Every year for my birthday I like to travel somewhere. It use to be New York City or swimming with the manatee’s in Florida. Since having the kids the trips are usually a little closer to home. Last year we took the train up to DC this year we went to Staunton.
I love exploring towns I have never been to before and this one is seriously cute. Lots of antiques stores, little art galleries and restaurants. All in a very walkable downtown area. Staunton has a focus on the arts and a free trolley that loops around town. And it’s only about a half hour past Charlottesville.
There were two stores that I kind of fell in love with. Pufferbellies, which is a kids toy store that stocks the best toys ever! So much fun stuff – tons of Playmobile and cool art supply stuff and fun magnet blocks. There were also lots of play stations so the kids were entertained while I shopped.
The last day that we were day I stumbled upon rule42 which is basically the store I dream of having one day. The woman who runs it sells the furniture she paints, as well as gifts and home decor items. She runs furniture painting, and other crafty workshops, out of the store and stocks a type of paint I had never heard of before!
Ce Ce Caldwell Paints are similar to Annie Sloan (which is a chalk paint)except that they are a chalk and clay combo. It is also less expensive, comes in tons of pretty colors and is totally non-toxic with no bad fumes. The other exciting thing is that the paint line includes light and dark wax and a polyurethane type finish that is all non-toxic with no bad chemicals or fumes.
I’ve tried the paint out (of course I had to buy some to try!) and it I’m liking it so far. Similar to chalk paint you don’t have to do as much prep work, and it dries fast. It has sort of an irregular finish but I kind of like that look. I will show you when I am done with it – a table and two chair set.
Aside from shopping and eating there is a train track that runs through town that was a big hit with my boys. You can peek in the old train station and there are several old train cars you can climb on. Also Gypsy Hill Park is a nice place to run around. You can get there on the free trolley and they have a lake with the biggest mutant swans I have ever seen!
Anyway, if you live in Richmond and are looking for an easy drive day trip you should check out Staunton.