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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg

At Jamestown, we opted for the actual site, vs. the 'Jamestown Experience' attraction. The Old Town and fort area are a bit of a mishmash of eras, Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War, but we did watch an archaeological dig in progress, which was worth the trip. They are uncovering gunmounts on the Civil War era earthenworks.

S is definitely her father's daughter. She has been chatting it up with every person she has met, beginning with the student working the dig.

My parents pooped out and waited with Elle, while Sarabelle, Grice, and I took the walking tour of New Town. A sense of foreboding when my mother suggested she might wait in the car, instead of on a bench beside the river on a picture-perfect day.

At Yorktown, we watched the movie explaining the battle, and planned to go out walking the battlefield and through the town, until Elle insisted she be carried. Plan B: Try to get Elle into the car to wait with Nana. Lots of tears, she didn't want to be left behind. Plan C: Do the drive-thru version. Elle falls fast asleep. You'd think it would now be a nice relaxing drive, right? Well, my mother, formerly content to sit in the back seat and read her latest Tom Clancy/Scott Turow/John Grisham sensation, has now commandeered the front seat because she no longer wants to have to help pass things back and forth to the girls. Too much work, I guess. But riding shotgun carries certain responsibilities too. My request for assistance with navigation during the driving tour was met with the negative response, "I can't."


So, I drove, and read the map, and maneuvered through some pretty tricky roads, all by myself, thank you very much.

The road of the Allies encampment dips through a shallow stream at one point, and you cross like the soldiers had to. Sarabelle and Grice thought this was so cool, they had to get out and ford it on foot.

The drive on Colonial Parkway between Jamestown and Yorktown, and then onto Williamsburg in the late afternoon was wonderful. Swooping around on the wide National Park road, through the woods, golden light flickering between the trees, and suddenly coming upon broad expanses of water made the whole ride enjoyable. The people who live around there are incredibly lucky to have an area like that as their backyard, with trails and quiet scenic roads all over the place. Made me think about finding a realtor.

Caught a terrific show, "Remember Me When Freedom Comes," just after checking into the hotel in Williamsburg. This was a live performance, narrated by a free-born slave and interspersed with scenes of slaves singing and dancing. The two young guys playing the drums were outstanding.


This morning I got four people washed and dressed while my father was downstairs enjoying a cup of coffee and my mother lazed in bed. Tensions were running a little high, so when the girls and I lost my parents in the historic area, nobody seemed to mind.

After visiting the Geddy House, which we were already familiar with from Mary Geddy's Day, we went out behind the Governor's Palace to hear a speech by Thomas Jefferson on the hot topics of the day. You and I know, of course, that it is an actor, or interpreter as they like to say around here. Sarabelle knew it, and Grice even knew it too, but she was disgusted because it was fake. That is, until Jefferson made his way through the crowd, and suddenly stopped to wish them a good morning and shake their hands as he passed by. Nobody else's, just their's. Now it's one of the highlights of their day. Did I have my camera ready? Of course not.

Exterior, and interior entrance hall of the Governor's Palace:

Visiting the wigmaker, and our favorite shop, the cabinetmaker:

The cabinetmaker was hilarious. For a long time we were the only ones in the shop and he was so interested in where we live, that we didn't have a chance to learn about cabinetmaking or take any pictures until some other people showed up and finally got him back on track.

Here's Grace sitting on the throne in one of the jail cells:

We watched and followed the fife and drum band march up Duke of Gloucester Street, and then I had the girls pose with the major. I'm one of those embarrassing kind of mothers.

Sarabelle, Grice, my Dad and I ended the day with an evening walk through the town to hear some spooky legends told by characters at various locations. Sarabelle was really uneasy after the first, and worst, one, but ended up having as enjoyable a time as the rest of us. Another round of excellent performances.


One quick note before I start getting, "Why don't you turn that thing off and go to bed?!" (like I did the other night when I posted):

This place is not Atkins friendly.

Spoonbread, Gingerbread, Queen's Cake, Ham Biscuits, Pecan Pie...

Oops, too late, I was just reminded of the time. G'night.

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