Saturday, December 30, 2006

East Coast Trip Part 5 (final)

Okay, so I'm locking myself in today to finish writing about our trip from over a month ago. Then we'll get on to things like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our final major destination was Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown where we rejoined with our friends Tommy and Tara. These are rebuilt towns from America's past, arranged like a theme park.

Williamsburg was Virginia's first capitol while still under British rule. Evidence of it still exists across the street where the University, The College of William and Mary, resides. The school is named after The King and Queen of England at the time it was built. William and Mary were cousins who looked very much alike. Alumns of the college were many of our first Presidents including Thomas Jefferson.

The Governors Palace, picutred below, housed the royal appointments until the first American born Governor was appointed. And he was Patrick Henry of "Give me liberty or give me death!" fame.

Inside the Governors palace were oversized welcoming rooms for entertaining, and gardens outside for relaxing. Except I didn't feel to relaxed when I became lost in the hedge maze.

The Capitol building below is the first representation of government in our country. Members of the House of Burgesses included Patrick Henry, George Washington, George Mason, and Thomas Jefferson. During the Revolutionary war Thomas Jefferson recommended that the capitol be moved to it's current day location in Richmond. The original buildings of Willamsburg were all mostly destroyed in the war, except for the Magazine (armory). In the mid thirties Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller rebuilt the town as a living history museum based on historical data and the original foundations. Today, the Virginia State Legislature meets in the House of Burgesses within the rebuilt Capitol building (below) once a year.

Next stop, Jamestown, America's first settlement by the British. The Virginia company sent three ships of men to create a settlement, find gold, and ship it back to Brittain. They were never successful in that regard.

Neighboring where the area where John Smith and his crew landed were the Powhatan Indians. We learned how they lived on the land those 400 years ago and prepared animal skins.

We were so impressed, Tommy and I had to try them on and pretended that our sister was Pocahontas.

That wasn't enough pretending for us, we now wanted to be John Smith and John Rolfe.

Here I am again as John Rolfe rowing away with Pocahontas, my wife. These boats were projects for the indian men to get away from their wives. They carved them out by lighting fires on top and carving the ashes away with shells.

On our last day we fit in some good ol' North Carolina BBQ and Sweet Tea. I don't know why the rest of the nation wants to take the sweet out of the tea. It's like putting bones into your fried chicken, it's just ridiculous!

For more information on the history of Williamsburg and Jamestown:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mt. Vernon (East Coast Trip Part ... What are we on now?)

After leaving Washington DC, Joshua was determined to get right to Williamsburg, our next planned destination. But I convinced him to make a stop at Mt. Vernon, the home of our first president. I think he was glad we did. :) Here is a view of the house from the front.
And here it is from the back! The house was beautifully ornate with even the cielings decorated. George Washington was really into bright colors for his walls - blue and green like you've never seen before!
Here is the view from the Washington's back porch. Amazing, huh?

We spent most of our time in the education center and museum on the property where we learned all kinds of history (Joshua would love to share it with you, but I won't bore you now) and we even got to see George's dentures! Groos, I know, but interesting. They were not made of wood as you may have heard. They were made of cow's teeth. The bulky metal was not very comfortable, as you can imagine, and that would be why you rarely see Washington smiling in his portraits. Posted by Picasa