Soaking in Salt: A new kind of spa

This past weekend we got the most amount of snow I’ve seen in Charlottesville all winter and not many were out on Saturday, but Michal’s four-wheel drive did well on the roads so we thought we’d try out a Living Social deal we found for a flotation center near the Downtown Mall.

Aqua Float is a totally different kind of spa or wellness center than Michal and I have ever visited – more focused on individual meditation and healing rather than a social experience we could share with each other and friends.  We spent 90 minutes in individual rooms within enclosed tanks, each boasting more than 800 pounds of saltwater with a little ambient lighting.

We took a tour of the facility before getting enclosed in our individual tanks.

When I first saw our individual tanks, they reminded me of that moment when Matt Damon woke up in the film Interstellar.

First impressions:

  • It looks like a space ship or a device from some sci-fi, futuristic film.
  • I need to be extra careful not to accidentally rub my eyes with salt as it will burn.
  • I will probably get bored, but this is supposed to be healing so I’m going with the flow.

Afterward:

  • I fell asleep half-way through and woke up with a start as it took me a minute to re-orient myself. I also started to feel a bit claustrophobic so I opened the lid of tank a bit.
  • I was incredibly thirsty – downing two water bottles immediately.
  • After showering off all the salt, my skin felt amazingly smooth and I was glowing.
  • When Michal and I met up in the lounge, we helped ourselves to complimentary fruit, lemon-infused water and tea while reading a few materials on the benefits of floating, as well as journaling/doodling. This time helped with extending the relaxation experience and alleviated my dehydration.
  • I felt a boost in my mood and energy level that lasted me through the day.

Would I do it again?

Probably not unless there is another LivingSocial deal – We paid $29 each for what normally costs $60 each. Also – the length of the session seemed a bit too long to me as I did get a bit stir-crazy in that tank.

However, I like finding unique, local spots like this and will now consider doing my Epsom salt baths at home as I love the way my skin feels afterward. This was also a very calming, restorative experience that I would recommend if you’re having a stressful or anxious week, as it truly helped me to quiet my mind.

Quotes from the website and brochures that stood out:

“Being a float tank is like relaxing in outer space.”

“Trust the water.” – relating to letting your head fall back and your neck relax, as that isn’t our natural inclination when in deep water (FYI – I prefer using the neck pillow for extra support.)

“No pathogenic organisms can survive salt concentrations above 10 percent.” – helped in making me feel reassured that the water is clean, plus there is an intense filtration system and everything in the facility is spotless, well –maintained and soothing

Have you ever tried a floatation center or are you interested? The employees at the one we visited in Charlottesville told us the majority in the U.S. are out on the West Coast.

Winter Weekend Getaway: ‘Taking to the Waters’

In my quest to complete my Cville Bucket List in our second and final year at Darden, my husband Michal and I have discovered a few spots in Central Virginia that are a fun alternative to the typical Jacuzzi, whirpool or hot tub in a ski lodge: the Omni Homestead and Jefferson Pools.

Less than two hours away from Charlottesville, these two facilities have the same owner (Omni) but drastically different feels – swanky vs. rustic. The following is recap of a Saturday-Sunday trip that Michal and I took last month when we decided to “take to the waters,” in Thomas Jefferson’s words.

Back to the Basics

After a long day of hiking in the Hidden Valley and Cobbler Mountain trails, we were beat. (And yes, hiking in the winter is somewhat common in the area, especially during this year’s overall mild winter.)

This hike is known for the views on its long walking bridges. The weather and scenery that day make this photo seem like it was during the fall season!

This hike is known for the views on its long walking bridges. The weather and scenery that day make this photo seem like it was during the fall season!

Our legs were ready for some relaxation, so we checked into the Warm Springs Inn. The inn was cozy and had a lot of character with the main building’s beautiful architectural details, as it used to be a courthouse and jail in 1802. Bonus: The inn was lot more affordable of $96/night instead of $180/night or more at the Omni Homestead down the road.

The most advantageous part about staying at the inn was the location – It’s right across from the historic Jefferson Pools. According to the website, “the pools are named for Thomas Jefferson, who sojourned here in 1818 to spend three weeks relaxing within our Virginia mountain spa.”

It felt like we time traveled to Thomas Jefferson's era - except for the neon-colored noodle floaties.

It felt like we time traveled to Thomas Jefferson’s era – except for the floating neon-colored noodles we used.

Although the Jefferson Pools were charming with its history, it seems they haven’t renovated since that time period.

The surrounding walkways and parking lot were muddy after melted snow and rain and no pavement, and the building itself was a rickety wood dome with a “skylight” that looked like a clear plastic tarp that had a rip in it. Not to mention, there were no working public bathrooms or insulation for the dressing rooms. Expert advice: Based on suggestions from the innkeeper across the street, I planned ahead and wore bathing suit underneath my clothes to minimize the amount of time it took to get into the water.

The water was just above body temperature, so they’re not as hot as the springs at the Homestead but the co-ed pool was much bigger so I didn’t feel claustrophobic. Plus, they provided noodles to help with floating and it was deep and wide enough that I could swim or tread water a bit when it wasn’t busy.

For $17 to soak as long as you want, it wasn’t too expensive, but it really should have had a discount as the more upscale Homestead was similarly priced at the time we went.

After freshening up at the inn across the street (again – I must emphasize the convenient location because you’ll then limit the amount of time you’re out of the pools in an unheated environment!) we were starving and ready for dinner at The Waterwheel. We loved this place for the combination of big city-standard gourmet food with the hospitality and modesty of the countryside. My fav dishes were the savory Oyster-Stuffed Mushrooms, fresh Highland County Mountain Trout (sourced only a few minutes away) and the fluffy Sour Cream Maple Syrup Cake.

Best part of dinner: Checking out the wine cellar in lieu of ordering off of a wine menu, where you can take your time to select your own bottle! We scored one for $27 – an incredible steal for a good quality red.

Enjoying our dinner and the bottle of wine we found in the cellar!

We both got fish for dinner – salmon and trout. Both were yummy but I’ll never forget that bottle of wine!

Serenity in the Springs

After church the following day, Michal and I enjoyed the Homestead Spa for its luxurious and plentiful amenities with the indoor Aqua Thermal Suite and the outdoor Spa Garden.

Panoramic view of the Spa Garden that includes the natural warm and hot springs.

Pano view of the Spa Garden that includes the natural warm and hot springs – early on a Sunday before the crowds.

The Aqua Thermal Suite was separated between the males and females so we each took some time on our own to explore these saunas and showers. And the bright tile colors, rushing water sounds and floating scents of lavender or eucalyptus appealed to all my senses.

After some quality alone time, we met in the co-ed, very family friendly indoor pool for a few laps (needed to get our workout in for the day). And then we rested in the co-ed lounge while filling up on some complimentary tea and fruit, along with some yummy turkey croissant sandwiches we purchased at the cafe. After this sustenance and some magazine reading while snuggled up in blankets, we ventured outdoors.

There were two springs – hot and warm. The warm one was a little murky for my liking, but it at least felt very natural/authentic. The hot one was the perfect temp for me, but was a bit small so it got crowded at points. Out here, the majority of people were our age or slightly older and mostly seemed to be couples. Expert advice: There was a co-ed sauna nearby that employees recommended we leave our towels and robes so that they stayed warm.

Overall

This trip was the perfect weekend getaway, as the drive wasn’t too far from Charlottesville but far enough that we got to experience something adventurous. Going to the springs is the best recovery activity after hitting the ski slopes or trekking through mountainous terrain. Not to mention, the overall price tag (especially during the winter season) makes the trip affordable for grad students on a budget looking for a little adventure.

Cashing in

Go during the winter season to maximize discounts.

The Homestead’s pricing in January (not sure how long specials last so call first):

  • Sunday – Thursday: One-day pass: $40 -> $20
  • Friday and Saturday: One-day pass: $55 -> $30

Similar saunas and springs

Michal and I have actually checked out a range of spas and saunas from Korean King Spa & Sauna when we lived in Chicago suburbs to the historic baths of Budapest and thermal springs of Costa Rica during our summer vacations.

Are there any natural spas in the world that you recommend we visit?

The Ultimate To-Do List

Picture is actually from 2014 NYE, but it seemed fitting here!

Picture is actually from 2014 NYE, but it seemed fitting here!

I’m not writing down New Year’s Resolutions this year.

I’ve decided – instead – to create a list that puts all my other to-do lists to shame: This is my combined “30 before 30/Cville Bucket List/Farewell America Tour.”

These upcoming milestones inspired my list:

May 17, 2015 – After two years, my husband Michal graduates with his MBA from Darden. I end my time working at the Women’s Center at U.Va. We leave Charlottesville, our home for the past two years and say farewell to our friends.

August 1, 2015 - We move to Seoul, South Korea! At the end of December 2014, Michal accepted a job offer from Samsung, doing internal consulting as part of their Global Strategy Group. We had other options, but we decided to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as we’ll probably only be abroad for around three years.

September 16, 2015 – I officially say goodbye to my 20s. This last milestone isn’t as life-changing, but it’s still a significant moment to celebrate!

Based on the above, I brainstormed the following. (Disclaimer: Some of these items are less exciting than others, but I’ve included them in here because they’re either activities I’ve wanted to do for a while – or I just need to do them anyway before we move.)

Before leaving Cville:

  1. Visit all the breweries on Cville’s Brew Ridge Trail.
  2. Check out the hot springs in Bath County.
  3. Use my education benefit from U.Va. to take a class. -> Signed up for PR classes this semester
  4. Go cross-country skiing or snow tubing.
  5. Visit a cidery and meadery and do tastings.
  6. Go to a First Friday.
  7. Try out the remainder of restaurants I’ve bookmarked on Yelp for Charlottesville.

 Before leaving U.S.:

  1. Do a cross-country road trip.
  2. Hike national parks that Michal visited as a child.
  3. Go back-country camping.
  4. Go rock-climbing outdoors.
  5. Finish our wedding scrapbook. -> We’ll be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary this year! So it’s about time I complete it!
  6. Finish my Chicago scrapbook. -> After two years of moving away from the area, I at least have all the photos printed.
  7. Finish the Cville photo book. -> My close friends through the DPA and I have started to pool all our photos together from the past two years into a Shutterfly account. This one is actually the closest to being done!
  8. Cook a meal for my mother-in-law.
  9. Update my resume and LinkedIn profile -> Apply for jobs!
  10. Sew a T-shirt quilt. -> I have a box of shirts I’ve been collecting to make one – probably more – of these.
  11. Go to one last Yelp Elite event.
  12. Try workouts I normally would never do because of their intensity, such as CrossFit or a BootCamp.
  13. Try a mashup workout like Piloxing or Aqua Spinning.
  14. Grow my hair out really long, then cut it all off and donate it to Locks of Love.
  15. Find another TV series that Michal and I can enjoy together, and marathon-watch it from beginning to end. (The Wire is really the only show that we’ve ever both enjoyed watching together on a regular basis.)
  16. Sell/donate/throw out all of our belongings.

Before turning 30:

  1. Learn a new language. -> It’s going to be Korean.
  2. Complete this Book Bingo. (Thanks for the inspiration, Esther and Maddie!)
  3. Go scuba-diving or snorkeling.
  4. Keep up with daily devotional reading.
  5. Research a charity whose cause Michal and I are both passionate about and make a pledge.
  6. Try cooking one new recipe a week.
  7. Visit the Philippines with my parents, brother and Michal.

Want to join me on doing any of the above? Or got a suggestion for me to add to the list?

Looking back at London during a Darden GFE

One of the best pieces of advice that I could pass on to incoming Darden partners:

When your significant other/student goes on a “Study Abroad” type of experience through Darden, (Global Business Experience, Global Field Experience, a club-sponsored conference, an exchange program, etc.), consider taking the opportunity (if your schedule and finances align) to join him or her for a time – either before it starts, after it ends, and/or during part of the time the trip takes place if possible.

I joined my husband Michal during his GFE last semester, and I couldn’t have been more grateful.

At the end of spring semester of Michal’s first year at Darden, back in May, I couldn’t join Michal during his Israel GBE because it would have been too expensive for both of us to travel there, and his overall schedule did not allow much free time for us to be together anyway. It should be noted that the Israel GBE was an incredible opportunity for Michal, as it included a mix of cultural, business and classroom settings. Read more about Michal’s Israel GBE class here.

At the beginning of fall semester of Michal’s second year at Darden, back in August, Michal applied to more of these types of courses. One in particular stood out: a GFE in London and South Africa that was a consulting project for a Nigerian-based company. The trip occurred partially during Thanksgiving Break, and the company provided a travel stipend for Darden students in exchange for their work. With the ease of some of the financial burden of the trip and the timing during a period I would have been given holiday off of work any way, I couldn’t help but join Michal on his second global experience with Darden.

Michal and I decided to arrive a few days in the UK before he started working in London so that we could spend some time with mutual friends in Cambridge. We found an incredible Airbnb deal that included daily homemade breakfast with a friendly French expat family, and a location on the same block as some of the most popular pubs in town. (We frequented the Elm Tree, for its wide selection of rare Belgian beers.)

Michal and I enjoyed being able to walk everywhere: We toured all the well-known colleges of Cambridge – Trinity, St. John’s and King’s College. We punted down the River Cam so we could get a view of the Backs, and we even attended a choir concert at King’s College Chapel. Almost every moment felt like I was on the set of a Harry Potter movie.

Cambridge

After our jaunt in this quaint university town, we jumped into big city life in London with zest. We stayed at a little townhome-turned-hotel in the South Kensington neighborhood near Imperial College, where Michal would spend his time during office hours on his consulting project. While he worked all day, I visited nearby museums.

Our British friends, who we met back at Darden, recommended all the best restaurants and nightlife in London, along with provided some tips on how to maneuver through all the tourist traps. Of course, we ended up in the rain in front of Buckingham Palace and saw the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

However, out of all the historic and famous places we visited in the city, my favorite memory with Michal in London was at the end of a long day of sightseeing. At night, we shared a bottle of wine in a dark cavern of London’s oldest wine bar, Gordon’s. Afterward, we walked nearby Embankment Bridge and took in the city and Christmas lights. (Side note: I absolutely adored London’s festive approach to Advent! We went to tons of Christmas markets/festivals, where I found the best Christmas jumper with Olaf from Frozen on it.)

London

Michal ended up going on to the South Africa leg of the trip without me, while I spent a little more time on London on my own before making my way back to the U.S., as it was cheaper to do a round ticket for me. Until that point, I had never explored a foreign city or traveled that much on my own. In total, I spent about a week in London, with the majority of the time by myself.

I’m so glad I took the chance of joining Michal on this experience because this adventure was like the Study Abroad that I ended up never doing while I was in undergrad.

Team Philippines at the Darden International Food Festival: Take Two

IFF 2014

A more organized, prepared and polished crew this time around. We improved our lumpia, adobo and pancit recipes, along with our clothing and decor, from the prior year and felt much more confident and united this time!

Team Philippines reunited in SY for the Darden International Food Festival to not just attempt to defend our 2013 title, but more so to learn from last year’s (in)experience and embrace our heritage with more confidence.

Perhaps participating in the IFF held more meaning for me this year, as my time in Charlottesville has been the most distance and time away I’ve had from my immediate family in my adult life. With determination, I re-made the dish I vowed never to make again last year after enduring the meticulous process. I ditched the Allrecipes.com instructions and tried to go more traditional from the filling (no potato this year!) to the wrapper (explicitly labled “lumpia” not “spring roll” paper). After a few batches, I came up with the following tried and true recipe for lumpia (AKA Filipino-style egg rolls).

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Lumpia Recipe

(adapted from my mom’s recipe and a few Pinterest suggestions)

For the filling:
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil – for cooking the filling
1 lb ground pork
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced very finely
1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped
1⁄2 cup carrots, shredded (can buy pre-packaged)
1⁄2 cup green cabbage, shredded (can buy pre-packaged)
1⁄2 cup green onion, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
1 large egg, beaten

For the filling’s seasoning:
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp soy sauce

For wrapping and frying:
~ 30 lumpia wrappers (28 came in the package I found) -> Make sure to go to an oriental market and find “Filipino lumpia” wrappers not “spring roll” or “egg roll” wrappers in order to get the right crisp, papery texture.
2 cup vegetable or canola oil
A couple beaten egg whites with some water

For the dipping sauce:
Lumpia traditionally goes with sweet-chili sauce -> Find a bottle of this in an oriental market as well.

Directions:
1) Coat a wok on medium-high to high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Break up and brown pork, stirring often and cooking until no pink shows. Remove pork from pan and set aside. Drain the grease from the pan, leaving a thin coating. Cook down the white onions, along with fresh garlic, for a couple minutes until  white onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the carrots and green cabbage and cook for another couple minutes so that they wilt and meld with the onion and garlic. Stir in the green onion. Finally, add back the cooked pork. Season with soy sauce, pepper and garlic salt. Once the mixture is well-combined and the seasoning is distributed, set aside so that it will be cool enough to handle. Stir in the beaten egg to hold the mixture together and maintain consistency.

2) Place about one and half heaping tablespoons of filling onto the edge of the lumpia wrapper. Roll tightly to the thickness of a cigar. Wet the sides with the egg white mixture. Fold in the edges and roll over with the crease side down to seal it all in. Check out this Youtube video that shows you how to wrap it.

3) Cook the lumpia. Select one of the following methods:

  • Frying method: (w/o deep fryer) Heat deep skillet over medium heat, add 1/2 in. oil and let it heat up for five minutes. Put four to six lumpia in the skillet at a time – however much the skillet can hold with some room around each one. Fry one to two minutes, turning when necessary, so all sides are a golden brown.
  • Baking method: (easier for larger quantities, slightly healthier) Grease a baking sheet and place lumpia with the crease down in rows with room around each. Brush oil over the top and sides to ensure crispiness and a golden brown color. Place baking sheet in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Then, take the sheet out and carefully, using tongs, flip the lumpia over to the other side. Bake again for another five minutes until evenly cooked.

4) Let sit for five minutes to drain on a paper towel and cool slightly. Make sure to cut in half before serving (to let the hot steam out so it doesn’t burn your tongue). Add green onion as garnish and the dipping sauce on the side. This is best served immediately to fully experience the crispiness!

P.S. You can freeze your pre-formed lumpia and cook them later, if you so desire to portion out the servings.

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This dish is a little piece of my childhood that my mother still cooks for me when I come home to Michigan. For the ultimate Filipino feast, fit for a special occasion, don’t forget the pancit (noodles are meant to be eaten on your birthday to represent a “long life” you’ll live) and the lechon (whole, roasted pig) as pictured below from my dad’s uncle’s recent birthday party.

Filipino Party

My dad is one of 17 so we have a lot of extended family. Many of them happen to reside in nearby Norfolk and Virginia Beach. I was so grateful to spend time with relatives at this special party in honor of my dad’s uncle’s 89th birthday.

Summer Nights in Charlottesville

Even though the summer season officially ends on September 20, the school year has already started. This means my social calendar has shifted to events mostly related to Darden.

With the conclusion of summer, I’ve found the following to be the best options of the area for an affordable “night out” while enjoying the season’s beautiful scenery and weather. (P.S. These actually all continue into the month of September so they’re also fun alternatives to the usual get-togethers.)

Polo Matches at King Family Vineyard

Weekly on Sunday afternoons

King Family Polo

This was my favorite summer gathering place in Cville. The above pictures are from the last weekend of summer before my husband came back from his internship.

Highlights:

  • Free admission
  • Encouraged to bring coolers and picnic baskets of food and stay all day
  • Crose wine (a rose that’s perfect for the hot weather and bonus points for a clever name!)
  • Breathtaking view of the mountains
  • Plenty of grass to play lawn games while watching polo
  • At the end of matches, the players ride the horses close to the crowd for pictures and to meet people.
  • A convenient wine cart comes around so I don’t always have to go back to the tasting room.

Low lights:

  • It can get extremely hot if our group doesn’t have a pop-up tent for shade.
  • Depending on where we’ve sat on the field, the bathrooms can be far away, and they are very limited.

 

Fridays after Five Concert Series

Weekly on Friday evenings

Fridays After Five

My co-workers and I liked to go to this event as an alternative to the usual Happy Hour, as it happened right after work at the end of the week. Above photo is when we got caught in the rain.

Highlights:

  • Free admission
  • We can bring our own food for a picnic, but there are also some food trucks on-site, and of course, nearby bars and restaurants on the Downtown Mall for either dinner beforehand or afterward.
  • There are a variety of seating choices: table and chairs, folding chairs, or on a grassy area with a blanket or chairs that we bring.
  • It’s a very short drive with the location that’s right in the city.
  • Drinks are decently priced at $5 each with some local options for wine and beer. (The event requires you to purchase tickets when entering the venue that you later exchange for drinks. One ticket =$5)
  • Tons of bathroom stalls that are maintained and with a line that moves quickly

Low lights:

  • Parking can be a pain. I try to park for free on the street, which tends to be on Monticello Road – It’s a bit of a walk but worth the savings in money. Try to get to the area before 5:30 p.m. if possible to score free spots.
  • It can get very crowded, which means the grassy area also gets occupied fairly quickly.
  • The music is oftentimes a bit too loud for me, as I prefer it to be more background noise to conversation.
  • Kind of annoying that I couldn’t just buy a drink directly from the vendor. Plus: You can’t use leftover drink tickets on another night – So purchase wisely!

 

Starry Nights at Veritas Vineyard

Monthly on a Saturday evening

Veritas Vineyard

The first photo is in the tasting room. The second photo is when my friend Esther visited from Michigan, and we took a walk through the vineyards on a trail she discovered just before the sunset.

Highlights:

  • I’ve really liked the bands they’ve had here: I’ve heard a variety – Motown, Beatles and 80s cover. The acoustics/sound/space work well with varying crowd participation. (ie. I could jump on stage or dance in front of it, OR I could sit farther away so that the band acts as background music to my conversation.)
  • I can bring my own food or I could purchase a nice sit-down dinner. Although I never took the second option, I’ve known those who have who liked what they ate, and the dining area is a bit fancier.
  • There is a variety of affordable wine – especially if you’re in the Wine Club or, like me, have a friend who is in it. (Wine Club members have free admission for one guest, and friends can continue to reap their benefits by getting a discount on bottles. Splitting a $14 bottle of wine is a bargain!)
  • There are plenty of bathrooms – Porta Potties scattered throughout the area and restrooms in the tasting room.
  • On a clear night, there is a beautiful view of the stars and moon above the vineyards.

Low lights:

  • Must pay $15 for admission ahead of time online or $20 at the door if there isn’t a Wine Club friend available ;)

 

Sunset Series at Carter Mountain Orchard

Weekly on Thursday afternoon/evenings

Carter Mountain

It was a bit of a cloudy day, but we still got a beautiful view of the sunset. This photo was taken while sitting on the grass underneath the patio/deck.

Highlights:

  • Sweeping view of the mountains and city at sunset
  • Tons of activities: fruit picking, picnicking, wine tasting, browsing the Country Store (must try the apple cider!)
  • Samples of fresh fruit are available in the store when I just want to buy a bag. My fav fruit I tasted the last time I came were the juicy, sweet white nectarines!

Low lights:

  • Limited bathrooms – I’ve waited in long lines.
  • I couldn’t hear the music as well in certain areas.
  • They do not allow you to bring your own food, and I was not a fan of the restaurant because they quickly ran out of items and what I had (chicken salad wrap) was not flavorful.
  • The wine is not made on the premises (although it is local), and it isn’t especially memorable.

I’ve wanted to try out other outdoor concert series and vineyards, but these were the most popular with close drives to where I live. What are your favorite summer nighttime options in the Cville area?

Serene swimming options

My ideal vacation always includes a beach. I love the warmth of the sun, bare feet and the rushing sound of water. In the past month, I’ve found a few new places to swim other than the usual Virginia Beach.

Sandbridge Beach

When my family from Michigan visited me, we made the three-hour drive to reunite with my dad’s aunts and uncles who live in Virginia Beach. Based off of suggestions from my co-workers, we tried out Sandbridge Beach.

My family and I were so happy to find it a lot less crowded and a lot more clean – and just 10 or so minutes away from the beach all the tourists visit. I enjoyed not bumping into people as I was playing in the waves and having plenty of room to spread out on the sand.

And during an impromptu trip to Richmond, my friend and I discovered the James River at Belle Isle Park is another area to swim. It’s a very different experience than being at the shore of a lake or ocean, but equally as scenic and a much closer drive (one hour away).

Belle Isle Park

There are lots of large flat rocks on which people will set up blankets, towels and even folding tables for picnics and sunbathing. In the more still and shallow part of the river, little children will swim.

In the more rapid portion, we saw adults who were more daring with rafting and kayaking. We spotted one couple on a more peaceful part of the river, who sat on some rocks, partially submerged in the water, with the river current flowing over and past them.

We weren’t prepared for this outing as we didn’t know what to expect, so we sat near the edge – our feet in the water. I hope to return with a swimsuit next time I’m in town.

 

I’m still curious about Virginia’s swimming holes. Any suggestions on which are the best, or are there other nearby (not too crowded) places to swim?