Only on my blog would it take TWO MONTHS to share something that happened in the beginning of July, but whatever. It deserved its own post, and too many other things have been going on lately for me to talk about it properly. Enjoy this one while I recuperate from Kentucky and moving -- I meant to have it up last Friday and didn't have time to finish it. (Welcome to my life ...)
On my friend Chelsea's last full day in RVA, we went on a trolley tour of the city and had lunch at a great French place with my friends. You might remember that from this post. What I didn't tell you was what the four of us did after lunch.
Downtown Richmond is home to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, a little gem of a museum. It doesn't look like much if you're passing by on East Main, and although the museum has limited parking spaces, I'm always nervous about having to park on the street, just in case. (Clearly, my time in the suburbs has ruined me.) This house was Poe's boyhood home when he lived with the Allans.
The museum offers guided and self-guided tours, and we opted for the guided one. I don't know about you, but when I'm faced with the option of getting a guided tour, I'll choose the guided tour every time. I enjoy tour guides ... regardless of their own idiosyncracies, when they're good, they offer valuable insights, and when they're awful, I mess with them and ask them questions. You can tell right away what kind of guide they are, and our guide was AWESOME. Unfortunately, I do not remember his name, because if I did, I'd tell you all to get a tour from him.
The weather had been ridiculous all week, and although that Thursday morning had been bright and sunny, the skies had begun to darken on our short drive down the street to the museum. Our guide joked that this gloom had made our visit especially appropriate.
So, Stormy. Sub-par swatches ahead, because my cuticles are looking busted and it rained the day I took pictures. Coincidence?
Three coats with SV.
I'll probably reswatch this when I have more time (and better weather) to do it, but I think you'll be able to see that Stormy is a bit of a chameleon. I wasn't sure I'd like it on me, because grey polish and I have a very strange relationship (thanks, weird complexion and often red fingers), but right now, AS OF THIS VERY MINUTE, I dig it. It's a deceptively neutral grey creme -- by this, I mean it looks like a medium neutral grey in the bottle, but on the nail, it looks like a bunch of different greys in different lighting. And no matter how it pulls, it always looks soft. Like a duvet. Or lined sweatpants. Or my precious darling, not-so-baby baby cat ...
LOOK AT THAT FACE. It *had* stormed the night before, so he came out looking a liiiiiiiiiittle wet after his visit to the storm drain the next morning.
But I digress.
The formula on this one was good, perhaps a little on the thin-medium side compared to the cremes China Glaze has been putting out for the past year. Personally, I prefer my cremes a little thin since they don't chip as quickly on me. This one does spread pretty well, and though you'll need two coats for opacity, I found that Stormy looks its best at three. Dry time was fast with SV, and I had perfect wear on the day I wore it.
My obsession with grey cremes has waned a bit since 2010, but this one was worth it to me at the time. HOWEVER, I fully admit that I don't know that I would drop $18 on it now in 2013. If you want to snag your own bottle of Stormy, it's available for $18 exclusively on the RBL site. I wish I could remember what spawned my desire to own this one. Hmmm.
Aaaaaaaaaand now back to the Poe Museum with a look at the guest book that day, because I am weirdly fascinated with the home bases of RVA's visitors:
South Korea? Australia? Bananas.
The Enchanted Garden, which I had absolutely NO IDEA existed. Apparently people can get married in it. (No lie -- there's a section on the site if you're interested. I also saw a Poe Museum table at a wedding expo downtown a couple of weekends ago, so yeah ... it's legit.)
The real bust of Poe is inside the museum (this is a copy)
There were a couple of other buildings that make up the museum, and we were heading into the last one to check out the "Poe in Paris" exhibit when we saw something in the building window. Could it be ... ?
Is it ... ?
IT WAS. And by "it," I mean one of the famous Poe kittens (read more [HERE]). In case you didn't feel like clicking the links, three black kittens were found behind the Poe shrine last November; a tour guide adopted the girl, who was named Catterina (sp??) after Poe's own tortie girl. The two boys, Edgar and Pluto, still live at the museum; according to our guide, they loooove knocking things over in the gift shop.
This little kitty was Pluto, named after the cat in the short story "The Black Cat." We were looking at the exhibit (small, but fun) when our guide brought him up the stairs. My roommate, who loves cats and didn't know about the Poe kittens, was so excited about meeting Pluto that she declared the tour was "THE BEST SIX DOLLARS EVER." Ha.
As a dog lover who is constantly surrounded by cat people, I was pretty entertained. Pluto submitted to some pets and cuddles, but what he really wanted to do was explore, so our guide thanked us for coming out and took him back downstairs. Dudes, I learned so much about Poe's life that day. Sure, there's the general stuff we all learn in school/Wikipedia/bad TV about him, but what appealed to me the most was the local connection -- Poe's connection and ties to the city -- I friggin' LOVED that. It gave me a new perspective on the guy (Poe, I mean). Plus our guide was so incredibly knowledgeable and so good at imparting anecdotes and tidbits, he made it seem effortless while also not being showy about it. I always appreciate the latter -- I was crazy impressed. And although the museum is on the small side, there is no question about the love that goes into it.
(Side note: Remember Abigail Larson, the artist whose work a China Glaze contractor ripped off for last year's Halloween display? I saw some of her work in the gift shop. I did some reading last year when the China Glaze mess went down, and it turns out Ms. Larson is a fellow alum of my university -- which has the #1 nationally ranked public school art program, tyvm -- so it's always nice to see another semi-local connection there.)
In closing, any thoughts on Stormy? Worth the $18, or not? What are some of your favorite grey cremes? Are you a Poe enthusiast? I readily admit I am not, as (1) I appreciate some of his poems, but doom and gloom generally are not my favorite things, and (2) I unfortunately associate Poe with a bunch of idiots I know in real life who really do love his work. The macabre is great and all, but damn if these people aren't like kids circa 2005 who discovered Hot Topic. And DO NOT TALK TO ME about "The Following." That show is theeeeeeeeeeeee wooooooooorst. (WOW, that was pretty bitchy, but I am not even playing today.)
But it doesn't matter whether you're a rabid Poe enthusiast or someone who enjoys American history, poetry or literature -- if you're in Richmond and you have an hour to kill, go downtown and get yourself a guided tour of the Poe Museum. Kitties or no kitties, if all the guides are as fantastic as ours was, I promise that tour will be the best $6 you'll spend all day. If it is not, I personally will send you $6. Hand to God.
Raising my other hand to God ... I will try to have another post up in a few days. Notice how I didn't say "this week." My birthday is six days away and I might go out of town again, so let's see how everything shakes out. I miss blogging regularly, though! Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope to have more stuff for you soooooooon. xoxo, and all the rest.