to the music.

The tunnels were fun to drive through.

After Doswell I tried a few neighborhoods near the museum district, but they are so tiny, they don’t have very much square footage with which to decorate.


This last house was the one on Laburnum. I ended up getting out and taking pictures from the curb, and they didn’t have the music playing outside, but I managed to watch and listen a bit when I got in the car. There were just so many different aspects that lit up it was quite amazing! The spirals on the trees were mesmerizing! I’m going to try and go back and park across the street and see if I can get video with audio.


Here is a little glimpse of my tree…and yes, that is a flamingo tree topper :)

Merry Christmas!