Some families go on vacation to relax, read, sit on the beach, sleep in, and do a whole lot of nothing.
But not us.
Our family goes on vacation to explore new places, learn new things, and fill our days with adventures. And that’s just what we did this summer. On July 29th, we packed the car and headed off to Williamsburg, VA, and the “Historic Triangle.”
I happen to be married to a history buff (who was also a History major in college), and our firstborn, C.(13), is a history buff as well. So it goes without saying that many of out trips revolve around something historical. I will admit that I am not a history buff. (History was my least favorite subject in high school, in fact.) But I’m curious, and I like to see new things. So I tag along for the fun. And L.(6)? Well, he’s not a history buff either. But he tags along too, hoping for ice cream breaks, and maybe an occasional day of non-historical fun.
On this vacation, we spent most of our time in the towns of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. There was so much to see and do and learn, that I couldn’t possibly blog it all. But I’ll give you a little photo tour of some of the things we did.
Our family does not sleep in on vacation, so Monday morning found us rising bright and early and taking the walking path to Colonial Williamsburg. Yes, there was a shuttle we could have taken, but the shuttle didn’t start going until 9:00 a.m., and we were ready way before then.
Showing up early has its advantages, and since we were in town before any of the attractions opened, we could admire and explore around some of the buildings without the crowds. Here’s the Governor’s Palace:
Before 9:00 a.m., L.(6) had already taken pictures of countless buildings, trees, and squirrels.
L. and I were the first people in the Spinning/Dyeing/Weaving trade house, and had the undivided attention of this kind lady, who taught us all about spinning and weaving.
At the Cooper’s trade house, L. tried out the various water buckets and declared that he might want to apprentice there when he turns 14.
We lunched at the delightful King’s Arms Tavern, explored many of the buildings and trade houses, took a break for pretzel rolls and cookies, went on tours of the Governor’s Palace and Capitol Building, and much more!
And, of course, I had to make my boys stand in the stocks before the day was done.
But I think my favorite part was simply enjoying the tree-lined streets,
the pretty gardens and courtyards,
and the overall atmosphere of Colonial Williamsburg.
The next morning found us off and running again, this time to Yorktown. After exploring the town just a bit, we headed to the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor’s Center, where we learned all about the Siege of Yorktown. (Apparently, this was the last significant battle of the Revolutionary War, but the truth is, I have no memory of learning much about it in school. Of course, this could be because I have completely blocked out all history classes.)
Then we picked up a CD and went on a driving (and walking) tour of the Yorktown Battlefield. My history buffs thoroughly enjoyed it.
We checked out earthworks. (That would be mounds of dirt that served as lines of defense, for those of you who are clueless like me.)
We read lots and lots of informational signs.
And we hiked all over tarnation, learning about how the Americans and the French defeated the British at this little port town.
It was a fun morning, but by the time we were done learning all about the Yorktown Battlefield, L.(6) had had just about enough of historical exploration.
So in an act of extreme kindness, Chad dropped L. and me at the entrance to Water Country USA, and then he and C.(13) went to Jamestown. I can’t speak for the history buffs, but L. and I had a wonderful afternoon, cooling off in rides like Big Daddy Falls and the Hubba Hubba Highway. I think L. would have stayed there until they kicked us out if a storm hadn’t rolled in that evening.
We weren’t done with our vacation yet, but this post is getting long, so I’ll save more thoughts for another day. Thanks for tagging along!