Maria and Derek's Travels

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

US Roadtrip - North Carolina and Virginia

August 29, 2017

States:  2 (North Carolina, Virginia)
Capitals:  2 (Raleigh, NC, Richmond, VA)
Distance Traveled: 330 miles today / 775 miles total
Time Traveled: 6 hrs today / 14.5 hrs total

Starting off the day, I had breakfast with a former client/friend of my in Raleigh while Maria caught up on work, and we soon made our way to the Raleigh capitol building.  Once again, we were impressed with the surrounding area.  The capitol itself is not a huge or ostentatious building, but the downtown area around the building has a nice, walkable feel, surrounded by a mix of high rises and restaurants.  The weather wasn't looking great, but we drove around the city a bit and then headed North, making our way up to Virginia.

Lots of rain and low visibility slowed us down a bit, so after a lunch stop at a sheltered rest area, we continued down the road and made it up to Richmond.  Without having ever visited, we expected a large, bustling city, but Richmond was strangely quiet.  Even just a few miles out from the city, there was some development, but it was not nearly as built-up as we expected.  Finally, just before getting to the city, we saw the small square of high rises, government and corporate buildings, standing tall from our view of the interstate running right towards the city (which reminded us of the approach into Cleveland with an elevated freeway heading right towards the city).

The Virginia capitol building is actually an impressive one, sitting tall on a big grassy hill, overlooking some of the city.  Instead of the traditional stone building with a dome on top, this one is a white building with huge pillars, looking much more like the White House than many of the capitols that I have seen.  The area was nice, but we were amazed at how quiet the city streets and surrounding area were, given that we were there at 3:00 pm on a weekday.  Fortunately, the rain had stopped for a few minutes while we wandered the downtown area, and soon enough, we were off again, heading up to Washington DC to visit my brother and some other friends.  We had also been hauling a huge piece of furniture in the back of Toasty to give to my friend near DC, so we were able to drop that off, and it feels so much lighter and less crowded without having that massive dresser in the back, with our small bags tucked in around it.

Looking South from the park around the capitol in Raleigh.  The area has a nice mix of business and walkability, so we were impressed and liked the feel of the place.

In front of the Raleigh capitol, a monument stands to "Presidents We Have Given the Nation" (or something to that effect):  Polk, Jackson and Johnson.

Fortunately, the rain had stopped temporarily, so we were able to get a few pictures before moving on.

Some of the stately buildings just outside of the Raleigh capitol.

Moving on to Richmond, we had some heavy rains, but it again cleared up a bit when we got to the city.  Taken from the capitol grounds, this is the US Court of Appeals building, with Bank of America in the background.

It's not easy getting the timing just right with our jumps, a tripod and a 10 second timer, but this one was pretty close. 

The Richmond capitol definitely has a more presidential feel than most, looking rather similar to the White House.

A monument to many of our founding fathers and important politicians standing just outside the capitol in Raleigh.  The city was pretty, but it was surprisingly quiet and not as developed as we expected (apart from the compact business district in the middle of the city).


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Taking advantage of our laptop lifestyle and wandering this world together. Maria Renee is an online health and fitness coach, and Derek is an actuarial seminar instructor. Traveling together since 2015. Also see

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