Surrounded by Suburbia

No, Rihanna isn’t here. Sorry to disappoint. But I have something even better…but what isn’t? (Sorry, Rihanna fans) On our escapade yesterday, Vitamin D and I found a tiny gem in the concrete jungle of suburbia. If I’m honest, I don’t love Northern Virginia. It has it’s advantages and good qualities, yes. But I miss the eclecticism of Richmond. I miss the weird art students and the Mom and Pop bookstores and coffee shops. I miss the art galleries and the neighborhood feel of the restaurants and bars. Above all, I miss my friends. And most likely, the reason I miss Richmond so much is because I miss my friends there so much. I’m sure it has skewed my perspective. Perhaps Richmond isn’t “all that” (but I’m pretty sure it is). Perhaps I just think it is because my friends made it “all that.” I mean, my friends are “all that.” Are you following this?

But that’s neither here nor there.

Everywhere I go there is a strip mall or plaza or chain restaurant. There are beautiful parks here, but it still seems artificial somehow. And many people here commute and are all g0-go-go. It seems like no one stops or even slows down to relax and appreciate and enjoy what they, to see the beauty that is around them. But in the midst of the Suburus and soccer decals, among the traffic and travelers, lies adorable little Old Town Occoquan.

We had lunch at a restaurant where we could sit right on the river and enjoy the beautiful weather. Old Town Occoquan reminds me of a little place near my hometown that has all these cute little boutiques and shops and restaurants on the water (shout out to Bemus Point, NY!). It was soooo nice and relaxing!

(PS- These pics were taken from my iPhone, and I’m certain they don’t do the real thing any justice.)

After lunch we walked a bit (it’s not a large place so it didn’t take long to see most of the shops). We’ve passed by this area several times on the way to his parents’ house or Ikea (BIG HEART), and each time we see houses at the very tippy top of a large hill/small mountain (depending on which one of us you ask), so we decided to go find those houses and scope them out. On our way to stalk the rich folks get to the top, this is what we saw:

Gorg, right?

So naturally, we had to explore. We realized there is a footbridge that will take us a cross the river to that little waterfall. And this is what we got to see:

You want to go now, don’t you? I mean, whodathunk there would be a waterfall in Suburbia?? Old Town Occoquan doesn’t count as Suburbia though. It was just too quaint and relaxed to fall into that category. And it made me realize that maybe Northern VA isn’t the Devil’s playground. Maybe I just haven’t found all the little pieces of Heaven yet. So I will continue to look.

And for those of you know this area and know of some sweet spots to check out, I am wide open for suggestions!

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