On Wednesday I left for Charlottesville, VA to help set-up my daughter, Morgan, in her new apartment in preparation for the start of her law school journey which begins today at the University of Virginia. When I travel I like to keep my training on plan as much as I can and love to explore different restaurants in eating plant-based. I’m in a heavy training block currently so I needed to find ways to train and that I did.
For this trip I may have done the least amount of nutrition packing in some time. I packed all my fuels for running and cycling and a few bananas and that was it. I treated this trip like a game to see what options we could find while bringing virtually nothing. Wednesday morning came around quickly as I had a late bed time due to last minute packing. I got up at 4:00 AM so I could complete my typical Wednesday morning training ride on the Courtney Campbell Causeway before I left. My Wednesday morning rides are usually pretty tough and this was no different. When I was done my quads were a bit toasty but I felt great when I was done that I got the workout in prior to leaving.
After showering, loading the truck, and placing my bike on the carrier rack, I was off to get gas and breakfast. First meal was an Everything Bagel with peanut butter and orange juice from Einstein Bagel. I also prepared a carbohydrate loaded recovery drink to go along with it, Hammer Vegan Recoverite. That and a banana held me over for the next five plus hours till I met Morgan, her mom, Karen, and husband Scott for lunch in Savannah, GA. We ate at a restaurant called, Kayak Kafe, where I had a vegan protein bowl full of grains, beans, and veggies.
Then on to Florence, SC where Morgan and I put up for the night. Karen and Scott had to stop in Asheville so we would see them again in Charlottesville. Morgan and I found a place called, Clean Eatz, which also has a location in St. Petersburg, FL so I’ll have to remember that back home as it was good. I had a black bean burger wrap filled with veggies and sweet potato fries. We popped into a Harris Teeter after that for a few supplies – water, energy bars and kombucha.
First thing Thursday morning I drove to a nearby trail, the Florence Rail Trail, where I completed a run. It was hot and humid just like back home in Florida. After showering, Morgan and I picked up smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Cafe before heading to Charlottesville. This is where it got a bit challenging. Between Florence and Richmond, VA we could not find a healthy option to stop for lunch so we ended up eating about 90 minutes later than planned just off the interstate in Richmond where we located a Chipotle.
We had about an hour remaining after the lunch stop to Charlottesville where we checked into our hotel. Morgan had her run to do still so I joined her as we drove a few miles to the University of Virginia School of Law to begin. It was our first glimpse of campus and at first sight we were really impressed. We ran through the athletic area and then to the beginning of the undergraduate part of campus when we had to turn around. We also got our first feel of running on the rolling hills of Charlottesville.
For dinner we met Karen and Scott who just arrived from Asheville. Our first night and dinner in Charlottesville brought us to a very nice Mexican restaurant, Bebedero. I had black bean tacos that were very tasty.
Morgan had an appointment mid-Friday morning so our plan was to meet after that for lunch and go shopping for supplies. This was my opportunity to get in an early morning bike ride. I had a route picked out and started from the hotel. It was a beautiful ride west of Charlottesville and after just a few miles I was in farm land. Somewhere about 10 miles into the ride I found myself being chased by a pit bull. There wasn’t a fence keeping it in its yard. I really had to kick in the pedaling as I had just come up a hill and wasn’t moving very fast. It was gaining on me pretty quickly and then I was able to pull away…crazy. Besides that the ride was fantastic…a hard effort in the hills with beauty all around.
Near the end of the ride I was going back through downtown to return to my hotel. I stopped and ordered a smoothie at Corner Juice. It hit the spot… We all met at Mezeh for lunch where I had a bowl mixed with greens, grains, and veggies. We picked up supplies at Target for the apartment and headed to campus to walk around. We walked a lot taking it all in and loved what we saw.
We cleaned up and met for dinner in downtown Charlottesville. The main street area is blocked for pedestrians and is the place to be. It goes on for blocks lined with various shops and restaurants. On this night we ate at Citizen Burger Bar. It had a great atmosphere and food. I had a plant-based burger and a mix of sweet potato and regular hand cut fries.
Saturday was a big day. Morgan and I started the day out by running on the Monticello Trail. Although we were only minutes from outside downtown Charlottesville, it felt like we were an hour away nestled into the side of a mountain. It was a beautiful trail on a mix of gravel and boardwalk. After cleaning up after the run we all met at Corner Juice for a mid-morning breakfast. I had an acai bowl this time and it was just as good as the smoothie the day prior.
At 11:00 AM Morgan acquired the keys to her apartment. We moved everything in from the three vehicles. We took a break around 1:00 PM as her roommate was moving her things in. We grabbed a quick lunch at Chipotle before heading to Target, Lowes, Staples and Home Goods to get additional supplies. After those quick stops we went back to set everything up. We were amazed at how much we got done by 5:00 PM. Morgan’s place was just about ready.
We refreshed again before having our final dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant near downtown called, Mangione’s on Main. We had a great night reflecting on our visit and what was ahead for Morgan. I had a red sauce pasta dish with veggies. It was quite good.
Then it was time to say our goodbyes. It was quite an emotional send off. We are so excited for Morgan in this next chapter of her life.
On Sunday I left at 4:00 AM as I planned on driving straight through in an attempt to get back prior to dinner time allowing me to unpack and get ready for the week. To do this I picked up bread, peanut butter, jelly, bananas, water, and kombucha to allow me not to stop for food. I only stopped for gas and restroom breaks. Everything turned out perfect and I made it back by 4:00 PM…12 hours…wow!
I unpacked, made a grocery store run, had dinner and got some work done before settling down.
During the ride back it did give me time to reflect on the trip and life. I’m a proud dad who has seen his girl grow into an incredible lady. Being a part of this has given me so much life.
– Add Health to Your Life
Featured Blog Photo:
- Top Left – bike ride with clouds below the mountain tops behind me
- Top Right – Morgan jumping for joy in front of the UVA School of Law
- Bottom Left – Morgan and I at our final dinner
- Bottom Right – Scott, Karen, Morgan and I at the same final dinner (what a team & family!!!)
Awe I’m tearing up…Morgan is great & she will continue to do great! And by the way when you get chased by any dog it’s best to just use your water bottle and squirt them. It works every time
El Bebedero is a favorite of ours- so glad it was one of the first places you found. They helped me pull off a surprise 21st birthday for Colleen and their attention to detail was amazing. Great local owners and chef. I hope Morgan continues to enjoy all the beauty there is around her. So many nearby hiking trails and vineyards for fun too.
You all have done an amazing job with her!