Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vacation 2010: Colonial Williamsburg.

It was raining as we checked out of our hotel and left Washington, DC. It was almost as if the District was sad to see us go!

Our next destination was Williamsburg, Virginia. After picking up our passes and eating a snack, we hit the trail, walking back in time.

Along the pathway, we passed markers that symbolized different years. These represented the way we were shedding modern conveniences and situations.

The first big building we saw was the Governor's Palace. A tour had just started, so we kept on walking.

Instead of waiting for the next tour, we found games on the Palace Green. Katie and Brett joined in and rolled a hoop,
and then she played a quick ball game.

Meanwhile, we toured the George Wythe home and grounds.

In the parlor were these musicians playing the oboe and viol da gamba. The ladies explained to us that in colonial times, it was improper for women to play instruments with their arms out or up. That's why instruments like the viol da gamba were perfect. Since the bow is held underhanded, the musician can keep his/her arms close to his/her side.

After leaving the Wythe house, we wandered over to the Bruton Parrish Church.

In the courtyard there, we saw the cemetery.

After a little shopping, we found ourselves at the magazine. There we learned about colonial weapons and ammo.
The walls inside this tall, round building were covered with weapons.

Other supplies were stored there, too, including a gridiron (top shelf). I'm a big football fan, but I'm not sure I'd ever heard where the term gridiron came from!

This portion of the demonstration was unnerving! Our guide used the bayonnet to open a supply pouch on the wall--right above a guest's head! Yikes!

We had to do the stuck-in-stocks photo. It's a law.

In my younger years I struck the same pose (with my Aunt Berniece).

Of course, I had to join in the fun. This time around, I chose the sit-down version!

And it's funny to see that my aunt and mom did the same thing back in the day!

Of course, we also had to see the book bindery.

It was interesting to see how strings were used to hold the pages together.

The blacksmith was impressive. It was a pretty toasty day, so we got a pretty good feel for the oppressive heat in that shop.

In the silversmith shop, we could see the evolution of a spoon.

The workshop was outfitted with all kinds of tools of the trade.

The wigmaker had plenty of her handiwork on display.

I can't imagine how she keeps her sanity with that kind of tedious work!

She had all kinds of wigs on display,

including some with feathers! Those wigs were particularly useful in rainy weather, we were told.

Near the end of our day we visited the Capitol.

There we learned about the colonial government and found out that the House of Burgesses moved here from Jamestown in 1704. It was also here in May of 1776 that representatives spoke for American independence.

The Capitol, as seat of government, also housed this courtroom, but because court convened only at certain times, people awaiting trial sometimes had to wait for months before coming to justice.

Across the way from the Capitol was the public gaol.

There we met the jailer (or would that be gaoler?), who told us how little the prisoners would have in their cells.
Then we got to check out the cells for ourselves.

Now that's a high-rise potty!

Free at last!

After our touring was done, we had one more appointment in Colonial Williamsburg: a reservation at Christiana Campbell's Tavern.

I dined here with my parents and aunt a long time ago.

See? Here are my aunt and parents outside Christiana Campbell's back in the early '80s. When we planned this year's trip, I knew I wanted my family to get the whole tavern experience, too.

And we got it! The food was good, but the atmosphere with the musicians and a visit from Mrs. Campbell's daughter, was the perfect ending to our trip back in time.

No comments: