08 June 2008

Colonial Williamsburg

The first stop on our trip to Colonial Williamsburg, even though unintentional, was at an overpass at exit 39 to Route 34 off of Interstate 64 near Marshall University (that the movie "We Are Marshall" is about). The reason we had to stop was because there was what seemed to be a pretty big car accident as you can see in the second picture below. We had to wait about 45 minutes or so before they got it all cleared out.

When I put the route into my TomTom One, if there are toll roads it will ask me if I would like to avoid them. Even though I didn't know how much the toll was, when the GPS asked me to avoid the toll roads and it only added about 15 minutes and didn't seem that much off course, I answered "YES." Little did I know that it was going to take me winding through the Appalachian Mountains. Anyway, even though we were a little bit annoyed by the choice, it was vindicated when we landed upon a gourgeous waterfall near Gauley Bridge, WV. I think it was called Cathedral Falls though I never remember seeing a sign or anything of that sort. It actually just jumped out at us when going around one of the many hairpin turns. We decided to stop and let the kids get out and play in the water and take some pictures and videos.

Finally we arrived at Colonial Williamsburg, despite my expert planning! After my brilliant trip planning to avoid toll roads and taking an extra hour to get there, my next blunder was reading that "Automobiles are not permitted in the Historic Area" on the FAQs and assuming that this meant that I had to take the local city bus to get there. So we left our car at the hotel and took the city bus to the visitors' center where we could have just driven to park. On top of that I really didn't know what time it opened and so we arrived about 30 minutes early so no one was there when we got there. Next I went to their automated kiosks to get my pre-paid tickets only to find out that they were already expired! I felt a little like Clark Griswold when he showed up to Wally World in National Lampoon's Vacation.

Needless to say, everything worked out just fine. The place opened up, we got our tickets fixed, and I didn't even have to hold anyone at gunpoint! So that was nice. The first pictures are of Micah getting his rental costume (which was a whopping $20 without the stinking hat which we had to buy for $15) and Nicole and the kids at the entrance.

The first spot to visit was the Governor's Palace. This was the residence of Virginia’s royal governor and where Patrick Henry lived after they ousted Lord Dunmore right before the American Revolution. It also housed Thomas Jefferson who was the second governor of the colony of Virginia after the American revolutionaries ousted the Brits from it. The other pictures are of the garden out back and of the mall out front.

These pictures were taken just outside the Colonial Williamsburg courthouse with the kids in the stocks where all kids belong!

This is at the Magazine where Micah received training to shoot his rifle as a colonial militiaman.

The "Drums and Fifes" marches from the Capitol Building down to the Governor's Palace every day at 1pm. Enough to bring a tear to your eye if you've got an ounce of patriotism in you.

This was a giant dollhouse at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. It was probably about 8 ft x 4 ft x 4 ft. You have to stand next to it to truly appreciate its size.

A picture of a tired soldier sitting on the bench after a long hard day of walking.

At the end of the day we went to the Capitol Building which was "the center of the political and social life of Virginia for most of the 18th century" where the House of Burgesses met. Here the kids were volunteered to play a part in a reinactment of a trial in the General Court.

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