Miami (3-4; 1-2 ACC) at Virginia (3-4; 1-3 ACC)
October 29th, 2022, 12:30 PM ET
Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Virginia
Weather – Sunny, 61 degrees
Miami 14 – Virginia 12; 4OT
After this game I heard many sportscasters feel sorry for people that attended this game. To be honest, I really enjoyed it.
True, there were no touchdowns scored which made it a little tedious at times. But it was a clean game with no turnovers which made it a battle of wills. I can get behind games like that and appreciate the defenses stepping up (or, maybe, inept offenses not).
The first half saw the ball go back and forth with no sustainable drives. The first ten drives ended in ten straight punts; four of them coming after three and outs. Miami broke the scoring drought on the last play of the half to go into the break up 3-0.
The second half started a little better with Virginia tying things up at three on their first possession. Virginia would then take their first lead of the game early in the fourth with a second field goal to go up 6-3. Miami would drive down to the two-yard line on the last drive of the game but chose to tie it up at six on fourth and goal to tie things up 6-6.
The two teams would trade field goals in the first two overtimes to go into the sudden death periods tied 12-12. After no scores in the third overtime, Miami quarterback Jake Garcia was able to run in the ball himself and Miami won the game 14-12.
With both Miami and Virginia struggling through the season the atmosphere for this one was a little tapered. In fact, at kick-off the student section was only about half full. More people did trickle in as the first quarter went along, but there were definitely large sections of open seats especially in the upper decks.
The Thomas Jefferson influence is also found within Scott stadium with one end zone standing with pillars. The rest of the stadium was in a double-decker horseshoe formation. In the end zone with the pillars there were some grassy areas where people could sit as well. There was a large video board on that side of the stadium and a large runner board that ran between decks that went around the entire horseshoe.
The concession stands were mostly self-service. You would walk through the line and pick up what you wanted then walked to the end where a cashier would check you out. I was upset though that they automatically added a tip to your total unless you chose to take if off. Because I wasn’t expecting that I was charged more than I expected to pay.
There were also several food trucks near the pillars with items such as burgers, tacos, and even Turkish food. One other neat idea was the bottomless soda. For $10, you could come back and fill up your soda as many times as you wanted during the game.
Hot dog – $4.00
Souvenir Soda – $7.00 (Bottomless Soda – $10.00)
Beer – $9.00
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Field Hockey – Kent State (7-7; 5-1) vs. Virginia (11-4; 3-3)
Because there were no Virginia sports games going on during my actual time in Charlottesville, I drove up from Lynchburg to attend this game. I had a choice between field hockey, volleyball, or soccer. Field hockey was my choice just because it’s a sport I still find extremely interesting to watch in person.
This game was dominated from the beginning by Virginia. The Hoos scored their first goal just two and a half minutes into the game and scored a second goal seven minutes in. They would add a third goal in the second half to go up 3-0 at the half.
Kent State played a little better in the second half but were never able to make a dent into the score. The teams went scoreless in the second half giving Virginia the 3-0 win.
One interesting note was what happened at halftime. They turned on water sprinklers and soaked down the entire field. That was something I had not seen in the other field hockey games I had attended that were on grass. After reading about this it is because water on turf-based surfaces helps keep the ball rolling freely and reduces the amount of height when the ball bounces.
Final: Virginia 3 – Kent State 0
The University of Virginia is one of the oldest universities in the country and another place designed by Thomas Jefferson.
The highlight of the campus was definitely the lawn and the rotunda. The rotunda once again brought together Jefferson’s love of domes and pillars. Around the lawn leading out from the rotunda was student housing along both sides.
The student housing in this area is some of the most popular housing on campus. I read that it is reserved for Seniors who want to still live on campus and although there is no air conditioning that there are still waiting lists to try to live there. Walking around this area and seeing many students with their doors open and just socializing with each other gave out a special feel that most colleges should truly be about.
The campus felt small although they do have a large population of students. With the history behind it, walking through the campus was one of the highlights of the trip.
Fralin Museum of Art
The Fralin Museum is a university-run museum located on the North side of the Virginia campus. They have a few small rotating exhibits. On my visit the two main exhibits were an Enclosing Infinity exhibit that showed an artist who made box exhibits made out of trash and Power Play, an exhibit that showed a reimagination of representation.
My favorite display was a set of four photographs in the Power Play exhibit that featured Disney princesses in real life professions related to their story lines. In one picture they showed Snow White as a chemist and another they had Sleeping Beauty as an anesthesiologist. I thought that was a very smart artistic choice.
Overall, the museum was a lot smaller than I expected. They had three small rooms on each of the two floors. It is free and something interesting to check out if you’re on campus, but not worth going out of your way just to visit this museum.
After being disappointed visiting Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in Lynchburg, I did not have huge expectations for Monticello. Monticello, however, was a surprise in how much they had to offer.
When you first arrive there is a large area at the base that includes a museum, a film about Jefferson, and even a small café. Once you are ready to head up to the main house you can either take a tram or walk along a trail that passes by the Jefferson grave site.
The house itself had quite a few unique items. The biggest one was probably the clock in the main room. On top of the time, it also tracked the day of the week along the side of the wall. However, since the clock was originally built for a larger house, ‘Saturday’ could not fit along the wall. Because of that, they had to put a hole in the floor and put ‘Saturday’ in the cellar.
After the house visit, there were other things around the property that you could experience. They had one tour that went into detail about the slaves that lived on the property as well as one that walked through the garden areas, which was a huge interest to Jefferson. But probably the highlight was they had a Thomas Jefferson impersonator that came out and spoke to the crowd. He did an amazing job of interacting with crowd while staying in character.
James Monroe’s Highland
Although Jefferson probably gets most of the props in the state of Virginia, it is also the home to James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. His estate is located just a few miles from Monticello as well.
The main exhibit at James Monroe’s Highland is the estate house. Walking inside you were able to understand how the house was kept up and updated through the years. There was an employee on site that knew everything about the house and the majority of the items inside. There were also some areas outside the main house that you could tour that gave you some knowledge of the kitchen areas and the slave areas from that time.
One major item of note is that Monroe actually did quite well for himself financially. Because of that, the majority of the items inside of the house were original to the house.
There was also a set of walking trails around the facility. These were open to the public and a ticket was not required to walk around them.
Virginia State Capitol – Richmond
The Virginia state capitol is the second oldest capitol in use today behind just Maryland. There was a lot of construction going on around the outside while I was in place that kept me from getting great pictures, but it was still a pretty building. There is no dome visible from the outside, which is a little surprising due to Thomas Jefferson’s influence across the entire state.
I was able to arrive right about the time a tour was starting. This was both a positive and a negative. The positive is the tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and told a lot of fun stories. The negative was he really, really liked to talk and ended up talking almost an hour and a half.
As for the inside the capitol, it is one of the smaller state capitols. They did allow us in one of the state chambers because it was on a tour, they usually have them closed off to the public. There actually is a dome on the building you can see from the inside, just not from the outside of the building.
Maymont – Richmond
Maymont is a large estate in the middle of Richmond that has a large number of activities to keep people busy. This is all located on approximately 100 acres of land that is open to walking and features multiple gardens throughout.
On top of the trails, the central attraction to the estate is the Maymont mansion. The mansion is open for tours on the weekends, but was closed on Thursdays, when I visited.
There is a variety of farm animals around the estate for families to pet and learn more about. By the time I had finished walking the trails I realized I had bypassed that area of the estate and chose not to circle back. But I did see a large number of people checking out the area. On top of the farm animals there is also a large nature center that, again, was only open on weekends so was closed when I visited.
Because the leaves were right in their peak of turning the walk around the estate was beautiful. I would have enjoyed taking in the nature center, so visiting on the weekend instead of during the week is highly recommended.
If you want the definition of a hole in the wall, Luce is the place for you. Luce is a small Italian place that literally serves its food through a window in a very small building in downtown Charlottesville.
Pasta is my favorite food so I knew this was the first place I wanted to visit in town. They only serve three types of pasta, though they do also have a few pizzas they sell from Thursday to Saturdays.
I ordered the bolo pasta which was pappardelle pasta with a ragu sauce topped with toast crumbs, mint, and Parmesan. Since all orders are to-go, they served them in cups with lids on top.
After opening up my pasta the first thing I appreciated was how full they filled the serving cups. They were filled to the rim and tightly to make sure as much pasta was in as possible. Pappardelle pasta is a wide noodle, wider than fettuccine.
The ragu was a great sauce to have on top of the noodles. The toast crumbs added a little bit of extra texture as well. I was very happy with the meal and it was one of my favorite Italian meals I have had on my journeys so far.
The only negative was the location. Since it was in such a small location in downtown, which is extremely popular in the evening, it made it hard to get in and out of the parking areas. If they were in an easier to get to location I could see them getting much more regular business.
Al Carbon is a charcoal fire rotisserie chicken restaurant that had a Mexican flavor to it. On top of chicken, they also had a selection of cemitas, which are sandwiches with a choice of meet along with avocado, Oaxaca cheese, red onions, and a slice of ham.
I went with a quarter chicken with white meat and a side of plantains. The chicken had good flavor but I was more impressed with how much meat came with the chicken. It was a much larger serving than I usually get at the rotisserie chicken restaurant by my house.
The thing that made this restaurant stand out though were the sauces. They served a jalapeno and cilantro sauce for the chicken that had a big kick to it. That put this chicken over the top to me. They also served a sweet sauce to dip the plantains into which also elevated it to another level.
This place would easily become a regular place for me if I lived in the Charlottesville area.
Feast is small café that is located inside an upscale specialty food store. On top of the restaurant, they have a large variety of deli meats and cheeses that they serve along with other Virginian based foods.
All of the dishes that Feast sell are based on the ingredients that they serve in the store. They have a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, and soup.
My choice was the prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich on a fresh baguette. It was topped with a roasted tomato spread, fresh basil, olive oil, and sea salt. The sandwich was delicious. There is something different with having fresh mozzarella on a dish as opposed to just a slice of mozzarella cheese.
Marco and Luca Dumplings
Marco and Luca is a popular downtown Charlottesville restaurant, but they also have a location near where I was staying. There was no one dining in while I was there but there were multiple people ordering food to go.
With ‘Dumplings’ in the name of the restaurant, of course I had to try to dumplings. They had a special that included chicken curry, rice, dumplings, and a steamed hot bun.
The pork dumplings were tasty and came with a soy sauce to dip them into. The chicken curry was okay, but not something I would likely order again. They did have a sweet and sour noodle that I would have like to try if I ever visited again.
Bodo’s Bagel is a famous bagel place located in Charlottesville. The first time I tried to stop in the traffic was backed up into the street so I had to come back at another time. That’s how I knew this was going to be something to check out.
I came back during lunch time and the line was still very long though it moved quickly. They had a large selection of bagel sandwiches to choose from so I ordered the chicken salad on an everything bagel.
It was easy to see why this place is so popular. The bagels are made in house every day and the seasoning on the everything bagel was amazing. The chicken salad was also tasty so this ended being a great combo. I would have enjoyed trying a bagel with cream cheese one morning as well if I lived in the area. This is definitely a must visit place when in Charlottesville at one of their three locations.
Lehja – Richmond
One cuisine that I have very little experience with is Indian. I have had it once or twice, but not in likely ten years and definitely not on one of my road trips. When I was looking for a place to eat on my day in Richmond there were many recommendations for Lehja, so decided to give it a try.
One of the main things Lehja is known for is their very large cocktail list. So, the fact I don’t drink took away from experiencing that menu. In fact, the owner of the restaurant who waited on me initially seemed taken back that I just ordered a Coke to drink.
I did visit during their lunch hours so the menu was not as extensive, but I chose the Vin d’Alho. This is a curry with a hot and spicy garlic-vinegar flavor. Given a choice between a medium spice or hot spice I went with medium just to be on the safe side.
It was probably a good choice. The medium did have a kick but it was easily tolerable. I’m not sure if the hot would have caused an issue. The dish came with a side of rice, a side salad, and a basket of naan bread.
Overall, it was a good dish but, being from a spice palette I’m not used to, I probably did not appreciate it as much as someone who has Indian food often. The naan was amazing though. I probably could have just eaten that for my entire meal and been satisfied.
Wong’s Taco – Richmond
I expected Wong’s Taco to be a usual counter-serve taco place, but it was actually a full dine-in restaurant. It interested me because it was basically a taco place that server Asian-inspired tacos.
The bento box stuck out to me the most. It was your choice of two tacos; chips with either salsa, queso, or guacamole; and two fried plantains. I went with a kung pao chicken taco and a Korean beef taco. The chicken taco came with Asian slaw, jalapenos, peanuts (which I went without), and green onion. On the Korean beef taco, it also had Asian slaw, jalapenos, and green onions along with radish and sesame seeds.
The Korean beef taco was great. The taco was full of beef and all the flavors worked very well together. I was disappointed in the chicken taco, however. There was not much chicken on the taco, especially in comparison to the Korean beef. The chips that came with it seemed freshly made and you can never go wrong with fried plantains. If I came back, I’d definitely try a different taco combination but it was a good restaurant overall.