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RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

A Very Richmond Christmas: Four Centuries in the Capitol District

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Road Scholar
Program #15462RJ
4 Days | 3 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Comfortable walking shoes for field trips.

Itinerary for Dec 7 — Dec 10, 2012

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Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of Richmond's River District, this former historic bank is now a secluded small hotel, beautifully renovated, and just a short walk from many popular attractions, restaurants, the State Capitol district, Virginia Commonwealth University and, of course, exciting downtown whitewater and the Falls of the James River.

Contact info:
201 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3736 USA
phone: 804-788-1600
web: www.hiexpress.com/richmonddtwn

Room amenities: TV with cable, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, coffeepot, refrigerator, microwave, free wireless high speed internet, free telephone

Facility amenities: Business center, fitness room, outdoor courtyard, free parking, free passes to nearby YMCA

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: VCU/State employee rates
Advance registration required and stay is based on availability. Road Scholar rate varies by year and is based on room availability.

Check in time: 3:30 PM


Day One: Friday, December 07 - Arrival/Orientation and introductory class
Afternoon: Welcome to Richmond! Register for your room at the hotel's lobby desk between 3:30-5:00 PM. Most rooms will be available by 3:30 PM. Please also register for your program and get your program folder/materials at the Road Scholar desk in the lobby between 3:00-4:30 PM.

Dinner: We'll walk one block to dinner at the Thai Room, where you'll have options for salads, Thai food choices, American food choices, and dessert. There are 4-5 steps down to the entry, and seating may be on the second floor (there is no elevator). Dinner will also be our opportunity for getting acquainted with your program coordinator and fellow participants, and having a brief orientation to the program.

Evening: Class: Enjoy an introductory class about "Christmas Traditions" and a preview of the historic homes, churches, museums, gardens and other locations that you will be able to visit during this program.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of Richmond's River District, this former historic bank is now a secluded small hotel, beautifully renovated, and just a short walk from many popular attractions, restaurants, the State Capitol district, Virginia Commonwealth University and, of course, exciting downtown whitewater and the Falls of the James River.

Contact info:
201 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3736 USA
phone: 804-788-1600
web: www.hiexpress.com/richmonddtwn

Room amenities: TV with cable, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, coffeepot, refrigerator, microwave, free wireless high speed internet, free telephone

Facility amenities: Business center, fitness room, outdoor courtyard, free parking, free passes to nearby YMCA

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: VCU/State employee rates
Advance registration required and stay is based on availability. Road Scholar rate varies by year and is based on room availability.

Check in time: 3:30 PM


Day Two: Saturday, December 08 - Class/Field trips to Maymont, St John's Church an...
Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining area includes hot and cold cereals, pastries, bagels, hot cinnamon buns, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs (either omelets or scrambled)

Morning: Class this morning: "Four Centuries in the Capitol District" explores the history, personages, events and traditions in Richmond's celebrated Capitol District. After class, depart for Maymont Arboretum. At Christmas, Maymont sets the tone for Christmas in the Gilded Age. We'll tour the lavish estate that is opulently decorated with original furnishings, giving a glimpse of the wonders of wealth and luxury and the differences between "upstairs, downstairs" at the turn of the century. For more than 30 years, Maymont has been a special part of the Christmas season in Richmond - the estate comes alive with the warmth, sights, sounds and all the traditions of a Victorian Christmas.

Lunch: Catered lunch in the hotel dining area includes options for salads, sandwiches, vegetarian fare, side dishes and desserts

Afternoon: Our first field trip this afternoon is to historic St John's Church,which was the setting for the Second Virginia Convention and Patrick Henry's famous "liberty or death" speech. We'll have a special lecture inside the Church, and there will be a little time to see the grounds and visit the gift shop before we depart for our excursion to the Jefferson Hotel. Visiting the Jefferson Hotel at Christmas has become a Richmond tradition even -- and perhaps, especially -- if you couldn't find the time to attend the annual tree-lighting ceremony. This historic hotel is especially elegant at Christmas, with special music and local school performances during the month of December. Commissioned by entrepreneur Lewis Ginter, the Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895 to wide acclaim, and it immediately hosted the wedding of famous journalist Charles Dana Gibson to the "Belle of the South" (and of Richmond), Irene Langhorne. Ginter commissioned sculptor Edward Valentine to create a life-sized marble statue of Thomas Jefferson as a centerpiece for the upper Palm Court lobby. This elegant hotel is one of just a handful of 5-star, 5-diamond hotels in North America.

Dinner: Catered dinner in the hotel or dinner at a local restaurant will include holiday entrees, with options for vegetarians.

Evening: Class this evening...more Richmond history and culture...and preparation for your field trips tomorrow.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Located in the heart of Richmond's River District, this former historic bank is now a secluded small hotel, beautifully renovated, and just a short walk from many popular attractions, restaurants, the State Capitol district, Virginia Commonwealth University and, of course, exciting downtown whitewater and the Falls of the James River.

Contact info:
201 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3736 USA
phone: 804-788-1600
web: www.hiexpress.com/richmonddtwn

Room amenities: TV with cable, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, coffeepot, refrigerator, microwave, free wireless high speed internet, free telephone

Facility amenities: Business center, fitness room, outdoor courtyard, free parking, free passes to nearby YMCA

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: VCU/State employee rates
Advance registration required and stay is based on availability. Road Scholar rate varies by year and is based on room availability.

Check in time: 3:30 PM


Day Three: Sunday, December 09 - Court End Festival/Lewis Ginter Gardens/Lewis Gin...
Court End Festival/Lewis Ginter Gardens/Lewis Ginter "Gardenfest of Lights"

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining area includes hot and cold cereals, pastries, bagels, hot cinnamon buns, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs (either omelets or scrambled)

Morning: Class contines with Richmond history and traditions.

Lunch: Catered lunch in the hotel dining area includes options for salads, sandwiches, vegetarian fare, side dishes and desserts

Afternoon: We'll spend the afternoon at Richmond's popular annual Court End Festival. Court End is a neighborhood in Richmond that was developed in the Federal era, after Virginia's capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. The Court End Christmas Festival celebrates historic sites in this neighborhood. These sites, all with "open houses" at Christmas, include the John Marshall House, the Valentine Richmond History Center & its 1812 Wickham House, Monumental Church, St. John's Church, the Virginia State Capitol and the Museum and White House of the Confederacy. All sites will display holiday decorations and costumes of the era, recreate traditional holiday events, and feature live music, traditional dances and talks by historians. Free shuttles are available between sites.

Dinner: We'll travel from the Court End District to Lewis Ginter Gardens, where we'll have a splendid holiday dinner before viewing the Gardenfest of Lights. Buffet includes several choices of meats, vegetables, potatoes, salads and other vegetarian options, and desserts.

Evening: Prepare to be enchanted during this delightful evening at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We'll begin with a talk just for our group, followed by a tour of Gardens that have been transformed by nearly one million lights into a fantasyland of flowers, bowers, fairies, woodland creatures, special Christmas displays, trains, and other delights.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Monday, December 10 -
Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining area includes hot and cold cereals, pastries, bagels, hot cinnamon buns, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs (either omelets or scrambled)

Morning: Your program ends after breakfast. Checkout time for hotel rooms is 11:00 a.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
3 nights of accommodations
8 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
5 Field trips

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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