Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quoth the Raven

Today was a rainy and dreary day. Kira was actually home this weekend, and not at her dad's, so I thought it was a perfect time to have a mother-daughter outing. We spent the morning shopping for her new swimsuit (and I bought myself a glittery pair of flipflops), and getting Easter basket goodies for the little kids. Then, after lunch, we made our way downtown to thePoe Museum in the city.

Kira has been studying Edgar Allan Poe in her English class this year. She has developed a love for the dark, haunting stories and poetry, especially 'The Raven' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart'. Most people associate Poe with Baltimore, but really, he has a much more significant history here in central Virginia -- in Richmond, specifically.

The museum is located in the oldest building in Richmond -- a house built in the early 1700's, and later given to the museum to house the collections about Poe and his life.

The museum is made up of several buildings clustered around a walled garden that contains the Poe Shrine.
The walled garden, facing the shrine.

The main building holds the gift shop and a small exhibit of furniture and paintings. Two other buildings hold a huge model of Richmond as it appeared during Poe's life, his first-edition books, some family artifacts and clothing, and lots and lots of information and details about his life that I had no idea about. Of course, I couldn't take any photographs of the artifacts or the insides of the buildings, but I took as many shots of the outsides of the period structures as I could.

The back of the main house, which contains the gift shop and some offices.

Kira ponders the gardens

From the inside of the Poe Shrine

We really enjoyed our visit here, and although the museum was small, there were so many interesting things to see and read about that it was well worth the time and small admission fee.

Afterward, I took Kira to Richmond Hill, a few blocks away, to show her one of my favorite views of the city. It was starting to rain, with the significant warning for sever weather, so we ran up several flights of concrete stairs that went straight up the side of the hill to see this:

It started to thunder and lightning shortly after I took these pictures, so we quickly made our way down the hill and made it into the car JUST as the downpour began!

A few blocks away is St. John's Episcopal Church, where Patrick Henry gave his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, and also where Poe's mother is buried. I really, really want to see this church, so it will have to be next on my tourist agenda.

I love my adopted hometown of Richmond, Virginia. This place is so very full of history and art and culture and science! So many terrific restaurants, so many great outdoor spaces to play in, it's hard to see and do everything. It's a great place to live.

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