Friday, June 11, 2010

Birthday Trip Pt 3 ~ Downtown Charlottesville

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!


AaronVFT said...

What a fun trip! Hope you had an enjoyable time!

Turling said...

Sounds like a fantastic trip! I, of course, won't mention that the Company that owns our company use to own a lot of those buffet's in Jacksonville. And, yes, the food was terrible.

Edith Hope said...

Dear Kyna, I have so enjoyed reading of your visit to Charlottesville which does, indeed, appear to be a very attractive town. Certainly you have packed a great deal into your time - always, I believe, a good thing to do as so often one may not visit these places for a second time.

Your dinner menu sounds delicious - exactly what I should have chosen.

Kyna said...

Aaron: I'm still happy about it :D

Turling: Well, those sorts of places cater perfectly to this Marine town. Marines can take their massive families to an all you can eat for relatively low prices. Quantity, not quality. Unfortunately that's just not the way I roll :D

Edith: I'm very happy you're enjoying it :D I've been worried that I'm being boring lol. Even if I am, I'm good with that. I feel the need to get it all out! And you're right, I probably won't make it back there again, so I'm glad I did the most important things for me :)

Noelle said...

I have enjoyed your 'trip' so much. We are traveling to NC for the first time this fall and I love seeing glimpses of it ahead of time.

I hope you blog about Montpelier. I'm not ready for the trip to end yet ;-)

Kyna said...

Thank you Noelle! You will definitely enjoy your trip to this neck of the woods :) When we were travelling from here on the NC coast up to Charlottesville, I didn't even want to take a nap in the car. I didn't want to miss any of the scenery :D

I'm definitely going to post about Montpelier. Totally different experience than Monticello. But just as cool (and I hope everyone else will think so too) :)

Jayne said...

That sounds like a really fun place. I'm going to have to put that on my wish list of place I'd like to go. Thanks for the "tour" :-)