Welcome back for another exciting adventure as we leave Virginia Beach and head to Williamsburg, Virginia.
As Jerry mentioned in the last blog, we had some crazy weather in Virginia Beach. We walked on the boardwalk and stepped in sand exactly 3 times in the 2 weeks we were there. The first day we got there, the next day and the LAST day. The weather was all kinds of crazy. But, honestly, it was just fine as we were recovering from our 33 days in DC and it was actually quite relaxing. Well, not the tornado and gale force wind warnings but, other than that, we got a lot of things done inside the RV. I cooked A LOT which, I have to say, was very nice. We read a lot and caught up on all of my TV shows.
We are now in Williamsburg and loving it here! It is incredibly beautiful. The campground is surrounded by forest that is so green. There are nature trails here that we cannot wait to explore. It’s a smaller park than we have been in lately, which actually, is quite nice. I cannot say enough how gorgeous the surrounding area is. When you are driving around, you cannot see buildings or strip malls. Just trees everywhere! Check out our latest YouTube Video to get a glimpse of Williamsburg .
When we checked in, I was registering when suddenly the sky opened up. I have NEVER seen such rain in my life. Even the gals in the office had their mouths dropped open and kept saying to me, “don’t go out there”. It finally stopped and as I was crossing the road to get back into the truck, the sky opened up again and I was completely drenched in less than 30 seconds. Yes, the east coast weather is completely different than we are used to.
Now, we are having a heat wave of over 95 degrees for 4 days. Thank goodness the first 3 days we were here we had beautiful weather and were able to go to Colonial Williamsburg. Of course, Jerry and I had to do everything that was offered. We still have many more things to do, but we got a lot in so far.
The very cool thing about Colonial Williamsburg is that you can purchase multiple day tickets that allow you into so many historical buildings, tours, tradesmen showing how things were done in the 1700’s and so much more. Check out the Visitor Center’s website. I have to say, this is one of the most beautiful visitor centers we have seen so far!
There are reenactors all over the area in character, 88 original buildings from the 1700’s, horse and carriage rides, (which we enjoyed with our friends Kim and Rodger) as many tours as you want to go on, and continual demonstrations. We have seen the Foundry where they are making many items from silver and pewter, the engravers, silversmiths, leather workers, the wigmakers and hairstylists, and on and on. One of our favorite demonstrations was the musket loading and firing. Some of the great tours that we experienced were of the Governor’s Palace, the Court House, the Raleigh Tavern and so many more! Again, history classes everywhere we go and have learned so much.
Did you know that General George Washington (before he was president) was a fantastic dancer and at all the balls all the women wanted to dance with him? The phrase, “strange bedfellows” came about because in the 1700’s, taverns were not only to eat and drink, but to stay over. If you were lucky and had the money, you were able to share a bed with a complete stranger OR you got the floor. Who knew??? How the word “bar” came to be was because where they served alcohol, the area was surrounded by bars that could open or close to keep people out except for the bartender, who, by the way, was one of 2 paid employees of the tavern. The other was the tavern keeper. The reason they were paid employees is because they both were the ONLY people allowed to handle money in the tavern.
We had lunch at the Chowning’s Tavern where everyone was in costume. Check out the menu! I know you’re asking yourselves what we ate. I had the Salmagundi Salad and Jerry had the Virginia Pork BBQ. Both were very good.They had a period musician there as well that was very entertaining.
Another tour we went on was called The Freedom’s Paradox. It was a 60 minute walking tour that examined slavery’s evolution of the Peyton Randolph’s enslaved members of his household. Talk about eye opening! Another incredible historical fact is the enslaved population was 52% of the total population of Williamsburg.
We wanted to tour the capitol, but, unfortunately it is closed for renovations. Instead we saw how paper was made, how to print newspapers, bind books, the apothecary where the doctor hung out ,and on and on. I’m embarrassed to say that I did NOT remember that paper was made from rags in the 1700’s before cotton. Again, I zoned out in history classes for sure.
We are so fortunate to be here this weekend as the Drum and Fife weekend is happening. It’s called Drummer’s Call Weekend. Fife and Drum corps from around the nation will be showcasing their skills. There will be a march from the Capitol, down Duke of Gloucester Street, to Market Square. This is happening on Saturday and I will be taking a lot of video to show you next Thursday on our weekly YouTube Video. Don’t miss out on that!
The challenge for these performers is that it is supposed to be 97 degrees and the march starts at 12:30. They are in full uniform. We saw a few of them already in a demonstration and a performance. They are going to be HOT and so will we, but, we are determined to watch this as it has not been performed in a couple of years.
There is so much to write about, but I will save more for next week as we will be going to Jamestown and Yorktown as well. Obviously, we are LOVING it here. I cannot recommend Williamsburg enough for those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit. Please put it on your bucket list. You won’t be sorry!
Just One More….history lesson (I will share more interesting tidbits next week)