Today was a really fun day. After breakfast in the hotel, which was amusing for its own reasons, Kelly and I headed into Colonial Williamsburg. We drove to the visitor center, where we parked and got our tickets. The rest of the day we spent walking.
From the visitor center we first stopped at Great Hopes Plantation and got to see what a middle class plantation looked like. They kept stressing that it was “middle class”, the class determined by the number of acres it took up. From there we walked to the Governor’s Palace where we took a tour of the palace. In many ways, the interior architecture and style were reminiscent of what I’d seen at Windsor Castle in London.
Look at all of the guns! We must be in the South!
After touring the palace, we went out back and attempted to thread the hedge maze. We kept hitting dead ends, and I suggested I pull out my iPhone and Google Map the palace to see if we couldn’t figure out the maze from a satellite photo. Kelly said that would be cheating. Eventually, we did make it out of the maze and headed to the Mount in order to take following picture, which would have been much more useful before we’d gone into the maze:
From there we headed to a small pond to the west of the palace. The pond was populated by numerous fish and this one turtle.
We made our way around the pond, then up to the kitchen, and finally out of the palace grounds. We wandered down the palace green, stopping at McKenzie’s store to get some fresh lemonade. We then continued down the green until we came to Bruton Parish Church. We were attracted to the church grounds by the graves and we briefly wandered among the graves, and monuments, some of them dating back to the early 1700s. In fact, in an odd and serendipitous discovery, we managed to find the final resting place of the “New Formula” Coke, which was born and died back in the early 1980s.
Much of the afternoon was filled with a variety of “Revolutionary City” events. These were essentially reenactments, almost like stage plays, of various historical events. We managed to catch most of them. The best of them was George Washington’s discussion of the recent campaign. He was really impressive, and even took questions from the audience.
We wandered up and down Duke of Gloucester street, stopping at various shops and venues. We stopped in the courthouse and the blacksmith. We stopped for Root Beer. We stopped in at the bakery and got oatmeal cookies and gingerbread cake. We stopped in the silversmith, mainly to get out of the 90 degree heat on this early October day. Many of the shops were well air conditioned, which made them conducive for stopping.
We wrapped up our tour of the city walked through portions of the College of William and Mary, in particular, the Wren Building, which is the very dormitory where Thomas Jefferson stayed as an undergraduate.
Sometime after 5 PM, we finally headed back to the visitor center, back to the car, and set the GPS for home. There was a little bit of traffic here and there but we still managed to make good time and got back up here around 8:30 PM. We went to the Outback Steakhouse for a late dinner and there discovered that the Yankees were winning against the Indians fairly late in the game. By the time we got back to the house, they had won.
It was a terrific day, a lot of fun, a lot of history, a lot of sun and a lot of walking. But I had a great time.