The fun in Richmond seemed never-ending until it ended. After our morning at the Botanical Gardens we headed for the James River. The temperature was 90 and muggy and we needed to get wet. We found ourselves at a section of the James River Park called Pony Pasture which was advertised as being kid-friendly.
Well, the river must have flooded because those kid-friendly play areas could not be found. We managed to find a shallow creek but the volume of poison ivy was causing such high anxiety I felt an eye twitch coming on. We got back in the car and headed for a flatwater area downriver called The Wetlands which was rumored to have a shallow sandy beach. There was no beach. Only mud. And roots. And a long walk from the car. I wore the baby in the Ergo and pulled my daughter along by the hand. It was the kind of thing that should have been fun but nobody seemed to have received the memo.
Still, we changed our focus from swimming to hiking and with the added intrigue of the floating cottonwood puffballs my daughter became rather enchanted. I was not but tried to keep my sneezing to myself for the sake of the group. One day we shall visit these spots again but hopefully during a non-flood period.
The next morning was our last in Richmond. I took the kids to Deep Run Park in the nearby town of Short Pump and I was so glad we had saved it for our last day. What a wonderful place. In Southern Maryland where we live there are many nice playgrounds but few of them have any sense of imagination and they are all in full sun. Deep Run Park is apparently where that imagination ended up. There is a CASTLE. A great one. In the shady woods. Behind it there is a smaller play area that features a stagecoach with separate rocking horses. The bathroom is close by and there were no crowds the morning we were there.