Colonial Williamsburg

Back in December, Wade and I took a 2 day trip to Colonial Williamsburg VA.  One of my favorite childhood pastimes was when my family would visit Williamsburg during Christmas time. The decorations there during this time were amazing.

Since I hadn’t been there in many many years, I convinced Wade to come along.  We booked a value hotel for $59 bucks and made all the necessary reservations only a week prior.  We both basically took the day off on Friday and left mid-day.

When we arrived around 3ish and wanted to take advantage of the colonial section while it was still open (closes at 5) We picked up our tickets and headed towards town.  There was a new section on the outskirts of the town that was not around last time I was there.  Great Hopes Plantation was built a few years back and Wade and I loved it (Wade says it was one of this favorite parts)  Unlike the beautiful, lavish houses in town, Great Hopes Plantation was built to mimic how the majority of people lived during colonial times.  Dirty floors, straw beds and walls plugged up with mud, manure were everyday life for those not living in town. This was Wade’s favorite part {besides the food} and we look forward to visiting Jamestown & Yorktown in the future for more of the rustic, rural sights.

Great Hopes Plantation pictures below:
{drying tobacco}
We walked around and admired the beautiful decorations and went into some of the colonial shops.  Although still big, it was a lot smaller than I remembered; but this time I was enjoying/appreciating it more than I ever did as a child. We walked into a Women’s Hat Shoppe and I picked up an old time hot curler.. I proceed to say ” Look Wade they used to curl their hair around bones” The lady working there begins to chuckle and says ” No those were made out of clay and heated up on the stove oven….” Of course Wade made fun of my the rest of the trip about my mistake to get to stop acting like I know everything about Colonial Williamsburg.
{British Flags outside=Open for visitors}
{Wishing we could have taken a carriage ride}
Wade and I loved these mugs.  My parents have a set of 6 at home. All of the restaurants use this pattern and we felt very festive drinking old ale out of them.  We were very tempted to buy some but after looking at a price tag of $30 a pop, we decided to pass.
{Pretty old time ladder on the roof}
When the sun started to set we made the long trek back to the visitors center and found our hotel.  We checked in with no problems and opened the bottle of wine we had bought in Frederick to celebrate.  We did not have dinner reservations until 9pm (since we had made reservations so late- on what was considered the busiest weekend of the year- so we would take whatever we could get) I wanted to eat inside of the colonial town and not outside in modern day society.

We listened to music, enjoyed each others company and got ready for dinner.  Finally it was time to head out and arrived a few minutes early to Christiana Campbell’s Tavern.They had a cute little bonfire outside that we warmed up at before having our names called.

{only light was by candle}

We were lead to a back room of the Tavern. Wade was very pleased that each room only had 4 tables and we didn’t have to be around a lot of people.  We were very excited at this point from the atmosphere.  All the workers were dressed up in costume of course, the only light available was by candlelight, we could hear old time violists and singers and entertainers were making their way through the tavern room by room.
{Squirrel Pattern!}
{Sweet Potatoe Muffins}
Our waitress came arounf and took our drink orders.  We were excited to try different kinds of “old ale”. She insisted we wear bibs {in the olden days stains were impossible to get out/they rarely could wash their clothes}  She invaded our personal bubbles and tied huge napkins around our necks.  next she brought out sweet potatoe muffins and house slaw {which was amazing}
{Amazing Tavern Slaw}
{My Meal-Broiled Seafood meal with Crab covered salmon, shrimp and scallops}
{Spoon bread!}
Day Two:

The Governor’s Palace

We woke up bright and early, packed up our things, checked out and headed to the free continental breakfast.  The breakfast was nothing special but we took what we could get.  We continued to get crazy looks from the room full of families and older couples.  Expressions of “What the heck are they doing here.” How nice. 
We parked at the visitor’s center and walked to the Governor’s Palace and tagged on to the first tour of the morning.  Our tour guide was awesome and was very clever and sarcastic which I can always appreciate. 
We entered the foyer and the memories I had coming here as a kid overpowered me.  I began to remember the fun time I had here when my Grandparent’s were healthy.  We had all come here as a family for their 50th wedding anniversary.

Wade and I looked around in amazement at all of the violent weapons on the walls and thought it was awesome.  It definitely would have taken an extremely brave burglar to have the guts to break into this place. 

{Amazing tiled fireplace and silk gown}
Bruton Parish Church:
Next we visited the Bruton Parish Church.  This old church has been going strong service since 1715. We just thought that was the coolest.  When we entered we were asked to give a donation of $1.  Of course I was flipping out because I never have cash on me, but luckily Wade had a dollar so we didn’t look like completely evil people. 
I looked like a nerd snapping photo’s of a church but who cares.
{Govenor’s Chair}
{Old Graves}
Wetherburne Tavern
Next stop was the Wetherburne Tavern.  I did not remember taking a tour of this place before so I was really excited.  At the end I could see why.. it was super long and I am sure when I was younger I probably would have whined and complained.  We thought it was interesting how there were seperate dining rooms and seperate sleeping quarters for the poor and rich.  I really loved the dark maroon color of the Tavern. {Go Hokies!}
{Poor visitors’ rooms}
{Wealthy Visitors’ Rooms}
The main reason we decided to visit Colonial Williamsburg was to see all of the X-mas decorations. After the Wetherburne Tavern we had a little bit of time to stroll around and take a closer look at the pretty decor on the houses.  Here are some snap shots.

Lunch at Shield’s Tavern:
Finally it was lunch time. I didn’t rememeber coming here as a kid but I was really excited to try it.  We were led downstairs to the cellar.  The walls were all brick and there were zero windows.  It kind of reminded me of a secret underground fort.  I order a delish Chicken sandwich with Tavern Slaw (which had old bay on it!) and potatoe wedges. It was very good but extremely overpriced for a chicken sandwich.

Capitol Building:
The capitol building tour was Wade’s favorite tour.  We had to wait a good bit for the next tour but once it started we learned a ton.  This tour taught us the most.

Coffee House
The Coffee House is a brand new exhibit for colonial Williamsburg.  After many failed attempts to get in on a tour, we got in.  We had a very unique little guy for our tour guide and at the end we got to sample a cup of good old fashioned Hot Chocolate. {which is literally melted chocolae in a cup-pure heaven}

The Town Gaol (AKA Jail)
The town jail was awesome.  We peeked around and decided this would not be a great places to be. Super hot in the summer and extremely cold in the summer months. 
Bassett Hall

I have never gone on a tour of Bassett Hall, and I can see why.  My parents would have been in the town Gaol for boring me to death.  This house was home John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby, built in the 18th century but later restored in the 30’s and 40’s by the Rockefellers.  We were on a tour with people that could be memebers of AARP and they looked at us like we were crazy.  Although I did find the stories on the tour interesting.. it was very long and tedious.

{Wade and I were pretty impressed by this painting- it is a 
reversed glass painting where you start by painting the tiny 
details first (eyes, fingernails, lips) and then work your way backwards}
The Gaurdhouse
The gaurdhouse was pretty neat. The tourguide was playing swords with a little boy when we walked in and my heart melted. The little boy was so excited.




 George Wythe House

We were extremely lucky to catch the last tour of the day at the George Wythe House.  George Wythe was a well repected man and lawyer. He was one of the first signers of the Declaration of Independence and helped frame the US Constitution.  Wythe was also one of Thomas Jefferson’s mentors.  My parents love this house so much they actually designed their house to look like it.  Pretty cool.


Other Cool Shots

Nighttime Exploring
While we waited for our dinner reservations we meandered around to Merchant’s Square; a modern shopping center with really neat things to buy.
{Old time Candy Store}
 Kings Arm Tavern
 By the time we got to the King’s Arms Tavern we were exhausted and not looking forward to our long long drive home.  We walked into the Tavern and waited in the parlor with a warm fire in the fireplace and in no time we were seated.  We both order new old ales to try and were given bread with three sides of different relishes.  One was a corn relish, another pickled watermelon rynde and the other was ham relish. {which was our favorite}
After the relishes, our waitress brought out a bowl of creamed spinach topped with parm cheese and  it was amazing. We then ordered Mrs. Vobe’s Tavern Dinner: Appetizer of Peanut Soupe Entree- Grilled boneless chicken breast topped with crab imperial and a Lemon Thyme butter sauce with Salty Ham, roasted masted potatoes and fresh vegetables. Dessert – Pecan Pie.

Although this was very good, we were still thinking about the dinner at Christiana Campbell’s the night before.  We were entertained by multiple musicians and performers but were eager to hit the road and get home.

 {My favorite thing to eat here when I was little- Peanut Soupe}
{Ham, Chicken and Crab dinner}
After getting the huge bill we crawled to the car and we barely made it back to Frederick awake.  We kept each other awake by talking about our favorite parts of the trip and all the yummy food we ate.  Although we had a great time, we do not plan on going back for awhile.  On to the next adventure 🙂
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