Friday, May 21, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg with Amber

Amber and I got to spend a day at Colonial Williamsburg last Thursday while Jared watched Luke. I was really excited to get to do a lot of the tours that I'd never done before. Some of the tours take 30-45 minutes and there is a lot of stopping and listening. Luke can't handle that kind of thing, so I was really excited and made Amber hit all the big tours with me first. Our first stop was the Governor's palace, although we didn't take any pictures. We went to hear "Patrick Henry" speak. It was really interesting to hear parts of his speeches and his opinions from the past. He said that he was a Virginian first and an American second. It made it more clear to Amber and I why states rights would have been such an issue leading up to the civil war. He also talked about family life and events leading up to the Declaration of Independence as well as how Virginia was involved in many of the first big steps. I think I had mostly thought of things centered in Boston and Philidelphia, but that wasn't really the case. Virginia was VERY much involved in bringing about the Revolution.

After we listened to Patrick Henry we rushed over to the courthouse to watch some proceedings and reenactments of the types of cases seen there. The cases centered on religion and commerce.

Then we ran back to the Governor's palace to tour the inside. By the end of that tour I was shaky on my feet and kept having to squat down while our guide was talking. It was slightly embarrassing, but I can only go so long without food. So then we went to lunch.

Here are some of the other things we saw and actually took pictures of:

The George Wythe house and grounds

Chopping wood for the Wythe's

I loved this pretty arch

The capitol where the House of Burgesses met
Pit stop at the city gaol

Drum and fife (concert?) outside the city courthouse
We also went to the Peyton Randolph house and the brick yard. The brick yard was really cool. We saw how they cut the bricks, stacked them, and then burned them to prepare them for the houses. I thought the different colors of bricks were from different clays, but it's actually caused by the amount of heat the brick was exposed to during the burning to dry and prepare the bricks. Our last stop was the old hospital, which was the first hospital for insane persons. It was sad to see how the patients used to be treated.

By that time we were out of time, and everything was closing. But we went back the next day with Luke to see the palace gardens.

The maze

It was a fun trip for Amber and I. We still didn't get in to see everything. I think we needed two full days to see everything, and the second half of the second day I had my ultrasound. So Amber (and thus me too) didn't get to see most of the artisan shops. I've still never seen the apothecary, book binder, silver smith, or shoe maker. I'm sure there's more that I haven't seen. Hopefully by the end of our four years here I'll have seen it all. In the meantime I went to the library and checked out books on some of the people we learned and talked about. Unfortunately there aren't juvenile books on some of the people I most want to learn more about like George Wythe and Peyton Randolph. But I did get books about Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and Thomas Jefferson. Maybe I'll finally branch out into adult non-fiction. Scary!

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