Last month, I finally got to take a trip I’ve been planning for the past eight months. I was lucky enough to help plan and attend Phi Sigma Pi Regional Conference in Richmond then travel down to Hampton to see my aunt. It was so good to visit a new city and give back to an organization that has done so much for me over the years and then to visit a city I had lived in long ago and see my aunt.
For those of you who don’t know, Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity is a gender-inclusive organization based on the ideas of scholarship, leadership, and fellowship. I could go on about what a great organization it is, but for the purposes of this post, all you really need to know is what it is and that I was a regional conference volunteer this past year for the Dominion region, who hosted their conference at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Day One & Two:
These days were conference-focused. Day One was primarily about flying out. I left Kansas City early, had a layover in Atlanta, and finally landed in Richmond. That evening, the conference began and we did group activities. Saturday, the Monument 5K was in the morning, so after eating breakfast, I sort of wandered the area until I made it back to my destination. In the morning, we did leadership activities before breaking for lunch. After lunch, we did a trash pickup on Belle Isle, which is an absolutely gorgeous park in the area. In the evening, we did some team building activities and ate cake.
That morning, I still had conference stuff, but in the afternoon, my mom and aunt met me in Richmond and picked up my stuff. We then went to Maymont, which is an activity I picked I thought they would both enjoy. It was really fascinating to see a house from the Gilded Age. It made me want to read more historical fiction. After touring the house, we went and walked around the gardens before hopping in the car and driving to my aunt’s house in Hampton.
We woke up early to drive to Norfolk for a Naval Base Cruise. It was super interesting and it was nice to be on a boat for awhile. After that, we drove back, ate at Smitty’s, which is a local burger place I always try to eat at when I’m in Hampton. Then, we were originally going to go to Buckroe Beach in the afternoon but we all ended up taking a nap and didn’t get up and go until the evening. It was just as well because going to the beach just before/just as the sun was setting was perfect. The water was too cold to really do anything but stick your feet in, but as someone who lives in the landlocked middle west, that was more than enough for me.
This was my last day and honestly, it was pretty chill. My flight was that night but it was out of Richmond, since it was cheaper to drive than to buy separate tickets from Norfolk to KC. So we basically just relaxed until it was time to go then I flew home, with another layover in Atlanta. I got in after midnight and went to work at 7:30 the next day (which I’m never doing again. Always have a buffer day after trips if you’re getting in late).
Overall, I had a great time! It was nice to do something Phi Sigma Pi related again and sort of reignited my love of the organization. Then, it was nice to see my aunt and her house, since my grandparents lived there when I lived out there and contains a lot of memories. My only regret in terms of this trip was that my husband couldn’t come with me because of work and the way the trip worked out. He’s never been out there, and since it’s a place that it’s important to my history, he really wants to go. However, it was nice to have some girl time with my mom and her aunt.