Colonial Williamsburg is an amazing place. End of. I know that makes for a rather boring blog but it's the truth! True to day the weather was a perfectly sunny day. Everywhere looks good on the sun (well maybe not Redruth but most places), but I feel that Colonial Williamsburg would look great in any weather.
We were greeted by an enthusiastic gent on the reception desk at the visitor centre who took one look at Bill's Rolling Stones tee shirt, pointed at him and yelled "Keith Richards!!" I don't know if you've seen a photo of Keith recently but I'm not sure that's a HUGE compliment or a very accurate likeness on many levels but it was a conversation starter at least!!
This is basically a whole village recreated and running as if it were circa 1775. As we arrived there was a public altercation beginning between pro and anti British who then took their debate to the Governor, with various bystanders in period costume standing amongst those of us watching passing comment on proceedings. Later on we were adressed by George Washington himself who spoke about issues arising from the Boston Tea Party and then answered questions from the audience with a fabulous mix of knowledge and humour for a good 40 minutes thereafter.
There are various buildings you can visit for tours by very knowledgeable people dressed in the garb of the era. The Governor's House represents the time when the English Governor fled with his family in fear of the revolutionary movement. The Capital Building tells all about the establishment of the Virginia Constitution, a forerunner of the national one. In addition to these there were working examples of every trade you can imagine. On a walk through the back streets we saw men and women lagging logs onto a cart hooked up to oxen which we later saw being driven across the site to a further location.
We decided to do the full tourist deal and take a tour on the horse and carriage. The lady selling the tickets loved our accents and was VERY excited about the royal birth, telling us she had been up late into the night sharing photos of the baby on Facebook and asking our opinion on possible names. The temptation to suggest Brittany or Mercedes was almost overwhelming but I managed to bite my tongue.
Once in the aforementioned carriage our lady driver suggested that I could sit back and wave so as to look like the Queen. The second dodgy comparison of the day I thought, bearing in mind she's close to 40 years older than me and I don't possess a corgi...
The only slight disappointment of the day was the food on offer. For a fairly captive audience there was very little choice, several venues being closed, and the fare on offer did not reflect the authenticity it promised and was average at best.
For our last evening here we elected for a take out from the local bbq Pitt - Pierces. We stopped here for lunch on our way down from D.C. and the pulled pork and pulled chicken were delicious so it seemed an obvious choice. We were not alone. As we entered we met the end of the queue of people waiting to collect their orders. The number on our ticket suggested that approximately 30 others were before us. Watching the food brought out in military fashion was fascinating. I should have timed it but I estimate that the wait could not have been any longer than 10 minutes in total. Back home we call McDonald's drive thru "dreckly food" - they could certainly learn a thing or two about efficiency from the staff at Pierce's...
It was such a warm evening that we sat out after dinner on our tiny balcony overlooking woodland. At this point I should point out that Bill and I spend many summer evenings in our garden watching the bats fly overhead at dusk and getting very excited about the occasional hedgehog activity. You may imagine how excited we got when a loud rustling from below produced a possum! He snuffled about below us for ages, keeping us highly entertained. I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again, I really should try and get out more!!
So it is another fond goodbye, this time to Williamsburg, forever a cultural sandwich in my heart. A drive down to North Carolina follows for stage three of our adventure.
And finally, the daily thought from our sponsor...
George Washington spoke to the crowds thoroughly in character taking questions and giving very detailed and insightful answers and political wisdom and reflections of 1775.
I wanted desperately to ask if he would ever ally with the French ( given his boasting how he drove the French from Virginia) but in the spirit of entente cordial and my own personal safety, I declined. Long live King George!!!
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