Monday, April 12, 2010


The emblematic picture of the day:

This trip was going to be a much bigger affair, with an overnight stay, a music venue, and trodding into North Carolina territory, but. The Snow piled up, and piled up, and didn't go away. So we figured it would be safer to stay closer to home. My friends Jess, Liz and I aimed to make it still quite the stuff-yourself-silly affair, however.
At Buzz and Ned's- the premiere destination of the trip, in Richmond- the sign says: "ATTENTION: This is not fast food. It takes time to create a masterpiece. So cool your jets, little piggies. We're moving at the speed of real BBQ."
OMG, it was soooo good- 2 of us had the BBQ pork, and one had BBQ chicken, I believe. Poor girl. The sweet potato fries were excellent, and the hush puppies were flat-out amazing.
Isn't eating FUN?
The other nameless place we went to in Richmond, where the hush puppies were terrible. I include this shot because Jess and Liz both went ape over this particular brand of hot sauce. Go figure. From my recent experience with the Hot Pot, I stayed away. Oh, and you are also seeing our primary means of navigating- via one of the two smartphones with us on the trip. Good thing I was responsible for driving.
Snacking on the road, in style.
Goolrick's Drugs- still-operating soda fountain from back in the Day, where we tried to go, but it was closed on Sundays. Damn! Instead, we found Riverby Books (this is in Fredericksburg, VA) and were completey delighted with that. None of my photos does it justice, but it is cozy, inviting, with plenty of different types of seating, plenty of different types of books, bright displays, friendly people... it felt like home in the way only a good used bookstore can.
After enough of a break to respectably be able to say that we had room in our bellies for ice cream, we went here for our fix. Recommended by the bookstore guys, and obviously popular as entertainment for the townspeople...
We finished our BBQ adventure in Annandale, VA, home of Korean BBQ. Yum. Featured in foreground is my first bibimbap- a rustic rice dish with savory beef toppings- gorgeous.
Final stop minus one = Sheela Bakery for a bubble tea and some chocolate (it was Valentine's Day after all). Final Stop? No incriminating pictures here, but it was at karaoke- very fun. :-) My girls rock.

Digging out the Car and Celebrating Chinese New Year with Ting and friends!

My car after Snowpocolypse and the tool with which I intended to dig it out, slowly and with breaks.
What? You can't see the tool? It's a hand dustpan, blue, and most of it is under the snow.

Here was the view once I got inside the car-- cool, huh? Defroster did a fat lot o' nothin.
Thankfully, these guys happened along after only 20 minutes or so. They were coming to fix the building opposite my car in the historical alley-- unfortunately, it had not survived the storm structurally sound, so the city hired a crew to knock down the parts that were hazardous. It still looks like that today.
After that bit of luck, I went out to Costco with a friend, and was invited to a Chinese New Year party that night! which we were enlisted to stuff as many dumplings as our little hands could manage! The traditions of Korean dumpling-making were compared with Chinese, family recipes were traded, and various methods of pinching the wonton wrapper around the filling were analyzed. It was a mostly SAIS-and-spouse crowd, after all.
Oh, and I tried Ting's Szechuan Hot Pot. Bad idea.