Of Late

October was a whirlwind month, filled with lots of travelling. Following the road trip down south, I went to Washington D.C. to meet my mum and Cecil who had arrived and we spent the weekend seeing the sights. I liked DC, so many interesting things to see and fantastic museums (the Newseum, all about journalism and news reporting, was the best of all, just amazing), and Georgetown was a particularly gorgeous area. It was also great to be back in a big, bustling city after two months in little Charlottesville!

Lincoln Memorial

Georgetown

The following weekend we went to Staunton, a lovely little town (i.e. even smaller than Charlottesville) in the Blue Ridge Mountains where, randomly, they have a recreation of Shakespeare’s Blackfriar’s Theatre at the American Shakespeare Center. We saw a production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and while the theatre was lovely and obviously the play is fantastic we didn’t think much of the production (overacting, semi-American accents, lack of clear direction, etc. etc.). Very lucky to have that space and all those resources though. Made me very jealous.

We then went on to eastern Virginia, to Jamestown (site of the first permanent British settlement in the US, i.e. where it all began) and stayed on a wine farm in Williamsburg. Before we left to go back to Charlottesville we walked around Colonial Williamsburg which was beautiful and not nearly as fake and touristy as we had expected.

The College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg.

All in all I feel much more acquainted with Virginia now and feel very lucky to be in this state! So much history, so many lovely places to visit and God, so beautiful. October really is an amazing time to see it, the colours are incredible and as you can see from the pictures, we had perfect weather.

It has since become a little colder here in Charlottesville but we’re still getting clear blue skies and sunshine almost every day and everything looks so lovely. Autumn here is so much better than at home, I have to admit. There’s also a proper seasonal feel to it, with ‘fall’ decorations in and around many shops and houses, pumpkin-related products available everywhere, and of course everything to do with Halloween, which is a very big deal. One of the biggest traditions at UVa is that on the afternoon of Halloween all the local children from Charlottesville and the surrounding area come to the Lawn in their costumes and go around to all the Lawn rooms, trick or treating. It really does get packed with children and families and is probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean, come on:

It’s such a lovely event that brings the community to the university. I can’t really imagine anything like it happening at home. My history professor said that in all his 30 years or so at UVa his favourite memories are trick or treating on the Lawn with his kids when they were young.

‘Fall’ is amazing. Although I’m getting very excited for what comes next – Christmas! Today in a shop I heard Christmas songs playing for the first time this year. I imagine December here will be just as good as October. Just have to get through November first, and if October was the month for travelling, November will be the month for theatre, since ‘The Music Man’ starts it’s tech week on Monday, with the show the following week. Which provides a nice segue into my next post, all about this organisation called the First Year Players… but more on that tomorrow.

Red, gold, brown and yellow-leaved love,

Natalia xxx

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