Colonial Williamsburg – Arrival, Traveling Back and Impressions

May 20, 2009 at 8:54 am (Uncategorized)

It is going to take me days to post about all the wonderful things we saw at Colonial Williamsburg.  So I am going to start with our arrival and some of the things I learned that I didn’t know before. 

Here is a picture of my daughter when we arrived. 
I sure never dreamed that she would be wearing her Colonial costume at Colonial Williamsburg when I made it a few weeks ago!  WOW!

Here is a relief map of Colonial Williamsburg that they have out front of the Visitor Center.
The Visitor Center is located just at the top of my little man’s head.  So it is a bit of a trek from the Visitor Center to Colonial Williamsburg.  They do have buses you can take, but of course we opted to walk!  (We had been averaging walking 5 miles a day for the last 2 weeks, so a 15 minute walk wasn’t going to bother us! LOL)  In the end I was glad we opted to walk (Even though I suggested loudly several times that we should wait for the bus. hehehe)  It turned out to be a lovely walk and as you will see in a minute it was a chance to time travel back in history too!

One thing that took me by surprise about Colonial Williamsburg is that it was much more "open" to the surrounding areas than I expected.  As a matter of fact there is no fence around the area. (You get a badge to wear while you are there and there are random people around that check them as you pass by.)  What I found even more surprising is that people actually live in Colonial Williamsburg!  Okay, here is the deal.  After the war the capitol of Virginia was eventually moved to Richmond to be more centralized.  Since Williamsburg basically revolved around being the capitol people moved away.  Over time other people moved in.  Progress marched on and the neighborhood became like any other neighborhood in American.  In the 1930’s the pastor at the local church (Which was built in 1711 and continues to be an active church to this day! I will be posting pictures of it in days to come.) was able to get John D. Rockefeller Jr. interested in buying up properties in the area and restoring them.  Of course not everyone wanted to sell their homes.  So some people still own there homes to this day!  Others sold to Rockefeller with the stipulation that they could live in the house for the rest of their lives.  Other are rented to employees who work in Colonial Williamsburg.  (We were told there is a long waiting list to rent the houses.)  So as you walk around you have to check your map, which is color coded, to tell you which ones are open to the public and which ones are private residences.  There are signs on a lot of the houses to remind you that they are private residences.  But other than the little signs they are all restored and you would never know that they were not all part of the museum.  What an interesting place it must be to live!

Here was another thing I didn’t expect.
You could actually rent costumes at the Visitor Center!  I didn’t even check to see what they cost.  I know it was more than we would be willing to spend!  LOL  We did see a couple of families that had rented full costumes for everyone.  It looked like fun!  My daughter got a lot of compliments on her outfit.  A couple people even asked her questions as if she worked there!  So I guess her outfit looked authentic enough!

This I just had to post because I thought it was funny!
You have got to love a place that is so in to being Colonial that even the people on the ladies room signs are dressed for the period! LOL

So finally I accepted that my husband was not going to let me take the bus we were going to take a 15 minute lovely walk through the woods.  As soon as we hit the bridge out of the Visitor Center I was SO glad.  Here is the time travel I talked about above….The bridge had brass plaques every few steps that really got us ready for the day ahead…

You are now leaving the 21st Century. Walk Back In Time.

1980’s From this date…Your personal computer is your brain.

1954 From this date…You tolerate segregated schools.

1940’s From this date…You watch no T.V.

1920’s From this date…You accept that women cannot vote.

1913 From this date…You pay no income tax and receive no social security.

1865 From this date…You know people who own other people.

1820’s From this date…You cannot travel overland more than 70 miles per day.

1800’s From this date…Almost everything you eat was raised nearby.

1790’s From this date…Your latest news in more than one week old.

1776 From this date…You are a subject of His Majesty the king.

You are entering the American Colonies. 18th Century.
What fun it was to read this timeline and think about all the things that have changed in the last 200 plus years! I was pretty glad we didn’t take the bus at this point!  LOL

Here is my daughter just after we passed over the bridge.  Except for the camera case she looks like she fits here!

The first thing we came to on our walk is a Colonial Farm they are in the process of restoring.
This was the entrance to the farm.  The sign said that "nearly all" of the people of the time lived on small family farms.  (Which is the same thing we heard at Sully Plantation.)  We didn’t spend time looking around the farm since we only had one day to spend at Colonial Williamsburg and we had already visited the Claude Moore Colonial Farm earlier in our trip.

Here is my gang hiking along the path…
(Oh, and we did check everyone for ticks after our hike through the woods.  The night before we found 2 ticks on the boys after going to Yorktown!  Yikes!!! I have never lived anywhere that we had to deal with ticks.  I was freaked out!)

Okay, one last picture of my daughter looking adorable in her costume.
Yes, she got tired of posing for me! :^)

At this point my daughter and I were so wound up about being where the Felicity stories take place we could hardly contain ourselves! (This was certainly the highlight of the whole trip for my daughter!) Getting to come here at all was amazing, but getting to come while we are in the middle of studying Felicity with our American Girl Club was beyond belief!  Wow, God is good!

I will end my first post on Colonial Williamsburg here.  Yep, we haven’t even made it into the actual historic area yet!  I told you I would be posting on this for days!  LOL

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

P.S. If you ever make it to Colonial Williamsburg make sure take along your Homeschool Teacher ID CardThey give a 50% discount to teachers! WOW!  That is the best teacher discount I have ever gotten!  The admission is NOT cheap, so this was a significant savings.  You all know nothing makes me happier than saving money!

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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer said,

    The CW costume rental is actually quite reasonable. I looked into it when we were there in December expecting it to be outrageous, and was pleasantly surprised, It was $19.95 a day with a $50.00 refundable deposit. We decided to just rent one day for the photo ops 🙂 The hats were plenty for the rest of the time.

    If you are planning a trip to CW with kids, be sure to check out the official website; there are all sorts of fun things to do and see before even arriving in CW. Williamsburg is one of our FAVORITE places. DH and I both went to the College of W&M and then lived there for several years after college – there is so much to see and do, especially for homeschooling families.

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