Friday, July 17, 2015

Friends, VT & UVA

We headed to Virginia planning stops in Blacksburg and Charlottesville to visit friends and do a bit of exploring. At each place we toured the campuses of the local universities Virginia Tech and University of Virginia. 
In Blacksburg we hoped to see Tina and Chuck Lee who we have known since we lived next to Tina's parents Sherman and Dorothy in our stix and brix.  Unfortunately, Tina was in Richmond visiting their daughters and we are sorry we didn't get to see her.  But, we did have a great evening getting caught up with Chuck who we have not seen in years.   We always got together when they would come to WashPA for a visit.  Once again seeing friends is one of the best things about our lifestyle.
Chuck took us on a tour of the beautiful Virginia Tech campus.  Most of the buildings are built with stone that gives them a very prestigious look.  There are a couple of brick buildings that the college president called the worst decisions of his tenure.  We found out why on our next stop.
We next moved on to Charlottesville to see Richard and Valerie who we first met in 2007, our first year on the road.  We have crossed paths many times over the years and always look forward to spending time with them.  They are no longer RVing and now live in a beautiful condo.  That said, they have decided to move into a bigger unit in their complex with a garage and less steps.  They did not close on their new place until after we left but we did get to see it.
This will be their living room and office.  We are already looking forward to seeing the place after Valerie puts her incredible decorating skills to work.
While in Charlottesville we wanted to visit the University of Virginia that was designed by Thomas Jefferson.  The original grounds include the rotunda, lawn and pavilions along both sides of the grounds.  The rotunda is a smaller replica of the Pantheon in Rome.
The lawn was meant as a gathering ground for students and teachers to interact.
The pavilions are linked together by a covered walkway with student rooms that are awarded to a few lucky seniors who must be elected for the honor by fellow students.  Each of the ten pavilions has a unique architectural style.
All of the buildings are constructed with brick giving the campus a beautiful look.  A unique feature of the pavilions is that each has a different column style.
Valerie, Jim and Nanc with Virginian George Washington. 
Behind each pavilion is a brick walled garden.  A few have flowering plants and they are all very inviting quiet areas.
Many are simple English styled grounds with paths, benches, small trees and shrubs.
In the center of this garden is a pinnacle from the Merton College Chapel that was erected in Oxford, England in 1451.  It was presented to UVA in 1927.
This covered walkway for one of the buildings behind the original campus.  The style of architecture and use of bricks is carried out to all the campus buildings.  I guess that is why rival Virginia Tech wanted its buildings made of stone to give it its own distinctive look.    A walk around the UVA campus is like a step back in time when you realize how many famous Americans have walked the same grounds.
Another neat stop in Charlottesville is the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center where you can see replicas of the boats they used on their exploration of the American west for President Jefferson.  The Center's focus is to teach classes on all aspects of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, from ship building to survival skills needed for such a fete.

  We visited nearby Richmond to tour the capitol with Richard and Valerie which we will cover in the next blog.

1 comment:

heyduke50 said...

you are where we are slowly heading - I guess you can say we will be following you...