Sunday was a great day. I woke up before the family and decided to take a walk around the restoration before the crowds arrived. Rest assured, there are no crowds at 7:00AM. It wasn’t until about 7:30AM that the occasional jogger or dog owner strolled by. I was able to take photos galore of anything that caught my eye without having to jockey for room or wait for tourists to pass.
I was back at the Brick House Tavern Shop by 8:15AM at which point the family started to stir. My hubby was at the Raleigh Tavern Bakery with one of the girls at 9AM, making them the first customers of the day, and brought back apple turnovers for the ladies, and a buttermilk biscuit with ham for himself. Everything was delicious and small but more than sufficient, which made me feel less guilty after eating mine.
We took a final walk around the restoration, stopping here and there to photograph the buildings that he and two of the girls had visited the night before on the haunted tavern tour. At 11AM we checked out and were on our way to Jamestown. The haunted tavern tour is great fun for the stout of heart. I wish he had not told me that the building next to ours is purportedly haunted as it put a crimp in my slumber. This painting kept me up until at last I passed out.
That said, the Williamsburg restoration is a great way to teach your kids (and personally learn) American history. It is several blocks long and wide, with all kinds of activities and and “hands-on” opportunities to appreciate what life was like. And beware if you are not with the cause! This would be your fate!
After leaving Williamsburg we moved on to the Jamestown Settlement.
Quite sincerely, of all the places run by the National Park Service that I have visited, this is now my favorite. Up until this point my favorite National Park had been the site of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Though not the largest National Park that we have been to, it won a special place in my heart for being the location of the first history lesson that I can remember from my grammar school days. Roanoke may have been the first colony… but Jamestown is the first successful English colony having been founded in 1607.
There is a sad quality to Roanoke, but a joyful one for me in Jamestown. To visit the site where Captain John Smith and Pocahontas made American history and to remember my 2nd grade lessons (and Pocahontas costume) brought me joy. It was striking to stand next to reincarnations of the palisades the colonists built, and impressive to see what their size actually was. I am happy that my girls are now able to distinguish the reality of life in this small settlement as opposed to the Disney version in the movie Pocahontas.
It was fascinating to see the position of the colony between the James River, the marshes and the woods. It is incredible to think that upon arriving these men and women did not have a home in which to rest in but just more work and trees to fell to create a ring of wood that might protect them from what lied beyond the swamp and river. The museum complementing the location put history into perspective, but walking on the grounds where they created their new life, built their church and set the groundwork for freedom was surreal.
We spent longer than we had intended to there. It was easy to lose track of time there. But we left at 1:00 and made it to the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge by 3:30, including a stop for lunch. We were so happy that there was no traffic on Route NC 158. Last year we got slammed in traffic there at about the same time of day, but it was a Saturday.
A Sunday check-in on OBX (that’s the Outer Banks) is a welcome thing!
More to come!