Yesterday, I had to hitch up the wagon and drive in The City to pick up the awards our Key Club won at International Convention. Not wanting to waste a 3-hour round trip for just that venture, I sought out some type of sightseeing adventure to add to the agenda. I did not find too many options that would be appealing to myself and the 17 year-old and the 4 year-old.
And honestly? I was a bit lazy and last-minute about it and quickly decided upon Maymont as I was surfing around. It was the 100-acre Victorian country estate of James Henry and Sally May Dooley during the Gilded Age of the late 1880s through the 1910s. After completion of the Romanesque-style mansion, the Dooleys spent three decades filling its interiors with treasures from around the world and establishing the gardens and landscapes. Following Dooley's death, with no heirs to the estate, Maymont was bequeathed to the city of Richmond and opened as a public park and museum. (Information is more than slightly plagiarized from the linked website.)
I know... it doesn't sound like a place to entertain the adventurous pre-schooler, but it really did make for a great day. We did not venture into the Mansion or Nature Center, but walked the overall grounds and checked out the various animal areas. It was simply beautiful, and not in the overly flowered and spruced-up kind of way. I was hesitant too when I saw the map at the entry gate and paths marking the 3-mile hikes were traced along the paths (just sections of the paths!). And there may have been one hill I just had Cameron take my hand and drag me up at the end, but in the end it was definitely worth the venture (especially the free venture).
So, here I give to you and posterity's sake and to Cameron (since he told me this morning about reading this blog) a Mommy-blogging-photo-roll of pics from the day!