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Published: October 22nd 2014
We left Charlottesville in good spirits although we were sorry to leave it. The weather was a bit wet so we were glad to be driving. We stopped off at Richmond on the way, which is the capital of VA. We saw the Capitol building and a statue of George Washington. Near where we parked was the site of a sit-in against segregation in the 50s.
At Williamsburg we got to the hotel which was way fancy. We checked into our room and after a while we got a cab down the road to an Italian restaurant. We only had one bite of food and I felt sick, so we boxed up our dinner and took it back to the hotel. We watched the end of Mean Girls and then got an early night. We were both really tired.
Next morning after breakfast we walked into the town centre of Colonial Williamsburg. It was such a perfect town, a bit like the one in Hot Fuzz... The market square was so picturesque. We did a bit of shopping before making our way down Duke of Gloucester Street which is the main street in the historical part. It's a bit
like Disney land. All the buildings are colonial style, the people go around in colonial dress and there were shops selling colonial stuff. On the steps of what looked like the village hall, a man in a tri-cornered hat, reading out a list of grievances the colonists had with the English. We could relate to alot of them. We then meet Zac's sister Rebecca, her husband Phil and their 11 month old daughter Paige in a pub called Dog Street in Market Square. They gave us loads of tips on what to do in the area and, Rebecca being a history teacher, explained that there are only 88 original buildings in Colonial Williamsburg. The remaining ones were destroyed in the Civil War and were rebuilt by Rockerfeller. Huh. Afterwards we took another walk around the historical part and saw a cannon firing demonstration. Everyone was in costume and looked the part.
After spending all day walking around we were starving, so we headed to a great cafe called Aroma. I indulged myself in Mac and Cheese again, and Dave had some salmon. It was a great way to chill out and watch the world go by. Afterwards we walked
back to the historical district and attempted to get into a tavern, which was still serving food and wouldn't let us in, so we headed back to Market Square to grab a drink in the Dog Street Pub.
The next morning we had breakfast in the hotel before hitting the road and driving to Historical Jamestown. Before hitting Jamestown we took a drive along the Colonial Parkway. We stopped at a site of an attempted settlement, but the people were massacred by Indians so that didn't last long. There are two parts to Jamestown: Historical Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement. Jamestown Settlement is a mock-up of the first surviving English settlement in America, and Historical Jamestown is the actual site, where there is ongoing archaeological work. We decided to skip the settlement, as we had had enough of mock-ups and people dressed up as historical people.
At Historical Jamestown there was a big museum at the entrance, where you could read all about the settlement, how it started and also about Pocahontas and John Smith (who by the way, did NOT get married. Disney has lied to us. Again.). We learned that the settlement started by the Virginia Company;
a group of businessmen who saw America as a place to grow and harvest crops as well as a place to find a better life. So the Virginia Company got 104 men and boys to sign up to this new venture. They were put on a ship and after a 5 month voyage landed in Virginia. We spent a good bit of time reading all the information which made us hungry, so afterwards we made a beeline for the cafe. We had lunch on the decking overlooking the James river, and then we took a stroll around the site. We saw a statue of Pocahontas, who was captured by the English settlers and while in captivity learned the language and became close to her captors. She did marry an English settler, and actually traveled to England with her husband and son, but died in England and is buried there. We saw a statue of John Smith who seemed like a bit of a character, too. He was in the army and was fighting in Hungary when he was captured by the Russians. There are reports that he killed his captors in Russia and made it back to England in time
to join the colony in America. He arrived in Virginia under arrest because he tried to mutiny on the boat the way over. Somehow he talked them all into making him the head honcho at the settlement. Sounds like a bit of a tosser!
We paid a visit to the museum, which housed a lot of the artifacts found by archaeologists and gave us more information about life in the settlement. We read a lot about the winter of 1610 which nearly wiped out the colony. Between starvation and disease, the colony was reduced to about 60 people.
After Jamestown we made our way to Yorktown where the war with the English ended with a siege. We took a walk along the riverfront to the battlefield where it all took place, and then took the old "tobacco road" back to the riverfront. There was plenty of signage and information around so we spent a lot of time reading it. We were pretty hungry after all that so we grabbed a bite to eat in a restaurant on the river front. Our waiter looked like he was on speed; he was very OTT and a bit scary to be
honest. We were eager to get on a ghost tour in Williamsburg at 8pm but didn't get back in time because our waiter forgot about us and then took ages to bring the bill.
We rushed to the General Store in Williamsburg to get tickets for the 8pm ghost tour but it had already started so we signed up for the "Extreme Ghost Tour" (oooooooo) at 10pm. That meant we had time to grab a drink so it was off to Dog Street again before the tour.
We met our guide, Carter, in front of the church on Duke of Gloucester Street. It was very dark, and he carried a lantern. There were about 10 other people on the tour with us. He took us all around the old part of Williamsburg, to only original buildings, and told us creepy stories of the ghosts who lived in the houses. He was really entertaining and had us all looking over our shoulders! Afterwards we went back to Dog Street where I had a pumpkin beer, and then home to bed. Needless to say I didn't sleep tight!
The next morning we hit the outlet store before beginning the
drive to Virginia Beach. Thankfully it is only an hour away from Williamsburg, because we would have to drive back the following day to go to Busch Gardens.
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