Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 2 of Colonial Williamsburg

The morning started well, with a call from room service that our breakfast was on its way up (thanks to the tag I hung on the door last night when we got back to the room).  We shared a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, and biscuits with gravy – plenty for the both of us (and good thing since the one breakfast was just over $20 once you add tax and delivery charges).  The boy then went back to bed (excessive basketball celebration the night before) and I went to walk around the historic area.

I bought one of the refillable mugs for $10 ($11 with tax) that can be refilled at any of the taverns (yes I realized later that it wasn’t such a good deal when all the taverns are closed).  I managed to make it somewhat worthwhile by sharing germs with the boy.

After just walking around and taking in the sights for a bit I realized that the one and only special presentation at the Courthouse for the whole weekend was that morning.  I highly recommend the 30 minute show, where they have “audience participation” in discussing very brief cases that would have been heard at that time in Virginia – for example, a man who didn’t pay his tab at the tavern or someone who missed Church without explanation.  

Inside the courthouse
Inside the courthouse

After the courthouse, I went to Bruton Parish Church (where you don’t need a Colonial Williamsburg pass to visit).  It is still used as a Church and I had attended several times when I was at W&M but it was neat to be inside again.   They have name plates on the outside of several pews showing who worshipped there including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as at the time all officeholders had to attend the Anglican Church. 

Governor's Palace
By then, the boy felt like joining the world so we wandered around and went into a few little craftsmen such as the Golden Ball and Silversmith.  We then went to Charlton’s Coffeehouse the newest reconstructed building, and the Governor’s Palace.  Our tour guide at the Governor's Palace was a little too into character and the spiels really dragged - so when we got the message that his friends had arrived we didn't mind ducking out early. 

Around 1pm his friends joined us with their two small children (6 and 3 years old).  They were just in time to watch the fife and drum corps march.  Some folks from Colonial Williamsburg were doing a good job of “recruiting for the army” and entertaining the kids while they were waiting for the parade – but the children we were with had no interest in joining the colonial army. 

Fife and Drum Corps
Fife and Drum Corps

Afterwards, the kids had to eat so we tried to get into the Kings Arms Tavern but it was booked and they weren’t even taking any more names – please Colonial Williamsburg don’t close all your taverns at once!  So we walked to the Cheese Shop, which is always a great (and crowded) option and with a little bit of effort we were able to get seats outside.  Definitely get the “house dressing” on your sandwich.  I don’t know what they put in it, but it’s so good.

By then it was time for the guys to go back to the hotel to watch basketball (do you notice a pattern yet, from now on I will check the sports schedule before planning a weekend trip).  So I spent the rest of the afternoon with the wife of the boy's friend and their kids.  They asked me for suggestions and not having kids all I really knew was that we didn’t want to do anything that involved long tours.  So first stop was the maze behind the Governor’s Palace.  There is a separate entrance for the gardens and if you go all the way to the back there is a hedge maze.  The kids had a blast running through it – we 
Blacksmith making nails
followed after them and being small is a very definite advantage.  After the burned off some energy we went to the blacksmith – where they were making nails for an upcoming restoration project.  That’s something I love about Williamsburg – rather than Disney where they just make the façade of everything look nice, at Williamsburg they actually make everything the way they would have in the Colonial days. 

It’s a pretty neat process to watch and they were very good at explaining to the kids what was going on.  They really wanted to see the “Gaol” but everything was closing so they agreed to the next best option which was the kids section of the college bookstore (owned by Barnes and Noble and at the edge of the historic area). 

Dinner was an adventure since we had planned on taking the kids to Chownings Tavern and most of the restaurants within walking distance were booked.  So we went to the terrace room at the Williamsburg Inn.   For the casual dining place it was still pretty fancy and I wasn’t impressed with the food.  

Next up day three where we take in a few more colonial activities and then head home.

Click here to read day 3

No comments:

Post a Comment