Episode Summary

Christmas time is coming! This early December episode covers Holidays in the RVA, car vending machines, and more.

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WARNING: This video is uncut and may contain sensitive or offensive materials. A filtered version of the audio is below.

Published on 12/04/2019

Transcription + Show Notes

Sam:Welcome to the Why Richmond is Awesome podcast, where we talk about what’s going on around town, our favorite things to do and the local spots you need to try. My name is Sam.

Sean:And my name is Sean.

Sam:And we run the Richmond Experience, a digital company that inspires locals to explore Richmond.

Lauren:My name is Lauren.

Alex:And my name is Alex and we’re local realtors that like to live, work and play in the RVA. So-

Sam:Well, hello.




Lauren:I’m so excited to be sitting here and hanging out with you guys. It’s officially December. Are you pumped?

Sam:So excited.


Sean:So excited.

Lauren:Loving the decor in here.

Sam:Thank you.

Alex:Can’t even tell.


Sam:Thank you.

Sean:Can you tell?

Sam:Do the dogs have all of their own stockings?

Alex:They do. One’s doubled up on the end. But, yeah.

Sam:Okay. Awe, that’s so nice.

Sean:Okay, they share.

Alex:Of course.

Lauren:Do you give your dog stockings?

Sam:Yeah. Duh.

Lauren:Of course.

Sam:They’re kids.


Lauren:Of course.

Sean:They are spoiled.

Alex:Most of the time ours are so full, they’re about to tip over.



Alex:Yeah, they’re just-

Sam:We probably need to up our stocking game.

Sean:Yeah. We probably do.

Alex:Lauren’s the stocking master.

Sam:You like stockings?

Alex:Then she gets sad if… She ensures I put something in there and she’ll give me hints.

Lauren:Oh, yeah. Sometimes I put things in my own stocking.

Sam:That’s so nice. You’re like, two for you, one for me.

Sean:Present for me.

Lauren:Exactly. Exactly.

Sam:Are you like the toothbrush, and-

Lauren:No. Ew. No.

Sam:No. Like your parents used to do all these years-


Sean:Here’s mouthwash.



Sam:Yeah. Here’s pencils and underwear. Like practical things, I guess, is what I’m saying.

Lauren:No, they’re probably not practical,


Lauren:but fun and silly.


Lauren:So, things he’d might not use, but get a smile.

Sean:Did you guys all get the practical stuff in your stockings?

Lauren:Yeah, I used to.

Alex:I don’t know if it’s in my stocking, but I got practical presents, for sure. I think it was every year I got socks.

Sean:What was our parents reasoning on that?

Alex:And I liked it.

Sean:“Hey, here’s some stuff that-“

Sam:I have to buy you underwear anyway. So, I’m going to make it a Christmas gift.”

Lauren:Right. Right.

Sam:If it’s within 60 days of Christmas or any sort of holiday, it’s like, this is going to be a present.


Sean:Oh. Got it.

Lauren:One time I got a toothbrush, but it had our names on it and for some reason, that was just extra special.

Sam:That’s so nice.

Alex:That is special.

Lauren:To a parent. But, as a child, I’m like, “Okay.”

Alex:Then you don’t accidentally use your brothers. This is Lauren’s.

Lauren:I don’t think that was ever a problem, but-

Sam:So, obviously we have shopping and holidays on the mind, on our brains, which is exciting.


Alex:Last year, Lauren-

Sam:Are you guys pumped for the holidays?

Alex:Oh, of course.

Lauren:Yes. So excited.


Alex:Lauren was like, “I’m going to do all my shopping on Amazon.” And then, one day we tried to leave our house and we couldn’t because there was too many packages on our front porch.

Lauren:There were so many boxes on the porch.

Alex:We couldn’t open our door.


Sean:Oh, my gosh.

Lauren:But, Amazon is a lifesaver when it comes to Christmas shopping because no crowds, but I do like to go to little markets and stuff and find cute homemade stuff and support local-


Alex:Isn’t there a holiday market coming up soon?

Sam:There’s so many. I was going to say, if you can resist the urge to do so much Amazon shopping this year,


Sam:There are like a bajillion local markets and they’re everywhere.

Sean:Ooh, that many?

Sam:So, it’s super-convenient. You can go to a brewery and shop. You can go to a farmer’s market and shop. They’re popping up everywhere.


Sam:17th Street market and all over the place. So, if you just start a teeny bit early and just hit a couple every weekend, or whatever, you should be all set.

Lauren:I went to the mini Greek Festival a couple of weeks ago..


Lauren:and they had a little shopping, little booths set up.


Lauren:I got a few little things there so-

Sam:That’s nice.

Lauren:Kind of got me in the spirit.

Sam:Yeah. What have you guys been up to lately?

Alex:Selling houses, but other than that, the coolest thing I would say we have done recently is we went to the Altria Theater and saw, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”


Alex:The NPR news quiz show.

Sam:Yeah, yeah.

Alex:I don’t know if you guys are familiar?

Sam:Not super.

Sean:Tell us about that.


Lauren:So, there’s a celebrity panel, not well-known celebrities-

Alex:It’s not Ariana Grande.


Lauren:But somebody will call in and they’ll ask them some trivia questions based off of current events and they get answers, they win prizes and then the celebrity panel chimes in with little quirky funny things.

Sam:Yeah. That was at Altria, you said?

Lauren:Uh-huh (affirmative).


Sam:Nice. It’s a beautiful theater, right?

Alex:Yeah. We love it.

Lauren:It’s so cool. Apparently, they’d been trying to get the show to come to Richmond to film for 20 years and they just finally came so-

Sam:Wow, that’s awesome.

Lauren:Hopefully, they’ll be back again, but it was a lot of fun.

Sam:So, this has been on for a long time?

Lauren:Oh, yeah.

Sam:Yeah. The show’s been on for a really long time.

Lauren:Yeah. It comes on Saturday mornings at 10 or 11 on NPR.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative)


Alex:You really got to like the show to want to go because the tickets were not cheap.


Sean:You’ve really got to like it.

Sam:Well, if they’ve been trying to come for 20 years and finally just came, I would imagine that’s probably-

Alex:It was sold out in 72 hours.

Sam:Yeah. I feel like a lot of the acts and shows that come to Altria Theater and Dominion Energy Center, they always sell out and there are so many coming up for the holidays.


Sam:Do you guys go to any?

Lauren:Not typically.

Alex:Not recently.

Sam:What? All right.

Alex:I used to go to the Nutcracker with my mom every year. I don’t know if you…

Sam:Let me give y’all a little holiday list here.

Alex:The camera can see all the Nutcrackers. My mom would give me one every Christmas.


Alex:And then I got old enough that stopped and then I married Lauren and she’s like, “I love nutcrackers” so now we’re back on the nutcracker thing.

Sam:That’s fun. Well, you guys should go see the Richmond Ballet. They put on a beautiful Nutcracker.

Lauren:At the Altria?

Sean:That was Altria too.

Alex:It’s called Richmond Symphony, ballet…

Sam:Yeah, it’s fantastic. It’s such a fun experience and you can go and have dinner somewhere around the-

Lauren:Yeah, make an evening of it.

Sam:It’s so nice. Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative). And they have a bunch of different things. Like Richmond Symphony is doing a concert called “Let it Snow” and it’s with a chorus and they’re going to be singing all these holiday songs and…



Sam:It’s so fun and festive. Yeah. They have a hip hop Nutcracker coming out if you like some flavor.



Sean:Oh, that’s way more fun.

Alex:I want to go to that one.

Lauren:I want to go to that one too.

Sam:Yeah. Yep. Yep. So, there’s a bunch of shows. I’d definitely recommend checking out anything that’s going on at Dominion Energy Center or Altria, Theater. Even the smaller theaters are putting on some really cool productions for the holidays too, so-

Sam:Or… And they make great gifts.


Sean:True. Tickets.

Sam:Yeah, tickets.

Alex:I know it’s not holiday related, but doesn’t Hamilton coming to Altria Theater as well?

Sam:Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It’s already playing.



Alex:There we go.

Sam:Yep. And the tickets sold out quickly, but they did, you know how it goes, it’s like the tickets sell out, but then you can get them through third party sites and everything and so, hopefully a lot of people have gone to see that and have loved it.

Lauren:We thought wait, wait. Was expensive. I bet Hamilton is three times the price.


Alex:You going to look it up?

Sean:Yeah. That’s probably up there.

Sam:Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So, definitely go check it out, but there are some markets that are happening around the city. I know we kind of briefly touched on it, but Brunch Market’s a big one that happens in Scott’s Addition and then Over the River Market’s one that happens over here by you guys in Bon Air or at least south of the river.

Lauren:Where’s Brunch Market? Is that the…

Alex:Lunch, supper?

Lauren:That’s that little outdoor area we talked about?

Sam:Yep. Yeah.


Sam:And Craft and Design just happened. That was at the train station. That’s a huge one.


Sean:Yeah, it’s a huge space.

Lauren:Yeah. Yep. That’s a ticketed one with Visual Arts Center of Richmond. They do makers and crafts and stuff.

Alex:Is there a place that someone could go to see all this?

Sam:We put together one at TheRichmondExperience.com for RVAX members. We put a list of all the holiday markets together and we’re constantly updating and adding them as people are adding markets and things like that. The Chris Kindle Market at Booby Cider’s a really nice one, that should be coming up soon.

Alex:And the cheese shop that opened there?

Sam:Yeah. So, you get a grilled cheese, shop local, I’m telling you.

Sean:What’s the name of the Cheese Company?




Lauren:Truckle Cheesemongers. Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Sam:Yeah. How do you beat that? Get a glass of cider, have a grilled cheese…

Lauren:Some really good-

Alex:Buy a couple pounds of cheese to take home.

Sam:Yeah, exactly.


Lauren:You can put that in my stocking.

Alex:Bunch of cheese.



Sam:She’s going to be making notes of all the things that she needs in her stocking.

Sean:Oh, my God.

Sam:Yeah. So there’s some really fun ones happening, so definitely check that out.


Sam:I urge you to try to shop less on Amazon this year. See if you can do it.

Alex:She does all the shopping, so-

Sam:So, you’re like “You do it.” Well, you guys enjoy drinking. There’s lots of ones that like breweries and cideries and stuff, so that’s always really nice.

Sean:Like the pop-ups, yeah?

Sam:Yeah. Tapped and Wrapped, they wrap them for you.




Alex:Well, she’s likes wrapping too.

Lauren:I do like wrapping, but…

Sam:So do I, but they have professional… A company-

Alex:Six inch ribbons.

Sam:Six inch… Girl! Six inch ribbon curls.

Alex:Professional wrappers.

Sam:And last year was at the Veil. I can’t remember what their location is this year. I think they changed it, but it’s Tapped and Wrapped. It’s a market with a Revel, I think Revel and Riot, which is actually a wrapping paper company that’s local. And so, you buy gifts from various vendors that are there and then Revel and Riot will wrap them for you.

Lauren:That’s… how freaking awesome is that?

Sam:It’s so cute.

Alex:As a dude, I would use that all day.



Alex:You should see my presents. They’re poorly put together, but-

Sean:Mine are awful. Terrible.

Sam:Yeah, it’s okay. There’s an art to it.

Sean:It’s not our fault.

Lauren:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sam:There’s an art of wrapping. Google it.


Alex:I’ve tried.


Alex:I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t care.

Sam:Yeah. How about ice skating? Do you guys do any of that?

Alex:I love ice skating?

Sam:When was the last time you’ve been?

Alex:It’s been a while.

Lauren:It’s probably been four or five years ago and I think we went to Ice Zone. As close as we live to Stony Point Mall, we’ve never used their ice skating rink.



Alex:But isn’t it not real ice there?

Lauren:I don’t know. I’ve never done it.

Sam:It looks like it. We saw it last year, we didn’t ice skate in it, but it looked like it. I will say though, you think in your head “I love ice skating,” but you loved it as a kid and you felt safe as a kid because you were reckless.


Sam:We went two years ago to the West Broad Village rink and my heart has never raced so fast.

Alex:Like ski zone? Or Ice Zone?

Sam:Like I was-


Sam:No, there was-

Alex:Like inside the actual-

Sam:No. It was an outdoor…


Alex:Like a mall?

Sam:Yep. At West Broad Village they have an outdoor ski rink for the season.


Sam:And I was like, “Oh my God, I’m going to fall on my face and bust it o-…”

Lauren:Can I have a helmet, please?

Sam:Break all my teeth. Yeah. I was kind of terrified…

Alex:And your ankles feel wobbly. It’s probably because they’re rental skates.

Sean:Yeah. That’s why.

Sam:And all these kids are zooming around you and you’re like, “I thought I was good at this and enjoyed this. And afterwards I was like, “I need a drink. Get me off the ice. My nerves are shot.” Like, “This is not as fun as I thought”, but it is. It was a fun experience and we were kids out there. We were shaky and holding hands. It was cute.

Sean:And now the kids just fly by us.


Sean:And we’re just like, “Uh, don’t hit me.”

Sam:Yeah. We see all the parents with the children, they’re trying not to bust their butt.

Alex:I know exactly what you’re talking about. It makes me appreciate when you watch pro hockey, how fast and crazy agile they are.

Sean:Oh, my gosh.

Sam:Yeah, yeah.

Alex:As soon as I step on ice I’m… Yeah. Wobbly ankles, everything.


Sam:So, last year they had… The 17th Street Market did an ice skating rink, but I don’t think they’re doing it this year.


Sam:But I think they have a rink at Stony Point, like you mentioned.

Lauren:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.

Sam:I think they have one at West Broad village. I don’t know of any others though. Those are the only two that I know of so far. I don’t know if there’s going to be one in the city. They just moved the Grand Illumination. Did you guys hear about that?



Lauren:Mm-mm (negative).

Sam:So, every year for 30 plus years, the James Center’s done the Grand Illumination, that’s what the name of it is. And then this year City Parks and Recs took it over and now it’s called RVA Illuminates and it’s happening at Kanawha Plaza.


Alex:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Sean:Yep, okay.

Sam:Yeah. So, it should be interesting. It’s the first time in over 30 years that it’s moved locations and that the City’s taking it over. So, we’re crossing our fingers.

Alex:Is that similar… Because I know there’s a building near kind Kanawha Plaza that has a bunch of reindeers. Is that all associated with the same? Or is that just separate?

Sam:Yeah, the James Center… That’s the James Center that you’re talking about with all the reindeer. They’re going to keep that out. So, you can still visit the James Center and walk around and take some selfies and look at all of the reindeer and lights and everything, but the actual celebration of the lighting of the city skyline and stuff is going to happen at Kanawha Plaza and they’re going to sell Christmas trees there and have music and there’ll be vendors. Another market for you to go to.


Sean:They’re everywhere.

Sam:Yeah, that’s this Friday. This Friday, December the sixth is RVA Illuminates, Downtown.

Alex:Good to know.


Alex:You mentioned a episode or two about RVAX having Christmas trees delivered. Obviously, we didn’t wait, but-

Sam:Yeah. Christmas trees delivered?

Alex:Yeah. Well, I was listening back to one of the episodes, you talked about it, but I don’t if there’s any details on that.

Sam:Yeah, we don’t deliver them, but King of Pops does a delivery.

Lauren:That’s right.

Sam:I think that’s maybe what we were talking about. Yeah. King of Pops does this program where they will deliver a Christmas tree for you and then they’ll come and pick it up too. It’s kind of a service that they provide every year, which is really cool.

Lauren:That is cool. Yeah. I think there’s… One of the elementary schools around us does something similar. I just see on our neighborhood Facebook groups, but I’ve never inquired. But yeah, it’s a great idea.

Sam:Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sean:Yeah, it is.

Lauren:They don’t do it here. I want somebody to do it here. But in California they’ll deliver a live Christmas tree in the thing.

Alex:I think we talked about that two weeks ago. I know you love Christmas.

Sam:She’s so pumped about it though. No, I love it.

Lauren:I want it. I want it so bad.

Sam:Well, just tell us really quick for anybody that missed out last episode. What is it?

Lauren:Yeah, so they deliver a live Christmas tree in a pot. You decorate it and then when you’re done they take it back and replant it and let it grow some more and reuse them next year.

Sam:Maybe one of our use of next growers will take this idea and run with it because that’d be awesome.

Lauren:I hope so. I hope so.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Nice.

Sean:Yeah. I’m all for that.

Sam:There was one other thing that I wanted to talk to you guys about when it comes to holidays and, of course, it just slipped my mind.

Alex:The Tacky Light Tour?

Sam:Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Alex:I went on a listing appointment a few weeks ago and I drove past the famous house in Richmond.


Alex:I’m not up to date on all the Tacky Light Tour stuff, but it’s like a family, they have two houses side by side.

Sam:Uh-huh (affirmative).

Alex:And I was driving past it during the day and I was like, “Oh my God” I was actually on the phone with Miles and I was like, “Oh my God.” He’s like, “What?” And I’m like, “Christmas lights.”


Alex:But they weren’t lit up. But it was a lot of Christmas stuff and I’m like, “I need to come back here at night.” And the name of the family, I’m drawing a blank, but they’re really well known. It’s, I think, in Farmington, in the West end.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative). We’ve been by that house. Those houses.

Alex:And I was talking with the homeowner while I was there, I’m like, “Is Richmond… Does every city have a big Tacky Light Tour? Or is it just…” I’m sure more than just Richmond, but-


Sean:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alex:Is that a common thing? Or Richmond just is known for it?

Sam:Uh-huh (affirmative). What did he say?

Alex:Well, he didn’t know. I’m kind of asking you.

Sam:Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were asking…

Alex:Because you know everything?

Sean:What’s your opinion?

Sam:You know, I’m not sure. I know that there are other cities, certainly, that do it, but I don’t know, comparably if we’re more or less than other places.

Sean:It’s like a year or two ago we met Elliott from XO102…


Sean:and it was around the holidays and he’s like, “I’m going on the Tacky Light Tour.”

Sam:Uh-huh (affirmative).

Sean:So, for him to come down and that’d be like a thing to do for him to do from DC, I just started wondering, is Richmond better than other cities at having tons of tacky lights?

Sam:Yeah, I don’t know. I do know that there’s like a lot of services. So, every year, if I’m not mistaken, Richmond Times Dispatch puts out a list of all of the houses that are Tacky Light Tour worthy and so you can grab the list and create your own Tacky Light Tour and they break it up by neighborhood, which is really helpful. But, a couple of local businesses that have access to buses and things like that, they pop up and do it. So, RVA Paddle Sports, they bus everybody for rafting in the winter, they do Tacky Light Tours. I know RVA Brew Crew does it too, who usually does brewery tours and they’re so fun.


Sam:You can get your friends together and they allow you to bring food and snacks and drinks on the bus and you can ride around. We’ve seen some groups that do tacky sweaters or they’ll do pajamas, like Christmas pajamas and everybody loads on the bus and you can go around.

Lauren:That’s cute.

Sam:It’s so fun. Yeah.

Lauren:I know Richmond Limousine does tours too…

Sam:Oh, they’ve been doing it for years.


Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Lauren:If you want to get fancy.

Sam:But that books up so early. Today is the beginning of December and I would say by another week or two is the max of when you can book it because all of them book out so fast.


Sam:And you end up not being able to get a spot. So, if you guys are wanting to do it or if anybody listening wants to do it, I would check out RVA Paddle Sports or…

Sean:Brew Crew.

Sam:Brew Crew. Yep. Or Richmond Limousine or one of those that does it.

Alex:Do y’all have any holiday tradition to go back to Jersey? Is it just different every year?

Sean:We alternate.

Sam:We do every other. Yeah, we alternate.

Sean:Every other.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, every other year we spend it in Richmond or Jersey with the other half of the family. So-

Lauren:What’s this year?

Sam:This year we’re in Jersey for Christmas, so-

Alex:Pork rolls?


Sean:Yes. Every single day.

Alex:By the way, before we started this episode, Shawn and Sam brought us pork rolls from Nate Bagels. Delicious.

Lauren:Yes. Shout out to Nate. Sweet.

Alex:So good.

Lauren:We learned how to win the game at Nate’s, and it’s to call ahead.


Sean:Call ahead?

Lauren:Call ahead, order and take out because it was ready in 10 or 15 minutes.

Alex:You just cut the line. There’s a take out-

Lauren:Yeah. There’s a section you can go.

Sam:Do you have to call in or do they have a web app or website? You have to call?

Lauren:No. They don’t have an app. They might have an online ordering system, but every time we’ve done it, we’ve just called. They answer and just take our order and it’s 10 or 15 minutes. So, we got to the Jersey turnpike with pork roll, egg and cheese.

Alex:So worth it.

Lauren:They were so good.


Lauren:Nate makes a good bagel. It’s no surprise that they’re so packed because the bagels are awesome, but… Mmm.

Alex:You know it’s got to be good if y’all break your… Was it pescatarianism?


Sean:Oh, it’s worthy of breaking it. Flexitarian.

Sam:Yep. That’s right. So, we’re all feeling really full and good from that.


Sam:Which is nice. How’s everything going development-wise in Richmond? I know there’s a lot been going on even mentioned Alex at Carvana’s coming in. That’s kind of an exciting thing. Right?

Alex:Well, Carvana’s in Richmond, and I’m sure… At least I’ve seen the billboards driving around. One of my friends actually works for them.

Sam:Uh-huh (affirmative). Okay.

Alex:But the new news is that they’re trying to put a vending machine…


Alex:A car vending machine at Westwood Avenue.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alex:I don’t know if you guys have ever seen one in person or just seen them in the news.


Sean:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alex:I’d never even heard of it before and it was either one or two Halloweens ago we were in Philly and I look out the window of the Airbnb and I’m like, “What the heck is that?” You just see the giant thing glowing with cars in it and we Googled it and it was a car vending machine.


Sean:So how does that work? So, like-

Alex:So, you can actually buy a car and they give you a token. I don’t know if it’s actually a big coin because that’s what I hope, like a giant coin.

Sean:Yeah. Hope it’s a giant coin with a giant slot.

Alex:And you just put it in a slot.

Sam:Carry it.

Alex:There’s probably more like a card or something, a code. You type it in and it somehow brings the car down and you just drive it off. But you’ve pre bought it online, so you know what you’re getting. So, there’s probably some sort of return policy just in case you’re like “Wait, is something weird?” I’m just guessing on that.

Lauren:And I don’t think you have to get it from the vending machine.

Alex:The vending machine. No.

Lauren:You can go online, on their website and find a car you like and they’ll deliver it to your front door.

Alex:Yeah. They’ll drop it off on a flat bed and then they’ll also pick up, if you want to sell your car, they’ll take it too. I’m guessing the vending machine is more of a marketing thing because they don’t hold that many cars, but it obviously, is getting people talking.


Sean:Yeah, sure.

Alex:Because it’s cool and unique and different.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alex:The one they’re talking about putting in Westwood Avenue is going to potentially be the biggest one in the country.



Sean:Do you know how many cars it would hold? Or no? That’s all…

Alex:So, all I see is that it would be 12 tiers, where the current largest one is nine.


Alex:So, three levels taller. The nine story holds 34 cars.


Alex:And that’s in Arizona where the company is based out of.


Alex:So yeah, they’ve been here in Richmond since 2016. This would just be the first vending machine in town.

Sam:Yeah. Interesting.

Sean:I wonder what determines what they put in the vending machine.

Sam:I was just going to ask that. Like “Is your car worthy? Or no?”


Lauren:I’m sure they have some stats on most popular car sold. You’re not going to put a wild bird in there that’s going to be one person purchase it a year in this region. You know you’re going to put your Hondas…

Sean:Or you do.


Alex:Or you put the Ferraris and the Porsches, so when you drive by you’re like…

Sean:It’s like a claw machine. Right? Like claw machine. You’ll have the most expensive digital thing.

Lauren:I don’t think it’s a claw machine. It’s not like you get a random car.

Sean:You might. That would be more fun.

Lauren:It probably would be really entertaining.

Sam:That would be kind of fun. I do wonder how…

Sean:Like a random car rental vending machine.

Sam:this is going to transform-

Alex:So, that’s a small looking one there.


Alex:But it just looks cool.

Sam:Does look pretty neat.

Sean:Does look really cool.

Alex:Who do you think thought of that?

Sam:Looks like they have some sort of office space or somebody’s there. It’s not just-

Alex:Yeah. It’s not just a vending machine by yourself.

Sam:I wonder though, how it’s going to transform Westwood Ave. We love Top Golf, obviously, we have such a good time there, but it is not a local to Richmond thing. It’s a little bit commercialized and it looks that way. And so I almost wonder with this Carvana coming up if that area is going to look a little bit more commercially than other parts of Richmond.

Lauren:Agreed. Yeah.

Sam:So, I’m not saying I’m not excited for it, but I still think I would probably buy my car from a local Richmond spot, personally.


Sam:You know?

Alex:I guess, well-

Sam:And they’re starting to do delivery too. I saw, probably to combat things like the Carvana, I saw one of the local dealerships are doing a shopping online-esque program where they’ll basically just drive the car to your house and then you can drive it for three days and test drive it. You do your test drive from your house essentially. You’ve loaned the car for a couple of days and see how you like it.

Alex:I could see services like that increasing just the way the world’s changing.

Sam:Yeah. Yeah, so instead of spending… And then you do all of your financing online. I wish I could remember the name of the, we’ll have to look and put it in the show notes, what the name of the dealership is that’s locally doing it. But I was like, “That’s awesome” because I hate, there’s nothing more that I hate than sitting in a car dealership.

Lauren:Oh, it’s the worst. Four hours of your life gone.

Sam:Yeah. Yeah. So-

Alex:I don’t know if most people buy cars like how we did. We figured out what car we wanted and then just looked around to find the best value and I didn’t really care whether it was Auto Trader or dealership or CarMax. I just want this car, in this color, at the best price.

Lauren:It’s definitely a big investment. So, price tag is certainly important, but I know we’ve also had a bad experience at a specific dealership and then it was just like, “I don’t care how low you go. Just forget it.” Yeah. Like I just don’t want to deal and work with you. So, I think customer service still definitely plays a role in it too.

Alex:Yeah, we won’t be going back to that dealership. Who will stay unnamed.


Alex:Everyone probably knows it.

Sean:So, at this point, if you use a vending machine, do you test drive it? Or are you just forgoing the whole thing?

Lauren:I think there’s a 15 day grace period where you can…

Sam:Like money back guarantee type thing.

Lauren:Right. Exactly. So you can… Yeah, if it’s just not what you had in mind.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lauren:As long as you don’t wreck it, you can give it back.

Sam:Yeah. Well, bad at driving. So-

Sean:We already covered that.

Alex:I think we debunked that. At least that’s how I felt by the end of that conversation.

Lauren:Oh, I rode a… It wasn’t a bird, Alex, it was a…

Sean:A bolt.

Lauren:A bolt? Oh…

Alex:She rode one…



Alex:It was after “Wait, wait” back to the parking deck.

Lauren:I imagine it’s how you feel ice skating. I thought that I was going to die.

Sam:Yeah. Really?


Sean:They go just fast enough to scare you.

Lauren:Yeah. And the city sidewalks aren’t the best either. And so you’re going over these bumps and you feel like you’re just going to tip over.

Sean:Yeah. They’re convenient though.

Lauren:Any second.

Sean:They’re fun.

Alex:So Carvana has a seven day money back guarantee.


Alex:So you can drive it for a week and if you don’t like it, nevermind.

Sean:Pick something else up and then drive 52 cars a year.

Sam:Ooh, yeah. I like that.

Alex:I’m sure they’re going to challenge though.

Lauren:I feel like they’ll be on to you, I feel like.

Sean:I don’t know. Well…

Sam:He might’ve just found a loophole.

Sean:Got to read the fine print.

Sam:We’ll follow up.

Lauren:Yeah. We’ll report back.

Sean:New car of the week.

Alex:Well, actually, Carvana’s only used cars, but so it’d be new to you.



Sean:That’s true.

Sam:Oh, I didn’t know that they’re only used cars.

Alex:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sam:Oh, interesting. Okay.

Alex:So, I guess they’re competitors with CarMax.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Alex:Just a little different style and how they approach it.

Sam:Yeah. Interesting.

Alex:Yeah for my friend who worked there, they’re busy. Very, very busy here in Richmond. So, they must be doing something right.

Sam:Yeah. People are using it. Okay.

Sean:Or dealerships are just doing a lot wrong.

Lauren:Well, I think it’s the convenience maybe.

Alex:I know that dealerships hate Teslas and they’re trying to get them shut down from selling cars online.


Lauren:Do we know if-

Sean:I love Teslas.

Alex:Because it’s killing their business. Well, me too. But-

Sean:They also have seven day guarantee.

Lauren:So, I know with CarMax it’s no haggle pricing. Is Carvana the same way since it’s online?

Alex:I’m not sure.

Sean:I think it is.

Lauren:It’s got to be, right?

Sam:Yeah. How do you really even negotiate?

Sean:Yeah. Because I don’t think there’s any sort of negotiating.

Lauren:Right, right.

Sam:Interesting. Which probably makes it a little easier too.

Sean:But I think they can price it better because they are not making… I don’t know. I don’t know how that works.

Sam:We bought our Jeep from Jeep Pearson Dodge on Broad Street. It was a really nice experience.


Sam:Yeah. They gave us a year of oil changes and stuff, so we were really happy with it.

Sean:Yeah, that was great.

Sam:Yeah, it was easy.

Alex:We had a good experience at Lexus.

Sam:Okay. Good.

Alex:When we got my car. It was the other one that we had problems with.

Sam:Speaking of cars, we were driving around the other day, we hit Recluse Coffee Roasting. They’re doing pop-ups right now, but they’re going to be officially opening in Scott’s Addition soon. It’s a… I’m really nasally. Sorry, guys. I’m going to have a cold, a new coffee shop that’s opening, but while we were over there we checked out Bellville. We didn’t really see that food hall that’s, yeah. There wasn’t much of a construction progress.

Alex:There wasn’t any construction?

Sam:No. Not that we can see from the outside, we’ll say.

Sean:Yeah. I don’t know they’re-

Sam:We didn’t really even see a construction dumpster though. So, I don’t know.

Sean:Are they going to demo that building? Or are they? I don’t know, because it’s an old building. Maybe there’s just going to renovate it, but-

Sam:Yeah. I don’t know.

Sean:Or build a second story.

Sam:Yeah. I think transformations can be jazzy.

Sean:Oh, yeah. They can.

Sam:I feel like there’s a lot they can do with that. It’s a brick building.


Lauren:When is it expected to be done and ready?

Sam:I don’t think until middle of next year. I don’t know.

Sean:Yeah. It’s still only eight months away.


Sam:Maybe even end. I’m not sure. Yeah.

Alex:I did drive past the [Fours Tilvale 00:25:52] and it looks way different.

Sam:Wow. Yeah.

Lauren:There’s walls.

Alex:Stuff’s coming together quick. Yes, there’s walls.

Sean:Where did we read about that satellite veil brewing spot where there’s only, you can probably only fit 15 or 20 people in it and…

Alex:So exclusive.

Sean:Where’s that at?

Sam:Yeah. So that’s over, I think, by the original Strange Ways, isn’t it?

Sean:Okay. Yeah, off of Dabney.

Sam:Off Dabney Road.

Sean:Near Top Golf.

Sam:Yeah. Did you hear about that?

Lauren:Uh-uh (negative).


Sam:Veil Brewing randomly has this small building off Dabney Road and they opened this tiny 15 to 20 person satellite tap room, that’s a hang out space.

Alex:It’s just one keg? One beer?

Sam:It’s like, yeah, I think they have like four taps…

Sean:Nah. I think they have four taps. Yeah.


Sean:And I forget how they described it, but it was just like a-

Sam:A Belgian cafe.

Sean:Yeah. Like a Belgian cafe.

Sam:Yeah. It was very interesting.

Alex:And that’s open?

Sean:Mm-hmm (affirmative), mm-hmm (affirmative).


Sean:They kind of just randomly, “Oh, we’re open.”

Sam:Yeah. All of a sudden they were like, go hang out in your Grand M.

Alex:They just dropped it like an album? Just…

Sam:Yeah. Overnight.

Sean:Overnight release.

Sam:Yeah. I’m having a hard time, I don’t know. I like the Veil, so I’d try it out, but I don’t know. It just seems weird.


Sam:Yeah. I don’t know.

Lauren:One of most popular breweries in Richmond and we’re just going to open up a spot that can fit, maybe your family.

Alex:It’s exclusive.

Sean:True. Yeah.


Sean:They’re probably the most-

Alex:They’re trying to be cool. I don’t know.

Sean:popular brewery in Norfolk now too, since they just opened that.


Sam:They just opened it. Right?

Sean:We saw the photos of that.

Sam:It looks beautiful.

Sean:They had a huge turnout.

Alex:We love Commonwealth from that area. I don’t know exactly if it’s Norfolk or Virginia Beach or? How you would…

Sean:I think we’ve had some of their beer, Commonwealth.

Sam:Speaking of drinking, it looks like you guys are having the new Bella Ale.

Lauren:We did.

Sam:How do you like it?

Alex:I forget how many weeks ago we talked about it and so we wanted to try it.

Sam:Yeah. Okay.

Lauren:It’s delicious.

Alex:This is the blood orange. It’s very-

Sam:Where’d you pick it up from?

Alex:Once upon a Vine South.


Lauren:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alex:Right at the edge of the neighborhood. I don’t know if you saw our Instagram a little while ago.


Alex:So, in between you can get local alcohol and then on Fridays they Idle Hand bread.


Sean:Ooh, nice.

Alex:And then right next door’s, Galley to Go and then I get Homestead Ice Cream, Nightingale ice cream.

Lauren:So good.

Alex:It’s all three minutes from our house. I love living in Stratford Hills.

Lauren:It’s the best.


Sean:Yeah. That sounds nice.

Lauren:This is really good though. It’s got like a-


Lauren:Yeah, it’s got a creamy finish, after tastes?


Alex:I want to try the other flavors. Did you say the Grapefruit?

Sam:Yeah, we’re huge fans of the grapefruit flavor.

Sean:We really like that one.

Sam:That was really good. Yep. And then I think the other one’s just a regular and I think those are the only flavors.

Lauren:Like a plain?

Sean:Yeah. Just a plain seltzer. Yeah.

Sam:Yeah. Yeah. Which you can mix with a juice if you want to jazz it up a little bit, but I’m not a plain seltzer person.


Sean:Yeah. Yeah, jazz it.

Alex:Got a jazz it.

Lauren:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Jazz a jazz.


Alex:I don’t even like grapefruit, but grapefruit White Claw’s my favorite White Claw. So-


Alex:I think it’s just-

Sam:Got to try the Bella Ale White Claw, Bella Ale Grapefruit.

Alex:I will.

Sam:Bella Ale White Claw.

Sean:Bella Ale White Claw. In the latest collaboration.

Sam:We’ve been drinking. Good. I’m glad you guys are liking it.

Lauren:Yeah. I’m excited.

Sam:Last thing that we want to talk about today is…

Sean:What is the last thing?

Sam:Starr Hill Brewery opens this weekend.

Alex:So excited.


Sam:Grand opening is this Saturday.

Lauren:What’s the date exactly?

Sam:Saturday, December the seventh.



Sam:Blow out party. They’re going to have music there. Yeah, it’s going to be awesome.

Lauren:What does blow out party mean?

Alex:Are we invited? Or is everyone invited?

Sam:Yeah. So RVAX members are doing a sneak peak on the fifth, so we’re super stoked for that. So, be on the lookout for an invite.

Alex:What does that involve? Because I’ll… We’ll be there.

Sam:Yeah. It’s a private preview party. So, we get to go in the space when nobody else can go in.


Sam:Yep. But they’ll close down for that night and RVAX members will be able to go and hang out. We’ll tour the brewery, we’ll check it all out. You can sample all the beers because they’re going to have some of their tried and true Starr Hill beers, but they’re brewing stuff specifically for their Richmond location. Okay?

Sean:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Lauren:That’s cool.


Sean:And they’re giving away a beer to each person there.

Sam:Yeah. First beer’s on the house.

Sean:First beer’s on the house.

Sam:Why not come?



Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lauren:Are they serving food at all? Do we know?

Sam:I’m sure they’ll have some sort of food truck.


Sam:I don’t know if that’s been ironed out yet,


Sam:but they’ll do a food truck and then we’re doing a gift bag night too.

Lauren:But the brewery itself isn’t going to…

Sam:Well, they might have a window. We heard through the grapevine that eventually they might have some sort of food window there.


Sean:I like it.

Sam:But yeah, so we’re pumped.

Alex:We went to Starr Hill in Crozet, near Charlottesville in, I think, July… Have y’all ever heard of Crozet Pizza?


Sean:I’ve heard of Crozet, but [crosstalk 00:30:16].

Alex:So, I forget how I heard about it, it may have been on a TV show about pizza on an airplane, I just remember it. So, next time we were driving past, I’m like, “We need to go. We need to go.” They rated it the, I think National Geographic, I don’t know what year, rated Crozet Pizza the best pizza in the world.

Sam:What? Was it the world or the U S?

Lauren:One of the two.

Alex:The world.

Sean:The world.

Alex:It was National Geographic. It’s worldly.

Lauren:I would agree with him.

Alex:Better than any pizza place in-

Sam:Was it awesome?

Lauren:So, delicious.

Sam:What made it good?

Alex:The taste.

Sean:The taste.

Sam:I’m very invested in pizza.

Alex:It tasted good.

Lauren:I can’t…

Sam:Where’s Zorch today?

Alex:So, I don’t think I’ve had enough pizza around the world to confirm it’s the best in the world.

Sam:Uh-huh (affirmative).

Alex:But it’s very, very good. And anytime you’re driving past Crozet, it’s five minutes off the highway, off 64 and then Starr Hill Brewing, one of their breweries, is one or two minutes away.

Sam:Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alex:So, we grab a pizza, go to Starr Hill, hang out, drink their beer, eat the pizza.

Sam:Starr Hill makes one of my very favorite winter beers, it’s called the Snow Blind.


Sam:It is fantastic.

Sean:Snow blind?

Sam:Highly recommend. We bought it last year during a blizzard and I loved it. I loved every sip of it. It was so delicious.

Alex:I’m excited because when we went to that brewery in Crozet, they had so many different beers that you can’t get here in Richmond.


Alex:They’re not distributed widely…


Alex:and they were amazing.



Alex:Especially, the IPAs because that’s what we like.

Sam:So, you’re pumped for them to open here?


Lauren:Very excited. Going back to pizza, before we went to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” we had dinner at Pupatella.

Sean:Yes. Love them. Love their pizza.


Alex:Thank you, for the free pizza.

Sam:You’re welcome.

Lauren:We got… Exactly, for being RVAX members.

Alex:Very pillowy.

Lauren:It was so delicious.

Sam:So, good. Yes.

Lauren:We got one of the mimosa pizzas, it has roasted corn on it, which sounds weird, but oh man.

Sean:They have a good beer and wine selection there too for a pizza joint.

Alex:They do. They do.

Sam:And they have one of my favorite wines in Richmond. They serve this Gragnano, it’s a sparkling red.


Sam:Like an effervescent red.


Sam:Yeah. It’s not very, it’s not nearly as bubbly as a champagne,


Sam:but it just gives you like a nice mouthfeel.

Lauren:But not as heavy as a red? Regular red?

Sam:Yeah. It’s beautiful with pizza.

Alex:Bubbles make everything better.

Sean:They do.

Sam:Yeah. Yeah.

Lauren:Man, we need to go back.

Sam:And they do the deal like two pizzas and a bottle of wine, you get $10 off the bottle of wine when you order two pizzas. It’s such a deal. And they do 10% off for RVAx members, which is cool too.

Alex:So, when we go back-

Sam:So when you go back, you can take advantage.

Sean:Mm-hmm (affirmative). Do it.

Sam:Yeah. All the good things though.

Lauren:Sean? Where’s Zorch today?

Sean:They are nowhere. They were at Vail yesterday.

Lauren:Got it.

Alex:So, I know we talked about it, I don’t know if it was on air or not, but Zorch is your favorite, or one of your favorite pizzas in town.

Sean:Yeah. I think it’s both of our favorites.

Sam:Oh, hands down.

Alex:So, it’s a food truck only?

Sean:Yes. Food truck only. Our previous-

Sam:I would say regular pizza. Regular pizza.

Alex:What makes pizza not regular?

Sam:And I do classify woodfired oven pizza differently. So, Pupatella, to me, is in it’s own class and category and we love Pupatella for woodfired pizza.

Lauren:Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Sam:But I think a regular pizza pie that’s made in a traditional pizza oven…

Sean:Like a slice.

Sam:Yeah. Is definitely Zorch. I’m knocking it out of the park.

Alex:We’re a big Belmont fans.

Sean:Yeah, that was our, we really love Belmont. We live really close to there.

Sam:We do, but if Zorch opened a pizza place…

Alex:Is it in the same category as Belmont?


Lauren:It wasn’t the same.

Sam:It’s not the same. Belmont’s good though.

Sean:Like if Zorch…

Alex:And then from the Tazza video we just released, their woodfired pizza…

Lauren:100% so good.

Alex:Oh, my god.

Lauren:Yeah, yeah. Amazing.

Alex:So good.

Sam:It’s the bread.

Sean:It’s the bread.

Sam:That they import from New York.

Sean:Yep, from New York.


Alex:Oh, maybe we should open a bagel shop where we can just get bread form New York.

Sean:We actually talked about that. Yeah.

Sam:We talk about this every day.

Sean:It is a need.

Alex:Mostly just for personal reasons, but then you can sell them too to help offset all the costs.

Lauren:Selfishly. Selfishly.


Sam:Awesome. Well, I’m super excited to be celebrating the holidays with you guys. Happy December.

Lauren:The same.

Sean:Happy December.

Sam:Fives in the books. Anybody else?

Lauren:Thanks for all the market updates. I’m excited to do some shopping. Not online.

Sam:Yes. So proud of you guys. It’s going to be so fun. We’re going to do all of our shopping locally and it’s going to be awesome.

Sean:Most of it.

Sam:Most of it.

Sean:We still love Amazon.

Sam:We still love toilet paper from Amazon. You know, all the convenient things. All right, well cheers.

Alex:All right, cheers guys. Bye.

Sam:See ya.



Alex:Thank you so much for listening. Why Richmond is Awesome podcast is hosted by Sean and Sam Kanipe of the Richmond Experience and Lauren and Alex Glaser of the Glaser Group Realtors. It’s produced and edited by Miles A G Productions. Our theme song is “RVA All Day” by no BS Brass Band. Please rate us and leave us a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Listen to more episodes @WhyRichmondIsAwesome.com and follow us on Instagram @TheRichmondExperience and @WhyRichmondIsAwesome.