Category Archives: Historical

Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

[confirmation]Experience level: N/A [/confirmation]

About the Trip

On a whim, we decided to book an overnight trip to Williamsburg. It was a glorious spring weekend and the temperature was mild with not a cloud in the sky. We had both traveled to Williamsburg before as kids, but the experience this time around proved to be quite different and more enjoyable and appealing as adults.

WHAT WE BROUGHT

A Canon Rebel XTI, Canon Powershot SD1000, an overnight bag, casual clothes, snacks, sunscreen, and sneakers.

Day 1 Schedule: We arrived at Colonial Williamsburg at approximately 10 AM. We picked up our already reserved tickets and opted to walk to the town instead of taking the shuttle (we really like to follow the beat of our own drum and dislike crowds).

Our activities for the day included:

-Orientation walk (kind of sort of…we got a basic introduction of the town and its history and then ducked out)
-The Governor’s Palace Tour, which included the house, gardens, kitchen, and cellar.
-We visited the Apothecary, Cabinetmaker, Courthouse, Bruton Parish Church, Printing Office and Bindery, Public Gaol, Shoemaker, Silversmith, Merchant’s Square, and the Randolph House. We also saw the Fifes and Drums March and checked out a live auction in the Town Square.

For lunch we ate Cliff Bars and trail mix and for dinner we ate at Stephanos Pizza and Subs in Merchant’s Square. (NOTE: Portion sizes are small). We stayed at the Governor’s Inn—a surprisingly low-budget but very nice and clean motel (highly recommended if you are not a hotel snob).

Day 2 Schedule (Half-day):

The Governor’s Inn provided us with an acceptable Continental Breakfast.

Our activities for the day included:

-Touring the Wyeth House, the Public Hospital of 1773, and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Museum.
-We also visited the basketmaker, the Magazine and Guardhouse, the blacksmith, and the wigmaker.
-Before our trip home, we stopped at Subway for lunch.

HIGHLIGHTS

The best part of the day was at the end of Day 1. After dinner, many of the crowds had left the town for the day and we strolled around the whole town for a second time. It was great to feel like we had the whole town to ourselves and it was also the best time to take photographs. It was truly a memorable experience.

Dave really enjoyed visiting the cabinetmaker and “The Capitol.” I loved walking through the tulip garden behind “The Governor’s Palace,” and visiting the wigmaker, and the cobbler.

Funniest part of the trip:

At our Continental breakfast on Day 2, Dave was waiting for his toast to “toast,” and I neglected to tell him that I had witnessed the lady before him turn the “darkness” level all the way up. As I finished peeling my hard-boiled egg, I glanced up and saw that Dave was standing by the toaster (a line had started to form) and Dave was flailing his arms around trying to disperse the smoke.  I started laughing and then remembered what I saw and told Dave to turn down the “darkness” level.  It was pretty funny….for me at least.

LIVE AND LEARN

Surprisingly, we packed in as much sightseeing as we possibly could on this trip. It was literally impossible to do and see everything that this town has to offer in 1.5 days. But we sure did try! Next time, I think we will check out the buildings that we didn’t get to tour (some buildings are only open on certain days,) and we would like to tour The College of William and Mary, as well as see some more live reenactments.

[info]Walk around the town in the early evening hours after the crowds have left.[/info]


Show me the dough

One night at the Governor’s Inn: $66.90 (tax included)
Tickets to Colonial Williamsburg ($30.00 X 2) = $60.00
Dinner: (2 chicken cheese steaks, 2 sides of coleslaw, and 2 iced teas) = $23.00
Lunch on Day 2: Subway = ($8.72)
Fuel Cost: Round trip of 300 miles = $30.00

GRAND TOTAL: $188.62


PHOTOS:

George Washington Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

[confirmation]Experience level: N/A | [/confirmation]

About the Trip

Dave and I were shooting the breeze on one fine Sunday morning and were trying to figure out how to pass the time and after batting around a few ideas, we decided to go to Mount Vernon to pay Mr. and Mrs. Washington a visit.  It had been on our “list of things to do” ever since we moved to the DC area.
[warning]Be prepared to face the crowds![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

Canon Powershot SD1000, casual clothes, water, and a credit card.

HIGHLIGHTS

Dave and I love to tour old homes and learn about their history.  Though people were just like us “back in the day,” it amazes us to see how people used to live.  We wish that we could experience life in the 1800s (minus the bathing only once a week and not having any medicine) of course.

After touring the Washington’s home, we checked out the neighboring buildings on the estate, gushed over the baby sheep and the farm animals, visited the blacksmith, and paid respects to Mr. and Mrs. Washington, we toured the Donald W. Reynolds Education Center.  Here resides Mr. Washington’s infamous dentures….they were classic.  In fact, an entire room is dedicated to Mr. Washington’s dental history!  The Ford Orientation Center has an immersion theater where we watched an 18 minute film on George Washington and his accomplishments leading up to the Revolutionary War.  It was an awesome film and we highly recommended it.  The theater comes equipped with vibrating seats, fog, and bubbles.

Funniest part of the trip:
After we walked down on a trail that lead straight to the Potomac River, we saw two fishermen in their boat.  Dave walked up to them and said, “Did you catch anything?”  As they nodded their heads “no,” Dave told them that they should check their line and so they turned around and started looking for their net and ended up pulling out a big honkin’ fish.  Dave has a way of bringing good karma to all.

Worst part of the trip:
Getting sandwiched in a line with the most annoying group of teenagers from the mid-west.  These kids were quite possibly the most obnoxious, immature, and loudest group of kids that we have ever seen.  I (Lindsay) grew more and more impatient by the second.   Dave politely asked the school teacher if we could butt ahead of their group….and so we did.  But despite us joining a different touring group, that annoying group of kids followed us throughout the whole entire house.  We contemplated asking the people running the ticket booth for a refund, but since we listened to the tour guides repeat their memorized spiel twice in a row, we took a deep breath and put our “worst part of the trip” behind us.

[info]Don’t forget to check out the film on George Washington in the immersion theater![/info]

LIVE AND LEARN

We pretty much saw everything that there was to see on this trip.  We would love to tour the estate during Christmas time or when they hold a special event.


Show me the dough

Tickets to Mount Vernon X 2 = $30.00

Fuel Cost:  Round trip of 20 miles = <$1.00

GRAND TOTAL: $31.00


PHOTOS:

skyMountainStatePark

Sky Mountain State Park (Delaplane, VA)

[confirmation]Experience level: 2/5 | [/confirmation]

About the Trip

We were all itching to get out and see the infamous fall foliage in Virginia, and today was one of the last days to really see it in its entire splendor.  Our very good friend Sheila made a guest appearance and joined us on this trip.  From D.C, the ride to the Blue Ridge Mountains is a one hour drive.  The drive to the park was very scenic and we passed an array of vineyards along the way.  Upon arrival, we learned that the park was having its annual Fall Festival.  How fun!

We started our hike on the North Ridge Trail and followed it to the Appalachian Trail, and then hopped onto the Ambassador Whitehouse Trail and looped back onto the North Ridge Trail.  Note: There were parts of this trail that had some steep inclines that really got our hearts pumping.

When we arrived back at our starting point, we checked out the festival and took some pictures of the Mount Bleak House, a historical stone house that was built in 1842.

[warning]Freshly fallen leaves can be just as treacherous as wet ones![/warning]

WHAT WE BROUGHT

Canon Powershot SD1000, casual clothes, Camelbaks, credit card, cash, sunglasses, trail mix, PBJ, and apples.

HIGHLIGHTS

Seeing what we came to see of course—the spectacular fall foliage.  After our hike we stopped by to check out the Fall Festival, a very small event that was hosted by park employees and volunteers.  Volunteers were dressed in 18th century garb and were playing tunes on their fiddles and the local food vendors were selling BBQ and homemade ice cream.  It was the picture perfect fall day.  We walked through the local pumpkin patch and Dave and I scoured the already picked over bunch of pumpkins to find the best one.  NOTE: They were charging an outlandish price of $1.00/lb for a pumpkin, but I was feeling festive and bought the pumpkin regardless.  The catch to it all was that when I went to pay my credit card bill, I noticed that I was only charged $0.84 cents for it!  I bought a 15-17 pound pumpkin too!  Tee-hee!

[info]Be sure to pack snacks![/info]

LIVE AND LEARN

We should have toured the house!  We did not even know that they offered tours.


Show me the dough

Park entrance fee:  $10.00 (increased fee due to park event)
Fuel Cost:  Round trip of 55 miles = $13.00
One pumpkin from the patch: $0.84

GRAND TOTAL: $23.84


PHOTOS: