On the Road to Revolution Following Patrick Henry

The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail links historic sites and institutions in Virginia that interpret the life of Patrick Henry, orator of the Revolution and Virginia’s first governor, as well as other important Virginians who made significant contributions to the American Revolution. I had the opportunity to visit four sites along the Road to Revolution […]

12 Urban Oases To Escape To!

When the urban jungle becomes too much for us, we naturally seek an oasis of peace and calm amidst the asphalt and pandemonium. I’ve found twelve surprising urban oases offering us the promise of lovely vistas, green relief, or a pleasant walk. These are all near or in major cities in the mid-Atlantic region: Pittsburgh, […]

Scotchtown: An Exploration of Patrick Henry’s Revolutionary Values

There aren’t many places you can go that are so closely associated with Patrick Henry, patriot, revolutionary, first governor of Virginia, and noted orator, but Scotchtown is one of them. He lived there with his wife Sarah, and their children. He trod these floors. (I’m always fascinated by such proximity to historical legends.) Although he […]

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with a Chocolate Truffle Experience

A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache — a mixture of melted chocolate and warmed cream — cooled until firm, rolled, and coated with  chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped toasted nuts, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape. Their name derives from their resemblance to truffles, […]

Maymont Mansion, Richmond’s Gilded Age Spendor

Victorian exuberant excess is on display at the lovely Maymont Mansion, overlooking the James River in Richmond. Originally a 100-acre Victorian estate, Maymont is now a public park, and the mansion a house museum. On the grounds there’s an arboretum, formal gardens, a carriage collection, native wildlife exhibits, a nature center, and a children’s farm. […]

Battle of the Crater — Petersburg National Battlefield Park

The Battle of the Crater was a battle of the Civil War, part of the Siege of Petersburg and the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, fought between June 1864 and march 1865. Petersburg was an important goal for both armies: four railroad lines met there before continuing on to Richmond, and most of the Confederate Army’s supplies funneled […]

Gotta Catch Them All: 11 Best Places to Play Pokemon Go

With multiple Pokéstops and Pokégyms, 1. Columbia’s four lakes in Howard County, MD, offer Pokémon Go players great game play in a pleasant, shaded setting that belies its urban location. Proximity to water also ensures you’ll catch plenty of magikarp as you collect what you need to evolve a gyarados. 2. Downtown Pittsburgh has hundreds […]

Retracing a Veteran Ancestor’s Steps in Cold Harbor National Battlefield

When my husband and I had visited Richmond last June, my sister reminded me that our ancestor, George Washington Spertzel, the second generation of Spertzels in the United States, had fought at Cold Harbor. I’m pretty proud of his story and his service to our country, and that’s why I’m writing about our visit to […]

Butterflies and Gardens: Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

I wasn’t prepared for excitement and wonder I felt in the butterfly garden. And if I hadn’t suddenly realized that our staying in the garden longer was preventing some folks from entering, I would have stayed a lot longer! So even though butterflies are really just (creepy) bugs with gorgeous fairy wings, it was a […]