Day 17: Colonial Williamsburg

Trip Start Jul 07, 2006
Trip End Aug 13, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Monday, July 24, 2006

Today was a very interesting day. After getting up and packing up, we took advantage of the hotel's contintental breakfast. I was wearing a new skirt I bought at the outlet malls when we were in Gettysburg, and, like it always happens when I am wearing something new, I spilled food on myself. This time it was milk from my raisin bran. I heard someone behind me tell her entire table, "That woman just spilled milk on herself." Thanks, lady, for discreetly calling attention to my clumsiness. Oh well. It cleaned up fairly well. We ate, checked out, and walked across the street to Colonial Williamsburg.

On our way there, we passed by some lambs (Brian named them all Clarice) and horses. We entered the town and were invited to watch the townspeople as they prepare and go through the Revolutionary War. It was very cool to see the folks walking around and talking to visitors as characters from the 18th century. Many of the buildings, including the Governor's Palace, had been rebuilt, but they went to great lengths to create a 18th century atmosphere. We saw the Declaration of Independence being read to a crowd, folks getting riled up to fight the English, a woman explaining the desperate situation of families who lost husbands/fathers in the war, and an African-American preacher talking about the desire for freedom of religion.

Brian wanted to see a war-battle, but no guns were fired while we watched. There was a little boy, about four years old or so, who was very excited when he first saw the men in costume coming down the street. He looked at them with bright eyes and his father asked, "Is it the British?" He replied, "No, I don't think so. Daddy! I want to see a war-battle!" Brian five minutes before had said he wanted to see a battle, too. I thought it was funny that boys of all ages are excited by guns and fighting. A little later, we were walking down to the old Williamsburg capitol, followed by a British officer and the traitor Benedict Arnold. We said to ourselves, "The British are coming! The British are coming!" A little girl who was walking in front of us (she was maybe three or four) said in a scared tone, "Where?" I thought that Williamsburg could be a great place to take kids because they could really get into things and get excited about history -- there were lots of kids wearing costumes they rented from the Colonial Williamsburg people.

Brian and I both felt that after visiting the revolutionary sites and the Civil War battle sites that we feel closer to our nation's history. The reasons for fighting against the British or fellow countrymen seem so much easier to see and understand now we've seen it from these perspectives.

We traveled northwest to Charlottesville, leaving one of Thomas Jefferson's homes (Williamsburg, while he was governor of Virginia) to visit another (Monticello). We got into Charlottesville and drove to the historic downtown area to find a place for dinner. We went to a place that's name was three syllables of one or two letters each, but neither Brian nor I can remember it. What Brian will remember for a long time is how much he loved the food. He had a black bean and corn relleno with sides of smoked tomato grits and couscous. I had key lime chicken with black bean rice and spicy chili sauce and a side of asparagus. We had been somewhat apprehensive when we sat down, but our worries were soon put to rest. Brian says that meal was the best he's had in some time. Of course, he's been eating at fast food restaurants and snacking on chex mix, so I believe most stuff would be better. But this stuff was really, really good. Too bad we can't pass on the name of the place to everyone.

Tomorrow, we are going to go Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland (James Monroe's home), and Michey Tavern before we head down to Kingsport, TN, to visit some family. It will be the first time in almost three weeks that Brian will run into someone (besides me, of course) that he knows. Last summer when we went to Mexico, Brian ran into folks he knew in Cabo San Lucas. He always runs into someone, so I think this is a record!
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