A few weeks ago I went on a mini vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia, desperate to get away from this gloomy New England weather, it doesn’t hurt that the flight is less than $200 round trip from Boston.
Obviously, I had to go to Colonial Williamsburg and geek out for a few hours, take some pictures, and have some blog fodder….also didn’t hurt sending some of my British friends pictures of me and the Union Jack (that’s called nation building).
I was able to get in for a 50% off using an educators discount….that’s Professor Liz to you, not Grant Accountant Liz, thanks to my work giving both faculty and staff the same handy dandy ID card. However, they only give the discount to the educator themselves, it doesn’t apply to others in your party.
All in all, I think it was pretty good, being from New England (note, I am posting this on “Patriots Day” in Massachusetts, really known as Marathon Monday thus giving everyone a three day weekend, but very technically, it commemorates the Battle of Lexington and Concord which was the start of the Revolutionary War), I’d like to say I am pretty well versed in my mock old towns, growing up not far from both Plymouth Plantation and Old Sturbidge Village.
However, I will say I found this one to be the best. Not only was it huge, but the rein-actors are professionals in their tasks. For example, we were speaking to the wheel maker, who told us that he apprenticed for six years, to get into his position, and the project he was working on was commissioned by the Smithsonian. Everything made is done using the proper tools of the era, in the same way they were made in the past and are sold to museums, private citizens, stores, etc.
In the middle of the day they do a whole Declaration of Independence show, which I thought was pretty cool, as a lot of the rein-actors are disbursed through the crowd and really got everyone pumped up and cheering. It wasn’t a total stretch trying to imagine what it might have been like at the time, having this document read to us from the balcony of the capital building.
The end of the day was probably the best, because what red blooded American doesn’t love things that go boom to the sounds of fifes and drums? Not, this American, that’s for sure. The soldiers marched in, were addressed by George Washington on horseback and then loaded and shot off their muskets in a salute, all then leading to a cannon salute at the end.
All in all, I’d recommend as a stop on your tour if you are ever in the tidewater region of Virginia. Especially if the weather is nice, it is a beautiful way to spend a day.