Posted by: Mary | September 5, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg

Originally published to my private blog on February 28, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

We planned a “mystery” vacation for our niece, “S” (then 14 yrs old), which was a trip to Colonial Williamsburg and we were able to keep the secret from her for months. We boarded a plane to Dallas and when we connected to Norfolk, she had no idea where that was. When we arrived in Norfolk, we finally told her what we were up to. We stayed at the Marriott Ford’s Colony where we had a two bedroom, 2 bathroom condominium. S loved having her own room with a king bed, television, and her own bathroom. We had a jacuzzi tub, which also impressed her, but her favorite feature was the light up makeup mirror. Go figure…. We arrived late on Sunday night and stopped at Trader Joe’s for snacks and something to prepare for dinner.

Colonial Williamsburg Pillory

On Monday morning, we headed to Colonial Williamsburg, about 10 minutes from our hotel. We purchased the two-day tickets and began the day with a short guided tour before heading off to see some of the sights. My husband, “L”, and S were put in the pillory for “not attending church at least once a month”, which was the punishment for the crime in the 1700s. We got some coffee, hot apple cider, and hot chocolate to keep warm and then took dancing lessons to learn some period dances. L and I volunteered for the first group and convinced S to join L the second time around. It was a lot of fun. One of the great things about Williamsburg is the interaction with people in period costumes who are sometimes in character. On Day 2, we attended a speech by George Washington before the Revolutionary War. We also had hot chocolate in the coffee house and talked with the proprietor (all keeping within the period).

Shoemakers

Colonial Williamsburg – Shoemakers

Shoemaker's Shop

Colonial Williamsburg – Shoemaker’s Shop

During our two days, we visited the Magazine, the print shop, the governor’s mansion, a museum, the wig shop, the shoe maker, the apothecary, the jail, the basket maker, the courthouse and several other buildings. L and S participated in a mock trial where L owed S (a bar keeper) money and she sued him for it. They had a script, but the court deviated and asked them questions. They then had to come up with answers. It was quite entertaining and I think the whole thing was a good educational experience for S, who will be studying U.S. History in school next year.

On Monday night, we did the “Ghosts Among Us” ghost tour. It wasn’t what we had expected. We moved between three locations where ghost stories were told. It was okay, but would have been better if it had been a guided ghost walk with stories of “sightings”. I wouldn’t recommend it. On Tuesday night, our hotel had a s’mores night. For $3 each, you could make all-you-can-eat s’mores, roasted over a fire pit. We couldn’t eat too many, but it was a lot of fun. I hadn’t made s’mores in more than 20 years!

In general, Williamsburg is a great family vacation destination, especially for those who have children currently studying or about to study U.S. History.  It really brings things alive for them.  It’s also a great place for anyone with a love of history.

Tip: In reviewing this post to remove names, I checked the links to ensure they are still active and found that Colonial Williamsburg now offers more ticket options than they did when we were there, including an online discount of up to $4 per person.  I’d suggest checking out the different programs offered and determining how long you’d like to visit before making your purchase.  There’s also a ticket that provides admission to Jamestown and Yorktown along with Williamsburg.  We had to purchase tickets separately in 2010.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg Violin Player

Colonial Williamsburg - Printer

Colonial Williamsburg – Shoemaker’s Shop

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg Home

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

 

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