Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Williamsburg Vacation

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  I've been vacationing.   Yeah yeah...use it or lose it time at work and I am NOT losing vacation time.  I also instinctively knew that for my own mental sanity and emotional well being that I had to DO something.  Sitting at home and loafing would NOT be good (Weekends are bad enough sometimes).  So what did I do?  I came to Williamsburg for a few days.  Luckily I had a freebie through the hotel booking site (saved up from who knows how long) and I was able to score a sweet deal on a nice hotel room.

This post will NOT be about diet and exercise, it will be about mental health and how important that is for us.   I DID walk quite a bit....not as much as my days in Philadelphia the other week....but I did probably walk 20-30 miles in the last 4 days.  (without pulling out my phone to check, I don't have an exact figure lol).  My eating...well....there is an awesome cupcakery that I stumbled upon.....and much to my shame I went there twice....and the  new donut place down the street from my hotel got hit up once!   I did however resist the lure of a milkshake last night...that counts for something, right????

Ok, back to the good stuff............

Saturday was my drive here day.....and I decided to stop by and see some plantations.   First up in my travels was the Shirley Plantation.  It was actually my second pick to see, but the first plantation that I came I went there first.    This plantation has the distinction of being one of the earliest worked plantations in the 'new world'.  I believe that they said it was chartered within 6 years of Jamestown being settled.  It has also been in the same family since that time.....and while I toured the downstairs of the plantation, the descendants of that original family still live on the other floors.  The docent was tickled to announce that the next generation of the family is due to arrive in the spring.  This plantation is superbly well maintained!

Shirley Plantation Main House
The next stop on my tour was the Berkeley Plantation.  This was the plantation that I had chosen for my top pick of must see plantations.  Why?   For a while it was owned by the Harrison family.   The Harrison family that boasted a signer of the declaration of independence and two presidents.  This plantation has had a much more difficult life than the Shirley Plantation and has changed hands quite a few times.   It is presently also privately owned and the upper floors are maintained as a family residence.

I at that point decided it was time to go explore Williamsburg for a bit, check into my hotel and grab a bite to eat.  (Yeah, I skipped lunch so by the time I was done with the second plantation I was ready to eat!)  

The next day I woke up bright and early and headed to Jamestown.  I toured Historic Jamestown in the morning.

Monument at Historic Jamestown
I explored a bit until it was time for a history talk.  The living history for the day (time that I could attend) was John Rolfe.  This living history dude was FANTASTIC.  It was supposed to be a 30 minute talk and he held his audiences attention for an hour and a half and I know I for one would have listened for much longer.
Living History
After 'John Rolfe' (and in case you don't know....he came to Jamestown a few years after it was originally settled.....he is the one that effectively brought peace between the Indians and the settlers via his marriage to Pocahontas) I finished my tour of the historic site. I made it a point to visit the Archeariaum.  FABULOUS.....basically it is a museum with tons of the artifacts that they have uncovered during their ongoing archeological digs.   Yes, I was very happy with my morning at Historic Jamestown!

Next up for the day?   The glassblowing, which is always neat to watch....and then onward to Jamestown Settlement.   I was most excited to revisit the ships at Jamestown Settlement.  You see, I must have been 7 or 8 the last time I was in the Williamsburg area, and the ships are one of the few things I actually remembered well.   Yeah, a lot changed (and probably even different ships as who knows if they were the same ones) in 35 years.   The settlement was interesting to walk through (although their living history people were probably the least friendly and informative of all the ones I came across in the last 4 days).  The museum however, was very well done!
Exhausted I finished out Jamestown, grabbed some food and headed to the hotel to relax...but not before searching out a geocache or two!  (ok, and it was Sunday.....I had to watch The Walking Dead!)

Monday dawned and I was up and ready to roll.  I was ready to head into battle.  Yorktown Battlefield.  I arrived at the Yorktown Battlefield with NO prior knowledge about this battle.  I assumed it was Revolutionary War....but I wasn't sure.  (You see, in all of the sites I have visited in the last few days ...there is reference to the Civil happened and had an impact on everything...but the interpretation that the sites is telling is Revolutionary and or Colonial era.)

View of redoubt 9 from the British lines
Inside Redoubt 9.....British at the beginning and overtaken by the French and Americans to protect their flanks
Moore House, location of the meeting between higher level officials to write out the terms of the British Surrender
Graveyard at the Moore House.

I was less impressed with The Yorktown Victory Center.  I will say it was probably because of the remodel and reconstruction of the museum.   Who knows....but lets say I didn't even pull out my camera.  I grabbed a geocache or two on this day also!  :-)

Woo hooo...the main day for Colonial Williamsburg Arrived.  I hot footed it and was able to accomplish almost everything on my to do list for this site.  (I will go back today to pick up the last one or two things I need to see....and maybe a wee geocache or two that I was too preoccupied to grab yesterday)

In no particular order.......  I actually visited the Bruton Parish Church twice.  The first time was just as I ambled (or ran depending on how you look at my day) through Colonial Williamsburg.  It is a find old church that is still an active church.   I went back in the evening to attend a pipe organ concert...and what a fun way to spend and evening on vacation.  The church is actually the second building....this 'new' building replaced the white clapboard building in 1715!
Bruton Parish Church
Colonial Williamsburg Capital.   Yes, the capital of Virginia was originally in Williamsburg before the power was transferred to Richmond.

Capital Building
The Governors Palace was also on the agenda.  I was impressed with the weapon collection..that was artfully displayed

Weapons in Governors Palace

Ahh The Public Hospital.  Neat little display, but more importantly to my day, the entrance to the two art museums.  I had looked at the museums and knew that I wanted to walk through the quilt display....and the keyboarded instruments exhibit (I adore harpsichords) and the dollhouse exhibit.  Furthermore, I wanted to do the docent led talk about the dollhouses.  Yup....well worth it!
Public Hospital

The rest of the day was spent visiting other buildings in the historic town. The jail, numerous houses, the courthouse, the magazine, and tons of tradesmens shops. The neatest visit was to the brickyard....fascinating!!!!
Colonial Williamsburg

And of course over the few days I took some fun pictures just form me, things that caught my eye and made me smile.  :-)

 I head home at some point today.  That means that tomorrow morning I face the scales and see how badly the Smallcakes cupcakery hurt the weight loss efforts.  I also strayed from the eating regularly dealio.  I typically at breakfast and then was so busy getting the site seeing done that I skipped lunch ad opted for an eary dinner, and then took a snack home (this is where the cupcakery and another bakery came into play ha ha ha).  The walking counter-acted the damage in Philly.....lets hope it does so here too!


Lori said...

Awesome pictures!! I love historical places! Even if the scale is up a bit, it was worth it I'm sure :)

MyStalkerIsFat said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip! And beautiful too.

Shelley said...

You are lucky to have such wonderful American history so nearby! Looks like a really nice vacation.

Lori said...

Sounds like a great trip. I am glad you enjoyed yourself and didn't let food and thoughts of it overshadow a good time.

Denise said...

such lovely pictures.

Rebooting Myself said...

Wow so much history! Loving this post and seeing your adventures!

jesseybell said...

Love hearing about your trip. I drove across country (from update New York to the west coast and back) the summer after college (23 years ago :) ) and I specifically started my real trip in Williamsburg because I love American history. We also went to the Shirley Plantation. I can't wait to get back there someday