Since we had not really done anything "fun" in DC, and Albert was feeling the need for a break, we decided to spend the weekend in Williamsburg, VA, an hour away from the next office destination in Richmond. There's just so much to do in this very historical area. Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum. It's a whole town with many original buildings, some reconstructions, from the Colonial time period. The people who work there are all in period dress and show demos all day of life at that time and the work they had to do. I've been there before (it's fabulous) but Albert had not. We were going to do this as well as the Jamestown settlement. This was the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Think John Smith and Pocahontas and all that. It too is a living history museum. Very cool.
So we were going to go be edumacated and scholarly and all that. But at the last minute, we decided instead to spend Saturday at Busch Gardens and ride roller coasters. I haven't been able to ride roller coasters in YEARS because of the herniated disc in my neck. But I really like them, and I've been doing pretty good lately keeping the pain under control, so I decided to just go for it. It was so much fun!
There were some great coasters at this park, and most of them were fairly new (one was brand new) so they were a much smoother ride than the coasters I remember. No pain! The only bad thing was that the place was decked out for Halloween, which I HATE. So creepy. But the really icky stuff didn't start until after dark, and the areas where the worst of it would be were carefully marked on the park map, so we just avoided these areas. Until it was time to go. We had stayed later than we had intended anyway (coaster lines took too long) so the place was already starting to feel creepy. Then we realized that we had left our backpack in a locker in one of the icky zones. (It was next to one of the roller coasters. They wouldn't let us take the backpack on the ride, so we had to put it in the provided locker. Knowing we would run across this again at other rides, we just left it there.) Heading back to get it, the area had been transformed for after-dark "fun". Clowns, it had to be clowns. Everybody hates clowns anyway, right? They're already creepy. But, of course, these were even uglier Halloween clowns. They were park people dressed up as scary clowns. They would sneak up behind you and scare you. That and the really ugly stuffed clowns that were draped everywhere. It was so gross. I told Albert 'let's hurry up and get that backpack and get OUT OF HERE!' We did just that and escaped the park fairly unscathed.
The next day we went to the Jamestown Settlement. It was really pretty neat. There was a Powhatan Indian village, the English settlement, and replicas of the 3 ships that brought the English settlers over.
I was surprised at how small the ships were. They were definitely cargo ships, not designed for passengers, so how the 200 some-odd people survived for 4 and a half months at sea in these things is beyond me. The crew wouldn't even let the passengers come up on deck.
They had to stay down with the cargo, living literally on top of the freight (sharing space, that is) with very little air. No wonder they were all diseased by the time they reached Virginia. And the Powhatan's had a really amazing, advanced society. It doesn't make sense to me that they wanted to trade with the Englishmen, since they had lived just fine the way they were for hundreds, if not thousands of years. I guess they're no different than we are today. Always wanting the latest, coolest gadgets. And the English had cool stuff, like metal knives instead of knives carved out of bone. Gotta have the best. Too bad it worked out so poorly for them in the end.
The park recommends 2-3 hours to tour Jamestown, and the galleries next door. We were there at least 5 hours, and didn't finish seeing everything. When we go to museums, we really take our time to see and read everything. But the place was closing, so it was time to hit the road. We hopped back in the trailer to make the one hour drive to Richmond.