Virginia; Charlottesville & Williamsburg

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September 6th 2016
Published: September 23rd 2016
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We left Pennsylvania and headed south to Virginia. First stop was at Misty Mountain Campground outside of Greenwood which was close to Charlottesville. While in this area I visited Highland which was the home of James Monroe. They are doing archaeology digs to further study the area. The tour guide provided interesting information regarding Monroe, his life at Highland and especially about his 40 year friendship with Thomas Jefferson who lived just down the road.

I then went down the road to Monticello which was much grander than Highland. They give a guided tour of the house with interesting information and his life at Monticello, It was sad to learn that both Jefferson and Monroe had financial difficulties through their lives and both had to sell many of their possessions to pay their debts.

I tried to also visit Montpellier the home of James Madison and got within a few miles where they had the road I was to turn onto closed and I didn’t want to try to find an alternate route.

We then moved on to the American Heritage RV Park just outside of Williamsburg. My first outing was to Yorktown Victory Center which has an outdoor living history museum at a re-created Continental Army encampment and a Revolution-era farm. In the farm they have actual tobacco leaves drying in one building and in the kitchen building they have fruits, vegetables and herbs drying along with meat that they have salted and then hung to keep dry until they cook it. They demonstrate how they cooked in colonial time using embers from the fire and Dutch ovens. Inside they have exhibits and films that show the evolution of American from a colony to a nation.

I then visited the actual site of Jamestown where they have an ongoing archeology dig at the original fort. There are placards with a lot of information regarding the site. The next day I the Jamestown Settlement which is another living history museum that helps to bring the 17th century settlement to life.

The main attraction in this area is of course Colonial Williamsburg. I wish the weather had been cooler as I would have liked to spend more time exploring this place. It is another living history museum that is part of a historical district that includes many buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Some are restored and others re-created to portray what a colonial American city would have been like. My love of history made this a highlight of my trip.

We kept an eye on the weather reports regarding a tropical storm as we were heading to North Carolina just a few miles inland of the Outer Banks. The storm moved out into the ocean so it was safe to head there.

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