Stay Classy, RVA!

**I wrote this on my last night in Richmond but I didn't get internet until just now, so here it goes! 

It's 10pm and I'm sitting in my apartment wondering where the hell time went. Where did the last three years go? I moved to Richmond in the summer of 2011 because there was a piece of my heart missing that only living in a city could fill. I wanted the excitement, the danger, the lights, and everything that comes with living in a city, including the traffic. Richmond grew on me so quickly that I knew I was home. Before I go any further, let me put a disclaimer out there that I am only moving two hours away, but it's still not the same. Richmond has so much character that only people who live here can explain. There's just something about the city, the James, and the people that create this community that's impossible to duplicate. 

I'm so excited to be moving closer to the ocean and Jon, but that doesn't come without a huge ache in my heart over leaving this city. There's always something to do, to see, to go, and I'm going to miss so much about this place that only pictures will have to suffice. 

I've listed my top three below but my secret first place winner will be the food! 

1. The Culture
I swear, Richmond has some insane festivals. There is literally  a festival for anything and everything and there was usually one every single weekend in the warmer months. Being able to bike or walk to the heart of these events was absolutely amazing. I always had something to go do or see but I deep down, I always thought that Richmond used any excuse for a reason to drink... I'm not complainin'! Brown's Island, Belle Isle, Tredegar, Monument, and Maymont, all of those iconic places so near and dear to my heart. I'm going to miss heading to Belle Isle to tan on the rocks but give up after an hour because there are wayyyy too many people trying to sunbathe on tiny rocks. 

2. The People 
Okay, so the giraffe isn't a person but it was still a funny picture to add. Also, not all of my Richmond friends are included in the pictures above but sifting through more RVA pictures will probably make me tear up again so I can't do it. Those will have to do. 

I've made so many friends here in RVA, some that I will forever keep, some that I am better off without. However my life would not be the same without either of them. They say that the friends you make in college are the friends you keep for life and while I could argue that point, there's definitely a good deal of people here in Richmond that have a huge impact on my life. 

3. The Sights. 
This is probably my biggest one of all. If you have ever visited Richmond just for a day, you have never truly seen this city. It's absolutely gorgeous. I had the privilege to live on the top floor of a building in the heart of downtown and capture some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. Honestly. I have never ever seen sunsets like the ones in RVA, some of them literally brought me to tears. (If you haven't noticed by now, I'm super emotional) 

The night lights were also my favorite part of the city. Seeing the buildings light up at night still to this day makes me appreciate my time living here. I guess it takes a certain person to think a bunch of bricks and cement is beautiful but I truly do. It's the main reason I chose to move to Richmond! I spent countless days by myself and some with Max just exploring places that I had never been to. While RVA is pretty sketchy, it's extremely beautiful and the best spots are usually the ones you have to search for. I didn't include ALL of my favorite spots like Texas Beach, the Pipeline, Church Hill, and the canal walk because again, I don't want to go searching for them. But if you're visiting Richmond, I highly suggest you put them all on your list to see! 


All in all, It's been an awesome three years Richmond, I am going to miss every square block about this city. However, every good thing has to end so that a better one can begin and I am so so so excited to begin the next chapter of my life in Virginia Beach. I fully plan to adapt to the beach lifestyle as quickly as possible with the purchase of a surfboard and a new bikini ;) ANYONE who knows me knows how much I am dying to be near an ocean and even if that means putting up with Hampton Roads traffic, it's a price I'm willing to pay for permanent salty air. 

Until next time...



Posted by Ashley Lester.