Monday, October 31, 2016

Colonial Williamsburg, VA

We spent a half day visiting Colonial Williamsburg and really enjoyed the morning.  It is a mostly restored colonial village where the employees dress in period costumes and speak in the manner of the day;)  I say mostly restored as there are some buildings that were restored on original foundations and some built entirely based on known buildings that existed in the area during that period.

You can purchase tickets to view demonstrations of various crafts inside some of the buildings and go into special areas or you can walk around at your leisure and enjoy the buildings from the outside and still see some crafts being demonstrated.  Of course there are shoppes to peek into. We opted to see what we could enjoy just walking around as the tickets were expensive and involved really more than one day to see everything properly.

Reproduction of the Governor's Palace

 The George Wythe House, below, was owned by the first Virginia signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Washington used the house as his headquarters in 1781 before the siege of Yorktown.

colonials on horseback riding down the palace green

Burton Parish Church and grave yard

These two ladies were hard at work, especially the one on the right.....

who wrestled this sheep to a "sitting" position so she could cut his wool!

Mike learns a solitaire game of dice and numbers

made a couple of new friends!

hard at work finishing of a pewter spoon which had to have the mold trimmings removed and hours of polishing!

Testing brews at the Brass Cannon

and Alewerks after the walk around
Colonial Williamsburg!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Colonial Jamestown and Yorktown Historical Parks

We were able to visit both Jamestown and Yorktown Historical Parks in one day while staying in Lenexa, VA, as they are just about 23 miles apart.

 In 1607 British ships carrying 104 colonists anchored in the James River on May 13th.  They established the colony of Virginia with Jamestown as the capitol. The nations earliest historical records....over 400 years ago.  Nothing remains of the original buildings except some foundations that have since been excavated with some of those having been reburied to protect further disintegration.

The museum building was constructed over a site of some exposed foundations and glass windows in the floor allow a glimpse into the past.  There is constant current excavating going on around the former settlement though.

The founding of Jamestown has been celebrated every 100 years.  The Tercentenary Monument commemorates Jamestown's 300th anniversary.
Ahead is the entrance way to the area of the original fort.  The only building, the church, was added much later after the original church had burned to the ground.


Inside the museum looking down as some exposed original foundation

Recovered wine flasks
wine mug and other implements

recovery of thousands of original artifacts from Jamestown help to tell us how they survived

model of the original settlement

recreations of the original vessels colonists arrived in

Jamestown developed a glass company that exported items to Britain

You can watch the glassmakers create items....very warm in this area!!:)

On to the Yorktown battlefield and museum.

We drove the battleground here following a car tour route.  Markers at the stops told us of the very short, and last major battle, of the American Revolution. You can still see some of the mounded earth batteries in various areas.

The museum was very interesting in that it holds some original tent "parts" that George Washington actually used and were subsequently used by his family for many years until finally preserved.

A partial full-sized reconstruction of the HMS Charon which burned and sank in the harbor is avail to walk through in the museum 

George Washington's chamber tent, his private sleep tent within a larger tent, is on display here

a silk flag carried during a battle of the Revolution was made in 1770

This sign notes where the historic waterfront area used to begin as it was destroyed by fire in 1814.

statues of Washington and French admiral De Grasse meeting to discuss the siege of Yorktown

The Yorktown waterfront today

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hiking and Museums, MD and VA

From our campground in WV we took the jeep to Catoctin Mountain Park in Maryland for a hike.  This park is set in a lovely hilly, forested area.  We did a very nice, what was supposed to be a moderate but should have been labeled steep ups and downs, walk that gave us a good work out and some great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Visited this winery while in Thurmont, MD, after the hike

Oct 18th, a move to Lenexa,
Virginia for a week.

Lots to do and see here and we
kicked off our visit with a drive
into Richmond.  Their free fine
arts museum is top notch and displays art from many of the masters

Ivory tusk carving of a mother and child

Below, Monet's Field of Poppies
 The museum was holding a special event with florists using artistic design to give their impressions
of specific art pieces, what a delight!

A Degas......

and some Tiffany

a Tiffany glass window, originally made for and set into a private house, now in the museum

Mike liked this painting, He thought the grapes look 3D, I agree!  So happy he enjoyed a little of the museum!

After enjoying some beer at Strangeways (they had a great sour!)...

we checked out the Museum of the Confederacy and toured the Confederate White House

A National Historic Landmark, the White House of the Confederacy 1861-65, Jefferson Davis and family lived here


US Army Corp of Engineers Park, Iowa City, IA

Mike and I love it when we can find a COE park because they are always on water and our last stop at Coralville Lake was no exception.  A bi...