That last post was really long, wasn't it?
Well, this one will be shorter, I promise. :)
After I was reluctantly dragged away from Monticello, Chuck and I went back to the hotel to get ready for a nice dinner and a stroll through the Historic Downtown Mall.
The Mall is a strip of shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters downtown (for my readers in Edmonton, it's just like Whyte Ave). A spot where all the artsy people hang out. Well, before 10pm anyway. After that it seems to change and be overrun by gaggles of crazy girls in spandex minidresses and stripper heels heading for the clubs.
The road running down the center of the Mall used to be a highly used route wayyyyy back in the day of horse and carriage. Now it's open to foot traffic only. The center of the road is filled with outdoor seating for various restaurants along the strip (you can see their red umbrellas in the pic above). The street is a lot wider than it looks in my photos.
As we were meandering along, we would see posters for all sorts of awesome bands that come and play in Charlottesville. They play here in this outdoor amphitheater:
And here in this cool old theater:
The smells wafting out of the restaurants were DELICIOUS. After 4 hours of walking around in the hot sun, I was starving.
But what to choose to eat?? There were so many awesome looking places, I didn't want to be an idiot and choose the wrong one. I made like Toucan Sam, and followed my nose...
We finally chose Bashir's Taverna, which was mostly Mediterranean cuisine. Anytime I get a chance to eat in a restaurant with Mediterranean food, I take it. Jacksonville is so devoid of fine restaurants it's ridiculous. It's all fast food and buffets.
Bashir's was the right choice. Most of the patrons were sitting outside, but I LOVED the inside. The atmosphere was awesome, it was warm and inviting, and made me want to eat.
Here's a blurry picture.
Chuck and I both ordered Moussaka, which is an eggplant and meat [lasagna-esque] dish. We started off with soup (I had cucumber dill cream, and Chuck had gazpacho), and had a Greek salad.
My compliments to Bashir (who does exist, we thanked him before we left)! The meal was perfect. Not a piece of lettuce out of place. The service was awesome.
Afterwards, we just walked around to work off all the food we ate, enjoying the night life.
The bright looking marquee in the photo is the Paramount Theater, which was built in 1931 during the Depression. It thrived and still operates today, as you can see by the blazing lights. I just realized that I took this photo, and the one above, in almost exactly the same spot. I didn't mean to do that. Cool :D
Out of the corner of my eye I saw this establishment. Which appeared to my brain as 'Salon DrunkKyna'.
Which of course made us feel like having a pint, so we found a bar/restaurant with table and chairs out in the middle of the lane.
We watched all the crazies,*cough*, I mean people go by....ahh. What fun. My favourite was a woman not wearing a bra that REALLY needed to be...every time she took a step it looked like piglets were fighting under her shirt.
That was the exact look I had on my face, by the way. I'm so subtle.
An Asian antique store (whose name I won't mention) was open very late, so Chuck and I stopped in to check it out. Very neat stuff, but I've seen enough 'Antiques Roadshow' to notice that every piece of furniture had a tag that said '18thC' on it. And looked very new. And more than one piece looked the same. Even though it was from the 18thC. Hmm...:P
I loved Charlottesville very much. I just wish I had been there a week to see more of it, and try more tasty restaurants.
Told ya this would be short. Next up, the fourth and final installment!
Did I hear a few sighs of relief?
On Sunday we went to James Madison's 'Montpelier' plantation. Quite different experience from Monticello, but just as cool!