24 hours in Charlottesville

We had a free hotel stay that needed to be used up, so this past weekend we spent 24 hours in Charlottesville, home of my alma mater. We left early on Saturday morning (7:44am) and already felt the steamy summer heat as we drove down. Once we got there, of course the kids complained about walking in the boiling hot sun and seeing my old dorm meant nothing to them. The trip was off to a bad start as everyone was feeling pretty crappy. When we finally got to the hotel and Luke was checking us in, I just had to laugh to myself when both kids asked to do a number two right then and there. I mean, seriously?! Fact: Traveling with kids is not glamorous and it really is just taking the show on the road. I told Luke, "What's the point of all this? All this for a free stay. Never again."
^^In front of my dorm!^^

Fortunately, things got progressively better after we got to our room. We changed into our bathing suits and hopped to the pool (literally across the hall) for a dip. Nothing can put the kids in an instant good mood like water can :) Then we all napped. We woke up an hour or two later to a passing thunderstorm, which dipped the temperature drastically and resulted in a perfect summer evening.
That evening, we explored the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, which is one of the longest pedestrian malls in the US. I only went there a handful of times while a student here, and now wondering why I didn't do it more often. We went into a few shops, but mostly just enjoyed the cooler weather and the evening light.
After we walked the strip from end to end, it was about 7pm -- dinner time. We picked to go to this small Taiwanese restaurant, Cafe 88, and it turned out to be a great choice. The food was fresh and delicious, and I especially loved the beef noodle soup (only available on Friday and Saturday so we were lucky!). Everyone on Yelp raved about the Amazing Chicken bento box, but I thought that was just OK. Kids loved the scallion pancakes.
With full bellies, we were off to the Corner, a great collection of restaurants, bars, and stores right across the street from UVA. We were there for one thing and one thing only: Mincer's. Luke for years wanted to buy me a heavy duty UVA license plate frame (available online, but shipping is a killer), and now he finally did :)
Then we made our way back to the Lawn, the symbolic center of UVA. I just have to say it again, it was such a great summer evening. The sky was shining pink and purple. Soooo pretty. We stayed a while, just walking, talking, and catching Pokémons :)
^^If she really does go to UVA, this will be such a great memory!^^

I thought the day ended when we got back to the hotel, but Luke and the kids had a different idea.
The next day, at exactly 7:45AM, we started our drive back home.

There you go....our 24 hours in Charlottesville. Some bad, some downright ugly, but mostly good :)


  1. Free stay at such big hotel that is amazing

    Likes each pic which shows your fun time during stay stay happy always

  2. Free stay at such big hotel that is amazing

    Likes each pic which shows your fun time during stay stay happy always

  3. Best trip to Cville so far. Even though the sweltering heat was oppressing, the pool hotel made it all bearable. Plus, we found a new place to grab food the next time we're in town.

  4. I hope to be still able to read this blog when Anna starts college!


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